credits:

All Songs written by Jess Klein C P 2018/ASCAP/House of Leo Music except “In Dreams” written by Jess Klein and Jonathan Byrd/Jonathan Byrd Music/SESAC 

Produced by Mark Simonsen 

Co-Produced by Jess Klein & Thom Canova  

Engineered by Thom Canova 

Jess Klein: vocals, acoustic and electric gtrs, percussion, drums on "For the Girls," 

Thom Canova: bass, electric gtrs, percussion 

Mark Simonsen: piano, organ, keyboards, electric guitars, drums, vibes, glockenspiel, percussion, vocals 

Guest vocalists: 
Jonathan Byrd sings on For the Girls and Kid 
Gaelynn Lea sings on Blair Mountain 

Mike Grigoni: pedal steel, lap steel 

String trio: 
Laura Thomas: violin 
Aubrey Keisel: viola 
Leah Gibson: cello 

String and horn parts written and arranged by Mark Simonsen  

Recorded at Studio M, Durham, NC & Hondo Creek Studio, Pittsboro, NC 

Mastered by Brent Lambert at the Kitchen Mastering 


Thank you: Mark Simonsen, Thom Canova, Gaelynn Lea, Laura Thomas, Aubrey Keisel, Leah Gibson, Mike Grigoni, Jonathan Byrd for harmonies and, along with Wes Collins, much needed feedback on my songs in progress. Thank you Jim Sellick, Gabi Humphries, Paul McGee, Philippe Hauden, Edgar Heckmann, Blue Rose and SoulFood for helping me see how this thing can fly out in the world. Thank you to Mystery Brewing, the Berlin Brothers and the town of Hillsborough, NC for making music feel fun. Thank you to Mike June who believes in me like crazy and is my backbone when I’m wobbly. He will tell you he does this with his biceps but really it’s his heart.  

Lyrics:

In Dreams


In dreams 

Your smile blows the dust away 

Melts me into the child I used to be 

I see 

Light stream across the floor 

You walk towards an open door 

Then beckon me 


I don't know why nobody told me 

We hold the cure for pain

I know I’d fly if my dreamin’ could only

Brave the light of day


In dreams 

When I see the tears you cried 

I stand right by your side 

Sayin’ please 


When you lead 

Me down by the water's edge 

I jump the thorny hedge 

And come clean 


I don't know why nobody told me 

We hold the cure for pain

I know I’d fly if my dreamin’ could only

Brave the light of day


I scale a wall ten miles high 

I stand and look you dead in the eye 

Can't seem to find any reason to lie 

Under the cover of sleep 


I don't know why nobody told me 

We hold the cure for pain

I know I’d fly if my dreamin’ could only

Brave the light of day


In dreams

You've shown me the way to heal 

Now I must make it real 

Make it real 

Make it real 

Make it real




Tougher Than I Seem


I’m tougher than I seem

You wouldn’t know it just to look at me

But I’ve seen a world you have never seen

And I’m tougher than I seem


I’ve earned my pride

Filling the well that’s fed me from inside

For every time my dream has been denied

I’ve earned my pride


And when you see me cryin’

It’s just my vision comin’ clean

And when you see me smilin’

I’m smilin’

Cause I’m seein’ a vision

Like the world has never seen


So make no mistake

Though it’s a road some may never take

Down it I go clear-eyed and awake

Make no mistake


I hold a space for you

You might not breath easy here

You might not like the view

But while I’m dreamin' 

Of all that could be true

I hold a space in my heart for you


And when you see me cryin’

It’s just my vision comin’ clean

And when you see me smilin’

I’m smilin’

Cause I’m seein’ a vision

Like the world has never seen


I’m tougher than I seem

You wouldn’t know it  just to look at me

But I’ve seen a world you have never seen

And I’m tougher than I seem



Mammal


I’m a mammal, baby

My body knows

How to fight and how to run

And how to let it all go

When you see me sprawlin’

Across the grass

It’s because I slipped the danger

Now I’ve let it all pass


And I’m starting to realize

Put down and paralyzed ain’t the place for me

Oh no no no

Yes I’m starting to truly know

I’m not build to hold all your anxiety

I’m better at breathing 


I’m a part of nature

Born in blood

And when I die, my body

Will return into the mud

But my human spirit,

Something divine

Something un-contained 

By all your numbers and lines


And though I’ve known my share of pain

And felt the shame

Turning me dead inside

Oh no no no

I just don’t choose to sit in blame

Or sink so low

I need to run and hide

I’m better at breathing


Now I hiss

And I scream

But I don’t need to dream of changing you

If I just do

What I do


And I’m starting to see the truth

Your world so ruthless and powerful

Oh no no no

It ain’t got half the power of

The kind of love

That makes my heart this full

I’m better at breathing 

I’m better at breathing 

I’m better at breathing 

I’m better at breathing 

I’m better at breathing 




Blair Mountain


They stole the mountaintops

Brother they stole the mountaintops

What are we ‘sposed to look up to?

