new traces of the old road
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James Lee Stanley
CD Rack

All Wood And Stones II
Find out more about:
All Wood And Stones II
(2013)


Backstage At The Resurrection
Find out more about:
Backstage At The Resurrection
(2011)


All Wood And Doors
Find out more about:
All Wood And Doors
(2011)


Live In Tehachapi, Volume II
Live In Tehachapi - VolumeII
(2009)

Live In Tehachapi - VolumeI
Live In Tehachapi - VolumeI
(2009)

new traces of the old road
Find out more about:
new traces of the old road (2008)


The Eternal Contradiction
Find out more about:
The Eternal Contradiction (2007)


Live / Backstage @ The Coffee Gallery
Live/Backstage @
The Coffee Gallery
(2006)

All Wood and Stones
Find out more about:
All Wood and Stones (2004)


A Beachwood Christmas
Find out more about:
A Beachwood Christmas (2003)


Once Again
Once Again (2001)

two man band two
two man band two (2000)

Freelance Human Being
Freelance Human Being (1998)

Domino Harvest
Domino Harvest (1997)

tWo mAn banD
tWo mAn banD (1995)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1995)

The Envoy
The Envoy (1993)

Ripe four Distraction
Ripe four Distraction (1990)

Simpatico
Simpatico (1988)

LIVE at McCabes
LIVE at McCabes (1986)

Racing The Moon
Racing The Moon (1984)

Eclipse
Eclipse (1982)

Midnight Radio
Midnight Radio (1980)

Three's the Charm
Three's the Charm (1974)

James Lee Stanley, Too
James Lee Stanley, Too (1973)

James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley (1973)

  new traces of the old road
 
new traces of the old road CD cover
Playlist:
last day of summer | just like thom thumb's blues | one heart falling | you go your way, I'll go mine | stolen season | harris creek shuffle | long way from home | stop this rain | too many people |
just let it go | anywhere love goes

Click on the titles above to see the lyrics and hear a song clip.

New Traces of the Old Road is a different recording than I have done for a number of reasons. One, outside of two drum loops, I played and sang every note on it. That wasn't my intention at the outset, but I wanted to sketch the arrangements out just to get an idea of where they were going.

I recorded all the primary guitar and vocals first and then listened to them, in an attempt to serve the song and the recording. I then hired a wonderful bass player who came in and played on several of the tunes, but because of time constraints (and the fact that I didn't write out exactly what I played on the guitar / bass string wise), he sort of stepped on a few of my favorite turn arounds and guitar licks. If he had had enough time and me enough money, he could have eventually nailed even the most subtle of my choices, but that is never the case is it?

After he left, I went to fix these parts myself and discovered that I liked what I was playing better, as it totally acknowledged what I was doing on the guitar, and that was the beginning of me playing everything.

It's not something that I want to do from now on, but I did thoroughly enjoy it.

The second reason that this recording is different is that I recorded it in 2001 and released it in 2002 in time for a tour. But I always felt rushed and let some things slide that upon further reflection I wanted to fix.

So I decided that when I ran out of my second pressing, I would fix the few things that bothered me and then re release it. But once you open that pandora's box, it's hard to stop.

The only thing that I had intended to do was to re sequence the CD, as I felt that the second song should have been the first song and vice versa. Once that was done, I felt that the CD simply unfolded in a more logical fashion. It's development was almost a libretto. But then I felt that the bass on the new first song, should really be an acoustic bass and not an electric bass with a pick. I changed that and that opened the entire CD up to revision.

I ended up re recording parts of eight of the songs, redoing vocals, guitar parts, percussion, and even adding some music that wasn't there before to the beginning of the last song.

Then I had to remix eight of the eleven songs; after which I had to remaster the entire album. I know that I didn't have to do this. The CD was well received and reviewed and continued to sell, but I just couldn't let it go until I had it where I wanted it.

