Thanks to... My musicians: Jim Monahan...anything with strings Larry Aberman...anything with skins Scott Luedke...anything My singers: Debbie Brooks, Julija Zonic, Scott Luedke, Jim Monahan My voice coaches Julija, Laura, and Julie My band of critics Ojai Songwriters Anonymous My family Betsy, Richard, Ernie, and Harry (rest in peace), Mom, Dad, Amy, and Pam My piano I love you all! Produced by Scott Luedke and Jim Monahan Engineers: Scott Luedke and Brad Dawson Recorded at Cabin Trax Studios Thousand Oaks, CA and Sound Mind Studio Ojai, CA Mastered by Sean Ingoldsby Real Time Studios Ojai, CA © Euterpe Music Company 2008 667 S. Rice Rd., Ojai, CA 93023 firstname.lastname@example.org All lyrics and song credits follow: Sayulita 2006 Oh Sayulita, mi senorita. Te encanta cantar. You came to me in an afternoon dream, and the sky on fire. Your dark body sways, commanding the music to start. Enchanted by passion, your song casts a spell in the twilight. The cool evening air cannot quench the fire in my heart. The days melt away and the evening, I pray, will go on and on. Into the hours when only your voice fills the night. "Te amo," I plead, as your song goes higher and higher. But in your dark eyes there burns an unreachable light. I know not whether the future can ever release my love. For now I know clearly, your song was never for me. The flame in your heart...I see now that no man can own it. El canto del mar...you only can sing to the sea. One of my favorite get-aways is a small fishing village in Mexico with soft sand, warm surf, hot music, flaming sunsets, and beautiful, friendly people. I asked one of my local friends how the town got it's name, Sayulita. He told me it was just a name...a name for a woman, but no specific woman. I was inspired to write a love song to Sayulita. She may or may not really exist, but my image of her beauty and passion blend with the sensuality of the town as she sings her song of love. Gracias to Debbie Brooks for conjuring forth the mysterious and passionate song of Sayulita. Written and sung by Smitty West Sayulita Vocals Debbie Brooks Guitars, Bass, Percussion Scott Luedke Drums Larry Aberman Electric Piano Scott Smith Produced, Recorded and Mixed Scott Luedke It Ain't Mine 2005 Coyote, loping through the night. I'm thinking, "Man, you've got it right!" 'Cause when the light goes pink on the mountain range. And we've just had our short exchange. I start feeling a little strange. Because it's your world, it ain't mine... The clean air, floats like sweet perfume. Behind me, the smell of the baby boom. But when the lilac and the sage combine And drift around this place divine, I nod and say to old cloud nine, "It's your world, it ain't mine..." Hey Sunshine, warming up my day. You're burning, but I still feel okay. But when the night air drops down a few degrees And the moon shines blue through the silent trees. The nighttime gives no guarantees, because It's your world, it ain't mine.... I really love living in Ojai, where the people are not in charge. The famous" pink moment" at sunset. The essence of sagebrush, or "coyote cologne." The dismissive look on the coyote's face when you cross his path, "What choo you lookin' at, dude?" Thanks to Jim Monahan for bringing drive and originality to the production with his acoustic guitar and trademark Telecaster. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitar, Bass, Mandolin Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recording and Mixing Scott Luedke Coyote Smitty West Sequoia 2007 I was born to this forest floor Rising here before the hand of man. Your lifetime's just a breath. A thousand years...an hour of falling sand. Selfish striking hordes lay on Tearing at my flesh. I stand alone beneath my proud green crown Facing your machines I'm stuck in stone. Why the hell you came here, I don't know. I stand and I wait for the blow. Pride gives you false power. Blades tear down my tower. A fortune for your small-minded dreams. Nobody hears my silent screams. It's all for a stack of Sunday Times Or a thousand fallen fence posts. You forgot...I'm coming back as a redwood coffin for your rot! I wrote this song while camping in the Sequoia National Forest in the California Sierras near some old groves of giant Sequoia trees. One I area I visited had been logged over one hundred years ago, and only black stumps remained...huge charred sentinels from days gone, guarding a verdant meadow of new growth. Sequoias are among the oldest living things on Earth, and are the most massive life forms in existence. They have adapted to the harsh Sierra life of fire, ice and wind, but were ill-prepared for the woodsmen's ax at the turn of the century. One famous stump is called the Chicago Stump, all that's left from the General Noble Tree. The cutting of this huge tree was commissioned for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Too big to transport, a section of the tree was cut into hundreds of smaller pieces and reassembled at the fair site. All for naught...Fair visitors thought it was a hoax. No tree could be this big. The irony in our age of human conquest for financial gain is that Sequoia wood is virtually worthless. Relegated to fence posts and roofing shingles, it rotted away within ten years. This...after 3500 years of living glory. I wrote this song standing on a Sequoia stump with my guitar. I felt the old tree screaming silently of what he had seen and what he had survived. ...only to be felled for human pride. In the end, the only thing of any value that could be built from sequoia wood was a coffin. So I was pleased to give my tree the last laugh here. Thanks to my friend Julija Zonic for the passionate backing vocals, and to Jim Monahan for the great guitar and mandolin work. