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Live from the Appalachians to Austin

by Andrew McKnight

Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 Climbing on this big jet plane, headed into, a western sky if I had a rearview mirror, that's how I'd pass the time looking back on, leaving I've done, should be old hat by now do I want too much, lingering touch, did I hold her too long Chorus Eighteen hundred miles, from the Chesapeake to this Great Divide Eighteen hundred miles, separate me from the truth inside and I am lonesome, lonesome under western skies Verse 2 Drive these roads that long ago, echoed with hooves, Arapaho and as I pass these ranches I almost feel their ghosts riding along never cared for, conquistadors, plundering mountains for gold so please don't fear, I haven't come here, to prospect for love or reward Chorus Verse 3 50 West, beckons like an old friend, leading me to, parts unknown and I draw gallons of cold comfort, knowing this road, can lead me home is it my heart, missed her from the start, or just thin air getting to my head Chorus
Words & music A. McKnight©2011, Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 Verse 1 Coffee’s hot, though it’s not yet dawn Autumn geese, call out their winter warning song Seeds I’ve sown stand 6 feet tall, waiting in that morning sun Fertilized with pain and prayers that this day would come These rolling fields, rich with soybeans, wheat and corn A treasure chest, most every year since I was born Cycles of the seasons, and the rhythms of the dirt If we can’t make it work no more, I can’t tell you how that’d hurt Chorus So give me, one more year before I have to face the facts Our golden days they ain’t never coming back There’ll still be food on your table, but will you know where it comes from When my farm on down the road, is up and gone Verse 2 The winter wind, each year gets harder on my bones Can’t blame my sons, plant roots in, nice suburban homes That real estate agent, each Christmas at my door, Each year I close it wondering, if I can take much more Chorus Verse 3 a gambler man, knows the odds before he rolls but farmer’s plans, are acts of faith that take their tolls begging of the bankers, pleading with the bureau man or taking checks for fattening hogs, ain’t living on the land Chorus When my farm on down the road, is up and gone When my farm's gone down the road
Bad News 03:30
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 Telephone rings, pulse picks up the beat, got no explanation for, my rising body heat guess I'm, expecting bad news Verse 2 My least favorite words, are "we gotta talk" they're usually followed by, a long and lonesome walk cause' I'm, expecting bad news Bridge When the mailman comes, let the dog run loose, I won't shoot the messenger but, delivery refused call me irrational, but I won't lie to you cause' I'm, expecting bad news Solo (over bridge) Verse 3 If you've got issues, I don't want to know here's some advice for you, just pack them up and go you can keep those letters coming, call me if you choose but keep your secrets, if you're bearing, bad news, I just, can't take no more bad, news
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1996 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 It was the summer of 30’, in that broad river valley, where 2 kids fell right into love, Sara Jean’s dad’s bank failed, and James’ farm went for sale, but those kids found good in hard times Chorus 1 the dance at the grange hall, when they heard the band call, a Virginia waltz lilting tune slipped into the night air, two shadows without care, bathed in the light of, a Shenandoah moon Verse 2 In 42’ the great war came, and James signed up his name, to stare in hell’s face on the line, while the lovers were apart, he broke his purple heart, and came home the shell of a man Chorus 2 Parades and nightmares, a young warrior must bear, but Sara Jean had healing hands and out in the porch swing, two lovers hands holding, and that river she sings under, a Shenandoah moon Bridge Three children later, and 8 grandkids greater, it’s funny how time flows on by, survived the tornado, and all the hardship they’d known and in 50 years, how strong love had grown Verse 3 On Sara Jean’s deathbed, no tears, smiles instead, by morning she’d see James again, like corn in July heat, each taste so sweet, but all good things meet their earthly end Chorus 3 and that band of angels, plays an old Virginia waltz, while 2 kids twirl through eternity through heavenly meadows, that gentle river flows, and 2 smiling faces shine, from a Shenandoah moon
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1998 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 The moon sweats with fever, wet with clouds blood red in a dark patch of bayou swamp, where angels fear to tread pipes long forgotten, from beneath refineries and chemical voodoo, hangs like heat from hell the swamp keeps dark secrets, cause no one’s returned to tell, of chemical voodoo Verse 2 the legends come in whispers, his name they will not speak, one night his pirogue vanished, in a thick tangle of cypress trees that he met his Maker, that much is certainty cause’ chemical voodoo, hangs like heat from hell the swamp keeps dark secrets, cause no one’s returned to tell, of chemical voodoo Verse 3 the halo of the factory lights, cannot penetrate the trees, the air dank with evil, the wind blows like disease under eyes of industrial skies, so far from St. Evangeline it’s chemical voodoo, hangs like heat from hell the swamp keeps dark secrets, cause no one’s returned to tell, it’s chemical voodoo
