Beyond Borders

by Andrew McKnight

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“Overall this is a great CD... for fans of intelligent & heartfelt songwriting.” (Minor 7th)

"thoughtful lyrics and very appealing melodies" (Sing Out!)

“McKnight majestically creates contemporary folk tunes” (Singer & Musician)

* * * * * * * * * *
Andrew stretches his wings on his fourth solo CD, blending global influences, spoken word, and traditional music together with his acclaimed songcraft, rich melodic vocals and deft guitar work. The result is a stunning collection of 13 original songs, plus the traditional "June Apple" and the spoken word "Do You Hear Them?" with its improvised accompaniment.

Andrew's vocals and acoustic and electric guitars are captured in powerful and impassioned performances, with tasteful ornamentation throughout courtesy of keyboardist Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Starland Vocal Band), string whiz Danny Knicely (Footworks, David Via and Corn Tornado) and the world beat percussion of N. Scott Robinson (Malcolm Dalglish and the Oolites). Organic tones and rich textures highlight stellar craftsmanship in a diversity of settings, including the haunting bounce of "The Poet's Great Romance", call-and-response gospel ("Rust on My Halo"), high lonesome bluegrassy vocals ("How High the Mountain"), and the feelgood vibe of "Good Things Matter", Winner of the Great American Song Contest (Acoustic/Folk).


released January 1, 2005



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Andrew McKnight Lincoln

Nationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitarist celebrates rural America, weaves masterfully crafted songs, humorous stories and poetic drama into a musical soundscape sketched with shades of Appalachia, tasteful slide and jazzy blues, feisty anthems, and rustic folk. 5 solo CDs heard on many public & community radio, plus NPR "Art of the Song" & "River City Folk" and XM/Sirius. ... more


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Track Name: How High the Mountain
Words & music A. McKnight, 1999©Catalooch Music, BMI

A cappella Chorus
How high is this mountain, that I've fallen down
how far have I tumbled to be here
how long must I climb, to see sweet sun again
out of this valley of despair
Instrumental intro
Instrumental verse
Verse 1
How heavy is the cross, that I'm bound to bear,
how long an uphill march lies ahead,
how will I keep my heart, from turning to stone
lift my face to the light instead

Mandolin Verse
Harmonica Verse

Verse 2
How far must I roam, to find the Promised Land,
how many miles more to Calvary
how many lonesome nights, til I find my star
set my course straight and true again
Track Name: Hard Times in the Heartland
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Welcome to my neighborhood, sorry things don't look so good
seems the bottom falls out like each last one did
We harvest wheat, cotton, corn and oil, coax all we can from deep dark soil
Seems each year it's debt and toil that's what grows best

Cause these hard times in the heartland, would try the soul of any man
it's hard to think the best we can, ain't enough to make a stand
and hold back hard times in the heartland

Verse 2
When I was young dreamed I'd hop a freight, or float on down New Orleans way
guess roots grow deep just like they say, as years flow by
Birds flock through each fall and spring, wonder what I'd see if I had wings
I hope someday that better things wait way up high



Verse 3
The levees hold the water out, but can't hold back the flooding doubt
the river knows the one way route and she don't come back
highway crews plant pavement ribbons in the fields, the plow yields to endless wheels
once our kids find that road, this town's good as gone
Track Name: Beyond Borders
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
My travels traverse so much shaky ground,
I am broken but unbowed
Push past the boundary lines that I have drawn
endless frontiers all around

I am present in the future and the past
with open hands and open heart
I feel the thunder-drum within my chest
ready now to do my part

I hear sounds of tongues I do not know
and I feel ancient wisdom gathered around me
from Asia and Africa and Appalachian hills
now I know, that I am not alone

Beyond borders, beyond our sight, beyond ourselves
Beyond borders, beyond our sight, beyond ourselves

Verse 2
Rain forest clearings and savannah plains
The noon of time, the dawn of man
mystery running through in threads so strong
magic helix, living strand

Pre-chorus and chorus

Verse 3
I leave humble gifts for those to come
the echoes of our human song,
waymakers wait for me beyond the light
when it's my time, where I belong
Track Name: Wishing
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Condor soars, on outstretched wing,
from that altitude I bet you'd see a lot of funny things
red rock low, neath desert skies
I hope way up there's a place where our souls collide

Verse 2
Gravity, it holds me down,
keeps my orbit safe and low enough to ease the blow when I hit the ground
while angels dance, and prophets laugh
this flightless rustic poet stumbles blindly down the path

