Long, Long Year

by Kris Kehr

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about

CDs Available Exclusively at www.kriskehr.com/store

Working with engineer/producer Tom Edmonds (The Roots, Lenny Kravitz, Todd Rundgren, The Rolling Stones & The Band) and such session heavies as Cindy Cashdollar (Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Dylan’s “Time Out Of Mind”), Craig Ross & George Laks (Lenny Kravitz band, Natalie Merchant’s “Ophelia”) and Jim Weider (The Band), as well as members of his own band STONE POETS, Pennsylvania Singer-Songwriter Kris Kehr offers reflection and wisdom among this early collection of songs. Recorded throughout Central Pennsylvania to Woodstock, NY and led by the intuitive and substantial expertise of producer/engineer Tom Edmonds, Long, Long Year kicks off a series of great releases on Woobie Cat Records by Kris Kehr.

Of the album, local critic and columnist Matt Swain from The Centre Daily Times has said...
“On “Long, Long Year”, singer-songwriter Kris Kehr has created a “journey” album in the finest folk-rock tradition. With odes to the road, river and rails (and even outer space), Kehr equates the journey down the road with the flow of life’s journey. The album is fueled by the virtuosity of Stone Poets, a local band of which Kehr is a member. The band members’
thorough understanding of their musical roles, wrapped in an honest, understated genius, provides Kehr with the legs on which to take his musical wanderings.”

“.....classy "roots rock," with tasteful musicianship” -George Graham (producer, radio personality WVIA-FM)

“A very well deserved 4 stars out of 5.....This is a FINE CD! -Marc Nolis (publisher and editor-in-chief, ROOTSTOWN MUSIC MAGAZINE)

“Backed by guitars, lap steel, keyboards and a finely grooved rhythm section, Kehr tackles the ultimate mysteries on this winning 10-song independent release with simplicity, humor and no shortage of disappointment. He weaves both half-whispered and rough troubadour vocals through the haunting arrangements and creates a mood that’s defiant, defeated and no doubt familiar to most. Whether singing of the guy tricked by love, the philosopher wondering life’s cost, or the lost soul who is simply over his head in the reality game, Kehr tells his tales simply but with just enough poetry and conviction to make them worthwhile. His subjects remain fixed on the search, despite the roadblocks of fear and shattered dreams. Kehr’s journey through life’s crapshoot is a bumpy one, but it’s well worth the time." -Ames Arnold (columnist/critic Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“You’re gonna love this one. Kehr and his group have fashioned a great pop-country-folk sound. Using Martin acoustic guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, accordion, Fender electrics and pedal-steel, they weigh in on odes to the road and the rails and other journeys. A wonderful debut. -Villiage Records (on-line music catalogue)

“I wanted to take a moment to let you all know about a new CD that I think is worthy of some attention. It's called"Long Long Year," and it's the debut CD from Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Kris Kehr, released on his own label,Woobie Cat Records. Stylistically, I'd describe this music as country-rock-folk. It's centered around Kris'drawling vocals and his acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars, and he's backed up by tasteful bass, drums, keyboard, andsteel guitar accompaniment. Backing musicians includeJim Weider of The Band, Craig Ross and George Laks, bothof the Lenny Kravitz Band, and Cindy Cashdollar of Asleep At The Wheel. Cindy's lap steel licks on the title track are simply wonderful; you can turn that track up LOUD and feel the goosebumps rise. Kris is well known to many people in this area through his work with a plethora of bands, including folk-rockers The Electric Farm and the progressive bluegrass band Pavlov's Dawgs. This album includes ten original songs, and marks his entry into thesinger/songwriter genre. If you like folk music that leans toward country-rock, I'd encourage you to check this out. -Otto Bost (Producer/Host of "Acoustic Eclectic" WDIY-FM, Allentown )

“......he’s got great tone and feel on the acoustic, but the critical thing to me is the vibe, which to me digs deep into your soul... i mean, almost anybody can play, and a bunch of people can play really well, but there are very few, i think, who stand up in front of people and open themselves up for all to see...Kris does that... it gives me faith... it restores faith in myself... it is what the definition of music should be... the ancient language that exposes the heart...” -Scott Murawski (songwriter-guitarist, Max Creek)