And I could still work on it some more, but enough is enough. I'm recording a new CD right now and then another All Wood and... project. So here it is, New Traces of the Old Road:


The Songs:

 

LAST DAY OF SUMMER - Written in the days following 9/11, it is dedicated to September the 10th. We were a different kind of people than who we became on September 11th, and I wanted to commemorate this change. I tried to use the most mundane images I could to convey the simplicity and trust that was lost on that day, which was the last day of innocence for our generation. When I was growing up, killing unarmed, innocent people when they weren't looking was called cowardice. This song is for all the victims -- those gone and those who still remain.

last day of summer  
Last day of summer,
Like a ship sails away
And to listen to the wind, you'd think
Summer'd never come again
Last day of summer, sails away

Last day of summer,
Golden skies streaked with gray
Every other leaf is gone
Just this one last leaf is hanging on
Last leaf of summer blows away

The sun is safe on the horizon
The sun is safe on the horizon

Last day of summer
Now it's late afternoon
Daily news there at my feet
Blowing careless down September street
Then the long shadows stealing
The last day of summer
Gone to soon, gone too soon

The sun is safe on the horizon
So far away
The sun is safe on the horizon
So far away...

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Just Like Thom Thumb's Blues is one of the two songs I sang at Bobfest at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles a couple of years ago. My old friend, Paul Zollo, invited me to perform and while I do mostly my own songs, or songs of my friends, I had never learned a song that people already knew. Consequently, I was daunted and went into the studio every day to practice. I ended up falling in love not only with this song all over again, but also with what I do as an artist. Thank you, Paulo, this album is a consequence of your invitation.

just like thom thumb's blues  
When you're lost in the rain in Juarez, it's Easter time too
When gravity fails you and negativity won't see you thru
Don't you put on any airs when you're down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They've got some hungry women there and they'll really make a mess out of you

You see Saint Annie, please tell her, "thanks a lot"
I cannot move and my fingers they are all in a knot
And I don't have the strength left to get up and take another shot
And my best friend the doctor won't even tell me what it is I've got

Sweet Melinda, the peasants call her the goddess of gloom
She speaks good English and she invites you up into her room
And you're so kind and careful, not to go to her too soon,
Cause she'll take your voice and leave you howling at the moon

Up on the Hollywood hills, it's fortune or fame
You can choose one or the other, tho neither of them are to be what they claim
And if you're looking to get silly, you better go back to from where you came
Because the cops don't need you and man, They expect the same

All the authorities stand around and boast
How they blackmailed the sergeant of arms into leaving his post
And picking up angel who just arrived here from the coast
Who looked so kind at first, but left looking just like a ghost

I started out on burgundy, but soon hit the harder stuff
Everybody said, "we'll stand beside you, man, when the game gets rough"
But the joke was on me, there was nobody even there to bluff
I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough

Words and Music by:
Words and music by Bob Dylan, SESAC
Used by permission

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One Heart Falling ricocheted off of the old zen koan, what is the sound of one hand clapping? I spun this song, just my own little koan, while rolling along the roads of a more innocent America, on a long driving tour. The road becomes hypnotic and the signs begin to form themselves into songs...

one heart falling  
Rolling over old Kentucky blue grass
E Town is just a memory
Louisville, it looms on the horizon
But today's about as far as I can see
And it makes you wonder
Is that thunder you hear
Or just the sound of one heart falling
Like a diamond cracks the sky and disappears

Got a letter in my pocket I'll be sending
Just as soon as I believe the words I wrote
Seems that nothing's ever really what it ought to be
Just living day by day by day by day by rote
And it makes you wonder
Is that thunder you hear
Or just the sound of one heart falling
Like a diamond cracks the sky and disappears

I cannot push this old rig too much farther
Black ice and mountains lie ahead
Sirens and red lights flash behind me
Life's the line of least resistance someone said
The line of least resistance someone said
And it makes you wonder
Is that thunder you hear
Or just the sound of one heart falling
Like a diamond cracks the sky and disappears