In the blinking eye where dreams take flight
it's deafening in the quiet under these restless stars so bright
if I wish on their falling light
I'd wish I didn't need to make a wish tonight

Verse 3
Whooping crane, his joyful dance
he's so unaware of all the perils of his new romance
with one wing high, one leg kicks
as ten thousand fathers before guide his way through this

Track Name: My Good Name
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Can't escape my footsteps, follow hot on my tail
I'm running to catch my breath, on this long and lonely trail
So many wounds to heal, and old debts to repay
Many broken pieces to lay to rest, but not much more to say

I cannot go back, make things the same
that be tantamount to shame
So I'll shoulder my share of burden and blame
and take the good out of my name

Verse 2
Remorse or redemption, one I know, one I seek
One a constant companion, the other I might never meet


Verse 3
Take my troubles to the river, push em out in the flow
Let em slip away in silence, and cross over, as I watch them go

Track Name: The Poet's Great Romance
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Nightbird sings its mournful song, rooftop rain lasts too long
droplet drumbeats in my head, with all the words I should have said

Slipped out with my fallen pride, the door I walked out locked behind
though these scraps of grace I've saved, Intention's road is freshly paved

I have found no magic garden wander though I will
there is no land of Eden waiting, over the hill
So I'm hiding out here, underneath the moon
I know the light of reckoning is rising soon
Someday they'll tell the tale of this tragic circumstance
the outlaw's last escape, the poet's great romance


Verse 2
no one saw the final stand, no glory blazing at the end
twisted up like Texas wind, all that's left of all I've been

Track Name: Good Things Matter
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Rush hour traffic going nowhere, the merge becomes a contact sport
frustrations boiling over, tempers growing short
the suited man bucks the trend at the tollbooth,
lets the grandmother in
he knows the people that we share the road with
have loved ones waiting just like him

Good things matter, long after they're done
good things matter, each and every one
good things matter, no matter how small
good things matter to us all

Verse 2
Tear-streaked boy behind the playground fence, teams picked, game in full swing
his braces hold him back from what his glasses show, he is not good at this thing,
but the bigger boy who plays the game with natural skill and grace,
says "here's my bat, take my place"
he knows the final score is more than runs across the plate
by the pinch hitter's smiling face


linger for the old one's words, let a child know she's been heard
ask a wallflower to dance, give mistakes a second chance
smile at strangers on the street, share the table where you eat
leave the extra change behind, fight fear, be colorblind
a kind word to chase the grey, when things are hard find a way,
it all comes back someday
Track Name: Atlantis
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2002 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
It is still along the Parkway, beyond the gate the road is closed
winter rain drips on the laurel, fog moves in like ghosts
in the valley below lies a cloud sea, that hides the lake, that hides my home
if you'd had me guess in my childhood, this is not how I dreamed life would go

They say Moses raised his hands to part the Red Sea
But even Moses couldn't hold back TVA
From flooding our holler, for the Almighty Dollar
and sink our story far beneath the waves

Verse 2
Engineers said flood would take us, if we didn't build the dam to hold the rain,
but I've confusion swirling round their solutions, to me the end result seems the same
now trophy fish take refuge in the chapel, no sounds of children, hymns or wedding bells
and I wonder if the anglers high above can hear them, I don't think those echoes travel water well


Verse 3
Newsman said they might have found Atlantis, shining city deep in ocean blue
I wonder if the natives of that fair town, ever had the chance to feel these things I do


It is still along the Parkway, I am leaving on the wings of ghosts
Track Name: Do You Hear Them?
Poem by A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

Do you hear them?
faint like distant thunder
approaching across autumn-grass prairie
dry and waving yellow yielding
as the black mass undulates from eye to horizon

Do you hear them?
Do you hear them?

Sweeping the gently rolling plain
around the down gullies
and dry washes
fleeing the wild calls and fearsome speed
of strange beings;
not man
nor bird
nor beast
but all these creatures combined

the dull thunder of massive motion
ten hundred thousand tons
like lightning fire sweeping the tinder-dry prairie

Do you hear them now?
They are slowing
They are fading
They are close now
Close to the brink

The wildness is slipping and disappearing
Down the dry washes
Tumbling and lost into the river below
Their majesty still ringing on the canyon walls

Do you hear them?

