Turning Pages

by Andrew McKnight

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“a disarming delight ... McKnight’s vocals have a lovely tenor-range timbre well-suited for his brand of acoustic country flavored folk/pop” (The Journal)

“Talent, enthusiasm and real content make this a welcome album in a time when so many people out there seem to be mostly fluff and packaging” (Victory Review)

““Diary,” is ... a moving song that brings the characters, especially Jefferson, to life” (Green Man Review)

* * * * * * * * * *
Where his first two albums focused largely on the stories of rural characters and their relationship to the land, Andrew's third effort turns his considerable vision towards the landscape of the heart and soul.

Among this collection of stories, reflections and letters can be found some of his most stunning songwriting gems; imagining the “Diary” of Thomas Jefferson and his longtime slave mistress Sally Hemings (a duet with Mary Byrd Brown), the humorous and bluesy ode to Hoagy Carmichael (“Bad News”), the simple driving clarity of “Winter”, the haunting diary of a Virginia farm boy on “The Road to Appomattox”, and a provocative hard-edged collaboration with renowned urban folk poet Chris Chandler on “Jesus and the Nighttime Train”.


released May 1, 2001



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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: Western Skies
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

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


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

Track Name: Stardust
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
House lights dim, background music fades,
anticipation fills the room
hush in the air, our silence like prayer,
til you enter from a place we'll, never know,
where demons and angels go

Verse 2
What lives in your mind, and every word and every line
does the microphone connect or separate?
spotlights frame your halo, and us mortals here below,
hang on every note while you bring, heaven down

One voice, one guitar, one soul and one heart,
touching deep inside of us,
sharing your stardust

Verse 3
No one knows, the line that divides
the fiction from the facts of you
glimpses inside, words that cannot hide,
that's the only piece of you we can take home

Track Name: Diary
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"
(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
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"
A slave woman dreams, "Dear diary, you would not believe"
Track Name: 22
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
I didn't know how to love you, did not know how to touch,
I never would have dreamed I'd ever learn so much
I couldn't quiet your demons, could not survive your doubt
but that battle taught us both what all the fighting was about

We are old friends now, doing the best that we can do
come a long way somehow, since we were 22

Verse 2
It seems so long behind me, left us bobbing in my wake
and that still floats in my memories with all my big mistakes
but I never will regret you, and I never will forget
the part of you that comes along with everything I am


phone calls and letters run like threads through the years
the tapestry they weave is one that I hold dear

Verse 3
20 years into the future, our hair is all gone gray
we've both acquired a little bit of wisdom on the way
like what faith and hope and love are, the pure ringing tones of truth,
and I've never lost those lessons you taught me in my youth

We are old friends now, done the best that we could do
come a long way somehow, to get to 2022
here in 2022, since we were 22
Track Name: Winter
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2000 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Winter's face hangs on the moon,
its tranquil sea so far from June
foxprints in the fresh snowfall
windows frosted, blue jays call

Light is lasting longer, shadows slowly shorten in my room
the cold is taking wing, the snow surrendering
winter will soon be leaving

Verse 2
Colors muted in the chill,
some might call these bitter pills
I've stopped to take this freeze-frame view
of how that ice broke me and you



Track Name: Bad News
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

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
Track Name: Company Town
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1998 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Coal trains run through our veins, moving monuments to better days
that mountain stands over our darkened lungs, we've time to ponder what we've become

In this company town, it's what we know, change comes hard, change comes slow
until the bottom falls out, that's how it goes down, til the money's all drained, from a company town

Verse 2
Well-dressed Yankee bosses worked us so hard,
for their well-dressed children and well-kept yards
while coal camps echoed with mournful sounds,
of impoverished voices from deep in the ground,
under this company town
Our parents' memories of World War II
the mines worked round the clock, was the American thing to do
families gathered round their radios,
to hear FDR say, we'd make it somehow, in our town

Verse 3
Bright shafts of morning light, on jobless faces and their grim plight,
while four men and a dragline blow the mountaintop off, to take its heart out, now it knows what we've lost
til the life's all drained out, of a company town
Track Name: Jesus and the Nighttime Train
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Jesus left town on the nighttime train
slipped out in the darkness to minimize our pain
really wasn't much for him to do
some bum picked his pocket and his credit was no good

Faith may move mountains, faith may cure the ill
faith will fight outnumbered, where doubt never will
faith does not make bullets, faith will not wage war,
faith won't twist the truth and faith ain't found 'round here no more

Verse 2
The preacher laid his cards out on the deck,
said "Boys my ride's waiting, now it's time to collect"
then he clutched his chest and fell to the floor
said "I'll be fine, my heart stopped a long time before"


Verse 3
I met Jesus on the nighttime train
in a couple thousand years he'll be back to try again
left me with this parting advice
whatever comes easy ain't worth the sacrifice


Jesus left town on the nighttime train
Track Name: The Road to Appomattox
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

