Artist: JEFF BLACK
Album: Folklore
Release Date: April1, 2014
Label: Lotos Nile Music

Jeff Black played 6 and 12 string guitars
banjo, harmonica and sang the songs
Recorded January 4-5, 2014
Arcana Studio 333 Nashville, TN USA
Produced and Engineered by Jeff Black
Executive Producers Kissy Black and Jeff Black
Mixed by Dave Sinko
Mastered by Eric Conn and Don Cobb

Design by Messo
Photographs By Lotos Nile Black
Layout and additional design by Galina Petriu

Folklore Companion Journal
layout and design by Jeff Black and Amanda Quinton

Special thanks to Ashley Moyer, Amanda Quinton,
Galina Petriu, Marius Petriu, Vladamir Oratovschi
all the folks at Lotos Nile, the generous supporters
and visionaries on the Blacklist and all of the
people who grant this music a little audio space
in their lives.

Jeff Black plays Epiphone Masterbilt
Banjos, Paige capos, Morley Pedals, Impact Picks,
Palomino Blackwing and Blackwing 602 pencils.

All songs written by Jeff Black
© 2014 Lotos Nile Music BMI
except "Lemonade" written by Jeff Black
Emerson Black and Zuzu Black



FOLKLORE LINER NOTES by Jeff Black

I've been thinking about this record, this kind of record, for a long, long, time. I've been working over time to see it clearer. As a listener and a writer, I move toward the songs that are born from a picture first. The torn old photo where my Grandma and her camera captured a moment around 1930 of two brothers and their dog on the sunny side of their house in the winter, has followed me around for 40-some years. The old print reveals more in its composition than I might ever write in a lifetime.

My Grandma Lotos played piano in church, my Great Grandad played guitar, as did my Uncle Lyle, who is standing on the left next to my Dad in the cover photo. My Dad played some guitar and the tenor banjo. There is a humble legacy here that started way back in the country, through the rites of dances and church socials, passed down through stories. I was told my Dad and his brother spent a good amount of time performing at barn dances around the country up in north Missouri when they were young. Coming up through the Great Depression, playing music for them was probably more out of hunger and necessity than the need for self expression or nurturing the luxury of emotion. I think it’s the picture of my Dad looking into the camera, into the future, that inspires me, and the fade of my uncle into the unknown that keeps me searching.

I've been thinking about the kind of music that we dance to out of need, where vanity is absent. The kinds of songs that are sung out of need too, where the ego stands down. Where true pop culture begins before it is destroyed with the notions of fame and riches. When people dance for themselves, with each other in sync, in rounds, where they emulate the universe…I believe this is a primal need. With no fear of failure and no audience to read, people play music through instinct. It is our work. It is a valid and valuable life’s work, whether anybody ever hears it or not.

I wrote and recorded thirty plus songs for this album and the 13 that actually made it to the final release are the pictures I kept returning to. Not all of the songs are derived from my line of history. Some are for a fighting friend and a forgotten child. Others recount a ride on a city bus and a short study on never settling. The narratives don't have near as much to do with me or the pictures I attempt to paint, as they do with the pictures people conjure up in their mind when they let them in. I did my best to explore both sides, the dark and the light lines that are drawn through all of us.

When you start looking at 10 fingers, half a dozen or so strings, countless frequencies and the endless possibilities of story and song, the dogged thoughts and dark hopes are ultimately edged out. Nothing gets in but creation - and that's where I hoped to start, where this album begins. I feel fortunate to just to have been in the vicinity when they came through.






COUNTRY STANDARD TIME

"Folklore" is Jeff Black's most telling album to date. Not that it's filled with admission or confession, at least not in the same mode as today's sensationalistic, bare it all exposés. Rather, it's ably accompanied by a stark narrative style that's as revealing as it is reflective. The arrangements may be austere - Black performs solo, expressing his mettle on guitars, banjo and harmonica - but the rich imagery and descriptive encounters create vivid sepia-tinted hues that capture in detail another time and place, examples of awe and innocence seemingly lost forever.

In his liner notes, Black insists that these songs aren't drawn not only from his own back pages but also from the lifelines of others. "The narratives don't have near as much to do with me or the pictures I attempt to paint, as they do with the pictures people conjure up in their mind when they let them in," he writes.