Don’t tell me the skies of blue

I need a path to climb

To make it through this life

And to know there’s something more

Than to leave my children poor

Or my heart will surely stop

They stole the mountaintops


They let the tunnels cave

Brother they let the tunnels cave

Cave in on your friends so brave

Here’s a photograph to save

Sorry for your loss

It’s just the human cost

As he’s lowered in his grave

Someone else will take his place

Need a job so they’ll behave

They let the tunnels cave


I gave my life to this mountain

I gave my blood to this rock

Keep it flowing like a heavenly fountain

But the bleeding well it just won’t stop


They turned the river black

Where she would wash your back

Ain’t ‘sposed to touch it now

But they won’t tell us how

How they plan to fix

So many getting sick

And all about to crack

They turned the river black


I gave my life to this mountain

I gave my blood to this rock

Keep it flowing like a heavenly fountain

But the bleeding well it just won’t stop


I gave my life to this mountain

I gave my blood to this rock

Keep it flowing like a heavenly fountain

But the bleeding well it just won’t stop




Back To My Green


Hot afternoon

Tree frogs are revving

Revving it up for a symphony only they understand

What would I do

To be part of the green

Shimmy along to their rhythm


And to just be free

In my body

Free in my mind

Free from the world of want and worry that swallows our time

I could be free

Like the breeze in the pine

On a hot afternoon


When I recall

Places I’ve been

Cities of steel and granite never let you in

Aw, but back to my green

Her mystery

Pulling me in like a lover whispers


And I’m free

In my body

Free in my mind

Free from the fear of our own wonder that swallows our time

I could be free

Feel the heavens align

When I recall


Sayin’ I’m free

In my body

Free in my mind

Free to believe that love and beauty can win in our time

Sayin’ I’m free

Sayin’ I’m fine

When I follow her lead

Back to my green




New Thanksgiving Feast


We traced our hands and made paper cutouts

We pasted feathers on

And we would shout out

“I made a turkey”

“I made a headdress”

“I made a pilgrim’s hat”

Then it was recess

And the bell would ring

We’d run into the streets called

“Iroquois”, “Council Rock”, “Cayuga”

Those street signs hid the truth though


Dad put the football on

It felt like family

We’d eat the most we could

Pass out in front of the TV

Grandma and grandpa

They were from Russia

They wouldn’t talk about

What it was like though

I think they would have died

If they had never tried

To come here

Another family knowin’ that fear


Now I think about the English-Irish Servants

Africans they drug across in chains

Chinese and Italian families riding on the waves

While along the pitch pine highway

Near Plymouth Beach

A Wampanoag fights to keep his right to fish the sea

A Wampanoag fights to keep his right to fish the sea

When we all meet our Creator

Which will it be?

Paper cutouts and hollow shells

Or a new Thanksgiving feast

Or a new Thanksgiving feast


Out on an icy plain

Wrapped in blankets and beads

Elders with weathered faces

Faces that read like history

Say a prayer for all of those who’ve come to stand

And a prayer for those firing water cannons

It is a prayer for

The Creator


While on a football field

A man refuses to rise

To salute a country that would let his people die

And though the rage and fear

Swirl around him like a twister

He’s committed to his brothers and his sisters

He’s made a choice he knows

So peacefully he sits there


While along the chilly streets of Boston,

Charlotte, Seattle and DC

People pouring out in numbers never seen before

When we come to face our shadows

Shadows too angry to ignore

Are we gonna tell ourselves it’s down to either/or?

Or will we finally realize we’re meant for something more?

When we all meet our Creator

Which will it be?