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


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

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

Intro (Outro)
Track Name: Letter to Colonel Mosby
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Dear Colonel Mosby, please sir a moment of your time
I know it's strange, I write from 1999
I send this letter, in the hope that it will find you on the darkest day of your life
Dogwoods bloom, the date is April 29,
the year it ended, eighteen hundred sixty-five
so much blood spilled, on this land you would find looks little like what you left behind

we honor this place, as hallowed ground, will we take its defense as we're honor-bound?
Verse 2
Here in the future, invading armies cross our land,
with big machines, so much larger than a man
strip the red clay, cut trees everywhere they stand bring the city ever closer at hand
they put your name up, on all their fancy signs
like you'd approve, of all their plans to subdivide
these rolling farms, that have worked here since your time, under hazy Piedmont skies
Verse 3
Colonel Mosby, I am but a simple man
but we are common in our love for Virginia's land
we'll protect it, we both do the best we can now it's my time to make a stand
Verse 4
I'll take your leave now, for I've shared everything I've learned
you need to know it, enjoy eternal rest you've earned
you may save us yet, from what big money yearns and I sign "respectfully yours"
Track Name: When I Grow Up
Words & music A. McKnight, ©2000 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
When I grow up, want to be an old man, retire to the back roads, live closer to the land
sit out on the front porch, wave a friendly hand, when they stop and ask directions, make sure they understand
When youth's used up, and my motor's slowing down
I will let the grass grow longer, take my time in town
and like my father's father, I will tinker with my hands
when I grow up, I'll be an old man

Verse 2
Set out to go fishing, forget my pole at home, and while I'm at it wait to leave, until the sun gets warm
I'll still bring home great fish stories, they'll still be true to form, the fish will taste as good, as they ever did before

though I am still burdened, with impatience of youth
always moving towards the fast lane, always searching for the truth
I aspire to the day I turn to the act of letting go
of everything that I must learn, from everything I've known

Verse 3
When they say my eyesight's failing, and my hearing's none too good,
guess I'll have them where I want them, guessing what I've understood
I'll be bouncing grandchildren, on bony bended knee, and sit and talk for hours, without saying anything
Track Name: Nothin' but a Man
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
You might bet, I was heaven sent, truth is I'm 3rd class delivery
I won't deny I'm angel protected, it's full-time work to watch o'er me

Now and then I might say something, with an ounce of truth or common sense
don't go bettin' that ol' farm on me, or my lacking intelligence

I'd fall right off of your pedestal, just make my way the best that I can
don't you worship, ground I walk, cause a man, ain't nothing but a man

Verse 2
Now you think I might just save your life, from the truth of an old country song,
don't forget those ol' Nashville cats, seen a few like me come along

Don't go making a sacrifice, to me or my alter ego
those rattling bones in my closet groan, haunt me wherever I go

Instrumental Break (verse)
Verse 3
now who'd have guessed you would be impressed, I'm some prize in a strange lottery
you can take me home, you'll wish you were alone, when you find that upright porcelain seat

I've fallen off of your pedestal, still make my way the best that I can
don't you curse at, the ground I walk, told you I, ain't nothing but a man
a man ain't nothing but a man
Track Name: Turning Pages
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
I've carefully crafted you this letter
though I've tried my best, some words fell out of place
I hope each day finds you a little better
and each passing night brings, a little grace

The story we've written is not a long one,
sufficiently poetic I suppose,
and now that school is all but over,
I've time to analyze the metaphors and prose

but there's no use in second guessing
and no changing the fact
that that sound is pages turning
and turning away from turning back

Verse 2
I know you'll never know what lies behind you,
so I'll rest my pen and set those details down
about love left unmade like the bed we both knew
and how these walls don't say much, while I'm around

Verse 3
I hope you find new love worth attracting
and he's strong enough to handle all he finds
I hope he's everything I'm lacking
but I'll keep the credit for these parting lines

Track Name: Riley's Life
Words & music A. McKnight, ©1999 Catalooch Music, BMI

Verse 1
Well I wake up to the same old news, same lonesome bed and Einstein doo
No genius needed here to know this here's a house of blues
Here in my bachelor pad old bachelor dog and a spinster cat
These dreams have turned to rags chained to me in the same old bags

Welcome to a day, a day, in Riley's life
Welcome to a day, a day, in Riley's life
Welcome to a day, a day, in Riley's life

Verse 2
Ol' Uncle Murphy had it right you see, I'm a man in misery
knew I would not amount to much, with my reverse Midas Touch
Every woman I meet gets to watch my tongue wrapping around my feet
the day you come along I'll be wearing my coffee, and living this song

You might call me crazy, you might call me mad
but I'm still the best thing, you ever had

Verse 3
Well the lawn ain't mowed and the sink's piled up and the trash sticks out of the trash can top
phone rings in the middle of the night wrong number, someone looking for a fight
Weather Channel's on, it's the same old news, it's the dog day summertime blues
rattle round this house like a wrecking ball, sometimes I think of you