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Mandolin, Bass, Toy Guitar Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano Scott Smith Backup Vocals Julija Zonic Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Scott Luedke Recording Engineer Scott Luedke Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke Sandman 2005 Sandman! Screaming in your wasteland. Praying to an oil can. You're working such a bad plan. With a sad hand. In a dead land. Why can't you try and understand? Sandman! Screaming out loud, but the world don't hear ya. The only one that gives a damn is al jazeerah. You dug yourself a hole, you bow and cower. Your hiding days were over when you flew into the tower. Sittin' down with OPEC, it's a price alert 'cause your suckin' black gold from the burnin' dirt. I don't think it's what the prophet had in mind: Bowing every day to the Exxon sign. Open your eyes. Take off that sheet You ain't going nowhere treating women like meat. Spend a million dollars on a western blond. I hate to be the one to tell you, "you got it wrong!" You look just like his brother, you play the old game. Didn't know to hate him till you heard his name. Nothin' for the fellow but the sole of your shoe. And now.. ...you gotta get in line to take a slap at a Jew. Sandman! I have a pretty good dose of Middle Eastern blood in me, as both of my maternal grandparents were Lebanese. I have visited Lebanon several times and have never experienced anything like the hospitality there. I firmly believe that people are the same everywhere. I also believe that people are different everywhere. The "Sandman" in my song isn't any man in particular; rather represents tribalism, greed, misogyny, and religious intolerance. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitar, Bass, Synth Scott Luedke Drums Larry Aberman Percussion Programming Scott Luedke Backup Vocals Julija Zonic Produced by Scott Luedke Recording and Mixing Scott Luedke Waitin' For You 2005 In my dreams you're sitting right here next to me. But when I wake up I see that you're not here. I've been waiting for the day, thinking about the way That your endless love keeps me hanging on. I only hope that endless lasts forever. Waitin' for you... In my dreams, the moonlight looks for your eyes. The golden sunlight searches for your smile. Got the gentle cool breeze blowing through the trees Coming down to linger in your hair. The beauty of my world can wait forever. Waitin' for you... I left you crying...there was no one around. I see the teardrops...petals...scattered on the ground. October leaves will fall and fall forever. Seasons spin, and the years will come and go. But I'll wait until the leaves have fallen off the trees And they're buried deep under the snow. I only know that I'll be here forever... Waitin' for you... I originally wrote this song as a rock ballad, but when my co-producer, Scott Luedke, got his hands on it, he immediately had a better idea. He knew renowned drummer Larry Aberman from work they did together at DW Drums here in Ventura Couty. Larry had a cool beat that Scott affectionately called " the Abershuffle." He thought it would be a more modern sound that fit the story well. Well, we ran Larry down in Las Vegas, and we collaborated over the Internet wire-ways. It worked so well, I ended up using Larry on most of my songs. Scott liked the song so much he insisted on singing it too. Nice job. Written by Smitty West and Scott Luedke Sung by Scott Luedke Guitars, Bass, Synth Scott Luedke Drums Larry Aberman Piano Scott Smith Produced, Recorded, Mixed Scott Luedke My Piano 2005 Touch me, touch my fingers. Hold me, hold my hands. Soothe me, soothe my sorrows. Help me understand. In this world of broken promises It's hard to let it go. You're my friend. You are my love. You are my piano. Tell me that I'm okay. When they have me wrong. Your voice comforts my heart. Sing me your sweet song. In this world of silent lies I hear your crescendo. You're my friend. You are my love. You are my piano. You and I, we share the same language. But we don't need the words to sing our song. We're sitting at a table set for only you and me. If music be the food of love, play on! My feet move your pedals. My hands hold your keys. Your sweet strings ring in my soul. You help my life ease. In this world of burned-out light I see your ivory glow. You're my friend. You are my love. You are my piano. