A Patch of Blue Sky
Take a listen to some of the songs from the latest album...the lyrics and credits are below.
 
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Matt Lochman put together this nice interview with Kev about the making of the A Patch of Blue Sky CD.
 

1. Come a Rain   

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs SESAC

One day my son Dustin said, out of the blue, that if Woody Guthrie were alive today, he would be a punk. That led to this little exploration of my subconscious impressions of a bunch of dead icons.

Jesus was a pagan, Woody was a punk
Gandhi was a soldier, Hendrix was a monk
Leonardo was an alien, Plato was a scream
Vincent was a flower child, Elvis was a dream
Kurosawa was a samurai, Achilles was a gimp
Django was a miracle, Rasputin was a pimp
Piaf was a siren, Callas was the sea
Martin was a king on earth
in all his majesty
 
Come a rain, come a rain now
 
Confucius was a joker, Kafka was a spook
Rumi was a homey, Bukowski was a duke
Fellini was a scientist, Dante was a thug
Buddha was a cowboy, Amelia was a stud
Einstein was a psychic, Stalin was a hick
Marilyn was Marilyn, Picasso was a trip
Marley was a preacher, Columbus was a dope
Houdini was a rascal, Hank Williams was a ghost
 
Come a rain, come a rain now
 

2. The Great Emancipation   

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC

When I arrived in Sydney in January '09 the big news was about the horrible floods up north. Death and destruction. As I was absorbing that catastrophe, over around Melbourne the bush fires broke out. Fire and Flood. I remember thinking, hard times here, hard times over yonder. So a year later I wrote The Great Emancipation, about regular people hanging in there through whatever happens, with faith and love for each other.

Hard times here, hard times over yonder
Don't the stars shine pretty my love
Blood runs deep, souls run deeper
They rise as high as heaven above

My father, he died in the cane
Of what, they're still not certain
They said that he felt no pain
But my poor mother, she's still hurtin'

My wife, she stands by me
Though I know so many times I let her down
She knows the kind of man I want to be
And she knows that I'd be lost without her now

Hard times here, hard times over yonder
Don't the stars shine pretty my love
Blood runs deep, souls run deeper
They rise as high as heaven above

I wonder about the meaning of it all
And I wonder, will the crazy people win
What will happen when I refuse to crawl
Will they stand aside and let a brother in

Hard times here, hard times over yonder
Don't the stars shine pretty my love
Blood runs deep, souls run deeper
They rise as high as heaven above

To me it's all the same
I need no explanation
Come the sun or come the rain
Come the Great Emancipation

3. The Andaman Sea   

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC

It's the sea off of southern and eastern Thailand, also called the Burma Sea. Broken hearts in Paradise.

Where I come from the wind is always blowin'
Where you come from it rains most every day
I'm sorry that you're sad to see me goin'
Sad to say I'm goin' anyway
I said goodbye to you a hundred times, girl
A hundred times you said goodbye to me
The moon and the waves are beautiful
Here on the Andaman sea

You and I we dug up lots of treasure
You and I we dug up lots of stones
It's not an easy thing to measure
It's just something that I feel in my bones
I said goodbye to you a hundred times girl
A hundred times you said goodbye to me
The moon and the waves are beautiful
Here on the Andaman sea

We left a lot of miles behind us
You and I we traveled rather well
The deepest blues, finally now they find us
No matter all the beauty we beheld
One last time, just to know we did it
Come out on the sand and dance with me
The moon and the waves are beautiful
Here on the Andaman Sea

4. Marysville   

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC

Meanwhile, down south it was 115F and the winds were getting up to 80 miles an hour. That was when some genius committed arson up in the hills. What ensued will always be remembered as Black Saturday. It was terrible for days, but Black Saturday was when Marysville burned down.

Those fires were mothers, unbelievably fierce. Hot enough to bend physics, and fast enough to overtake your car, and it freaked everybody out because they had never seen or even heard of bushfires like these. We witnessed raw compassion, heartbreak, and true courage.

I am a stranger wherever I go
But I see what I see and I know what I know
The winds of heaven gonna do what they will
They just blew away pretty little Marysville

The people round here did the best they could
They either got caught runnin' or they died where they stood
By the time they saw it coming up over these hills
It was too late for getting out of Marysville

Brothers and sisters, husbands and wives
The fire took one out of every five
Their spirits hover all around us still
Like smoke above the rubble of Marysville

There's only one measure of a woman and man
When troubles all around how tall do you stand
What the devil burns down we will all rebuild
Rise up rise up Marysville

I am a stranger wherever I go
But I see what I see, and I know what I know.

