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Devil Take The Hindmost

by James Keyes

Steel Toes and blue jeans, coffee and Dramamine Those stains on your hands will never wash off Any crew's the same and the work, it never changes And the only way you know is the only way out She'll tell you that her love will last forever and a day But when it goes up in flames don't hesitate The moon is always up and will never let you down and the stars are always glad to light the way I am leaving I am leaving alone again tonight I am leaving I am leaving that's for sure I am leaving I am leaving alone again tonight And I know I ain't ever coming home Take a dream and a whim to a place where there's no sorrow Forget about today until you wake up there tomorrow You can't lack what you cant find, If there's no reason pay no mind There's nothing that you want that isn't there But if the darkness of the hour leaves you too scared to go on and you think you'll never see the light of day Keep and eye out on the road and song in your heart and the melody will guide you on your way You can try to run the clock out but in the end it'll drag you down When you thought you were alone time got there first Well it's hard to make your way through each and every day But the freedom to keep moving is always there
I went walking on Sunday Took in all that I'd seen These people and places... nothing lasts in time I know I got moving' on my mind Take a little walk maybe see what I can find The sun's down the moon's out The sky's black there's no one around The leaves on the trees shake but I cant feel alone I know I got moving' on my mind Take a little walk maybe see what I can find Well I'm long gone I've left home done some things I cant condone I've seen the world through windows but now I'm out here standing on my own Gonna take a walk maybe see you when I get home
Good times bad times I know we've had ours But I still love you every day and every night Seems like there's always something in our way In this wicked world we call our home But you're not alone You're not alone You're a shadow in a dream Whisper in the din Moonlight under water tonight You're my lover and my friend My beginning and my end You're the melody that floats in on the wind Well if I've changed I hope that you still love me too Because you know you mean the world to me Yes it's true Believe in us and bet your past against your time Tell me that we'll make it through the night One more time
Well I ain't no I ain't I ain't going' out like that And I don't need nobody telling me that I can't be free And I don't need nobody come and take my daylight away from me Well I ain't, no I ain't going down like that I ain't going down like
Old Rider 02:58
When that Old Rider comes on his black horse in the night and he's knocking at your door You can't turn him out, you know why he's there just never thought this moment would come Your dealing days are over, there's nowhere left to go The iron in the fire is growing cold Best not to keep him waiting as he calls out your name from his book you signed so many years ago There's nowhere left to run to There's nowhere left to go Can't go back the way you came All the money in your pocket won't do you any good Old Rider gets his due just the same You can't trick the trickster, can't fool the old goat All your charm won't save you now A deal is a deal and he's come to collect There's nothing left to offer but your soul
I'm burning paper in the wind I do not know where it goes Throwing rocks out to sea Aiming for those distant shores I have always had this planned maybe never this much then I'm digging holes in the sand Tide comes up and fills them in I lit a match to light my way Darkness never was my friend
Wicked Night 03:12
Ice on the window spreading Black clouded skies Northeaster coming on now Better get inside George's Bank ain't safe now Bring your ships in Devil is coming captain, he's in the wind Get your candles, it's gonna be a wicked night From Cape to Cape you better pray that you see the morning light Water is rolling wild now, out in the bay Roll Davie Jones right over, down in his grave This wind will strip the birds right out of the air Feels like Heaven is falling and God don't care
Summer Song 02:14
Well the air is full of summer Thick lightning sky the rain's pelting down on my old white Buick as I roll down 495 Well my radio is dead as usual So I'm humming my own tune and the rhythm of the road just keeps getting faster I could be dead or in your arms soon All of your fires, your burning desires All come flooding back into your mind And all of your reasons through all of the seasons come flooding back just in time Well the smokes rings are clearing Everyone feels like a child yeah your stone walls are crumbling in time you'll be mumbling that every dream you have is worth its while
