“It’s late in the evening, the sun has gone down. The neighborhood is quiet but I hear the sounds.” I spent the weekend working on It’s a Lonely Christmas Without You. I somehow managed to delete my project files and had to recreate it, which was a good opportunity to make some changes and I’m pleased with the outcome. I hope your loved ones are near to you this Christmas. If not, wherever they are I pray they’re safe and sound.
The struggle of all working artists who haven’t broken through the surface of their craft’s domain is the day job. All those years of music education to be a secretary… and have a bed to sleep in, a pot to piss in, and maybe with enough hard work, you’ll manage to break through, but at least you won’t be sleeping on the street somewhere dreaming about the would have could haves.
Some dreams die easily. I’m not going to be a famous dancer, doctor or a National Geographic investigative journalist which were dreams that lit up like a firefly and burned out fast. But I do have a particular set of skills that have grown into an ability from a teeny tiny little mustard seed and that ability continues to carry the root of who I am and what I have to offer. That’s where this song comes from.
Flaming needles prick the darkness, hosed down halls that house the heartless, two pills in a paper cup, liquid soul, drink it up.
The Institution describes the cognitive dissonance I feel in my day job. It doesn’t even matter what the day job, so it’s not tied to my current organization of employment. I know I’m not the only one….
David Houston and String Theory
If you haven’t caught David Houston and String Theory, make it a point to get to one of their gigs. I’ve nicknamed David, Professor Houston because his talent deserves that level of respect. As a songwriter I have a particular affinity for wordsmiths and this man is a genius. The way he turns a phrase will catch you off guard and open your heart before you’ve realized what’s happened and then here comes String Theory with a sweeping line to lift you out of the mechanics of the lyrics and into the job that music is meant to do – move you to another level, another hemisphere, another view. Several times during their performance I marveled that this combination is so powerful and effective. It’s vibrational open heart surgery, hits you in the nostalgic area of your gut, but the strings and arrangement saves you. They hold you up, help you feel and keep you from falling too far down. That’s the feeling of an open heart.
It doesn’t get any tastier than this delightful pairing of aural pleasure. Solid song structure, expert musicianship and powerful lyricism that at one point brought up a few tears. Now that caught me off guard, I can’t recall when a performance delivered that kind of punch, hence this post. Kudos Prof Houston & String Theory, I look forward to your next gig! Stay informed: http://www.davidhouston.com
The Wild West Medicine Show
The Medicine Show rides again! Though it’s live on most music distribution platforms, I recommend getting it at bandcamp for just 7$. http://kallyomally.bandcamp.com/album/kally-omallys-wild-west-medicine-show It’s a wild ride through falling barstools, shady medicine men, a hotel with a phone that doesn’t work and some transition easing buorbon. I’ll be announcing the CD release show here shortly and will have the physical copies delivered early next week. If you would like a physical copy, send me an email and I’ll get one to you via mail.
I’ve already starting working on new material for the next one and still am working on getting the instrumentals out. If only there were more than 24 hours in a day or I didn’t need to sleep.
Stay safe, stay happy and stay on yer barstool!
Big hugs and thank you!
Friday Night Music in Sacramento
Where to begin? Last night was packed with fun, friends and superb talent. If you don’t get out to see live music in this town you are really missing out. I started the night out at The Shack in East Sac and got a Lyft down to Old Ironsides right as Anton Barbeau was going on. I recognized some of his songs and was blown away by the tightness of his band and how the songs themselves had matured into really fine works. Aural pleasure. Here’s Anton:
Next I ran over to the Fox and Goose and walked in on Dr. Velocity playing and singing some beautiful songs. I was struck right away by the quality of his songwriting and the sweet vocal delivery. I will definitely be following his work. Next up was Kimberlina and Jeffry Wynne-Prince. Both of them are excellent musicians in their own right and you put them together and bliss is the word that comes to mind. It was heaven to hear Kimberlina sing with Jeffry backing her, great guitar sounds and I swear that woman has perfect pitch. I did not hear a single wrong or off note and I am in awe of her consistency. Great work and I look forward to seeing them again soon. Photo by Allyson Seconds.
I ran back over to Old I and caught Harley White Jr. with his band Clouds Roll By and again, I was struck by the superior quality musicianship and Harley’s performance. Dripping with sweat he easily commands attention, he settles into the beat and lifts you up.