Towing the lines, pretending we’re blind

Or a new Thanksgiving feast

Or a new Thanksgiving feast



Gates of Hell


Woke up this morning and I walked out my front door

Woke up this morning and I walked out my front door

Something was telling me I’d never seen a day like this before


A voice inside me said to look down in the well

A voice inside me said to look down in the well

Right there beneath the surface

Fires raging like the blazing gates of hell


I called the sheriff

I rang the bell

Said we’re living inches from the gates of hell

His face went funny

He tipped his hat

Then he took off again in seconds flat


I called my mama, I said “Mama help me please”

I called my mama, I said “Mama help me please”

She said “Child I been to hell and back,

I’ve never seen the likes of times like these.”


I called my daddy, I said “Please don’t make me beg”

I called my daddy, I said “Please don’t make me beg”

He said “I’d like to help you, but the bank repossessed my legs”


I called the doctor

I called the priest

The priest was spitting venom at the doctor on his knees

I cried for mercy, “Help me escape!”

Mercy sent a spoiled child in a Superman’s cape


I climbed in the bucket and I lowered myself down

I climbed in the bucket and I lowered myself down

I’d rather meet the devil than to stay here in this crazy circus town

Said I’d rather meet the devil than to stay here in this crazy circus town


For the Girls


This one’s for the girls

Who lounge around like Venus

Knowing how to let the apple fall

Patient like a rose

They are brilliant, they are genius

Wait for some young buck to come and call

Me, I’m never sure

How to hold my cards

That’s the thing I long for most of all

This one’s for the girls

Who lounge around like Venus

Knowing how to let the apple fall


This one’s for the boys

Singing songs so tender

Songs that call from high above the noise

Blowing rings of smoke

That beg you to surrender

Swing and sway and fall without a choice

Me, I’m always scared to look up from the ground

Scared to lose the sound of my own voice

But this one’s for the boys

Singing songs so tender

Songs that call from high above the noise


Oh, when I’m finally feeling stronger

Oh, when there ain’t no right or wrong

Oh, if it moves me along

It moves me along

It moves me along


This one’s for the days 

Running with the horses

Free to rise and free to fall

Melt like butter days

When all the other forces

Tremble with their backs against the wall

Days when I am sitting still as any flower

Days when I am standing ten feet tall

This one’s for the days 

Running with the horses

Free to rise and free to fall


This one’s for the days

Naked and unfurled

Music-playing boys, flower laden girls

For the mystic rays of light that fall upon the world

And the ways they fall upon the world





Kid


Kid let me tell you how it’s gonna be

Starting the moment you’re on your own feet

You’ll be walking so proud and then you’ll fall

Use everything that you can to get back up again

You’ll learn the best lesson of all


Go falling in love, kid you’ll fall down some more

Blind ambition won’t even the score

But don’t let the shame come and hide you away

Do your best just to feel it

The pain makes you real

If you let it pass through and away


Kid I was once a child just like you

Wishin’ to skip pain I had to go through

But there’s no way around the beat of your heart

Listen to follow it’s sound

It’ll pull you back up kid, the same way it did from the start


The longer you’re here, the more you may find

The road growing steeper the further you climb

Give yourself time to gather your breath

Then watch the summit appear 

When you heed that old voice sayin’ one foot in front of the next


Kid I was once a child just like you

Through the risin’ and fallin’ learned you gotta be true

And leave all the questions to Heaven above

And when you get to where I am, you’ll see it so clearly

The goal of your journey

Was love



I Hear Love


I’m sayin’ a prayer today

For everyone who’s come so far

Only to be turned away

I’m sayin’ a prayer today


I’m fallin’ down on my knees

Praying God to tell me please

How to live in times like these

I’m fallin’ down on my knees


Ooh, I hear love

I hear love

I hear love

Hear it callin’ our names

Ooh, I hear love

Askin’ us

To speak up

And let it hear us the same


I’m sayin’ a prayer today

For the ones so full of hate

They can’t even see it straight

I’m sayin’ a prayer today

I’m thinkin’ about that child

Growin’ up with all that anger

Turn into a perfect stranger

I’m thinkin’ about that child


Ooh, I hear love

I hear love

I hear love

Hear it callin’ our names

Ooh, I hear love

Askin’ us

To speak up

And let it hear us the same


And watch as an eagle takes flight

Spreads its wings with all its might

Lifts us high above this

Hard

Dark 

Night


Ooh, I hear love

I hear love

I hear love

Hear it callin’ our names

Ooh, I hear love

Askin’ us

To speak up

And let it hear us the same