Ruby’s Cafe CD
Boom Chicka Boom (2009) That great sound of Johnny Cash. One of the first guitar licks I learned was the intro to Folsom Prison Blues. My friend Eddy Easter's father was part of the famous Bluegrass Gospel Group "The Easter Brothers" out of Mt. Airy North Carolina, 30 miles away. Eddie taught me how to great train sounding rhythm and play Luther's Boom Chicka Boom by muting the strings with the palm of my hand. Man that was 42 years ago and I still play it that way. I've been using a Johnny Cash Medley that I stole from somebody 25-30 years ago. I kick off Folsom Prison Blues and say "Hello, I'm not Johnny Cash...Johnny couldn't make it tonight and asked me to fill in for him"...that normally gets a laugh..I sing a verse of Folsom and intro Jackson by saying "Come over here June and help me sing this song. That was really tough to June when June passed in May 2003 and even tougher from John passed away. Then I do a verse of I Walk The Line, Ring of Fire, Hey Porter and maybe two or three other big hits in the same rhythm like Cry Cry Cry, Big River, or Stripes. I end the medley with the last verse of Folsom. THINGS TO KNOW: My songwriting advice is when you get stuck writing a song, change the melody to Boom Chicka Boom and every runs just fine!! Thank you Eddie Easter and J.R. Cash!!
Crooked Road: (September 2007). This was the title song from my last CD and I had it remixed to make it totally acoustic BONUS TRACK! Virginia has a designated trail titled “The Crooked Road” to celebrate the musical heritage of Virginia Musicians (Carter Family, Ralph Stanley, etc). The Crooked Road begins in Ferrum Virginia some 30 miles away and runs through Patrick Country. We were visiting my hometown in January 2007 and we staying in the Virginian Motel directly in the town of Stuart. I spent several hours looking out at Bull Mountain. I also got the chance to play at one of the “Crooked Road” venues in Willis Gap near the North Caroline border. I wrote most of the song while looking out the “Bull Mountain watching the Pickup trucks drive by”. THINGS TO KNOW: I have a picture video of the Crooked Road on You Tube and on My Space.
Daddy’s Funeral (2011) (Home Studio Version) Very simple recap of the events surrounding my father funeral in 2011. He was bed ridden for 4 years dying of nothing. His refusal to go to a doctor for a full exam until he was unable to move his muscles, just kept him in bed. There was just nothing left to say after four years. THINGS TO KNOW: At the gravesite, just as they started singing Amazing Grace, an old Log Truck came pulling loudly and slowly up the hill. Although it aggravated most everybody, my Mama thought it was a great last tribute to an old sawmill man.
Down To The Islands: (June 2002) We were on vacation to the beautiful Greek Island of Crete. On the airplane ride back to Stuttgart Germany, I was looking at the blue ocean and wonderful weather and I thought about a young man living in Nebraska where the wintertime is long, cold and harsh!...and all this guy wants is some sun! From this idea the song was born! THINGS TO KNOW: The line "Ground Hog Day" comes form the movie by the same name, were everyday was the same!
Fifty and Country (March 2005) I wrote this as a birthday present for my wife when she turned 50! I didn't write it as a duet, but in 2011 when I heard Alan Jackson and LeeAnn Womack on "Til The End", I decided to rework the song as a duet. Back in 2005 when I released my first CD, Ann Pascoe (New Zealand) mentioned we should do a duet together and I asked her to join me on this song! THINGS TO KNOW: The theme for this song was inspired by one of the last songs recorded by Waylon Jennings!
Get That Crap Out Of My Country (2012) This is another Country Music Political Statement. I don't like artists and labels screwing with Country music. I spent too many years of my youth defending Country Music, before Country was cool. When I see new artists like Jason Aldean joining up with a RAP Artist, you know for sure, its just some record exec trying to push him to the POP market and not giving a damn about the Country Fans. It's not like RAP artist are inviting Country singers on their projects. THINGS TO KNOW: My intention was this song be another Jones' style "Rocking Chair", but ONLY Michael Lonstar had the balls to lead his voice and name to the song
Heroes and Friends (2012) This is one of those songs that woke me up a 6 AM and said WRITE ME NOW! The night before I had watched a Haggard interview where he stated that his heroes came to him every night on the stage. Every word and every line is EXACTLY how it came about! There are equal parts of my singing from all my Heroes! THINGS TO KNOW: The singer that turned me onto Waylon was a Waylon Wannabee whose stage name was Lonnie Jean in a beer joint in Norfolk Viriginia called O'Hara's Lounge. I was there every Sunday afternoon for a Jam Session and got up and did my three songs. That's where I learned what it was supposed be like on stage!