5. New Widow's Dream  

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC-
Dustin Welch, Super Rooster Music, SESAC

I had this poem I'd been poking around on. Dustin read it one day, and knowing I wanted to start working with Brian, a cellist, he put it to this lovely melody, and helped me finish the lyric off too, just in time for Veteran's Day.

Moonlight scatters cross her sheets
Soft eyelashes on her cheeks
A dream is stirring in her sleep
Her breath is shallow soft and warm
Like lace it's caught upon a thorn
Now the dream is finally born

Now her man is by her bed
A light is shining 'round his head
Across his chest the deepest red
His lips they move but do not speak
His eyes are sad but do not weep
His heart is full but does not beat

A gypsy wagon slowly comes
The driver with his guitar strums
The saddest song was ever sung
When she wakes it's nearly dawn
She still hears the gypsy's song
But now it's fading, now it's gone

Her salty tears her bloodshot eyes
Are raised upon the winter skies
Where high above her angel flies
Who's to say what these things mean
Or how many other young wives have seen
That same old new widow's dream

6. Midnight and Noon  

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC

And see, I'm no good at being sad or lonesome. Some people seem to be better at shaking it off and moving on. I hang around the wreckage for a long long time hoping everything will just not have happened.

Somewhere in this old world
Girl you're gonna see
There's a place for you
Yeah, there's a place for you
Times have been hard I know
Hurtin' me too
Thought you'd come back to me
Actually thought you'd come back to me

Train's still wailing
Just a little out of tune
The bells are still ringing
Midnight and noon

You and me we used to walk
down our gravel road
Used to walk hand in hand
Yeah we were hand in hand
Tryin' to forget you, babe
But I don't think I can
Now I walk that road alone
That ol' caliche road alone

Train's still wailing
Just a little out of tune
The bells are still ringing
Midnight and noon

7. Long Gone Dream  

Kevin Welch, Chaos Canyon, SESAC
Martin Hoybye, Songcrafter Music, KODA

I was on Samso Island in Denmark and wrote this with Martin Hoybye. It's the oldest song here, something I've been waiting for the chance to cut.

I open my eyes sometimes in the morning
I can taste your kisses, that's the way it seems
Try to hold on, keep on believing
But it's too late now, it's just another long gone dream

I've been thinkin' 'bout rain, thinking 'bout sunshine
Thinking 'bout you, you and me
Thinking 'bout a way to get me out of these memories
Baby by now, it's nothing but a long gone dream

Gonna burn this bridge down
Leave the embers smokin'
I ain't ever comin' back
There's no sense hopin'
It's just another long gone dream

Gotta move on, lord I know that I need to
Hangin' round here is gonna be the death of me
I've done my time, holed up and lonesome
All hung up on nothing but a long gone dream

Gonna burn this bridge down
Leave the embers smokin'
I ain't ever comin back
There's no sense hopin'
It's just another long gone dream

Look at me now, movin' down the line
Leavin nothing behind me, nothing but a long gone dream

8. Answer Me That  

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC

Just me bangin' my forehead against the wall some more.

If love is the ruler of all of our kingdoms
Why don't I just bow down
What am I made of
What am I afraid of
What am I gonna do now
Answer me that

If love is the answer, what is the question
I still can't get it right somehow
Where does it come from
What could it become
How can I find some right now
Answer me that

The sky keeps thundering
But no rain will fall upon this thirsty land
And I'm tired of wondering
What part of this do I not understand
Answer me that

So if love is the ruler of all of our kingdoms
Why don't we all bow down
What are we made of
What are we afraid of
What are we gonna do now
Answer me that

The sky keeps thundering
But no rain will fall upon this thirsty land
And I'm tired of wondering
What part of this do I not understand
Answer me that
Yeah, answer me that.

9. That's How It Feels  

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Music, SESAC

I waited for a long time to write these songs, because I kept thinking that I would eventually figure out a lot of stuff, and would then know what to say. I finally realized late one night that I might not ever understand anything. I accepted that. It was a real relief, and it let me write this song, and afterwards the rest started coming too.