“...'To the Sea'......I loved its soothing tides...That song is beautiful, to my ears anyway, I think its a keeper, a real mood-soother... hope to hear it again!” -Derek (fan)

“Trying to describe Kris leaves me scratching my head. He does a little but of everything, and all of it with consumate skill. I can say that the solo acoustic gig we did together in 1997 was the most fun I've ever had on a stage. Check out his great 1999 release 'Long Long Year' and you'll see what I mean.” -Tom Flannery (singer-songwriter)

credits

released December 31, 1998

Produced by Tom Edmonds and Kris Kehr
Engineered and recorded by t-bone
Mixed by Tom Edmonds at Eden Studios,/Lancaster, Pa
Mastered by Frank Green at Digital Editing & Mastering/Nashville, TN

Kris Kehr - vocals, harmonica, mandolin, electric guitar, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitar
Julie Kehr/vocals
James Harton - hammond b-3 organ, wurlitzer electric piano & baldwin fun machine bass pedals
George Laks - hammond b-3 organ
Cindy Cashdollar - lap-steel & weissenborn resonator guitar
Dave Mudgett - pedal-steel guitar
Jim Weider - electric slide & rhythm guitar
Craig Ross - electric rhythm guitar
Bill Stetz - upright bass
Frank Campbell - electric bass
Dana Hawk - drums & percussion
Nick Parker - drums & percussion
Jack Wilkinson - drums
Matt Zelenz - percussion
T-Bone - percussion

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about

Kris Kehr Reading, Pennsylvania

Kris Kehr is a multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter from the Berks County area of Pennsylvania and head of his own Woobie Cat Records. He produces or co-produces albums of his own material in the Roots/Americana music formats, as well as a regular music blog called Black Mountain Underground for Woobie Cat Productions. ... more

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Track Name: Breakin' Out
Pack your bags and head out on the highway
Leave behind every kind face that you’ve known
I’d tell you now but you’d know that I’d be lying
“Stick around, there’s no place good as home”

I’m sick and tired of the police coming around
Every time i come by your house to pick up all my stuff
I’m gonna point this old guitar towards the western skies
I hope the highway’s long enough

chorus-
Take it from me,
I’ve seen the inside of this big world spinning ‘round
Wishing I was closer to the clouds
And take it from me,
I’ve been here long enough trying to get up off the ground
Now must be time for breaking out

Some say that running’s not the answer
Like I’m trying to leave it all behind
but if I ever make it full circle
I will have earned what is mine

chorus-

You know I’ll miss you but I’ll be seeing you again
Somewhere farther down the line
Sometimes when the spirit’s pushed too far, my friend
The only cure is road and wind and time

chorus- (repeat)
Track Name: All of These Roads
All of these roads
Winding through the valley
Traveling down to where the river rolls
All of these towns
Dirty streets and alleys
Where they’re all going ain’t nobody knows

Somebody is proud of all this
Keeping it just the way it is
Always seeing forest instead of trees

All of these people never knowing where they’re going
Holding on to only what they can see
So many horizons and all of these roads
Seldom traveled pathways missed so easily

Take me home again
I just can’t seem to mend this misery

So many hearts beating without rhythm
Pounding like a storm in the middle of the night
So many souls bound to no direction
Looking in the mirror and blinded by the light

But there are those precious few who know just what to do
Who know when to hold on tight and when to let it ride

All of these roads in all of these directoins
All of these souls had better hold on tight
All of these roads making their connection
Take my hand and let’s let it ride
Track Name: The Little Things
I’d like to meet you after school
We could play awhile, wouldn’t that be cool?
Take a walk, talk about things
But don’t tell the guys, that’d ruin everything

I caught a snake down by the stream
Didn’t mean to scare you, didn’t mean to make you scream
It’s just another part of me
Something dark, something you were bound to see

I caught you peeking out your window
You mama said you didn’t wanna play no more
And I cried, oh how I cried

chorus-
It’s the little things that count
Like the sun going down
Then on comes the night
But then the morning rolls around

I remember you shuffling through the leaves
Bright blue sky above the autumn trees
Every year those leaves come down
And every time they do, I’m still standing around