And, indeed, the tale of the young boy and his sister who take a road trip with their dad in their weathered "63' Mercury Meteor," or the kids who take a day to explore the city on "#10 Bus" capture memories common to anyone who considered adolescence a time of wonder and discovery. If there is an overall sense of sadness and sobriety - the borrowed refrain that echoes the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in Black's "Tom Domino" clearly reflects that feel - but the tone has more to do with bidding farewell to fading memories rather than any hint of regret or remorse.

Still, any evidence of bittersweet sentiment quickly gives way a kind of wistful nostalgia, one that reminds us it's better to cherish the present rather than lament the past. "Folklore" speaks to the sentimental dreamer in some of us and the homesick wanderer in us all.

-Lee Zimmerman



BUSCADERO

BUSCADERO - MENSILE DI INFORMAZIONE ROCK - ITALIA
(N.366 - APRILE 2014 - ANNO XXXIV)
JEFF BLACK Folklore Lotos Nile

Translation
The folklore, that is, in english, "the knowledge of the people" is one of the most important forms of memory: refers to the popular tradition, the rites. The customs and legends of those before us, consciously or not, has bequeathed to future generations a legacy, a teaching, a thought. Folklore, after the critically acclaimed "Plow Through The Mystic" (2011), is also the title of the new album by Jeff Black, not surprisingly, the most rigorous album of the eleven published to date by the singer-songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri. Nudes, intense and beautiful as were also the two volumes of "B-Sides And Confessions" (especially the first, half-masterpiece), respectively from 2003 and 2013, but if they looked more like those collections of rock ballads for the occasion interpreted in suffered acoustic key, "Folklore" sounds rather like a hard uncompromising folk, scanty as it is made by weaving dozens of references to the size of the most archaic kind, sober because they can tell their own stories using only some guitar and harmonica. Join veteran newgrass Dave Sinko (someone will remember his work on behalf of Sam Bush), the album represents a journey in purity in the remotest corners and off the beaten path of the sound of roots, from country-blues of "Lemonade" the typical folk Texan (in a Guy Clark style) of the evocative "63 Mercury Meteor", from country-rock to twelve strings of the beautiful "Break The Chain" to the painful hillbilly banjo only "Cages of My Heart" in a continual round of departures and returns from the images of the past to their contemporary tradition in a new voice, and new words. Inspired by the cover photo dated 1930 in which two brothers (his father and his uncle Lyle Black) are captured along with their dog in a bath of winter sun, the artist has tried to write some thirty pieces, thirteen of which are then selected for the lineup of "Folklore" that could vibrate in the same urgency, immediacy and frugality contained in the family stories about the Great Depression, when the choice of making music stemmed from hunger and the need for alleviate the economic hardships of family and friends through the notes of a born-dance. The intent is clear, and perfectly successful in the episodes rougher and rootsy as a "Sing Together", which would not be surprising to discover that belonged to some obscure storytellers of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet many chapters of "Folklore" transcend simple, commendable commemoration of days gone by in turn now classic ballads in the Black style, in the dark and fast arpeggios of "Rider Coming", in the uncontaminated folkie sweetness of "No Quarter", the haunting desolation of "Decoration Day"; in a set of songs, in short, where the most introverted Van Morrison and the most thoughtful Jackson Browne come together to exchange pieces of life, achievements, dreams, roads, daily rushes and small defeats. In the gait dylaniano of the acute "Tom Domino" check even a mention of the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want", but the charm of the song, the subtle elegance of fingerpicking and the effectiveness of the narrative, only belong to Jeff Black. The world in black and white, poor but proud, tired but full of music and ideals, celebrated in "Folklore" instead belongs to us all, and for this reason it would be a shame to miss the new appointment with one of its most authentic and evocative singers.

