Notes From The Crossroads

by Kris Kehr & Stone Poets

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CDs Available at www.kriskehr.com/store
More Info - www.kriskehr.com/discography/notes.php

This album has gone down a few windy back roads to finally get here. About 25 or 30 songs, 3 or 4 title changes, 3 bands and 5 years. To get the perspective to eventually pull it all together I had to pull back and look at it like a painting, and thankfully still have the same amazing pool of talent in my orbit a couple of years later to pick up the thread with the same eye and heart (and perhaps a more deft ear) and finally complete it all correctly. I’d like to say the process of writing these songs put me through all these amazing changes in my life, etc, but the truth is, writing most of these songs kept me sane and helped me retain my identity as I was forced through a bunch of fairly unreasonable changes elsewhere in my life, helped me navigate new kinds of choices and still keep it together. Eventually it became clear that all of it represents a long arc in my life’s path that literally brought me back home. In darker moods, very maze-like.

‘Gone Are Those Days’ is one of the oldest songs here next to the last one, written before I left the Reading area in the early 90’s for central Pennsylvania. State College is an extremely large yet highly isolated college town that afforded me some of the luxuries of both a small town and big city, good and bad both ways. My search for self while living there helped map out the songs written during this period and represent explorations of the choices I made to get to the point I was at. Towards the end there was more grumbling and lamenting and less affirmation. Soon everything changed fairly drastically by fortune, not choice although hindsight points to more choice than I remember.

Late in 2002, soon after I began this project in earnest (after the release of my second album KRIS KEHR AND STONE POETS) I left Pennsylvania for North Carolina where I lived until moving back to Reading in late 2005. Two close friends passed and old insecurities dug in as I ran to the safety of someone else’s music but still gave it my all, and had a crazy good time/learned a whole lot more in the process. But alas, the frustration of casting ones’ fortunes into the hands of incompetence overtook me. I started writing things that were really just scream therapy in a muted room in the back. I have been very thankful for the Woobie Cat Mobile Kitchen but never more-so than at that time. It was how I was able to redefine and retain who I was.

Climbing out of that hole was as hard as anything I have tried and I’m still doing it. But it was after moving back to the area where I was born and raised, the Berks County area of Pennsylvania, that I was able to reconnect with where my heart is. The cabin is an extension of that home for me, and last Christmas ‘Mighty Pine River’ came out to assure me of that fact.

None of this may matter very much to many of you but I do thank those of you who took the time for one reason or another. I will never understand the process/magic that goes on between hearts and heads and people and music, but I am so glad I can sometimes be a part of it.

credits

released November 30, 2007

Produced by Kris Kehr
Production assistance from Bruce Seikmann and Stone Poets
Engineered by Bruce Seikmann, Jack Hand, Kris Kehr & Bob Klotz
Engineering Assistance from James Harton & Jeff Shirley
Mixed by Jack Hand at Quaivering Audio, Lenhartsville, PA
Mixing Assistance from Kris Kehr & Bruce Seikmann at Amoeba Sound, New Jeruselem, PA
Mastered by Frank Green at DigitalMaster, Nashville, TN

Tracks recorded at:
Bob Klotz Audio — Port Matilda, PA
Amoeba Studios — New Jeruselem, PA
Woobie Cat Mobile Kitchens:
336 Strouse Ave, State College, PA
The Cabin, Telescope, PA
Cottage Hill, Gerton, NC
The Gravy House, Marion, NC
Shed Wilrecar, Black Mountain, NC
Bartolo House, Mohnton, PA

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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: I Think About Everything
I think about all the times we’d go out walkin’
And talk about everything under the sun
And then you’d turn to me with a different set of eyes
And talk about destiny and the intermingling of our lives
I think about everything all the time, whoa..
I think about everything all the time

It’s certainly a mystery what this world has to offer
You’re sitting right next to me with your head in the sun
When I’m looking for answers I’m hardly even there
But I find it difficult to be anywhere
I think about everything everywhere, whoa…
I think about everything everywhere

You can’t even be honest with yourself
You say that someone’s put you up on a shelf
Come on down now, it’s time to tell me what’s gone wrong
It’s time to get on with the song