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Most Likely You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine is another of my favorite songs by Dylan and one I forgot about til I started to sing it for the Bobfest. I hope that Dylan, in his supreme indifference, will forgive the enormous liberties I took with this song.

most likely you go your way, I'll go mine  
You say you love me and you're thinking of me
But you know you could be wrong
You say you told me that you want to hold me
But you know you're not that strong
I can't do what I did before
I just can't beg you anymore
I'm gonna let you pass,
And I'll go last
And time will tell who just fell and who's been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine

Say you disturb me and you don't deserve me
But you know sometimes you lie
You say you're shaking and you're always aching
And you know how hard you try
Sometimes it gets too hard to care
It can't be this way everywhere
I'm gonna let you pass
And I'll go last
And time will tell who just fell and who's been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine

Well the judge, he holds a grudge, he's gonna call on you
He's badly built, he walks on stilts, watch out he don't fall on you
You say you're sorry for telling stories
You know I believe are true
You say you've got some other kind of lover
And yes, I believe you do
You say my kisses are not like his
But this time, I'm not gonna tell you why that is
I'm gonna let you pass
And I'll go last
And time will tell who just fell and who's been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine

Words and Music by:
Words and music by Bob Dylan, SESAC
Used by permission

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Stolen Season was inspired by the consequences of life's rich pageant and something that evidently everyone experiences at least once if their lives... if they're lucky. I was sitting on the balcony of a hotel on the Sea of Cortez when this floated out of the ether and out of my guitar. From the heart, this is one of my favorite songs to sing.

stolen season  
...and in our stolen season, your feet won't touch the ground
It's a ferris wheel that's spinning hearts and minds around
And the height will make you dizzy and take your breath away
In our secret stolen season there is just today

But when you're lost in loving time will not stand still
Each hour seems a second, each shadow touch a thrill
And each kiss will leave us helpless as our two hearts beat as one
In our secret stolen season in the shadows of the shadows of the sun

And in our stolen season, our world within a world
It's a simple act of love between a boy and girl
No yesterday's can find us and tomorrow's don't exist
In our secret stolen season in the place between what is and "might have been"

But all too soon, it's over and the world spins back in place
From our secret stolen season, from our state of grace

And into every day and night, some magic weaves it's spell
It's a secret stolen season and we cannot tell
If there's a way of knowing what is lost and what is gained
In our secret stolen season where our hearts remain...

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Harris Creek Shuffle is just something that came to me while I was warming up before a show I did for Kelly Murphy at her Harris Creek Acoustic Concert Series in Virginia. I always play for an hour or two before I go on, to get me to that musical place. This instrumental just showed up at Kelly's while I was playing. Thanks Kelly.

harris creek shuffle  

Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Long Way From Home is a song that showed up as I was reminiscing about old friendships, trust, betrayal and disappointment. It's a song to my early years in Los Angeles and the gang up on Woodrow Wilson: Bonnie, Scott, Vince, Laurie and Danny, Timothy and Jean, but mostly for Danny. I recorded a very up tempo version of this song on the duet CD Two Man Band Two, that I did with the wonderful Michael Smith of Chicago, but this is the original way the song was formed.

long way from home  
I remember when I met you, how you stood so straight and tall
And you told us all that matters is the truth inside us all
And the songs you sang were lessons and we learned the words by heart
How we longed for your approval, now we're all so far apart
We're a long way from home, a long way from home,
But you're a long, long, long way from home

I remember Sunday dinner, passing 'round your old guitar
We were singing for the good times, like we sang in all those bars
And you're one time soul provider, she was as proud as she could be
As she watched us raise our voice in song, we were all one family
We're a long way from home, a long way from home,
But you're a long, long, long way from home

Then I went the distance for you, while you turned without a thought
And declared I knew the danger in the land where souls are bought
And a friendship fell between the cracks of lightning in the sky
And your angel simply spread her wings, she disappeared with no goodbyes