Next up was Blame the Bishop. I’m biased as two of the members play in my band as well. But I love these guys. Great songs, harmonies that are infectious and unfortunately for the video guy, my big mouth can’t help but sing along too from the audience. I get a little enthusiastic when I hear great local acts. I love that about this group, accessible songs and some truly gorgeous harmonies. Add to the mix the fact that you’ve got two great guitar players who sing well and it’s a recipe for magic. Down with the Ship is a favorite. That song is something else, but they’re all well worth hearing. Photo by Dan Smith.
If I could have been in two places at once I would have put myself both at Old Ironsides and the Fox and Goose as I unfortunately missed Kevin Seconds and his wife Allyson play and they too are top quality musicians. I’ll be catching them the next time. I caught a Lyft back home and was tucked in some time after midnight. I can’t believe I got all that entertainment for less than twenty bucks. I couldn’t have asked for a better night out in this fine town.
Bourbon on my Deathbed
I’m terribly impatient. I want to release these as I get them recorded and don’t have anything keeping me from doing that. Freedom is a beautiful thing. I’ll eventually pull them all together into a CD format and hopefully manage to keep a few songs a surprise.
My family is from Ashland Kentucky and my Granny and I had an especially close relationship. She was an amazing and entertaining lady. She would talk about how beautiful Kentucky was and how she ached to return to the land of her roots.
When she was in the assisted living facility she was a hoot. I was visiting with her one afternoon and she was telling me about what was happening with the lady she shared the room with and somehow we started talking about Kentucky and she said, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some KY bourbon. Just a taste would be sooo good.” and I said, “Granny, I can take care of that for you right now. There’s no good reason why you can’t have yourself a little swig of bourbon if you want it.” You could see her eyes just light up at the thought and then she said, “Oh, no…no. I just couldn’t,” “Yes, Granny, yes, you can. It’ll only take me a moment to run to a package store and get you some!” She refused. It was a funny moment that stuck with me. So this song is for her. I tried to capture her passion and love for the state and I accidentally made up a word, which I can fix in editing – I’m just not sure I want to.
Give me bourbon on my deathbed
fill my cup, before I die.
In that cup, I place my solace and the
secrets of my life.
Kentucky bourbon on my deathbed
when the bells begin to chime
Oh the devil comes a callin,
If I drink before it’s time.
Give me God that sweet refreshment
it’s like horses running wild
through the bluegrass fields of heaven
as I cross the great divide.
One last kiss of pure delightment –
one last taste upon my tongue,
for this land has been my heaven,
Kentucky bourbon take me home.
Kentucky bourbon take me home.
Two Days Gone
I’m terribly impatient. I want to hold back until the whole CD is finished, but I can’t wait to share when I think I’m onto something. I guess the great thing about being an indie musician/producer is that you don’t have someone telling you not to do something. So here it is. I typically close out my shows with Two Days Gone as it’s a natural fit. I love to sing and play this song live. And I admit to being somewhat twisted. When I wrote this song, it was with the intent of writing the “complete” country-blues song. It had to have certain elements (I think I even collected a list of these words before finally writing the lyrics), trains, a gun shot, lightning and a shack, red clay roads, Alabama and Memphis, family drama, someone in jail, someone in heaven, a bar, a hotel and a twenty.
The photo is by Pat Henson and can be found here: www.flickr.com/photos/80297647@N00/2275352946
Two Days Gone by Kally O’Mally
I got crippled back in Memphis when Bessie
shot me in the knee.
Lightnin hit our run down shack and I was
begging God to please, take me now I’ve had enough
I can’t take another day. So I packed it on up and took
the south bound train.
Whoa Momma’s gone to heaven.
Bessie’s all locked up in jail.
Papa ain’t been seen nor heard from for the
past fifteen years.
I’m sleeping here in this cheap hotel.
Girls in short skirts hanging out in the stairwell.
Down on my luck ain’t got nothing,
nothing to sell.
I’m two days gone, so all alone, no
dial tone on the telephone,
holes in the wall, no one to call, no one at all.
So I made my way to a bar named Sam’s
Deep down in southern Alabama.
Where the land is red and there’s fools a plenty
bought me some beer, spent the last of my twenty.
Gonna find me the reaper he’ll have plenty to sow.
Gonna pack it all up, it’s the end.
Gonna pack it all up, it’s the end, end of the road.