I saw you out on a winter’s day
Over by the stream, you wished I could play
And you cried, oh how you cried
repeat chorus-
Track Name: Answers
I wish i knew the words when something's on my mind
To help you understand and make everything alright
I’d like to shed some light
Help us get through this night
'Cause we’ve been holding on to dark too tight
I wish that i could find the answers all the time

I wish i knew the way to help us face the times
When the days drag on so long with so much on our minds
I’d like to take that ride
Cross to the other side
But i wonder if I'm born to die
I wish that i could find the answers all the time

It wasn't long ago that poets sought the truth
But now the truth is known and they want something new
I’d like to help you out but that's only up to you

I wish i had some wings, i would take us home
I’ve been thinking 'bout these things and i don't think i'm alone
We tried to reach the sky
No matter how hard we tried
But it was you who learned to fly
I wish that i could find the answers all the time
Track Name: Alaskan Fishing Boat Blues
I’ve got fifteen pounds of trouble strattling my back
I spent fifteen days in a Texas jail
I ain’t ever going back
I ain’t ever going back and I ain’t ever going home
I’ve spent fifteen years out walkin’
I spent fifteen years alone

I come from Alabama where it hardly ever snows
And frankly where I’m headed to ain’t anybody knows
Ain’t anybody knows, ain’t anybody cares
It’s a long hot road I’m traveling
It could get hotter ‘til I’m there

I traded two weeks on a chain gang for a year on a big white horse
It’s been four years since I’m married and three since I’m divorced
Three since I’m divorced and three since I’m a dad
It’s been three years since I’ve since her
Ain’t nothing felt that bad

The road is getting faster now
I’m traveling up north
I got work there on a fishing boat where I’ll never see the shore
Where I’ll never see the shore and I’ll never see the road
I won’t be wearing put my walkin shoes
I won’t be carrying that load

I’ve got fifteen pounds of trouble strattling my back
I spent fifteen days in a texas jail
I ain’t ever going back
I ain’t ever going back and i ain’t ever going home
I’ve spent fifteen years out walkin’
I spent fifteen years alone
Track Name: To The Sea
Where was the last time
Where could she be
When was the last time
She kissed my cheek

Over the mountain
Under the sun
Down in the valley
Where the river runs

Oh, cross the river
Oh, cross the sea

Ride on the river
There in midstream
Hold to your own course
Ride to the sea

Oh, cross the river
Oh, cross the sea

I know where she’s smiling
There by the bay
Watching the sunset
At the end of her day

Oh, cross the river
Oh, cross the sea
Oh, cross the river
Oh, to the sea
Track Name: Long, Long Year
I’ve been misled
At first I thought it was something that i had said
I had no idea I was in over my head
I really didn’t know

I tried to reach you honestly
I didn’t think you’d take it out on me
‘Cause deep inside i trusted destiny
I really didn’t know

chorus-
Now I’m standing with my hat in my hand
Trying not to look like half a man
It’s been a long, long year
And it really seems like something’s gotta give


You know I take it all to heart
There’s no other place where I can make my start
I tried and tried and still it all fell apart
I really didn’t know

chorus-

Now I walk these streets at night
Searching through the shadows for something right
I had no idea I’d ever lose your light
I really didn’t know
I really didn’t know
I really didn’t know
Track Name: Orbiting the Moon
I’m spinning through the universe
I can barely even sing this verse
The moon has finally pulled me in
And left me in the shape I’m in
I ain’t ever getting back on track
Gravity will see to that
Wait here now I’ll come around again soon
Because I’m orbiting the moon

I never thought I’d end up this way
Always living my life day to day
Never knowing what’s around the bend
Never fearing what’s at the end
Now I’m caught up in this cosmic pull
Among the stars I feel so small
But I never have to decide
I just hold on for the ride

chorus-
Because I’m orbiting the moon
And I’m whistling a different tune
Wait here now I’ll come around again soon
Because I’m orbiting the moon