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I took piano lessons for many years from a kindly old man named Frank Kennedy. Sometime around the age of 12, I started to experience that day-dreamy, out of body sensation that many musicians feel while playing. Even when playing while reading sheet music, I'd find myself at the end of a piece and would stop and wonder how I had managed to play the whole piece while thinking about nothing at all. I mentioned this to Mr. Kennedy, and he just smiled and nodded. It wasn't until years later as an adult with grown-up stresses, I realized what a wonderful gift I had been given....to be able to "check out" at the piano. The only way I can describe this feeling is that it's like the experience of new love...that feeling that nothing else matters in the whole world when you're around the one you love. So I wrote this love song to my beautiful, shiny black baby grand that was a gift from my first and only Love. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Bass Jim Monahan Piano, Synth Scott Smith Drum Programming Brad Dawson Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recorded and Mixed Brad Dawson Sedona 2006 Polyester chapel in the canyon wall. "We can see dead people" says the sign in the hall. Purchase an adventure, it's five dollars a day. You don't get emanations if you don't pay. How it ever came to this, I can't explain. Humanity is gonna drive creation insane. Rainbows try to push on through the acid rain. Hummers line the astral plain. Time-share gypsy asking "where you from? Step right on up. It's an easy sum. 2 - 2 condo with a vortex view. Hot tub, carport, crystal BBQ." Pay the painted lady to relive your youth. Cough up a little more if you want the truth. "I can see the spirits I can hear them too. Just take a number, and we'll pull one through." When I first visited Sedona, Arizona in the early 1990s, I was struck by the purity, natural beauty and spiritual nature of the place. I always wanted to return to write a song. I returned in 2006 to a different Sedona. . ...timeshare hawkers everywhere, take-a-number aural readings, chapels carved into the canyons...I climbed a butte in one of the canyons that was reportedly under a vortex to meditate. Then came the roaring Harleys and Hummers. Then came the cops with a citation to punish me for not buying a five dollar "Adventure Pass" parking validation. For Sale: "small, peaceful and artistic hamlet located two hours north of Phoenix, reported to be a vortex of metaphysical energy that can enhance the creative human spirit." Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Bass Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano, Hammond Organ, Synth Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recording Engineer Brad Dawson Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke Lady Of The Aisle 2006 It's too far to walk. It's too far to drive. But I'd like to get there While I'm still alive So I'm crammed into this silver can With screaming baby hollers. I wanna put myself to sleep. But a damn beer cost $5. I'm full, upright and locked right here. In case you want to see. Flying at the speed of sound, Strapped down in 18B. Five miles high and falling fast in love with your sweet smile. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride. My Lady of the Aisle. Rolling down the runway, You appear next to my row. Hazel eyes. Perfect smile. Your golden hair just so. "Would you like some leg room, sir? I've a better seat for you." She guides me through the curtain to My new seat in row 2. I'm full, upright and locked right here. In case you want to see. Flying at the speed of sound, Now kicked back in 2D. Come collect my service items. Stop and chat awhile. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride. My Lady of the Aisle. "Low and snug across your hips." Maybe you might show me, dear? I've reached my cruising altitude. It's open bar up here. Can we share a holding pattern? My seat goes back real low. My radar's blippin' really fast...I wanted you to know. I'm full, upright and locked right here. In case you want to see. Give myself a little pinch. This ain't no fantasy. My baggage, I've all left behind I'm traveling now in style. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride. My Lady of the Aisle. You brush past me, it must be love. I shiver with delight. I follow you behind the door. It's sure my lucky night. What's this? You're in the arms of some damn flyboy dressed in blue! One day I'm gonna get my wings And I'll be coming back for you! I'm full, upright and locked right here. In case you want to see. But now I know I ain't the guy It's someone else not me. My hat's off to you, Capitan You're smooth and you're virile. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride with My Lady of the Aisle. I spent a big hunk of my life doing the corporate thing, riding around in too many airplanes to go to too many meetings. I always felt a little sorry for the flight attendants, who have to perform the same thankless shtick countless times for a bunch of bored sardines. I tried to pay attention to their announcements, and I got to where I could say it all in my sleep. "Please return your seat backs and tray tables to their full, upright, and locked positions" was one of my favorites. Who would ever say that anywhere else in the world? "We will come about the cabin to collect your service items?" The only place they have "service items" is on airplanes. Well, mix it all with a couple Margaritas and the flight attendant...my Lady of the Aisle...starts to look mighty fine. Hence this reggae fantasy about love found and lost on a tropical "aisle." Thanks again to Julija Zonic for the fun backup vocals that bring this song to life. And yes, there are no more words in the English language that rhyme with "aisle," so the song had to finally end. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitar, Bass Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano, Steel Drums Scott Smith Backup Vocals Julija Zonic Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recording Engineer Brad Dawson Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke Baja Dream 2006 Water mirrors the hillsides. Sun dips in the sea. Go to sleep. Desert breeze. Cool and clean. Baja dream. Seabird is calling to no one. No one calls now to me. She rides on. Free, but gone. Leaves on the stream. Baja dream. Like a cactus, fighting to flower. Petals, dried out and tossed. Cast away. It's an old cliché, That I'm better to have loved and to have lost. Somewhere there's a spring in the desert. I want to float in that stream. Drift away. So, I pray: Carry me. Baja dream. Coastal Baja California is one of my favorite "get away from it all" places. There's a secret spot about a half-day's drive south of the border with good surfing, fantastic sunsets, and nobody else around. Gorgeous desert, blue Pacific, coastal mountains, and that's about it. The food is great... hand-picked cold water mussels grilled over the fire or boiled in beer. Sorry, I can't tell you where it is. Find your own secret spot. Watching the sky on fire at sunset and half asleep, this song came to me. It's a lullaby in three-quarters time, with that circling seagull, calling to no one. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Bass, Mandolin Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano, Flute, Cello, Synth Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recording Engineer Brad Dawson Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke Shining Angel 2006 There I was, confined in the walls around my mind. Going nowhere blindly down the drain. Then your soothing tenderness cleared away the mess that collected and was driving me insane. Now, I wanna hold you. Just like I told you. I know you can...but please don't fly. And when the cold, cold world tries telling me,there's other girls. I'm gonna hold you till I die. Baby, you're my shining angel. Hold me within your wings. Maybe you'll come and free me from my isolation. Together, we're gonna sing! La la la la la... This ended up as a pretty plain vanilla happy song about a special angel in my life. It didn't start that way. It started as a song about a septic tank. Yeah, that's right. I had a backed up sewer on the night I moved onto my farm in Ojai, and of course we had neighbors for dinner that night. Welcome to the neighborhood. The next day, a visitor shows up to see a friend who was staying with us. This southern gentleman from South Carolina just happened to be a licensed plumber. This "Sewer Angel" fixed the problem. But the next week, the sewer backed up again. He was no longer my Sewer Angel. I wrote a song about the episode. It had some raunchy lyrics...a cool edge, and I played it for a group of my songwriters friends. To a person, there was an emphatic, "GROSS!" So I "cleaned up" the lyrics, changed the title, and what's left is "La la la la la." Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Bass Jim Monahan Drums Larry Aberman Piano and Synth Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Scott Luedke Recording Engineer Brad Dawson Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke Cumberland Gap 2006 Now I know the feeling of what loneliness is like That's led me to this station in the darkness of the night. Thunder and lightning, and the sound of the falling rain Hanging on to my ticket, waitin' for that train. So when I hear that lonely whistle blow I'll be standing in line, waiting for that train to go For my last ride on the old CV Through Cumberland Gap into Tennessee Going back home now...Lord, my soul is free. I've been a lot of places, seen lots of troubled faces. And done most everything I wanted to do. I've been high and dry and wasted. The devil's left his traces. Lord I've had to pay some heavy dues. It feels so good inside to know I'm on my way back home. My head is clear, and now I see...that's where I long to be. It's not too late for changes. Now I know I'm free. I put my faith in Jesus. He came and rescued me. Debbie Dean is the stage name of the late Reba Jeanette Smith, born in 1928 in Corbin, Kentucky. She was the first white woman signed to Motown Records. The blond-reddish-haired singer debuted as Debbie Dean with \'Itty Bitty Pity Love\', and later released \'Don\'t Let Him Shop Around\' in 1961. A third single, \'Everybody\'s Talking About Me\', crashed with the others, and Motown, cooled on Dean, who was 34 at the time. By most accounts, Debbie had a rough life trying to make it in music and later in a B-movie acting career in Los Angeles. I met Debbie's widower, Jim, in Ojai a couple years ago. He told me a sad story. She was kidnapped mysteriously in the 1990s and when she was released a month