Uneaten bread
When bellies are empty
Unspoken words
When a heart's on the line
Untold stories
That die with the keeper
That's how it feels
In this heart of mine

That's how it feels, that's how it feels
That's how it feels in this heart of mine

These days are filled with beauty
Beauty and sadness
With a taste on my tongue
Like deep red wine
I'm glad to know
That I don't know nothing
That's how it feels
In this heart of mine

That's how it feels, that's how it feels
That's how it feels in this heart of mine

I lay down my pen
Like some lay down their pistols
And I didn't say nothing
For a long long time
But the moon is fat and yellow
And all the dogs are sleeping
That's how it feels
In this heart of mine

That's how it feels, that's how it feels
That's how it feels in this heart of mine

10. A Patch Of Blue Sky   

Kevin Welch, Monkey Head Songs, SESAC
Claudia Scott, Lovely Monster Music, SESAC

A long time ago I was on a beach somewhere, cloudy day. Way out on the ocean I could see a break in the clouds and the sun was shining out there. I could tell the clouds were moving ashore, and that I only had to wait about ten minutes and the sun was gonna shine down, at least for a minute or two. It's an old cliché I know, but it sure is true. Claudia Scott came up with the riff and the groove and helped button up the lyric. There's an earlier recording of this on a Scandinavian release called Home, Song Island Review. That's a whole other story.

I've been praying for sunshine
And a change of luck
But it's been raining all morning
And now the wind's kicked up
The rain keeps falling
And I don't know why
All I'm waitin' on now
Is a patch of blue sky

This is gonna pass me by
That's all I know
Honey this ain't my
First rodeo
Been a month of Sundays
Since you said goodbye
All I'm waitin' on now
Is a patch of blue sky

Think I'm gonna go walkin'
Up St. Mary's Street
And as I go walkin'
I'm gonna keep the beat
I ain't gonna give up
No, I ain't gonna cry
Up above the clouds
Somewhere there's a patch of blue sky

 

 

Credits

The Band

Rick Richards, drums
Glenn Fukunaga, bass
Bukka Allen, piano, Wurlitzer, B3, harmonium
Brian Standefer, cello
Dustin Welch, banjo, electric resonator guitar, background vocals
Kevin Welch, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
Fats Kaplin, pedal steel

The Singers

Andaman Sea, Eliza Gilkyson
Midnight and Noon, Sally Allen
The Great Emancipation, Jeremy Nail
Marysville, Dustin Welch
Patch Of Blue Sky, Jackie Johnson, Preston Shannon, The Trishas (Savannah Welch, Kelley Mickwee, Jamie Wilson, Liz Foster)
Come A Rain, Savannah Welch, Kelley Mickwee, The Burns Sisters (Annie, Jeannie, Marie)

The Engineers

Fred Remmert, tracks at Cherokee Ranch, Cherokee Texas, additional recording at Cedar Creek, Austin, Texas
John Silva, overdubs at Cedar Creek
Brian Standefer and Bukka Allen, overdubs at Screen Door Music, Buda, Texas
Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, overdubs at Royal Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Kevin Welch, overdubs at The Cabin, Wimberley, Texas
Kelcy Warren, Executive Producer

The Photos

Mathew Sturtevant, cover
Todd V. Wolfson, all the rest.

The Design

Angela Haglund

The Thankyous

This is always tricky, as anyone who has done this knows, because it could become an autobiography. Kelcy Warren, Jimmy Lafave, Fred Remmert, from Music Road Records, Dustin Welch for his wise counsel, also Savannah Welch helping me keep focused, The Trishas for backing me up so many times, Reckless Kelly for the same thing, in fact all the Braun family, Gigi Benno for keeping me working, the fabulous Smith Family for holding down the fort, the Hubbard Family for watching our backs, Billy, Dodee and Keith up at BlueRock, Colette Pipkin for website stuff, Greg Johnson for the Blue Door, The Dicksons, and of course all these great players I've been honored to work with in my new home down here in the Hill Country.

I ask forgiveness for the inevitable glaring omissions. And thanks to all of you out there for listening.

Achilles Vincent Martin Dante Columbus Leonardo Picasso Django Houdini Callas Elvis Rumi Piaf Stalinl Buddha Plato Amelia Confucius Kafka Hank Bukowski Kurosawa Marilyn Rasputin Marley Fellini Hendrix Woody Gandhi Jesus