Road Songs

by Alex McMurray

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katwalker1234
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katwalker1234 I first remembering hearing you sing a solo song accompanying yourself a few years ago on your guitar , I think at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, in a set with Paul Sanchez
I, right then, became a fan. You seemed to bring out the soul of each note and strum, of your guitar. Your voice also seemed to come from a deep connection to every heartbreak and dream of all your fellow human sojourners. Thank you. Glad I now have this road songs album to listen to!
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1.
i been around the world i seen the birds fall from the sky i seen the paper dolls folded and faded my o my and every drop of rain seems to wash away the pain and every moonless sky comes on like a lullaby he used his wishes up and now he's lost out on the road a wound he stitches up and goes on tearing what he sewed and every drop of rain might've seen him through the pain and every moonless sky might have been his lullaby don’t let worry be your home don’t let hurry be your only speed and if you do decide to roam may you find all you need don't spend your love too fast just save a little for the end don't make your troubles last or make 'em feel like they're your friends ‘cause every drop of rain is going to see you through the pain and every moonless sky is going to be your lullaby
2.
west of the wind and east of you and i don't know what i'm gonna do thought i'd found the perfect town but they been throwing your name around they're closing down the 84 and i can't hold this wheel no more hide my memory in my boot leave my name in another suit and it's cold it's cold it's cold it's cold it's cold as a knife right here old man crying on the telephone little girl about half grown went all wrong but she couldn't say why'd she throw it all away and in the end she's just like me in the navy in '93 got drunk on a watch and then never had to look at Norfolk again and it's a cold it's a cold it's cold it's cold it's cold as a knife right here i wanna say the road is just a killer it’s long and cold and black i gotta see what’s over that hill but the road will never bring me back that one time we all were there with the wine and the folding chairs pitching horseshoes in the sun and we laughed just like anyone but now we’re scattered just dry leaves and i got nothing up my sleeves you’re my soul my sin my star good luck to you wherever you are and it's cold it's cold it's cold it's cold it's cold as a knife right here
3.
Hole 03:58
lots of people talking about the bones they’re digging digging up the big man’s yard while everybody else is hanging from the rigging they don’t wanna work so hard talk about the time when they we’re flush with everything they stole now everybody need a place to hide somewhere it’s high time we’re digging us a hole we’re digging us a hole digging us a deep dark deep dark hole digging us a hole we’re digging us a hole digging us a deep dark deep dark hole now some folks talking ‘bout they do so well still they’re only digging up a hole talk about the time in Bay St. Louis me and old JD six to six for six bucks an hour giving it away for free like it was meant to be i said “JD won’t you hand me down a bucket?” he just stood and shrugged told me the sun ain’t never gonna rise ’til this hole gets dug digging us a hole digging us a deep dark deep dark hole digging us a hole digging us a hole digging us a deep dark deep dark hole tell me the sun ain’t never gonna rise still we’re digging us a hole looking at the holes up and down my street everywhere you see i think about ‘em like they was my old friends and they’ve always been there for me but one of there days well that’ll be the day somebody’s gonna give a damn i hope to hell that ain’t never gonna happen ‘cause i wouldn’t know who i am digging up a hole digging up a deep dark deep dark hole digging up a hole digging up a hole digging up a deep dark deep dark hole pretty good times up & down my street still everybody got a hole
4.
if i laid my heart open—open like a book could you see everything that it’s about because it’s all in there somewhere if you care to look even most of the things i left out now i always rambled and i might’ve lost my way and i know i lost my money now and then now i’m sorting through the shambles of a hazy couple days and i wonder if i’m going home again because i want to know where the pale moon goes when he lays his burden down and i want to be where it’s wild and free before the next moon comes around these dreams in me now i left home when i was seventeen and i never knew who i was before but my brother came and found me woke me from a dream said the old man ain’t getting up no more there was trouble all around me and hope was wearing thin could even feel the rope around my neck never fails to astound me the places that i’d been when you finally pulled me stumbling from the wreck because i want to know where the pale moon goes when he lays his burden down and i want to be where it’s wild and free before the next moon comes around these dreams in me just want to be wild and free these dreams in me need not be yours, you see… now we’re riding on a vapor trail caught behind a mule since we threw our little luck together we’re a tiger with a paper tail almost out of fuel and it looks like we’re in for nasty weather you can almost taste it but the road is getting rough and it seems like there’s a breakdown every mile but it’s getting time we faced it and i hope that that’s enough to keep us going for another little while because i want to know where the pale moon goes when he lays his burden down and i want to be where it’s wild and free before the next moon comes around these dreams in me
5.
Mary Jane 04:42
Mary Jane, Mary Jane
 he has taken you on over Mary Jane Mary Jane, Mary Jane
 now your dying days are through Mary Jane did i see you by the river
on a morning bright and fair? 
did i see you by the river?
did you take some comfort there?
 did you light out on a highway?
 did you light out on a train?
 did he come to take you home Mary Jane? Mary Jane, Mary Jane
he has taken you on over Mary Jane Mary Jane, Mary Jane
now your dying days are through Mary Jane did he lead you by still waters through the meadow gold and green? didl i see you by that river?
 will i see you in my dreams?
 did he take away your sorrow? 
did he wash away the stain?
 did he come to make you whole Mary Jane? Mary Jane, Mary Jane
 he has taken you on over Mary Jane Mary Jane, Mary Jane
 now your dying days are through Mary Jane