Those who have tamed all in this moment
turn now to their tranquility and travail
forgetting the wild past lost
only to remember it in inconvenience
in its rare eruptions into the irrigated present

the hoofbeats are singular now
spread far to the margins
of the wild heart below

But it is still in the land
when the moaning wind dims to a whisper
the sounding memory still beats beneath
brave and willful

do you hear them now?
Track Name: Rust on My Halo
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI

There is rust on my halo, there are stains on my soul
all the lessons I learn so slow, will someday make me whole

Verse 1
See that man, on the side of the road
shoulders bowed under heavy load
praying for change at the stop sign stand
cardboard letters and a soldier's hands
where did I learn not to believe, that he needs love like you and me


Verse 2
see that girl, babies in her arms
who's gonna keep them safe from harm
mean streets full of guns and greed
how can she give them what they need
where did I learn not to believe, she needs respect like you and me


Verse 3
I was born, to be a man
take my place in the master plan
the stack of things that I've done are good
is a whole lot shorter than the things I should
where did I learn not to believe, there's always hope for you and me

Track Name: Flowers in My Yard
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2001 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Along the banks of the Big Mon, smokestack sentries arm in arm
the veins ran out and the drugs rushed in, hard times our are constant friend
that pretty bird across the street, monitor manacled to her feet
she won't run she's not got the heart, to quit the cash from the Quicki-Mart

River cuts right through our town, you feel it bear down hard,
I still tend the flowers in my yard, I still tend the flowers in my yard

Verse 2
downtown still breathes with the blood, drawn from our immigrant sons
the marquee says it's the heart of town, it's just our favorite bar and lounge
Our veterans rest in neat-laid rows, pray they keep lost miner's souls
Sunday hymns still ring in our ears, but sometimes faith hides in our fears

The river gives and the flood it takes, our spirit bends but never breaks
sometimes it feels like the ending rope, somehow we keep holding onto hope

Verse 3
The mines still work up north of here, rumor says new jobs next year
we're counting on that Pittsburgh seam, to fuel our fading hopes and dreams

Track Name: When the Maples Turn
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2004 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
I am just a small boy, on my grandmother’s knee
She’s telling me a story, from when she was three
“I have known you all my life” I say, “always you are wise,
but how can you expect me to, believe you were my size”

She holds up the picture, says “look, this child is me
Just the same as you, it’s clear and plain to see”
I reply “I see the difference, and it surely proves me right,
For I live my life in color, there you are in black and white”

Golden years go silver like the falling of the leaves
Father Time is always tugging at our sleeve
I know the story winds down, when life’s autumn colors burn
The killing frost not far behind, when the maples turn

Verse 2
The queen of all the nurses, the patriot, the saint,
Lighting matches in dark places, bearing all without complaint
These are her chapters and her verses, from our history
The pages left to come are mostly left to me

Grandmother is quite old now, she’s lived a century
The eyes reflecting my own, no longer know it’s me
I wrestle with the notion, someday I'll know that cage
Once again remembering, she once was my age

Verse 3
Flagstaff Arizona, after another show
A young girl shares her story, that reminds me of my own
How it all once seemed so clear, so long before this page
and hear myself saying back, when I was your age

Track Name: Million Miles Together
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
She drives her El Dorado, convertible with class
they cruise into their twilight, they were both built to last
they once had tight chassises, all sleek and shine
now they don't drive so fast, all they're passing is time

They've no need of Beltways, or toll roads to nowhere
go best on blue highways, wind in their blue hair
they look forward to Sundays, and Tuesday bingo hall
an old song on her lips, brings memories of trips, to Niagara Falls

Verse 2
Their engines purr in rythym, steady and stylish as they go
now and then just for kicks, squeal the tires, pull out slow
They've turned a million miles together, most in the rearward looking glass
back when heads turned wherever, they'd cruise on 40-cent gas

Track Name: June Apple
Track Name: Alchemy
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2004 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Skies are clearing, sun streams down
ice is breaking on cold hard ground
perfect geese point in northbound flight
no longer wish I may with all my might

The great storm passes, the flood subsides
all the treasures the tempest hides
precious metals long concealed
forged and tempered newly revealed

When two elements bond, as they often do
what makes rare pairs magic, timeless and true
so if touches of silver, someday grace our faces,
there’s no place I’d rather be, than part of this alchemy

Verse 2
Flaring sparks fly on wildfire wind
is it peril or promise as flames rush in
two phoenix rising from smoldering seeds
hard shells gone, leaves just what love needs

Fiddle solo

Verse 3
So put that last log, on the fire
let its fading glow warm our desires
we'll let those embers light our sleep
lay us down our dreams to keep