Mama's Biscuits and Gravy: (June 2010) Every songwriter eventually writes a song about Mama!! Biscuits and Gravy is a real southern breakfast standard. Homemade biscuits made with flour, Crisco Shortening and Milk. Gravy (sometimes referred to as Sopping Gravy or Milk Gravy) is made from leftover grease in the frying pan (after you've cooked up a batch of bacon or sausage), you add flour to the grease until it browns and add condensed milk, stirring it to it thickens. My father (along with most southerners) ate this every morning for breakfast, along with some bacon and eggs. He lived to be 84. But take a minute to think about 1945, where you had to build a fire in the stove and get it hot enough to bake biscuits. Mama says it wasn't until the mid 50's that we finally got an electric stove... THINGS TO KNOW: I want to personally thank Willie Nelson for the rhyme of Navy and Gravy from his song Pick Up The Tempo!! Also my Mama loves this song!!!!
Never Leaving Texas (2012) This is one a few songs I've written on a self imposed assignment. I wanted to have a swing song for this CD. When you have great Texas pickers to work with, you know its gonna turn out hot!! I listened to some Asleep At The Wheel for some inspiration for the arrangement. Course, Texas is SO big, its very easy to find something TEXAS to write about. Things To Know: I lived in Corpus Christi for 3 years and I wrote a song in 1993 called Leaving Texas!!
Ruby's Cafe: (March 2009) I actually did wake up thinking of the idea of a young man bumming around and getting taken in by a career waitress at a cafe/diner. Two points. One was finding a typical name for a waitress and I settled on Ruby and "2" was where to locate this guy 20 year later and give a good reason he had not visited again....the answer Key West Florida... THINGS TO KNOW: The "Parkway Grill" was an old beer joint just over the county-line back home!!
Time For The Blues (2011) I'm not a Blues guy and will never pretend to be. But I've always liked songs like Milk Cow Blues, Lovesick Blues, etc....those songs that go a bit beyond 3 chords. I was trying to learned some blues chord progressions and downloaded a practice track. The more I played it, the more I like it....then I thought I should right a real BLUES song using this old standard blues progression. THINGS TO KNOW: The duet part was offered to 5 different singers before I finally found someone true to their word...Thank You Vivien Searcy!
VFW and the Maiden’s Prayer (2011) I though I would make a break from my singing in the middle of the CD and get a chance to feature the great pickers in Texas playing on my all time Fiddle Song. Although the song is best known as a Bob Wills and Texas Playboys song, where Bob added lyrics to it, the song actually goes back to a Polish Composer around 1855. THINGS TO KNOW: The story speaks for itself right down to the chills running up and down my spine!
When All Your Dreams Come True (2001) This song was written originally as a duet. When I got ready to record it in 2005 for my "Daddy Was A Factory Man" CD, I couldn't find anyone (sound familiar) to sing on it, so I recorded it solo. I was never happy with the tempo and the original version was too long for Airplay. I never gave up on the song and finally found a melody I thought worthy of the song. I also knew exactly who I wanted to sing on it. Danielle Poot from The Netherlands has one of the sweetest voices I know and she honored me by being a part of it and along with her singing partner in the Award Winning Dutch Country Band "Change of Key" they sang the harmonies also. THINGS TO KNOW: I got to be a running joke some years back that everywhere I went they would misspell my first name!
You Ain’t No Country Singer (2012) Un-inspired by what I saw at a gathering of Country Musicians in Berlin Germany last year, I came home and immediately wrote the song. When someone tells me they like country music (with all the new stuff starting 2006), but they don't like this or that, or when you know they played rock for 15 years and now they're wearing a cowboy hat and boots...but they ain't got a clue who Hank, Hag, Conway, Waylon, Willie are!! THINGS TO KNOW: The song title was almost Hank No. 4....To me, singers who ALWAYS use playbacks are just Karaoke singers, because they can't do anything but stick to a set track.