I like sitting and dreaming and taking care of myself
I think about you sometimes, but it’s so hard to tell
If you’re coming or going standing in the middle of the stream
Or if you go run and hide or come on to the extreme
It’s a beautiful mystery what everyone wants
And I think about everything all at once, whoa…
I think about everything all at once
Track Name: Your Dreams
Close your eyes my pretty little one, everything will be alright
This storm’s just passing through right over our cabin top
Go lay down and rest for a while

Chorus:

Long train coming, rolling down the tracks
Sometimes it’s rolling after me
I can’t hold the ocean back but I’d like to help you with your dreams
I’d like to help you with your dreams

Across the mountain and down the other side
It ain’t as far as it may seem
Two kids dancing out in the summer night
All you have to do is dream

Chorus

Sun is setting, the day is getting done
The mist is rising on the creek
You are calling and it warms me to my bones
Makes it bright so I can see

Repeat chorus
Track Name: Dear Stephanie
Dear Stephanie, I love you and I don’t know what to do
I just can’t get to sleep at night thinking about you
I touch the floor and walk the ceiling, fight these urges that I’m feeling
After all, I’m only just a man
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can

Just like the sky above you and that river running blue
Whenever you might need me, I’m always here for you
Cross the mountains and the sea, in your garden look for me
I am your traveling solitary man
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can

Last time that I saw you was that highway rolling south
You looked at me and smiled out the corner of your mouth
There’s only so much distance I can stand
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can

Dear Stephanie, I need you and I feel you rolling home
I’m not sure why I fell behind, perhaps we’ll never know
But I’ll think of you and love you with all that light above you
You know I tried the very best I can
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can
You know I tried the very best I can
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can
Dear Stephanie, please call me if you can
Track Name: Something I Know
I can’t believe it
Standing right there in front of me this time, it seemed so easy..
But I didn’t see it,
Wondering where these half-baked truths of life begin and what to believe in

I know the world keeps spinning around my head
I know the sky is spinning, too
I know my heart’s been broken and it’s up there on the shelf
That’s something I know about myself
It’s something I know about myself

I don’t deserve this
I bet you even think you’re helping me along, I should be going..
But it got me thinking
It’s gonna cancel everything I feel alone, switch it to nothing

And then the world came tumbling down again
And things got way too hard to see
I don’t always have the answers but my limits I know well
That’s something I know about myself
It’s something I know about myself

Well early in the morning, before the sun comes up
I stumble through the darkness if I get up
It’s like everything around me is different than it was
And I don’t know where to fill my cup

It’s like a puzzle
And all the pieces very neatly fit that way and now I see it
or more like nothing
‘cause anything can turn to nothing any day and you best believe that

I see the rain came pouring down again, washing everybody clean
How you left me reeling you could never tell
It’s something I know about myself
It’s something I know about myself
It’s something I know about myself
Track Name: Around This World
I toasted you tonight at sunset
Just like a million dreams ago
I didn’t want to let you go
Now things are always sweetest at the get
So go and make your destiny
Now that it doesn’t have a thing to do with me

Chorus:

You can wander around this world
Search every corner of the ocean for that pearl
and never notice what you had, girl

A star on the horizon, dropping off
But soon the night will roll on in
And everything begins to turn again
I wasn’t really sure right from the start
Nothing seemed too clear to me
Just when I thought I knew the way things ought to be

Chorus

Now everything is spinning in my head
If I ever get a hold on it
I’ll thank the lucky stars I turned out like this
I toasted you tonight at sunset
And remembered a long time ago
When I said I’d never let you go

Repeat Chorus
Track Name: Saturday
We all gathered on Saturday at the train tracks to see him off
And all I could think of is if it mattered one lick at all

We can always leave town on a better day
And we can always be better off
We can always come up with a reason to call the whole damn thing off

We all gathered around and took turns sayin’ his name
We all wondered aloud, “Ain’t it a shame?”