I like it best when I’m on the bright side
The sun is warm, my eyes are wide
I see the craters and that little stiff flag
Everything don’t seem so bad
But then I orbit to the other side
I can’t see nothing, it’s a cold, cold ride
I’m floating helplessly along my way
Until I orbit to another day

repeat chorus

Never thought I’d be way out here
Being pulled up through the atmosphere
I miss my cat and my best friend Dave
But most times I don’t want to be saved
I see her smiling when the moon is full
Is she happy or just a fool?
She moves the ocean and she makes it rain
Until I come back around again

repeat chorus-
Track Name: Roll Train
Roll train roll - roll on down the line
Roll train roll - roll on down the line
Take my soul, but please don’t take my mind

Sun come up - sun goes back down again
Sun come up - sun goes back down again
Take my mind but please don’t take my friend

Roll on buddy - roll on down the track
Roll on buddy - roll on down the track
There she goes and she ain’t comin’ back

Sister, sister - where did she go
Sister, sister - where did she go
I looked around, she weren’t there no more

Goodbye momma - goodbye daddy, too
Goodbye momma - goodbye daddy, too
Train roll on, there ain’t nothin’ left for you
Track Name: (It's a) Beautiful Day
Everything matters and nothing is lost
I’ve almost convinced myself of that thought
But the sun shining down only adds to that cost
And I’m wondering what price I’ll pay

*
As parts of the sky fall to the ground
So does my heart come down
And picking up pieces scattered around
So does my heart come down
So does my heart come down
It’s a beautiful day
Wish it’s always that way

I rock in my rocking chair all the day long
Wondering ‘bout this world that’s gone wrong
Faith and innocence torn from my arms
And I can’t get up to face it
*
Thought I seen everything I want to see
You sitting there in a chair next to me
Doing the dishes or watching TV
Holding your hand in the morning
*
*
It’s that last longing gaze
At you moving that way
Track Name: Field of Green
Across this field of green the sky is my enemy
Once again I hear its thunder
A field of hopes and dreams and everlasting love it seems
Every time I get plowed under

I can scream out loud and scream out strong
It never seems to last too long
Sometimes there’s just no hope of a rescue
If I can keep my head clear and move along
Maybe make some sense writing down a song
For everything I’m unsure of there’s one thing i am certain

Across this field I’ll someday be
But I won’t get there on forgotten dreams
Dear lord, please have mercy

Fields of green sometimes turn brown
Not enough water in the ground
The sun above can beat down harshly
Me, I’m just trying to do my best
Life’s got to be more than just a test
It’s figuring it out that makes it lonely

I could scream out loud and scream out long
Hope for something better to come along
Few of us will ever get so lucky
Don’t get so mad if i seem wrong
I wouldn’t sacrifice that just for a song
Love is made but songs just happen

Across this field of green
The sky is trying to tell me
Go inside before it starts raining
Track Name: I Want to Take Care of You
Nothing got me ready for it
There’s no way I could know
Trembling by the window
Hiding by the door

These things that mean the most to me
And the most that I can do
I can’t even verbalize it
I’m scared and worried too

I want to take care of you
I want to take care of you

My mother tried to tell me
The only way she could
I didn’t want to hear her
I didn’t think I should

She doesn’t know the half of it
She can’t see it from my side
It’s like starting from the finish line
I got so far behind

I want to take care of you
I want to take care of you

So take me to that sacred place
Well beyond our dreams
I’ll cast off all my charms and jewels
And learn about these things

And all my friends will come around
And softly sound my name
And as you lie there sleeping
My fears are cast away
My fears are cast away
Track Name: Endless Rain
It’s raining, it’s pouring
Time’s burning, wind’s blowing
River run deep, river run fast

Hearts breaking, tears falling
Whose hears us?
We’re calling, but not to you & not to me

I stand beside the river wide
I long to be with you on the other side

The river is muddy
It’s rising around me
It takes me away.....sweeps me away

I’m blinded, where are you?
I’m sinking and can’t find you
Where are you now?
I’ll find you somehow

We used to sit and watch the rain
From where it’s warm and dry, we would stay

The river keeps rolling and I’m65
losing foot holding
What can i do?
I’ll try to save you

So close you can see me in my eyes
I’m reaching out to your hand
Just stretch a little if you can

How did you make it back to shore?
I guess you didn’t need me anymore

Flood my eyes and fill my lungs.....drown my heart
I’m going under the endless rain
I’ll love you always
Track Name: Waiting for Snowfall
I’m thinking ‘bout yesterday morning
How things aren’t much different today
The usual highs and the low points
The usual random array of mixed up emotions and hind sights
And troubles that won’t go away
Am I waiting in vain to be taken away in hopes of a better day?

