Awakeness

by Herb & Hanson

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about

Herb & Hanson's third studio effort incorporates a new feel for the duo, adding a number of musicians to their solid core of two acoustic instruments. Showing off their strong development in song writing and arrangement, Awakeness is sure to please americana and roots fans as well as fans of a larger sound.

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released February 15, 2011

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Herb & Hanson Virginia

American roots duo Herb and Hanson features two songwriters expressing themselves with little more than a guitar, a mandolin and their respective voices. Incorporating the sounds of America's oldest influences of blues, folk and rag, into their songwriting, this prodigious pair seeks to relay these traditions in a contemporary way for their audience to ruminate. ... more

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Track Name: Final Letter
To my dear Savannah these words I now write. As the sun quickly falls. Turns twilight to night. You know why I write this final letter to you. And I know I’m a coward for what I’m about to do. Well I thought I could fight it and drive it away. I thought I was stronger, but now I must pay.
When you asked me last month I said I’d be fine. Accidents happen, just not all the time. I said I’d keep driving from here to the Grande. I said I’d keep dealing with my losing hand. But all that I see are the whites of his eyes. And all that I hear is the silence as he slowly dies.
And what scares me the most is you seem to hurt more. Cause I’m close to breaking. Closer than before. You’ve always been stronger. You proved that last year. But this time is different and that’s what brings the fear. How long must I ride on this haunted course. How long will it be ‘til it gets even worse.
So I sit at this table the moon as my light. I fought through this battle and raised a good fight. But the action I’ve witnessed, this thing I have seen, has ruled my awakeness and conquered my dreams. And it hits me and burns me and shows on my face. Seems I’ve got no choice but escape from this place.
So I reach for this barrel and the trigger below. I love you my darling. My god save my soul.
Track Name: Front Door Blues
I work all day and I work all night
I don’t see her ‘til past midnight
I work all day and I work all night for my baby
If I don’t spend time with her, she’s gonna walk out that door
She’s gonna leave me
I buy her flowers and I buy her things
The only thing she wants is a diamond ring
I buy flowers and I buy things for my baby
If I don’t show her no commitment she’s gonna walk out that door
She’s gonna leave me
I give her a lot but she still asks for more
Keeps on pointing at that goddamn front door
I give her a lot but she still asks for more from her baby
I tell her I’m sick of this and I don’t give a damn
She’s gonna leave me
Track Name: Stag's Tale
Story’s been told a hundred times or more about that fateful night down in old St’ Lou. Full moon arising on the flowing Mississip, and they’re just drinking hard drink ‘til their tongues begin to slip. Drinkin’ led to talkin’. Talkin’ led to fightin’. Fightin’ led to shootin’. There’s my friend lyin’ dead on the floor.
Well judge, my name at birth was Lee Sheldon. I’ve had many more since then. I’m Stag to those working for the city. In the bars at night I’m Stagger Lee. They say I got no heart. Say I got no soul. Say I’m prone to shootin’. He’s a bad man. Best call him Stagger Lee.
I remember that night oh so clearly. Playin’ cards down on Joyce and Main. Billy started dealing slight of hand. Had no one but himself to blame. He won too many hands. He cheated the wrong man. Tried to help him all I can. But a shot rang out. And then came the deadly flame.
What followed next was mass confusion. Screamin’ and shoutin’ was at hand. Crowd gathered around Billy’s lifeless body. They’re all pointing their fingers to a different man. Blood pourin’ on the floor. Cops streamin’ through the door. Tryin’ hard to find the score. Lookin’ straight at me. Sayin’, “Come here Stagger Lee.”
Oh the cops didn’t ask me no questions. Put my hands in steel and led me away. Tried my best to plead my case. They didn’t give a damn about what I had to say. They told me what I did. I orphaned both his kids. And then my gun I hid. “You’ll hang for this cruel Stagger Lee.”
Then the jury came back from talking. Sittin’ all high and mighty in that little booth. As soon as they said that he was guilty Stag bolted up and shouted out the truth, “Damn right I shot him dead. Shouldn’t have said what he said. I’d do it all again. ‘Cause I’m a bad man. Best call me Stagger Lee!”
Track Name: Liane
She smiles but I know she ain’t happy
She does it for free
God bless her heart for always blessing me
She does things for others that do her no good
If I could do something, lord, I only would
She smiles but she doesn’t wear makeup
Her face is still fair
She does wear a necklace and bows in her hair
And ‘though she may hug me and laugh at my shoes
I know she ain’t happy, lord, she’s got the blues
She seen every seasonal sunrise
And flown every wind
She let’s nothing out and keeps everything in
And ‘though she may tell me that she’s satisfied
I know she ain’t happy, lord, she’s just too nice
She sits and she always stays with me
Says nothing at all
She closes her eyes and the tears start to fall
I’d ask her “what’s wrong?” but I know she ain’t there
So I just embrace her and whisper “I’m here”
Track Name: Brooklyn Girl
You ever been to that place down town with the lantern o’er the door?
It’s got a Brooklyn girl working there. She’ll have you crawling back for more.
Well she says she’s a Christian but she’s sinning every day.
You gotta practice what you preach. It makes a difference. Or so they say.
Patty come to save me with a smile draped on her face.
I say, “Sorry I gotta go now. Feeling a little too outta place.”
So we head down to that barroom and start drinking up that wine.
My girl is dancing on the tables. She’s feeling mighty fine.
But the keep calls the policeman. And he says he’ll be right down.
So we got ten drinks to go and we started out of town.
That’s where we met a traveling salesman trading whiskey for a smile.
And we saw a smiling traveler. He’d been drinking for a while.
And we saw a man on one knee getting ready for the fall.
He thinks he can change things. Make them better for us all.
Then we tried to hitch a ride back to the place from where we’d come.
A car came in from the west. Riding right next to the sun.
The man told us how it was and we all jumped inside.
He took us straight to the jailhouse. We didn’t thank him for the ride.
Track Name: Po' Painter
The paint’s still wet
And my momma’s pretty cheeks are too
I bring her in close
And ask her why she’s feelin’ blue
She says, “I think I lost our daughter
Probably left her at the zoo”
I said, “I didn’t know we had one”
She says, “Now you do”
I’ve been up and down town
Lookin’ for a picture frame
With my baby in tow
Wearin’ a downright heavy look of shame
I said, “What’d I do now?”
As I look for someone else to blame
She says, “You know what you’ve done
I am only here to complain”
I’m a-bangin’ that wall
Lookin’ for a stud to nail on
Them silicon-bandits
Are lookin’ for a jack to wail on
Captain Arab
He’s a-lookin’ to sail on
And that girl next door
Tells me that I can’t stay long
Track Name: Why Am I Lonesome?
Why am I lonesome on my own-some after being deceived by your words of our “true love”?
Well, then why did you leave me for another lover with a plan preconceived by your faith in your fate and your heart?
Can we still end up as friends in the blink of an eye when you meant to compromise truth by spinning your lies ‘bout who loved you, knowing that I do?
Who am I too chastise another’s opinion when in this position and all I hear are your cries ‘bout how you still love me yet still need to leave me?
How are you so surprised ‘bout how I can’t deny we’re apart?
Will I be able to be stable without you by my side?
Can’t you see?
Clearly I loved you dearly.
Lord knows I tried to rise up above for the sake of our love when it was you who had lied.
Will I do better without you as a fetter chained to my heart that died on the banks of the river, through the mud that delivered this song I just sighed?
Don’t you dare speak to me ‘bout “fresh starts”.
Track Name: October
Written by: Ralph Heymsfeld

