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The Middle

by James Keyes

Just trying to find some quiet, trying to find some peace but the hounds of hell our howling and they're right up on my feet Is there nowhere I can go, is there nowhere I'll be free I just need a moment... maybe two... maybe three Darkness come creeping on now, rise up from the west That old black train is coming for to take me to my rest The seventh son under the setting sun is waiting on the seventh day Time's lost and moving on away You fight infinite battles in a never ending war Fire a billion bullets for Uncle Sam but he just wants one more Selling tickets to your funeral to help pay down the cost Get a flashlight and a compass boy, because all hope is lost
Yeah I'm gonna take my time Yeah I'm gonna take it easy Slow waves still roll in after all Well I'm in no rush, I'm in no hurry I just might land on my feet before I fall And I have only one chance, only one story I'll believe in time eventually A little love, a little laugh, a little weight off your back Take it now before it's gone Everything you know will change Everything you know is easy Wisdom comes with age but age is a young man's game Dry your eyes and think of home Or think of what it could be You got to love to be loved in return, but everybody can And I have only once chance, only one story I believe in time after all A little love, a little laugh, a little weight off your back Take it now before it's gone
Oh yeah I see your face, you're not as young as you used to be But baby, we all grow old Jewelry and little things, old pictures bring back memories of stories you'd once been told So take a breath take a moment for yourself Think a little bit on love, What it is and what it takes even when you think you have enough If you write every story like you already know the end Disappointment will be your only friend Can't get lost when you know where you have been and all the signs along the way have all been true All you need is a friend, All you need is a friend to come and take you home
If everything we know is everything we've learned and a couple of things besides, I'm gonna roll up everything I know, and blow it up on the day I die If a willful contradiction is all that it is, then it ain't as bad as it seems You gotta sleep the sleep of the dead If you want to wake up from your dream I can feel that rain come pouring down Once more drop spilling up on you, You'll be sinking down You gotta roll with the punches in this mortal coil before you can fly away Climbing up the sky on the wings of an angel looking for your judgement day So you've seen a lot of things, you meant to do more shoring up the odds with whoever's keeping score You can never be to careful and you can't be left behind
Sometimes 03:11
Sometimes you need the sun, sometimes the rain Sometimes it's nothing at all Sometimes it's love, sometimes it's pain Sometimes it's nothing at all Sometimes you're high, sometimes you're low Sometimes you're nowhere at all Sometimes you hid, sometimes you show Sometimes you're nowhere at all All that you're feeling All that you know All that you wanted... well now you ain't got nothing at all
For The Kids 03:59
Long long way baby now, Stone weight days What does it feel like when you're free All them simple little moment All them little stranger ways Throw your rope down on me Well I'm holding your way darling Time will come around you'll see All we are is all we are and that's all we'll ever be Long long days waiting, waiting on... It's what you do that sets you free Tell me that you're with me baby, couldn't make it on my own Take my hand and we can go It's a long way down
Little Bird 02:59
Little bird, you're on your way Show your face, hide your name Am I yours, or are you mine Well it doesn't make a difference when all we've got together is time Bind your ties with all your wrongs Is it time you're waiting on You can't believe that we're all the same Well if you're living in the gutter then all you'll ever see is rain And all you've ever known is wrong Give those fading suns away Love's been fettered up in darkness Low head, low heart you know so well
1 or 99 02:56
First shot, you're the lucky one Yeah you're charmed but you're not the only one Who are you if you can't trade in on your fame If you're not on top then you're not playing the game You got the brass, you got the stones You got that thousand yard stare that's getting awfully cold What's your price when the money has all run out Hanging on to heartache is a poor substitute for love Doesn't matter in the end if you're 1 or 99 When the seven trumpets sound, we'll all be going down Down, down low into the ground
You play these games as you're walking away Got a whole lot of nothing to say... well, You got down, till you got away Lord I don't think I could ever see thing your way You got stuck and you don't want to stay Said you're moving on anyway Well it's a long way down, back the way you came Tell me how many times have you run and come back again Lay it down on me, tell me one more time Getting stuck out on your own you get lost... lost When are you ever coming home You got caught living in chains What are you giving up on anyway I don't lay down, not for anyone... no Just give me one more sunny day before you go
The Traveler 03:29
They toasted whiskey in the winter under the moon he sold his soul in March and stole it back by June He was a stranger; In the moment but not of it, like you or me He was always coming and always on his way Walked from Portland to Hartford and back in a day He had all the time in the world But he just couldn't stay long today Devil on his tail, pillar to post Home's the open road, mountains to coast he roams... There he goes Every day's another story but the story never ends Can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been I know... I've been told A wooden nutmeg or an oak leaf cigar For the right price he could sell heat to a fire He could tell you a story or sing you a song he wrote Guitars of silver and trumpets of gold He could sell you the stars when the daylight got old You could tell him what you want but he'd already know what you need Well the last time anyone saw him he was walking through the rain Headed north to the Berkshires towards Lake Champlain But it could have been anyone And you never heard it from me...


The Middle is the third album by New England based artist James Keyes.
While his first two albums were relatively quiet releases, leaning towards a sparse acoustic sound, The Middle is a much larger animal. Recorded by Mark Thayer (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey) at Signature Sounds in Pomfret Connecticut, Keyes’ third album holds nothing back. It’s a genre busting tour de force of everything Keyes has got going on between the ears. Lyrically driven, this new album seamlessly blends a wide array of American music styles while still maintaining a unique and distinct sound of its own.
It's the cumulative sound of all the folk music that's come before it. Gut-bucket blues, honky-tonk tear jerkers, songs of the road and its endless freedom, dark nights in smoky roadhouses and the long black ache of the broken American dream.
The Middle is a state of mind. The Beatles went out for a laugh and Dylan brought them there. If they’d have kept on laughing maybe this record would have had a better point of reference, but it doesn’t. It’s rock‘n’roll on an alternate time line, picking up where some left off and completely disregarding where others picked it up.
It is and it isn’t. It’s in The Middle. What you’re looking for is there, along with what you didn’t even know you’d lost. It’s a rare bird of opportunity to have no preconceived notions about what is going to happen. You own it when it does. It’s up to you.


released November 23, 2013

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Thayer
Signature Sounds, Pomfret CT.

Duncan Arsenault - Drums
Jeff Burch - bass
JP Beausoleil -trumpet
Klem Klimek -Sax
Josh Kane - trombone

James Keyes, vocals, guitar, piano, organ,
harp, bass on tracks 1,7,8,12

Graphic Design - Jessica Rossi


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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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