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 Chorus 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 Chorus
These Shoes 03:42
Words & music A. McKnight, 2006©Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 In the darkness, in the desert searchlights glare, and there's gunshots and shouting but somehow I slipped by, only God knows why, the trucker dropped me at the Arkansas line Verse 2 Where I come from, is where the drugs run, and the men come with money and lust for honest living, I hope God's forgiving, for I left my family for this one chance at hope Chorus And I, have dreams just like you If I, let you walk in these shoes would you be here Verse 3 Scars and scratches, chemical rashes, no one trusts me to do more than clean but, I've got secrets, I've learned English someday the name on the door will be mine Chorus Break Verse 4 For all the politicians, state their positions, collecting campaign cash to build a wall behind them but I do work you won't, dirty jobs you don't, and all I ask is the right to be human Chorus twice
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 Chorus 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 Chorus 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 Chorus
Made by Hand 05:26
Words and music 2009© A. McKnight (Catalooch Music, BMI), Chance McCoy and Les Thompson (ASCAP) Verse 1 Granddad was a union man, worked deep beneath the ground said a prayer in the morning, and again to see the sun go down day from night by lantern light, to earn enough to eat by Saturday moon on the mountainside, the fiddle moved their feet Verse 2 Went in the mines at fourteen, took a wife at twenty one raised five kids in the holler, like his daddy done the company cut costs and corners, everywhere it could still every Sunday they gave thanks, that they had it good Chorus I know that times are changing, they say progress is good but do we honor honest work, like my granddaddy would the eagle soaring high, would he recognize this land built upon the sturdy backs, of those who made by hand Verse 3 my daddy left these mountains for the mills of Ohio rolled the steel that won the war, far away from home back in grandad's holler, big timber stripped the land laid railroad tracks that can't bring back, the lives they'd made by hand Chorus Instrumental Verse 4 I long for West Virginia, her hard blue rolling hills memories of childhood, I hear those echoes still our family stories vanished, no trace I could find they even tore the mountain down, where Grandad used to mine Chorus
Diary 05:50
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1998 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 Jefferson writes, "Dear diary, what have I done? I have crossed the line, beyond shadow of a doubt, for the shadow that’s her skin, that I can’t live without Across this great divide, between black and white, our hearts they have touched, we are the same inside Between wrong and right, between flesh and blood, we cannot make a stand, but in here it’s safe to hide" Chorus (He said) "you are both a prisoner and a princess" (she said) "you're a man of principle and means, (duo) but this is not our time, this is not our place, and so we cannot be" Verse 2 We can only guess, how history will judge, what it cannot understand, Archaeology, can provide them only hints, to these artifacts of love, and how I stood up to my neck, in this ocean of sin Chorus Instrumental Break Verse 3 Quietly she said, "I believe in God, I believe in providence, and I do believe in love, in whatever shape it's sent you could not invent, you could not engineer, love such as this, no architect worked here" Last Chorus (He said) "you are both a prisoner and a princess" (she said) "you're a man of principle and means, (duo?) you cannot change this time, you cannot change this place, (duo) so we cannot be" Tag A slave woman dreams, "Dear diary, you would not believe"
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2003 Catalooch Music, BMI Chorus 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 Chorus 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 Chorus 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 Chorus
Original words and music Robert Johnson, © 1990 MPCA King Of Spades (SESAC), new words and melody A. McKnight Verse 1 Came to a crossroads, no sign marks the way Came to a crossroads, no sign marks the way there's great darkness gathering, I know I can't stay Verse 2 Stand at the crossroads, don't know where to turn Stand at the crossroads, don't know where to turn feel the heat at my back, while our house burns Verse 3 We're leaving this crossroads, a mighty hill to climb Leaving this crossroads, a mighty hill to climb Set these burdens down, never look behind Guess I'll have to trust my soul