Hey now it’s a brand new day I think it might’ve snowed a bit last night
But the morning sun’s gonna melt the snow away for one more day
Summers birds have taken flight, Autumns stars are crisp and bright
Soon the northern lights are gonna shine on me

Here in the mountains winter never seems to far away
It reminds me of all I’ve tried to know
Even while the flowers bloom I feel a chill run through
And I begin to see there’s nothing you can hold for long
Here in the mountains a quiet breeze just takes my breath away
And it reminds me of all thats come before
Play the tune a thousand times, echoes ringing in my mind and
Every time I turn it’s a brand new song

Let’s go now, don’t be slow, you know I got a lot to do today
I’ve got to get some wood in the nights are getting cold
Rhythm makes the time go as I watch this pile grow
I see the sun is riding low across the western sky
Hey now, well can’t you see just what your love has done for me
I think it’s gonna hold the snow away for one more day
Then we’ll build a fire bright, one that gets us through the night
We’ll draw the curtains tight until the morning comes
Track Name: Desperate Young Fool
They’d like to think they know you more than I do
but the parts they know about you, they’re so small
The pieces that are known to me, the ones that you have shown to me,
they’ve slipped into a mem’ry I can’t recall
Walkin’ past the boys that always stumble
You’re the prettiest damn girl in any given room
When you speak to me I tend to mumble
something about being alone with you

‘Cause I think I am a desperate young fool
I might be a desperate young fool in love
And if my love was desperately cruel
could you love a desperate young fool in love?