Life is such a tender journey and it always ends too soon
If we just lived up to what we sang in these sad and hopeful tunes
But we lose our path along the way, we hurt those we love best
Just to keep our pride and passion, must we disregard the rest
We're a long way from home, a long way from home,
But you're a long, long, long way from home

In the east they fix the problem, in the west we fix the blame

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Stop This Rain came about because of a tough time that my wife, Eveline, was having. All things seemed equally dark for her and she could see nothing positive on the horizon. Being the eternal optimist, I couldn't even conceive of such a view, so I tried to put myself in her shoes... it was a tight fit, darlin', but worth it.

stop this rain  
Reading the news, none of it good
My friends all say "cheer up" if only I could
Everybody's got troubles, I shouldn't complain
But it seems, nothing's going to ever stop this rain

I'm watching more tv, all of it bad
What passes for laughs just makes me sad
Maybe I think too much, I should refrain
But it seems nothing's going to ever stop this rain

Nothing's going to ever stop this rain
Nothing's going to ever be the same
Nothing's going to ever stop this rain
Nothing's going to every be the same

Should I go one more round, in spite of it all
Or throw in the towel, and just take the fall
It's a bad situation and I cannot remain
Where nothing's going to ever stop this rain.

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Too Many People came to me as I was sitting in the interminable jam on the New Jersey Turnpike before the Holland Tunnel, waiting to get into New York City. Got so frustrated, I just gave up and went to Nyack instead. Lovely town. Most of the song showed up as I was driving down the main drag towards the Hudson River. Cynical, but what a fun song to sing.

too many people  
So your heart is half empty and your glass is half full
Guess it's time that we had another round
It's not voodoo economics, it's supply and demand
It's the law of the jungle come to town
And there's too many people at the party
Too many fingers in the pie

Take your turn in the barrel, everyone plays the fool
In this age where they numbers sanctify
It's what sells that is holy, banker priests multiply
And a hungry congregation can't deny
That there's too many people at the party
Too many fingers in the pie

They tell you, "roll with the punches, take it as it comes..."

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Just Let It Go was written for my friend, Derek, truly a friend when I needed one. He was struggling with the changes that too often come to the heart; and the acrimony that sometimes shows up in those dark emotional times. I started out with a little optimistic rhythm and just two chords and then got carried away with overdubbing. I was using Fleetwood Mac as my road map here, and I really love this song, this track and this mix. It just feels great to me. And it further helped me thru some rough times as well. Hope it does so for you.

just let it go  
Just let it go, pick up the pieces and move on
Just let it go, what's done is done, what's gone is gone
Just let it go, what good can come from keeping score
Just let it go, cause getting even, costs you more

I know there're times when you must make a stand
You're whole life defined by the moment at hand
But it's not time now...

Just let it go, you'll find it's easier than it seems
Just let it go, don't make it mean more than it means
Just let it go, then you can get on with your life
Just let it go, revenge can cut you like a knife

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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Anywhere Love Goes was originally recorded for my Midnight Radio album that came out in 1980. It was a piano song and I had never played around with it on the guitar, but this version is my favorite now. And it's a fitting end to the journey that this recording has taken. Here I am, back on the road, following my heart and wishing you the same, plus in the end, it was really time to reintroduce my signature optimism.

anywhere love goes  
Another night flight, another midnight cruise
One more heavenly glimpse of the stars, an offer that you can't refuse
I see the city lights below me, inviting me to land
I see the darkness in the distance and I think I understand
Anywhere that love goes, I will go along

Another night flight, another midnight cruise
Even when you know where you'll end up, you want to think it's you who'll choose
Up there's a wishing star above you, somewhere in the air
You never know til you take the fall and it could leave you anywhere...
Anywhere that love goes, anywhere that love goes
Anywhere that love goes, in my heart I know...

Words and Music by:
James Lee Stanley
James Lee Stanley Music, BMI 2008

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