-Gianfranco Callieri

Translation courtesy Claudio Cacchi - Border Affair



BUSCADERO

BUSCADERO - MENSILE DI INFORMAZIONE ROCK - ITALIA
(N.366 - APRILE 2014 - ANNO XXXIV)
JEFF BLACK Folklore Lotos Nile

Il foídore, ossia, dall'inglese, «la conoscenza del popolo», «il sapere del popolo», è una delle forme più importanti della memoria: riguarda la tradizione popolare, i riti, le abitudini e le leggende di chi, prima di noi, consapevolmente o meno, ha lasciato in eredità alle generazioni successive un retaggio, un insegnamento, un pensiero. Folkfore, dopo l'acclamato Piow Through The Mystic (2011), é anche il titolo del nuovo album di Jeff Black, non a caso il più spoglio e rigoroso tra gli undici fino a oggi pubblicati dal cantautore di Kansas City, Missouri. Nudi, intensi e bellissimi lo erano stati pure i due volumi di B-Sides And Confessions (soprattutto il primo, un mezzo capolavoro), rispettivamente risalenti al 2003 e al 2013, ma se quelli assomigliavano più a raccolte di ballate rock per l'occasione interpretate in sofferta chiave acustica, Folkfore suona invece come un disco folk senza compromessi, scarno perché realizzato intrecciando decine di riferimenti alla dimensione più arcaica del genere, sobrio perché in grado di raccontare le proprie storie ricorrendo soltanto a qualche chitarra e a un'armonica. Registrato dal veterano oewgrass Dave Skiko (qualcuno ricorderà i suoi lavori per conto di Sam Bush), l'album rappresenta un viaggio in purezza negli angoli più remoti e meno battuti del suono delle radici, dal country-blues di Lemonade ai tipico folk texano (alla Guy Clark) dell'evocativa 63 Mercury Ileteor, dal country-rock a dodici corde della splendida amai< The Chain al dolente hillbilly per banjo solo di Cages OfMyfriegrt, in un continuo circolo di partenze e ritorni dalle immagini del passato alla loro traduzione contemporanea in nuova voce., e nuove parole. Ispirato dalla foto di copertina, jeff black folklore datata 1930, in cui due fratelli - il padre di Black e suo zio Lyle - sono immortalati assieme al loro cane in un bagno di sole invernale, l'artista ha cercato di scrivere una trentina di pezzi, tredici dei quali poi selezionati per la scaletta di Folkfore, che potessero vibrare della stessa urgenza, dell'immediatezza e della frugalità contenute nei racconti familiari sul periodo della Grande Depressione, quando la scelta di fare musica nasceva dalla fame e della necessità, per alleviare le tribolazioni economiche di parenti e amici attraverso le note di una barn-dance. L'intento è evidente, nonché perfettamente riuscito, negli episodi più ruvidi e rootsy, come una Sing Together che non stupirebbe scoprire appartenuta a qualche oscuro cantastorie dei monti Appalachi. Eppure molti capitoli di Folklore trascendono la semplice, pur encomiabile commemorazione dei tempi andati per trasformarsi nelle ormai classiche ballate di Black, negli arpeggi scuri e veloci di Rider Coming, nell'incontaminata dolcezza folkie di No Quorter, nella desolazione struggente di Decoration Day; in un set di canzoni, insomma, dove il Van Morrison più introverso e il Jackson Browne più riflessivo si danno appuntamento per scambiarsi pezzi di vita, conquiste, sogni, strade, slanc: quotidiani e piccole sconfitte. Nell'incedere dylaniano dell'aguzza Torn Domino spunta persino una citazione dei Rolling Stones di YouCanr Always Get What You Wan t, ma il fascino del brano, l'eleganza sottile del fingerpicking e l'efficacia della narrazione, appartengono solamente a Jeff Black. Il mondo in bianco e nero, povero ma orgoglioso, affaticato ma ricco di musica e ideali, celebrato in Fofklore appartiene invece a tutti noi, e proprio per questo sarebbe un peccato mancare il nuovo appuntamento con uno dei suoi cantori più autentici e suggestivi

-Gianfranco Callieri



THE LONESOME ROAD REVIEW

I’m not sure why Kansas City songwriters appear so frequently upon body my mental lists of favourites, but they do. Bob Walkenhorst, Rex Hobart, John Velghe, and Jeff Black are staples in my music diet, singers I return to with greater frequency than some whose names may be better known. "e four listed have little in common, but each brings their obvious love for language to their recordings. Jeff Black’s tenth album continues his unbroken sequence of artistic achievements. Stripped bare of accompanists and accoutrements, Folklore has been created in the spirit of a mid-60s Folkways or Vanguard release. Here the long-time Nashville resident is inspired by black and white memories of a family’s past, weaving a stirring collection of songs and stories tangibly connected to time, place, and people while sitting independent of an all-encompassing narrative.