They somehow let their jealousy corrupt and so convincingly
persuade you that they’re meant to be with you
You just laugh or you cry while you stare right into their eyes
and never tell them what they’ve said just isn’t true
We said, “goodbye” after sunday breakfast
You were going down to Austin to start school
Monday, I was driving down to Texas
wondering what I was gonna say to you
I’m on the verge of a shiver
I don’t wanna be her “something new”
With all of the love that I could give her
I wanna be something tried and true
But if I am a desperate young fool
I would be a desperate young fool in love
And if my love was desperately cruel
could you love a desperate young fool in love?
Track Name: Don't Tell Her You Love Her
You could be looking right at her
You could be feeling these things
Like, how you’d pursue her
and make her a queen to your king
But she just looks at her liquor
as he lifts up her chin
So don’t tell her you love her
It just complicates things
She could be looking right at you
when others don’t care
‘Though you sing your song truly
you’re singing it to the air
She might hear a word that you’re saying
She might love how you sing
But, when he asks if they’re staying
it kinda complicates things

So don’t tell her you love her
No, don’t tell her that it stings
when she’s out with another
on them nights when you sing

It’s when you’re hot ‘neath them stage lights
and she’s out in the cold dark
It’s when it all just seems so right
Let the music start!
You could be singing your heart out
She may love how you sing
But, don’t tell her you love her
It just complicates things
Track Name: There I Go
Weeping willows hanging down the road to my home. Listen to the birdsong aloud. Pick up my old guitar and I sit down all alone. Pretty soon there gathers quite a crowd. They sit and listen while I play. I could pick the strings all day. Playing ‘til the sun is headin’ down.
And if I die by the morning, please tell my love goodbye. If I die by the morning, please tell her not to cry. Gazing at the sunshine. Pulling on the moonshine. Never thought I’d have such a ride. There I go.
Go back to my home and I bring everyone along. Drinking strong drink just for fun. Someone calls out a tune. It’s one of my favorite songs. I say I’ll pick it when I’m done. Got thoughts of troubling things. So I grab my rusty strings. And all those thoughts, they’re long gone.
Night comes to a close. I say my goodbyes. Until the next time my friends. Mixed with their happiness, I can hear the sighs. How could this night ever end? I somehow find my bed. And I rest my weary head. Gazing in my loves gray-blue eyes.
Track Name: Sweet On You
I’m sweet on you, girl
Sweet on you
Baby, are you sweet on me?
I don’t need to milk
Just some sugar, momma
Honey, you’re my cup of tea
I’m sweet on you, girl
Sweet on you
Baby, are you sweet on me?
I weigh 2 tons
Because of sticky buns
Baby, you’re my cavity
Give me that jelly-roll in the morning
That pun’kin pie at night
Did you ask me if I’d like a slice of cake?
Oh! I just might.
Track Name: Warm Woman
When the winter comes and makes the days shorter
And the nights grow so dark and long
Wrap your arms ‘round the girl who would love you
Hold her good and strong
When the heat of the summer starts to leave you
And the chill sets in after the fall
You will start to remember
Why you love at all
Gimme that warm woman
And I’ll give you a satisfied man
Gimme that warm woman
Who would take me by the hand
Humble love may leave you flattered
But no compliment did I bestow
The leaves on the streets they walk like footsteps
And I’m waiting for the snow
Frost is coming on again
Grab the flowers and bring ‘em in
Take that blanket from the floor
Dim the lights, close the door
Come and sit a little bit closer now
Let the song show you how
Come and love me a little more
My broken, idle heart has left me thinkin’
“When in my life did love dismiss?”
She leaned and whispered, “Love’s an action”
Then came in for a kiss