I’ve been hoping for snowfall
I’m getting right sick of this rain
I don’t want to wait for the warmth of the sun
I just want to go out and play

Well my old friend got a new guitar
You know he turned thirty today
And he’s got as wife and a beautiful child
But it wasn’t always that way
We all start in the middle
There is no beginning or end
Seems like we’re dropped from a hole in the sky and begin wherever we land

Me & ed played at their wedding
I remember it raining that day
The best man stood and gave an unusual toast and we all just laughed and said
That he’s got a handful of diamonds and she’s got a house full of pearls
We can all live in the same memory while we all spin on this world

Now we’re all hoping for snowfall
We all need some time off
Come gather ‘round the warmth of the sound
And join in singing the song

Now there’s nothing over my shoulder
My peripheral’s doing ok
That’s all that I needed as I traveled along ‘cuz I’ve already seen yesterday

Lately I haven’t been drifting
And I’ve pulled to the side of the road
Put my head on my desk for an afternoon rest and woke up to find I was gone

Now I’m just waiting for snowfall
Summer’s finally gone
I’ve seen the mountain rolling on down
And I hear that guitar play his song
Track Name: Whatta You Want from Me?
I told you all I know, there isn’t nothing more
Why do you keep on bugging me i think I’ll just ignore you
And your constant forked tongue - just like day and night
I never know if what I say will make you want to fight
No matter how I look at it I always fail to see what do you want from me

I saw you yesterday over by the park
You were walking all alone and it was getting dark
So I said to myself you shouldn’t be alone
But then I remember something that you told me on the phone
“Life is a bowl of cherries that you shouldn’t ever eat”
What do you want from me?

“I want you to be my crash test dummy, I want you to be my man,
I want you to love and kiss and hold me, I want you to take my hand,
I want you to come on in my kitchen, I want you to light my lamp,
I want you to go away now ‘cause you just don’t understand...
I want you to come on back now ‘cause I think you finally see”
What do you want from me?

Now I’m tired of listening to you and i don’t want to talk
You know that you broke off both my legs and still you want me to walk
Back to that place that we’ve both been before but i don’t want to go
I’d rather sleep in my ‘fridgerator or face down on the floor
But tell me before you leave me in my confused misery
What did you want from me?
Track Name: A List of Things to Do
it’s one more cup of coffee before i get something done
i’m weary and i’ve lost my way and i don’t know where to run
i lost my innocence years ago , a blanket of fears i can no longer throw
over my head just to lie there in bed
i guess i’ll get something done

so much to do and so little time is always the case it seems
i’d rather go fishing or just lie around but the guilt keeps on nagging me
i see the farmer plowing his field just for the days to come
i wish that i could plan that far ahead but today’s work seems to never gets done

there’s places to go and people to see but i’ve got work here at home
like cleaning my car and clearing my head, it’s starting to pile up you know
my emotions are tangling up in a knot - i’ve got to work on that one too
and if there is time at the end of the day i’ll clear a path back to you

i’ll fix all the obvious holes in my life and fill them with day to day
i’ll call all the friends i don’t talk to no more ‘cause i ran out of things to say
they’re scattered out evenly far and wide, i’ll tell them all just how i feel inside
well yesterday’s gone and tomorrow still hides and i’ve got too much on my mind

tell me again ‘cause i don’t recall just what it was that i did so wrong
i’ll add it to my list of things to do if a second chance happens along
i’d like to able to correct these faults like pipes that are leaky or cracks in the wall
but holes in the heart is like mowing the lawn- the job really never gets done

a man with a good heart is so hard to find, at least that what people say
i’ve spent some time protecting mine when so much gets in the way
my heart’s been broken, this much is true - so much space between me and you
but i’ll put to together just for something that’s true
now there’s something that i can do