later, the trauma of her ordeal had made her insane. She spent the last few years of her life at a nursing home in Ojai, and died in 2001. Jim handed me a cassette tape and told me "This was her last, and my most favorite song. I'd like you to listen to it." I took the tape home and played it, expecting some sort of dated Motown-ish ditty, but I was shocked. On the tape was a recording of Debbie, playing an out-of-tune guitar, with a REALLY out of tune piano in the background coming in and out...but the song was a folk song....the story of her life, with her plaintive voice oozing the in a style that harkened back to her more innocent childhood days in Kentucky. With Jim's permission, I transcribed the song as best as I could, made a few musical changes to tighten it up, and recorded it. The other Debbie, my friend and talented vocalist Debbie Brooks, sang on this recording. Our duet performance of it has become a favorite request at live performances. I kept it pretty simple with piano and a little cello because I think it best reflects the original and only performance of Debbie Dean singing it on the old, scratchy cassette tape. Written by Debbie Dean and Scott Smith Sung by Debbie Brooks Piano Scott Smith Synth Scott Luedke Backup Vocals Smitty West Produced, Recorded, and Mixed Scott Luedke Posiblemente 2005 It's cold up here above the border. So I went down and asked the guard.. "Can I cross and go below?" "Maybe si. Maybe no." Posiblemente. I like that word. I warmed up to a cold cerveza. It's getting toward siesta time. A senorita I did spy. I smiled at her. She winked her eye. Posiblemente I'm in love! Posiblemente down below. Posiblemente above. Posiblemente I'm in love. She took me to her family. It sure was quite a crowd. Her sister did a dance for me. Her cousin brushed against my knee. Posiblemente I'm in love! I'm a kid in a shop of candy. My tummy's smaller than my eye. But Papa made the choice no fun. Down the barrel of his gun. Posiblemente, I'm gonna cry! Now that's all ancient history. A month of Sundays have passed real slow. I never thought, I never planned To run the family taco stand. Posiblemente, I've found a home. I was ordering a bite at a taco stand at a sleepy fishing village in Mexico, when a gringo walked up to take my order. He seemed SO out of place, a stereotype New York Jewish man: Black hair, big nose, Brooklyn accent, and sweating profusely in the tropical heat and humidity. He told me his story, a story that has been told countless times in cultures all around the world: Boy travels to new country. Boy falls in love with native girl. Native girl's father calls shotgun wedding. Boy finds new home. I wanted to write a song titled Posiblemente, which translates to "maybe" in English. Mexico used to be the land of "Manana", there's always tomorrow to get it done. I've noticed that as the country has developed economically over the past few decades that my requests are more often answered with a polite "Posiblemente" than "Manana." Thank goodness that this wonderful country is not the land of "I want it yesterday!" that's so prevalent in more and more places. So I killed two birds with one stone with this song, combining the story of a young man falling in love south of the border with a big "maybe'" Thanks to my Mexican friends Urbano and Mercedes for providing the hilarious background dialogue. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitars, Bass, Mandolin Jim Monahan Piano, Drum Programming Trumpet, Accordion Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Spanish Voices Urbano Hernandez Mercedes Ortiz Produced by Jim Monahan Recording and Mixing Brad Dawson Why Do You Stay? 2006 I remember way back when, when I stood out from other men and somehow caught your pretty sparklin' eye. Well you're still lookin' mighty good, and I know that I really should Show a little lovin' in reply. Why do you stay? Where would you go? How can you be so true? When will I know What I should do, and Who I can be for you? I know I promised I'd be true. Roses red and violets blue... I sure forgot the rest of that rhyme. Now flowers stand down in the store. I don't tip my hat or hold the door. But you still are an angel all the time. Finally one long sober night I hit my head. I saw the light. I see I gotta thank my lucky star. I'll listen, try to understand, look in your eyes, and hold your hand And treat you like the treasure that you are. Well, I don't drive a pickup truck and I don't eat meat, but I do have a red hound dog and listen to country music when I'm alone in the car. It should be pretty clear that this is a love song, and it's about my beautiful wife of 25 years. Just for sport, I wanted to see how many questions I could fit in one chorus. Why, where, how, when, what, who...they're called interrogative adverbs. My mom's a journalist, so I was sure to look that up...but she'll probably catch me on the "who/whom subject/object thingy" in the last line...I hope I got it right here. Written and sung by Smitty West Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Dobro Jim Monahan Drum Programming, Piano Scott Smith Backup Vocals Jim Monahan Produced by Jim Monahan Recording Engineer Brad Dawson Mixing Engineer Scott Luedke.