Recorded over two days at the turn of this year, Black plays all the instruments (6 and 12 string guitars, banjo, harmonica), does all the singing, and wrote all the songs excepting a solitary co-write with his children Emerson and Zuzu. Listeners may find themselves hanging on each word Black delivers, anticipating the next turn of phrase that will provide enlightenment. Similarly, his clean instrumental delivery—whether it be the rolling banjo notes of “Cages of My Heart” or the flourishes of guitar within “Break the Ground”—will have listeners leaning in to discern the delicacy of his playing. Whereas his previous B-Sides and Confessions, Volume Two emphasized the depth of Black’s bluesy palette, Folklore is less emotionally oppressive while retaining familiar elements of universal authenticity within his storytelling. When singing of his father’s “’63 Mercury Meteor” Black touches on familial closeness and shared experience while crafting lines about “little drivers on a gypsy road” including “the sound of the snow falling into the leaves”—whether true or imagined, the communication of memory is paramount.

-Donald Teplyske



THE BRIKTOWN MASSACRE

Junior Bonner's Choice

JEFF BLACK Folklore Musicista culto, cantautore, Jeff Black ha saputo ritagliarsi un suo spazio, anche in un momento così difficile per la musica. Ormai i suoi dischi li incide e se li distribuisce da solo e questa non è certo una buona indicazione se vogliamo constatare la stato di salute della musica oggi. Se uno di talento come Black si deve autogestire, siamo proprio conciati male. Folklore è un disco acustico, parco, essenziale. Contiene una manciata di canzoni voce e chitarra, spoglie come non mai, ma dense di pathos, personalità, inventiva e poesia. Tanto basta per continuare ad amare Jeff Black.

-Junior Bonner




Johnny's Garden

Op de hoes staat Jeffs vader afgebeeld, waarbij hij in de lens kijkt alsof hij in de toekomst tuurt, terwijl zijn broer Lyle gedeeltelijk vervaagt in het niets. Door deze alledaagse foto kreeg Jeff Black verse ideeën. Inspiratie die dicht bij huis lag, en qua uitvoering dat ook moest blijven. Het werd de basis voor dit nieuwste project. Het is zijn elfde plaat, en het moest opnieuw een echte bare bone plaat worden. Liedjes uitgevoerd door een solist, enkel voorzien van een paar instrumenten. Met behulp van een vijfsnarige banjo, zes- en twaalfsnarige gitaren en mondharmonica wist Jeff Black andermaal een bundel aan uitgebeende doch warmbloedige songs samen te stellen. De foto is gemaakt ergens rond 1930, een periode waarin de liedjes op Folklore zich vast thuisgevoeld zouden hebben. De tijd van de Grote Depressie, een tijd waarin een folkartiest wellicht eerder voor een noodzakelijke maaltijd of onderdak speelde dan louter vanwege de muze. De titelsong beschrijft deze tijd. Black schreef een dertigtal nummers voor dit album, waarvan uiteindelijk dertien stuks geschikt bevonden werden. Niet alle liedjes zijn ontstaan met dezelfde basisgedachte. Twee stuks wijken af van de verhaallijn, hebben een eigentijdse achtergrond, maar misstaan niet vanwege dezelfde gevoelswaarde. Howdy Do bijvoorbeeld gaat over iemand die in weerwil van de achterstandswijk waaruit hij voortkwam zich wist op te werken naar een beter bestaan. Folklore pakt de draad op waar B-sides and Confessions Volume 2 ophield. Dat geldt eveneens voor de kwaliteit van het geluid, die wordt in het verlengde van die plaat gecontinueerd. De plaat is een geweldig stuk huisvlijt, maar dan opgeschroefd tot het niveau dat we van Jeff Black gewend zijn. Subtiel hoorbaar tref je verwijzingen naar onder meer de Rolling Stones. Buiten de vooroorlogse crisis altijd nog een bron van eigentijdse inspiratie. Opnames vonden plaats in Black’s Arcana Studio en werden geluidstechnisch uitgebalanceerd door Dave Sinko.