I've seen a lot of faces, there's none I can recall Shook a lot of hands but I've forgotten them all Ashes to ashes dust to dust you do what you can, I do what I must Chain me to the ocean, chain me to the land Chain me to the sky just to see where I land Your feet are wandering but they're not bringing you back They played Frank Sinatra on his wedding day His father heard the same tune when they put him in his grave Give me some attention, give me your trust I'll give you mine, whatever you want Everybody wants love, they want it so bad everybody needs it to know what they had Your head is aching Because your heart's leading the way Memories of their future, dreams of their past without love in the present nothing can last Way down in the ground digging your hole everyday is another shovel load Crawling up, you slip back in Is the view better from where you stand You're never getting anywhere how's that for hope If I had to answer, I'd answer to myself And if I had to give I'd give to someone else Every day is a race, a race against the ghost Nobody knows the prize but the Devil take the Hindmost Take me to the womb, put me in the ground Sing a few songs, buy another round Live now... You might not have the time you think you have
Walk you to the other side this island is ours tonight we'll take our time, take the long way around Dim these city lights, the night is crawling over you slow and fine... you never looked so good Don't you know where I've been Took a while to find you here now I won't go back again I will walk with you through this night Nothing but the moon and us till morning arrives Together in the waves Tide's rising up around us now Fog's rolling in, blurring sea and sky Don't make a sound, just listen to the water coming in Won't be long till it's rolling out again
I've been around and back again Been told by folks near death that I'm beginning to look my age I've seen friends come and I've seen friends go, One thing's for sure and that it's I'm still moving on I don't believe anymore that I can be brought down Well I hope and pray everyday that I can find peace All this smoke and drink and song is just a release Maybe someday I'll find what I'm looking for but till then, I'm just adding days to the ones before I played the game, and broke some rules Now I just make 'em up as I see fit I don't believe anymore that I can be brought down
September 31 03:16
I feel the days slowly rolling by Sunlight is fading Black clouds are coming back again My old friends Cold nights are getting longer now Frost on the window Children are headed back to school again Life moves in paces like a bad dream never will You find your will, you'll find your way Might never notice that your time has come and gone All these things you never thought of until now Willows are weeping near the dead Slate all around us Old pines that were here before we came Gonna be here still Paved roads that were dirt in my father's time circle around us Quarries have long been filled back in by the old Granite Rail
You're just one brick in the castle wall... I'm just a peasant waiting for the castle to fall You're just one seed on the forest floor... All them other little seeds will grow up big and tall You're just one little star in the night time sky... I'm just waiting for the sun to rise You're just one branch on the tallest tree.. Gonna take a lot more than that to keep the sky from me You're just one grain of sand on the longest beach... Tide come up and roll you out to sea "Things are getting better" isn't that what people say... Well those people have never been your way
You're having one last moment before the sun begins to rise and all the day can bring you boy is just another smile The silence brings you closer to the thoughts you wish you had The sky is turning purple and the highway can't look back Never thought a day like this would end up in your mind Seven days of freedom were just too hard to find Now you're standing there guessing paralyzed down to you feet The fear of having all you're time has become reality There's no safety net to catch your fall, just you and gravity A thousand faces scowl at you from your memories The undertaker is waiting with a wrist watch on his bones Whispering that it's not too late if you want to head back home You're finding inconsistency with the voices in your head You wish to god they'd help you out but they're so selfish now instead It used to be they'd warn you about mutual concerns All for one and one for all, can't let this body burn Well you drive into town looking for a place to sleep All the signs say keep on moving there's nothing here for free When all the people turn their heads and walk away from you There's nothing you can say, nothing you can do There's no gas at the station, no booze in the bar The church is closed the lights are off and Main St is going dark There's just one bum hanging out and you ask him which way to go He says "This is it stranger, it's the end of the road"


With a deft hand and harp to go with a baritone as strong as brewed black coffee, Keyes demonstrates an impressive mastery of multifaceted Americana. --Jonathan Perry, The Boston Globe (September 2, 2011)


released May 1, 2011

Recorded and mixed by Roger Lavallee
Tremolo Lounge, West Boylston MA

Duncan Arsenault: Drums
Wolf Schlyczk: bass
Zack Slik: banjo
Laurie Levitre: fiddle
Steve Cummings: guitar, track 13
Roger Lavallee: Pedal Steel


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James Keyes

Six string dream slinging musical maestro, teller of tall tales and short stories, social media soliloquist, blues shouter, country crooner Rocknroll raconteur and avant folk rambler, pint quaffer, shot shooter, foot stomper, soul singer, rain bringer, and left fingered proletariat provocateur. ... more

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