We all gathered on Saturday and gave you our final farewell
And if we all said what we meant, it’s so hard to tell

Well, I’ve always been a fan of yours
I’ve always rallied around
But I can’t figure out, for the life of me what’s wrong with you now

We all knew what we meant
We all knew what we saw
We all try to defend all the things that we are

We all gathered on Saturday, we all did what we could
We all gave you our best, knockin’ on wood
We all gave you our best, knockin’ on wood...
Track Name: Long Time Ago
I hear you talking ‘bout the good old days and the way things were
I hear you crying ‘bout the love you lost and what you deserve
Now you’re runnin’ just to keep it real ‘cuz you’re afraid
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed

I had to think about a different time and a different place
It took me back to when I stared at love right in the face
I was scared and feelin’ all alone but in a different way
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed

I’m getting by, I’m moving on
No need to try being so strong
Sometimes I dream about being home, back at the old place
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed

It’s been a while since I’ve been on my own way out here
I was looking for that pot of gold but it ain’t always clear
I was hoping I could work it out with a little age
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed

I’m getting by, I’m moving on
No need to try being so strong
Sometimes I dream about being home, back at the old place
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed
That wasn’t such a long time ago and not much has changed
Track Name: I Want To Go Home
There she goes, a light on Adeline
Gentle ghosts and time caught in between
I was feeling like some kind of thief
Everyone around me just smiled in disbelief
My head’s shrinking down, my hat’s slipping over my ears
Someone get me out of here, I want to go home
Someone get me out of here, oh, oh, oh…

Once you’re gone, there ain’t but one way getting back
Losing hope, try to beat that act
Well I’m not always sure where I’ve been
Why do I keep trying to get back there again
I can’t help but think that some things are just too dear
Someone get me out of here ‘cause I want to go home
Someone get me out of here, oh, oh, oh…

Someone got lost out on the highway
They took the wrong turn and drove through the night
Too many voices saying ‘my way’
Not enough attention to the signs

I can hear the tires roll and the engine rumble
It burns a hole through the back of my brain
Hold on to the wheel a little longer
Ride her ‘til she bursts into flames

There she goes the last one out the door
No one heard that sweet sound anymore, oh, oh, oh…
Well I can’t help but think that it was strange
How everyone around me just tried to rearrange
Their hearts and their souls so there minds wouldn’t crumble with fear
Someone get me out of here ‘cause I want to go home
Someone get me out of here, whoa, oh, oh…
Someone get me out of here ‘cause I want to go home, oh, oh, oh…
Track Name: You Can Run
You can walk your country mile
And you can take all of the time that you need
You can feel good for a while
And be your own man ‘til there’s something that you need

I can help you with your strife
And I can help you get things off of the ground
But just remember it’s your life
And just remember what goes ‘round can come ‘round

chorus-
You can run but you cannot hide
From all the loneliness you’ve left behind
You can run but you cannot hide
All it takes is one good look inside

Well I’ve been listening to you talk
Different voices speaking different tongues
And I’ve been watching how you walk
Different steps around the ones that you love

chorus-

So I’m staring at my yard
Going on about what’s done that’s been done
It doesn’t have to be so hard
It shouldn’t have to make me want to run

chorus-
chorus-
Track Name: Our Dreams Back Then
Riding through the night, driving through the towns where we were born
Kingdom and country, following that wild golden shore
Proud and tall, walking with our backs against the wind
I got lost my friend, I was thinking 'bout our dreams back then

Out there on the range our hearts played against all the strings
We might have gone too far but that really shouldn't hurt us in the end
Summer of summers and love of loves again
Don’t mind me, I’m just talking 'bout our dreams back then

Chorus:

No more losing, no more looking back again
No more need for control, boys
It all will work out in the end
I will follow through the valley for I am following the wind
Those were the days, boys
I'm just talking 'bout our dreams back then

I'll give you my promise, I'll give you my word
A badge of honor and a friendship earned
Understanding, a family where dreams are learned
I got lost again, I was thinking 'bout our dreams back then

Chorus

Down every broken highway, following every broken dream
Where every broken promise is lying on a pile for you to see
I will always love you, make no mistake about that, friend
I just get a little woozy remembering our dreams back then