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 Grew up on our mountain farm, down Nelson County way, wish I'd live to see it again, but that is not my fate for on my 16th birthday war marched all around our land I joined Virginia's volunteers, and Robert Lee's command Verse 2 Two days passed upon the march towards Yankees and the front, I knew my trusty rifle, the difference was the hunt we smashed into their backside up Loudoun County way I'll not forget three boys in blue, I sent to early graves Chorus On the road to Appomattox, where bullets whine like bees, cut blossoms from the trees on the road to Appomattox. turned boys into men, men into memories Verse 3 We fell back from Gettysburg, with calloused feet and heart saw most of my company fall, in Pickett's cursed charge Winter spent on Valley farms, with little food or warmth hellfire came with spring advance and the smell of burning corn Chorus Intro Verse 4 Perilous nighttime retreat, the fall of Petersburg, the city burned around us, the Federals charging hard, I heard them call the chaplain, they heard me call on God, whate'er reward awaited me, was not far off Chorus Verse 5 There were battles won on both sides, the history books confirm, but no one ever wins at war, the last loser asks for terms Chorus
Traditional melody, words by A.P. Carter; Jeff Arey, ©1998, arranged by A. McKnight no lyrics, instrumental version
Words and music 2007©Andrew McKnight, Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 An old man mowing grass on a levee drenched in sweat in the noonday sun his back seat stacked with stuff he's picked up his beat-up car barely runs Got a million miles worn upon his face but smiles as he walks my way lights a half smoked cigarette as he sits down, before I can leave he turns to say Chorus Gotta haul all you need from the river build your temple up from the floor be grateful for every gift you get and find something worth standing for Verse 2 I've been down in the shadows bout the shape I'm in, a mess made with my own hands I could write a book with the lessons I've learned and hard luck that made this man I've walked in the valley of darkness I've known heartbreak, I've known loss but I'm still standing on these two feet amazed at all they got me across Chorus Instrumental Hook Instrumental Verse Verse 3 Before he turned to leave he said “now hear me son” I could talk til my face turns blue what matters ain't the words you say it's all the little things that you do don't be afraid to help another when your time’s up there's nowhere to hide and the walls we build to keep us safe are prisons that trap us inside Chorus So haul all you need from the river build your temple up from the floor be grateful for every gift you get and find something worth standing for
Encore Intro 01:03
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1995 Waves of Mountains/Catalooch Music, BMI Verse 1 All my years I’ve lived here, it’s the only way I know run the family farm with the grace of God above and the fertile soil below, summer’s gone eleven weeks, of searing stormless choke fifty thousand dollars worth, of dreams going up in smoke Verse 2 Sacrificed another field today, to keep the other’s growing had to sell my milking cows, to keep the bankers going away that line of clouds across, the skies might bring the winds of death, or raindrops to my eyes Chorus My wife she’s out there dancing, in her checkered kitchen dress droplets running down her brow, and her blond hair’s getting messed Iowa can be a place where fertile famines drink this year just poured life down from the brink and I’m dancing in the rain Verse 3 Before today my luck had gone, a hard left towards the worst enough to make an honest man think a farmer’s life is cursed remembering tales on my granddad’s knee, of soil that sprouted wings it’s taken thirty years for me, to appreciate these things Chorus Bridge Heard it on the radio, Dakota wheat fields won’t survive my cousin Jack up there will find some way to stay alive Mother Nature’s fickle ways might someday do me in but I’m on my knees, in gratitude, cause it’s raining Verse 4 Next year we might stare at this, same mess right in the face, this old white house and apple trees, keep me fighting for this place facing up to troubles that, my children might not know when you’ve got your generations on, the farm all in a row Chorus


Recorded live Feb. 9, 2013 at the Austin Acoustical Cafe in Austin TX, the concert captures every facet of an Andrew solo show - the great singing, finely crafted songs, deft guitar work, and the engaging and amusing anecdotes and stories between songs. With nods to traditions, and to people who work with their hands and hope something better waits ahead, the rustic poet rolls easily through this 16-song set with touches of Native American flute and African djembe in addition to some fancy flatpicking.


released October 1, 2013

Audio and video recorded and edited by Chris Green.
Audio downloads edited by Les Thompson and Shawn Hatfield at Cabin Studios, Leesburg VA
Graphic design by Sue Gaines
Cover concept by AM & Gail Anderson

All songs written by Andrew McKnight, ©Catalooch Music BMI
Except "Made by Hand" (A. McKnight, C. McCoy & L. Thompson), Wildwood Flower (trad.), and The Old Hundred Road (J. Arey & A. McKnight). "Crossroads (Revisited)" adapted from original (R. Johnson).

All songs previously released except for "One More Year". For more Andrew McKnight CDs and music, visit andrewmcknight.net


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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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