The Week After That

At last night’s living room concert I gave everyone slips of paper and had them contribute song ideas: people, places, things, moods. The suggestions were

pensive
dark ages
Costa Rica
Aunt Jemima
old motorcycles
siblings
a cowboy who doesn’t like horses or cows

It pretty much wrote itself. I performed it 15 minutes after I pulled the ideas from the hat.

Lyrics

what do you do when you’re in the wrong place
in the wrong place in the wrong time?
thinking like that can ruin your breakfast
looking for reason and rhyme

roping and riding and drivin’ ’em in
is driving me out of my mind
so I’m moving on
next week I’ll be gone
the week after that I’ll fine

my sister just doesn’t get it
she doesn’t have to, she knows I’m okay
her Harley will get me to LAX
I’m flying south today

chorus

I’m off on a plane to the tropics
heading south as fast as I can
get away from those horses and smelly old cows
in Costa Rica I could work on my tan

chorus

no more bacon and eggs in the morning
Aunt Jemima’s got nothing on me
that medieval torture of saddle tramp days
is washing away in the sea

chorus


Long, Long Ride

Hi. My name is Joel and I cheat at 333.

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

I left my small small town
For the bright bright city
I knew that I could make it if I tried
I had a true true heart
And a deep deep love
For a dream I had that would not be denied

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

There were some rich rich people
Heard my hot hot music
Heard a gravy train a-comin’ from afar
Now they were sharp sharp thinkers
Had some fat fat bankrolls
And they spent it so that I could be a star

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it back someday

bridge
I know you’ve heard this story two too many times
Mean city breaks a country boy’s heart
I’m telling you right now that’s not how it was
I made a name
And got my fame
I had it good
As one man could
But missing home was tearing me apart

chorus
I’ve got a long long ride
And it’s a dark dark night
With nothing but the stars to light my way
I’ve got some big big dreams
And some good good friends
And I know I’m gonna make it home today
And I know I’m gonna make it home today

performance notes
banjo in G
verse and bridge begin in C
vamp in bridge is D


First Rodeo, Last Ride

A friend who has worked with everyone from Commander Cody and Buddy Guy to Aaron Copeland and Tina Turner is teaching me some slide.

I recorded 6 choruses of a 12-bar blues in a D tuning on my acoustic. Shuffled things around a bit after I came up with the ‘first rodeo/last ride’ idea, then whipped together some lyrics and there ya go.

it’s hard to find the words
to say how it hurts
bet it all on that bull and I lost my shirt
thought I could take him
but didn’t have enough inside
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

didn’t see eye to eye
that bull and I
and I was laying there looking at the great big sky
it was mutual
we each wanted some of the other one’s hide
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

when you hit the gate
better do your eight
I had more than I could handle on a bull sized plate
partly my fault
a fact I’ve never denied
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

I make a mess of things
and it really stings
outrageous fortune and all its slings
get knocked down
but I try to take it all in stride
well this ain’t my first rodeo
but it might be my last ride

performance notes
open D
12 – 5 – 7


Back Side of the Ridge

There’s a place I hate go
On the back side of the ridge
And as a result it can suffer some neglect
But now and then I remind myself
It’s better to make the ride
Than to wait until the whole thing’s wrecked

I saddle up right early
’cause I pack the night before
Couple ham sandwiches and carrots and apples to share
El Aguila picks his way
Through the starless Bible black
And the sun will be rising by the time we’re there

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line

El Aguila hates this ride
Almost as much as me
But he knows when there’s a job, you gotta get it done
His temperament is different
Every time we climb this hill
He knows his usual tricks won’t help him none

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line
Bridge:
I’ll be working on this ridge ‘til sunset
Thinking about just what this thing is for
Who does it keep out?
What does it keep in?
And why does it have to be such a miserable chore?

Two strands of barbed
Let the little stuff pass
Just keeps the bigger critters getting through
Some little kid
Wants to fish down in my stream
I’m pretty sure I’ll never miss a fish or two

A man’s gotta know
Where his boundaries are
If he don’t, it’ll end in crying
That side’s yours
And this side’s not
Once in a while we all cross the line

There’s a place I hate go
On the back side of the ridge
And as a result it can suffer some neglect