Translation On the cover Jeff's father is depicted , in which he looks into the lens as he peers into the future , while his brother Lyle partially fades into nothingness . Through these everyday photo Jeff Black got fresh ideas . Inspiration that was close to home, and in terms of performance that should stay . It became the basis for this latest project . It is his eleventh album, and it had to be a real standard bone plate again . Songs performed by a soloist , just with a few tools . Using a five-string banjo , six - and twelve- string guitars and harmonica Jeff Black knew once put together. Boned but a bundle of warm-blooded songs The photo was taken sometime around 1930 , a period in which the songs would have . Folklore on themselves stuck at home feeling The time of the Great Depression , a time when a folk artist perhaps a necessary food or shelter rather than playing purely because of the muse. The title song describes this time . Black wrote thirty songs for this album , which were eventually found thirteen pieces fit . Not all the songs were created with the same basic idea . Two pieces deviate from the storyline , have a contemporary background , but not out of place because of the same connotation . Howdy Do example is about someone who , in spite of the poor neighborhood from which he came himself managed to work for a better life . Folklore picks up where B -sides and Confessions Volume 2 left off . The same applies to the quality of the sound, which is continued in the extension of that plate. The plate is a great piece of home industry , but then screwed to the level that we are accustomed Jeff Black . Subtle audible you will find references to include the Rolling Stones . Outside the pre-war crisis still a source of contemporary inspiration . Recording took place in Black's Arcana Studio and were sonically balanced by Dave Sinko .

-Jonny's Garden



Rider Coming

candle light is
riddle dancing
wind is blowing
hard as hell
sheets of rain
lightning crashing
pay no worry
faith be well

time will never
leave you lonely
it'll be there
until the bitter end
luck and money
won't make you happy
best to seal those
letters you send

rider coming down a long dark road
all packed up and journey proud to get home
say your prayers save yourself save your soul
and never be satisfied

water's over
old king's highway
river's crested
out of her banks again
this ain't no night
for a weary traveler
mission bell
I can hear it ringing

 

Folklore

my dear sweet daddy was the banjo boy
grew up poor on a little farm
old dirt town ain't there no more
just a road through the field was all we found

if you close your eyes and free your mind
you can see the store and the little mill
brothers jumping down the railroad track
Lotos' voice rolling down the hill

folklore hovers around the jamboree
where the tree line meets the sky
wrap the words in a ribbon
around her broken wing
that's how you're going to learn to fly

bob-white whistler through the summer wheel
don't you know he's got a better view
grandma claimed a quarter cherokee
I got the blood and the locket
and the picture she drew

imagination is a blessed thing
to have and hold just what you want
you can conjure up a bright light dream
or find a dark old house to haunt

dance all night and don't slow down
jump so high to steal the crown
bless the child and all we found
cuss that ivy moon
promenade a dance hall reel
never mind the whippoorwill
I found an arrowhead in a cotton field
that was just about to bloom

my old body is going to die someday
I want to turn to dust on a country road
tune me into the song you play
so this world won't ever let me go

 

Break The Ground

where in this world are you going child
does your mother know you're gone
are you trying to get closer to
a place to call your own

can you make it to the well on time
will you leave your wishes there
you may have to cut a brand new road
through these days of disrepair

break the ground where the ages lay
cast your hand against the stone
pulling every stream of light your way
your night your love alone
before this day is gone
before this world is gone

fair thee well to a hundred years
a life misunderstood
make your way into this modern world
the change may do you good

light dancing all around your heart
my dear make no mistake
someone's always watching over us
and this fate that we create

 

Howdy Do

I bet somebody
roughed you up good
I bet you come from
a tough old neighborhood
ain't that a fine
ain't that a fine
howdy do

I bet they shut you down
before you could talk
I bet they turned you out
before you ever learned to walk
ain't that a fine
ain't that a fine
howdy do

I bet you paid a pretty penny
for someone else's tears
I bet the hurt goes back
at least a thousand years

I bet they never let you
have your say
I bet you always felt like
you were just in the way
ain't that a fine
ain't that a fine
howdy do

Now if it don't set you free
it ain't worth a dime
if I was a petty gambler
hell I'd win every time

I bet they broke some things
you can't replace
I bet the truth you know
gets thrown back in your face oh
ain't that a fine
ain't that a fine
howdy do

 