Chorus
Track Name: Sick & Tired
I’m getting so sick and tired
I’m thinking I’m gonna put some miles
Between the sun and moon and this world for a while
I’m getting so sick and tired

I wonder what story’s going ‘round
I wonder what trouble’s going down
And if it gets bad enough we’ll get out of town
I wonder what story’s going ‘round

I’m so sick and tired of people wasting my time
And all of that dreaming that was left in my mind
All of the sad little faces and all of the dark little places
I’m getting so sick and tired

Look at that baggage by my side
I was taking it all along for the ride
But somewhere along the way I left it behind
Look at that baggage by my side

I’m getting so sick and tired
I’m thinking I’m gonna put some miles
Between the sun and moon and this world for a while
I’m getting so sick and tired

I’m so sick and tired of people wasting my time
And all of that dreaming that was left in my mind
All of the sad little faces and all of the dark little places
I’m getting so sick and tired
I’m getting so sick and tired
I’m getting so sick and tired
Track Name: Gone Are Those Days
Drifting and dreaming and traveling that road
There is no tomorrow nor memory of home
Taking the chances, fearless and free
Gone are those days I used to see

I had a lover by Westminster way
She had other lovers but still wanted me
I had no other and she had to be free
Gone are those days we used to be

We got lost in the desert and stranded up high
Gone are those days we used to ride

Now I try to keep balance and walk that fine line
Between tomorrow and what I left behind
I’m not always happy with where I’m at
Gone are those days, I’m getting used to that
Gone are those days, I’m getting used to that
Gone are those days
Track Name: The Mighty Pine River
I can remember the mighty Pine River
Rollin’ and tumblin’, roarin’ on down
Now it flows on in my distant memory
Far from this place where I’m dreaming right now

Many have tried to cross the Pine River
Some are content to sit by its side
Me, I’m just trying to get where I’m going
Though I’m not sure if I’ll ever arrive

And the snow it will fall and the spring it will come
The summer will bake then the leaves come undone
And then they all flow on down through the pine river valley
The mighty pine river and everyone

Far and away from the Pine River Valley
Something unspoken wakes me at night
It draws me back to the banks of the river
Holds me and tells me it’ll all be alright

but as I awake my world seems in tatters
Reaching for something I held in my mind
If not for you well then none of this matters
And the mighty Pine River still rolls on in time

I can remember the mighty Pine River
Rollin’ and tumblin’ with all of its might
It’s rolling along in my distant memory
Far from the place where I’m dreaming tonight
Track Name: It's All Good
It’s all good, you and me
Like it should always be
You get me high when I come in low
It’s all good and you should know

It’s a long trail home when I’m missing you
When I’m all washed out and ain’t getting through
But you’re right there where you said you’d be
It’s all good, you and me

Yeah, it’s all good, no matter what they say
Cause they don’t care about today
They only see what they want to see
It’s all good, you and me

Times get tough and people change
What they call love fades away
But you can’t share what you don’t have
But it’s all good, it ain’t bad

Now I can stand all by myself
And I don’t need nobody’s help
But I can stumble and i can fall
When I don’t have no hope at all

It’s all good, up until the end
And when I see your face again
Take my hand and we’ll break on through
It’s all good, me and you
Yeah, it’s all good, me and you
Track Name: As Far As I Can See
i climb up on the mountain and look out at the sea
and see the wake of my own fears trailing after me
i stretch my eyes out to the very last point i can see
if i could take a step beyond i’d surely be set free

but freedom is within
that’s where it begins
it goes out to the horizon and further then again

when i reach beyond that point i realize i am lost
uncharted territory
black ocean never crossed
i hold on to things around me when the waves begin to toss
but sometimes when i reach for them the tether has been lost

my fears come from within
that’s where they begin
like waves out on the ocean they come rolling back again

but over them i’ll fix my gaze
below i know they’ll keep
and i’ll always know that i can sail as far as i can see
a steady wind in my sails
a strong vessel under me
a wider frame expands towards those points ahead of me

my dreams come from within
that’s where they begin
they go out to the horizon and further then again