6.
it feels good to be back here, lord you finally got me leaning forward would you hear a song or two about the times you put me through and all the pieces of the sky i want to see them by and by open up your book for me lord, for my name to see i’m on the streets again up on my feet again a sometime citizen and the world is my own and i got songs to share i found them up in the air but you can find them anywhere in the world you roam i went to Texas as a pup
 i saw your kingdom open up i saw the wound a festering i sort of thought I’d jump on in and on the banks of the Ohio 
i got into a deal and so 
i turned tail and faded back i started drifting another track i’m on the streets again up on my feet again a sometime citizen and the world is my own and i got songs to share i found them up in the air but you can find them anywhere in the world you roam i thought i seen a miracle
 i tried to make it lyrical
 always want to wander out west where the ghosts can’t find no rest made my way from Washington man i thought i was almost done but i left a daughter in Saskatoon i guess i’m heading back there soon i’m on the streets again up on my feet again a sometime citizen and the world is my own and i got songs to share i found them up in the air but you can find them anywhere in the world you roam i set it down in Saskatoon 
i spent while pushing brooms
 but pretty soon that rambling jones started aching in my bones
 they took me down in Tukwila 
i couldn’t make it another mile a fella’s got to stop somewhere might as well have been right there i’m on the streets again up on my feet again a sometime citizen and the world is my own and i got songs to share i found them up in the air but you can find them anywhere in the world you roam
7.
Off The Vine 03:47
we’re out there somewhere with a ways to go with the all night music on the radio who’s that singing and what’s that song? sun’s coming up Texas is soft and green listen to the rattle of this old machine gonna ride that rattle all nite long we might be nowhere we might be right where we belong heads full of wind and the roads been rough i sometimes wonder have we seen enough did we leave a little hasty? leave some thing behind? might be Memphis could be Cheyenne but i can’t recognize this highway man but the feeling out here is oh so fine hang on baby i think we might be falling off the vine took a wrong turn yesterday just kept right on going sometimes you got to lose your way if you want to make it home so hang on baby hang on might go east might go west take the wheel i got to get some rest gonna stare a little while at the telephone line sun comes up sun goes down sun’s gonna find us in another town not lost yet but there’s still time let’s both hang i think we might be falling off the vine aw hang on hang on baby hang on hang on hang on baby hang on hang on whoo hoo baby hang on
8.
the wind was wrong and the shadows long i thought maybe this was the final deal the moon looked toward a burned out ford i saw an angel at the wheel the ride is free she said to me free—if you listen to my secret how far you going? never mind i’ve always known the way you come on up you got to go the same way down chimneys trees blowing black in the breeze over there she said that was my daddy’s place the town had a name and it once was the same as his but that was never my disgrace he never could meet my eyes on the street but still still it never was no secret as i grew i knew you can be lost and never be found cuz how you come on up you got to go the same way down how you come on up you got to go the same way down she said i wouldn’t lie when i walked by whole damn town looked away i got out for good just as fast as i could ’til finally i came back one day a spark then a flame and i head my name he said “mary what have you done my daughter?” i don’t feel no shame ‘cause everybody knows my name the way i come on up i got to go the same way down the way i come on up i got to go the same way down
9.
woke up this morning and i lost my only friend and now i’m on the road alone an out front drifter and i’ll be until the end no good idea where i’m going we went down many a highway spent some years in town worked for many years for john mcghee lived our life together even when we were apart it all came back again so easily so goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye i’ll see you when i can take flight, take flight, take flight, take flight over to that other land when there was trouble and there was trouble all the time you said i ain’t gonna go back to pretend when you got trouble you got to face it like a man you was more than a man up to the end and when the darkness put me on my knees you knew what i was thinking of you were my mountain you were my Hercules when they used to hate our kind of love so goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye i’ll see you when i can take flight, take flight, take flight, take flight over to that other land when the years go sprawling go falling down the stairs i know i’ll dream you now and then when you come a calling won’t be no judgment there just hold my hand once again a bird came up this morning said son where is your heart? i left it in that town just back a ways i’m an out front drifter and i’ve always played that part looks like i’ll be drifting all my days so goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye i’ll see you when i can take flight, take flight, take flight, take flight over to that other land

about

This is #5. I hope you like it. A record I made with my friend Mike in 2018-2019 over here at Studio Seurat (mostly). I humbly submit these songs into the "road songs" canon. Available on LP at www.alexmcmurray.com/music

credits

released September 22, 2020

Recorded and mixed at Studio Seurat New Orleans, LA by Michael Mehiel
Additional recording at Delta Recording Services Como, MS. Justin Showah—engineer and at Wixmix Productions New Orleans, LA. Rick Nelson—engineer
Mastered by Bruce Barielle
Photographs by Jim Merrill
Layout by Kourtney Keller

Thanks to Kourtney and Max and Catherine and Esme. And whoever it is who is my champion at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I owe you. Special thanks to my dear friend Michael Mehiel—Thank you for going down yet one more road with me.

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Alex McMurray New Orleans, Louisiana

I'm a New Orleans based singer songwriter type. I play in a bunch of bands. I make recordings sometimes. Some of them are here. Thanks for supporting my work. Drop me a line--I'd love to hear from you.

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