Cages Of My Heart

I want to keep you in the cages of my heart
to navigate the hallows
on a prayer out through the dark
a sounding light to follow
so that we may never part
I want to keep you in the cages of my heart

I want to raise you from the ashes of my dreams
I want to feel the reconstruction
rushing through my brittle veins
I want to know good change is coming
just by whispering your name
I want to raise you from the ashes of my dreams

to take you with me where I go
to take you with me where I go

I want to fly you down the dirt roads of my soul
to the marks along the levee
where the muddy waters roll
I want to take you down there with me
to where no one else will go
I want to fly you down the dirt roads of my soul

to prove my love is true
to prove my love is true

 

 

'63 Mercury Meteor

At first it's the wind blowing so cold
the ice and the snow and the rain
And it's strange this day I'm remembering now
My little sister and I In a dream
It's black and it's white by my memory's light
with the snow and the dark bare trees
Then after the front there is only the sound of
The snow falling into the leaves

I see the light in the barn
we were trying to stay warm
I see my daddy popping open the hood
He primed her well
and layed his hand on my head
and said let's see if that'll do any good
He pumped on the gas turning the key
the cylinders jumped and she groaned
then that 63 mercury meteor
turned over and she was ready to roll

over the moon
and down through the town
the sound of a happy machine
the windshield wipers bending the light
cold coming in through the wing
riding with daddy
just my sister and me
driving that old meteor home
it was like we were flying
a spaceship mama
spinning around the sun

we turned the radio on to the static and sound
of the road rolling under the wheel
daddy said I tell you folks something right now
she's a fine little automobile
like a day you want to last forever
I kept wishing it would never end
the smell of the dust and rain in our clothes
is like a letter that I'll never send

daddy pulled in to the truck stop
the place sounded like a pinball machine
smelled of diesel and tobacco
oil and smoke, coffee and gasoline
He fixed a rusty leak in the gas tank
with a rag and an old bar of soap
then he bought us a bottle
of soda pop for breakfast
little drifters on a gypsy road

see grandma was gone, she followed her songv we were trying to take care of her things
reaping and sowing the timeline down
me and sister we were coming of age
the clock was really running
the big world was turning
and we didn't like the compromise
but there's nothing you can do
you got to keep on moving
I could see that in my Daddy's eyes

if my daddy was sad or scared or cross
he tried to set the burden aside
as we got a little closer to getting back home
I started feeling like I wanted to cry
It's black and it's white by my memory's light
with the cold and the dark bare trees
Then after the front there is only the sound of
The snow falling into the leaves

(additional verses)
I remember sneaking the keys out
pretending I was back on the road
sitting there running the battery down
listening to the radio
I come home from school one day
and my mercury was long gone
daddy sold it off to a skinny little man
I think he played the saxophone

someone said they see it roll through town
once in a while to reveal
like my daddy said folks I can tell you right know
she's a fine little automobile
but I wouldn't ever trade the memory we made
for the car, the title, the key
for flying in a mercury meteor
my daddy and my sister and me

 

Lemonade

sitting in the mouth of a crocodile
a crocodile a crocodile
sitting in the mouth of a crocodile
with a glass of lemonade

fishing for shrimp in a hurricane
A hurricane a hurricane
fishing for shrimp in a hurricane
with a glass of lemonade

sweet and sour sugar bliss
tastes just like pure happiness
pucker up for the perfect kiss
do you like lemonade

elephant stepping on my little toe
on my pinky toe yes me thinky so
elephant standing on my little toe
let's make some lemonade

lemon and water and the sugar's fine
the sugar's fine the sugar's fine
lemon and water and the sugar's fine
lets make some lemonade

 

#10 Bus

we were waiting on the number ten bus
we were taking a trip downtown
we gave the man our money
then we were hopping down Charlotte Avenue
taking a look around
it was all smiles and juicy fruit
you couldn't have killed my joy
with a nuclear warhead Mr.

what you wanted
is what you got
and what you need
ain't a lot

we stopped in at the peanut shop
got ourselves an ice cream cone
we sat there on the floor
talking to people we didn't know
folks were friendly to us all day
then it was time to head back home
Mama met us at the door
and we told her all about the puppet show

 

No Quarter

I want to thank you for the warning
and to what do I owe this lead
simple human kindness
is never lost on me

