Track 13 Once in Awhile Forever

westernswingmusictexas

Recording and Mixing Dates: Recorded March 27-29, 2016; Mixed March 30, 2016.

Genesis: When I was learning guitar in the late 1960s I was drawn to country music artists like Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Buck Owens. I had heard a few Hank Williams songs over the years but was unaware of singers from the 1940s and 1950s. When I came home on leave from basic training in December 1971, I saw the movie The Last Picture Show. It is a powerful movie on many levels, including the soundtrack. Set during the Korean War, the film is filled with songs by Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, Pee Wee King, and others of that era. Then in 1972, Haggard released an album of songs made famous by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Western swing grabbed me with its driving swing beat and jazzy fiddle, electric guitar, and steel guitar playing.

Cut to 1977. I read a biography of the crime novelist Raymond Chandler by Frank MacShane. McShane appended to the text a list of unused titles that Chandler had recorded over the years. I came across “Once in Awhile Forever” and knew I had to write a song with it. Somehow in March and April of 1978 I decided to write the song as a tribute to Hank Williams. (A few years ago I used the bridge in another song, Something Borrowed, Something Blue….)

An early recording with two friends sounded like an old timey string band.   This version shifts the feel to country swing along the lines of the music made by today’s Time Jumpers band (including Vince Gill) in Nashville.

Production: Acoustic Bass, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Fiddle, and Drums.

Lyrics

Once In Awhile Forever

I remember more

Than you forgot

You came loose

When we tied the knot

Often times never

Once in awhile forever

 

I asked for loving

And I had my rights

You said no Daddy

Not tonight

Often times never

Once in awhile forever

 

Bridge:

Half of the time I’m falling apart

The other half’s just a blur

I’m tired of singing these lovesick blues

But I can’t seem to find the cure

 

Now love goes up

And loves goes down

Mostly love

Don’t come around

Often times never

Once in awhile forever

Bridge

I remember more

Than you forgot

You came loose

When we tied the knot

Often times never

Once in awhile forever

Copyright 2016 Fred Grittner All Rights Reserved

 

Track 13 Once in Awhile Forever

Track 11 Dreaming Out Loud

IMG_0436
Magnetic Poetry: The speechless stormy poet captain….

Recording and Mixing Dates: Recorded January 17, 18, and February 15, 2010. Mixed March 15, 2016.

 

 

Genesis: In 1993 I read Alan Lomax’s book, The Land Where the Blues Began. Lomax chronicled his field recordings in the Deep South. Somewhere inside that book a bluesman stated that when he made up his blues songs he was “dreaming out loud.” I wrote that phrase in my bedside notebook and on January 27, 1994 I wrote the first draft of this song. I revised the lyrics February 14, 1994, August 7, 2007, and January 10, 2010.

The song contains some autobiographical details along with imagined moments. Songwriting came hard for me. I tried writing songs in college and got nowhere. I didn’t write my first “good” song until 1972, when I was in Saigon. (In retrospect, the song isn’t much but it does have a hook.)  During law school more songs came out of me. Once I connected with Theresa, she became my muse. Some forty years later I am still awed by the workings of the mind. There is a blank piece of paper (or a blank word processing screen) one moment and minutes or hours later, there is something new to the world. To pick up a guitar and aimlessly strum chords and THEN find a melody coming to life, that is amazing. My life truly changed when I began dreaming out loud.

Production: Bass guitar, drums, electric 12-string guitars, organ.

 Lyrics

DREAMING OUT LOUD

He picked up the wood and wire

And tried to make it sing.

He got muffled squeaks and buzzes

And teenage blood on the strings

But he kept on pressing the flesh

Till mind and muscle began to mesh

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

And turned to a phantom crowd

He committed himself

To Dreaming Out Loud

 

He listened to long-dead bluesmen

And learned to play along

He wrote love songs for his girlfriend

But he knew something was wrong

So he tore up and twisted a phrase

Threaded words through a porcupine maze.

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

And danced with a distant cloud

He knew that he’d started

Dreaming Out Loud

 

BRIDGE:

Dreaming Out Loud

Revealing your self

Dancing on the high wire

Dreaming Out Loud

Words tumble down

Mind and tongue on fire

 

He keeps a small blue notebook

That he fills with titles and lines

When the spirit comes he hears a hum

Sound and rhythm meet in his mind

He never knows where it will lead

Wild horses in a mad stampede

He just closes his eyes

He just closes his eyes

He just closes his eyes

And sings to a face in the crowd

He’s a million miles away

Dreaming Out Loud

BRIDGE

When he picks up the wood and wire

His hands know where to go

He can make it cry, he can make it moan

Make it whisper soft and low

With the tools and tricks of the trade

Secret tunings and licks that he’s made

But when he closes his eyes

When he closes his eyes

When he closes his eyes

And turns to the waiting crowd

It’s like the first time he tried

Dreaming Out Loud

It’s like the first time he tried

Dreaming Out Loud

 

January 27, 1994

Revised February 14, 1994

Revised August 7, 2007

Revised January 2010

© 2016 by Fred Grittner  All Rights Reserved

Track 11 Dreaming Out Loud

Track 10 Something’s Gonna Give

 

US Flag from PT 109 MO 6846jpgRecording and Mixing Dates: Recorded July 17 and September 30, 2010. Mixed March 5, 2016.

 

Genesis: I wrote the music and lyrics on June 23, 1992. I revised the lyrics a week later and did so again in July 1998. The song originally had eight verses. I attempted a recording in 2002 but set it aside. I revised the lyrics on March 23, 2006, cutting the song down to four and one/half verses and adding the “I can feel it” section.

I decided to release the song this week because of the current state of American politics. Congressional gridlock, embarrassing presidential debates, crazy social media, and the sad state of the news media leave me shaking my head. Most of the words to this song were written almost 24 years ago (I did add a few lines during the G.W. Bush administration…), so I can’t pretend things were rosy then. However, I sense that something’s going to give this year.

Production: Bass guitar, drums, electric guitars, organ.

 Lyrics

SOMETHING’S GONNA GIVE

Something’s gonna give

I can feel it in my bones.

Something’s gonna give

Truth won’t need a chaperone

The movers and shakers

Have pulled up lame

From overexertion

In shifting the blame

Something’s gonna give

I can feel in my bones

 

Something’s gonna give

Ugly rumors are in play.

Something’s gonna give

Silent tongues will have their say

Hear that pressure cooker

Way down the line

The fire’s getting hotter

We haven’t got much time

Something’s gonna give

I can feel it in my bones

 

Something’s gonna give

No need to be misled.

Something’s gonna give

Keep the fear out of your head

They’re leaking propaganda

On the ship of state

The captain’s looking shaky

He can’t keep things straight

Something’s gonna give

I can feel it in my bones

 

Something’s gonna give

There’s no hope without belief

Something’s gonna give

Is that a flag or a bloody handkerchief?

The rising tide of justice

Moves through the night

Past the told-you-so prophets

And the talk show lights

Something’s gonna give

I can feel it in my bones

 

I might not know the minute

When the winds begin to shift

I feel the planet moving

The fog is bound to lift

Something’s gonna give

I can feel it in my bones.

Copyright 2016 Fred Grittner. All Rights Reserved.

Track 10 Something’s Gonna Give