I suffer some for no reason
I suffer some for the cause
I suffer more for believing in
something good could come from so much loss

they are calling on me to surrender
but I ain't likely to fold
all the trees here are turning now
and the wind blows cold
going to be a long ride back home boys
through all the trap lines I see
I will show them no quarter
I will not retreat
pray for my enemy

the first time I ever pulled a pistol
I was weak in spirit and unprepared
I would have died there in the fire fight
if I hadn't been so god damned scared

I suppose fear is what saved me
I was afraid the devil was going to take my soul
now with each day passing lord
it gets a little easier to watch them fall

there's no reward here in waiting
and this vigil is wearing mighty thin
I don't even know what I'm fighting for now
and those thoughts will surely do me in

one last breath of your heaven
one last check on my guns
no time to turn my intentions lord
there is no place left on earth I can run

 

Sing Together

a lot of people out there spinning down
hard as hell to break away from these troubles on the ground
little children suffering on your street
who cares if the sky is falling
if you ain't got nothing to eat
the harmonies are threatened now
by the sound of broken hearts
you know they make a lot of money
trying to tear us all apart

if we sing together
if we dream together
if we can see forever
we can change the world

if we can love each other
keeping one another
sisters and brothers
we can change the world

in a little home made boat down by the sea
the old man has the mind to know and the reason to believe
all the riches in this world can't take you home
we hadn't ought to buy these things that we already own
when the dogs of war come running
and they draw down on your faith
we got to light the revolution
we've got to write this everyday

oh it might sound easy but it's not
you got to fight to be free
now give it all you got

 

Tom Domino

I don't have any excuses
they give me too much room to think
I don't harbor any censors these days
guess I had a little too much to drink

it brought tears of joy to see you
sure is good to take your hand
with everything that you've considered
so glad to see you are on the mend

bet you're ready for the difference now
to come to life, to take a hold
double six up from the boneyard shuffle
Joshua leveled Jericho
Tom Domino

set 'em up for the days you've got coming to you
got to keep that hand close to your vest
you knocked them down
and watch them roll on out
in a circle to the cross in the west

I hope you like your new name
I think it suits you pretty well
I think you've earned your right
to lay your claim on
every star and every wish that ever fell

emo rockers at the costco
in a honda mini-van
stocking up on powder milk and diapers
we all just doing the best we can
that's the plan

 

Flat Car

Flat Car wore an old top hat
always looking out for the rhyme
born in Okemah on the 4th of July
right place just the wrong time
just the wrong time

satellites flying through the western sky
signals falling down like rain
digital pipeline stealing the night
Flat Car hopping a train
hopping a train

ride a few hard miles through the southern yard
going nowhere slow and taking it hard
ain't no life for a decent soul
ain't no future in the long ago friend
ain't no future in the long ago

write a tired little poem
about a rambling rose
white port until you're about tight
wearing thrift store shoes
and dead man's clothes
sleeping on the ground tonight honey
on the ground tonight

worse than some and better than most
learn to play the guitar
just to rile that old ghost
hang your wire on an old fence post
I'm sleeping with my tall boots on honey
I'm sleeping with my tall boots on

 

Decoration Day

at the end of this old highway
lay the bones of a little town
along the railroad line
from a long long time ago
just a road out through the country
they were listening for the sound
the car just seemed to slow down on it's own
from Bethany to Lineville
time sure took it's toll
he said I think this is the turn
here but I'm not sure
with a world of good intention
he tried to make them smile
so he said something off color and obscure

we're lucky to be laughing
to roll this gypsy wheel
we've walked a thousand roads
and we made good time
so if only for this moment
it's such a lovely day
we should trip this wire for a while
on a century of holdouts
and all we're thankful for
on the freshest breath of air we'll ever taste
rose and yellow peonies
sweet the memories
we'll stop and say hello
but we won't stay

the kids were tired and troubled
so he veered off the repose
and told a story about them
growing up on a farm
she fixed them all a sandwich
and said I spy something blue
they said goodbye and headed out for home
he could almost see the ocean
beyond the fields of green
beyond the life he lived and knew before
further back than memories
in black and white he dreamed
a picture of them standing by the door

 

All songs written by Jeff Black
© 2014 Lotos Nile Music BMI
except "Lemonade" written by J. Black, Emerson Black and Zuzu Black