Mystic Rhythm Fingers

by Drew James

Released 2010
Road Tested Tunes
Released 2010
Road Tested Tunes
The most often requested previously unrecorded "Road Tested" tunes. These 12 songs were recorded so as to capture their live sound. The sparse and subtle instrument accompaniments will draw you back to listen again and again.
  • 03:55 Lyrics
    Powerful Sunshine

    Powerful Sunshine

    Drew James © 2007

     

    It’s

    Time to go

    I can smell the tar on the road

    From my head

    To my shoes

    I can tell there’s no time to lose

     

    Looking out over the golden hills

    Driving with the cool west wind

    Once we reach our destination

    Gonna start all over again

     

    Cause I live for these days

    Drenched in your powerful sunshine

    Hot on the chase

    Of whatever lies in front of our headlights

    Life is on the run

    When the two of us are out there on Highway One

     

    Musical Bridge

     

     

    Bid

    Your farewells

    We’re on the way to someplace else

    Where we’ll land

    I don’t know

    The travel guide’s a rolling stone

     

    (Chorus)

     

    (Prechorus)

     

    Musical Bridge

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Musical outro

     

  • 03:07 Lyrics
    Better Off Than Before

    Better Off Than Before

    Drew James© 2008

     

    She liked to be the girl everybody adored

    He’d just as soon be left alone and completely ignored

    But she turned out to be the one he tried for

    He turned out to be the one she cried for

    It seems that love was just blame in its earliest stage

    Now he seeks out the crowded places

    While she’s drawn to the quiet places

    And they both claim they’re better off than before

     

    She tried to play hard to get when he asked her her name

    He didn’t know she was only playing a game

    He started to leave with his head hung down low

    She reached out and grabbed him by his elbow

    A story they would tell to their friends again and again

    While she would tell it romantic and glowing

    He would joke I should have kept on going

    And that’s what he did when it finally came to an end

     

    She took a job at the mall when her tears were all dry

    He happened to shop there one day and he was totally surprised

    They traded those years of sweet romance

    For, between them, one awkward glance

    He looked for the candle in her eye but there was no flame

    As he turned around to go

    He waited for that gentle touch on his elbow

    But this time she just let go on his way

     

    Now they both claim they’re better off than before

  • 05:02 Lyrics
    Carried Away

    Carried Away

    Drew James © 2008

     

    I read all your intentions oh so wrong

    I’ll try to be more careful from now on

    I never thought the urge could get this strong

    But it’s been so long

    It’s been so long

     

    My hopes clung from a tall daredevil height

    Awaiting the chance to take to flight

    I waited ‘til the moment seemed just right

    I wished I may

    I wished I might

     

    I was carried away

    Like a bird from the seashore

    Like a child on the dance floor

    I was carried away, carried away

    Carried away, carried away

     

    We looked out on a sky of midnight blue

    Awaiting the yellow harvest moon

    I breathed in the scent of your perfume

    So close to you

    My fever grew

     

    I was carried away

    Like a bird from the seashore

    Like a child on the dance floor

    I was carried away, carried away

    Carried away, carried away

     

    I was carried away

    I was carried away

     

  • 04:22 Lyrics
    Childhood Christmas

    A Childhood Christmas

    Drew James © 2008

     

    My only church is the universe

    That blows my sweet time away

    Where an ancient bearded man with a sickle and an hourglass

    Pays me a visit each day

     

    He spoke only once that I remember

    It came as a total surprise

    He tapped me twice on the shoulder

    And said, ”Brother, can you spare the time?”

     

    Open the curtains, stoke up the fire

    Look out on the chapel dark sea

    Wipe the grins from your mud covered rain boots

    As the moon conjures up tonight’s dreams

     

    Brush away the cobwebs, turn up the lamp

    Splash gaslight into the trees

    And I’ll paint you a picture of a childhood Christmas

    I can make it any color you please

     

    The silent stars in the heavens

    Prepare them selves to be gazed

    While the ocean writes a song inside of a seashell

    A steam organ waltz gently plays

     

    The evening becomes sentimental

    When the whales start telling their tales

    The town crier’s tears fall around me

    Filling 22 buckets and pails

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Love sends out its invitations

    They must be opened behind closed doors

    Dressed in the language of hope and creation

    They always leave you wanting for more

     

    The dream wheel spins for good fortune

    Where the carnival kewpie doll smiles

    Skeptics and hopers both become gamblers

    Glassy eyed, nervous and wild

     

    (Chorus X2)

  • 06:12 Lyrics
    Nothing Personal

    Nothing Personal

    Drew James © 2004

     

    I sat down beside her at Rancho Rob’s café

    The stools were close together, yet she seemed so far away

    I ordered some coffee and she said I’ll take more

    Then she looked in my direction as the waitress stood and poured

    So I asked her, ”Have you been in here before?”

     

    Then she said, “It’s nothing personal my friend,

    But my last romance just came to bitter end

    And I just can’t go through that all again

    Until my heart’s had time to mend

    It’s nothing personal my friend”

     

    I said, “I am sorry, I was trying to break the ice”

    Then she broke into a smile and said, “That’s OK you seem nice”

     

    Then we spent the evening talking and she said, “Please walk me home.”

    When we got to her apartment she said, “Don’t leave me alone.”

    Then she closed her eyes and kissed me soft and slow

    Then whispered these words soft and low

     

    She said, “It’s nothing personal my friend,

    But my last romance came to such a bitter end

    That I want you to stay here if you can

    And help my heart to mend

    It’s nothing personal my friend”

     

    Each day with her was better than the day before

    She opened up a world to me that I had not explored

    Then one day, as I knocked upon her door

    I noticed a note laying on the floor

     

    And it said, “It’s nothing personal my friend,

    But my last romance just called me up again

    Now I’ve left to be there next to him

    I hope you understand

    It’s nothing personal my friend”

     

    Months had passed when I went back to Rancho Rob’s Café

    And there she was sitting in exactly the same place

    She noticed me the moment that I walked in the door

    Then she walked across the room and said, “I have missed you so.”

    But before she could say one word more

     

    I said, “It’s nothing personal my friend,

    But our last romance just came to such a bitter end

    That I just can’t go through that all again

    I hope you understand

    It’s nothing personal my friend”

     

    (Repeat First Chorus)

  • 03:47 Lyrics
    Flowers of Chance

    Flowers of Chance

    Drew James © 2008

     

    I’ve been rained out when it didn’t even rain

    I’ve been railroaded without stepping on a train

    I’ve been burned bad where there wasn’t any flames

     

    I’ve been tied down where there wasn’t any rope

    I’ve been cleaned out where there wasn’t any soap

    But I’m still hopeful though I'm running out of hope

     

    I’m taking shelter down an oak shadowed road

    And leave my poisons to dry up in the sun

    Today is the day I will lighten my load

    An empty promise can still weigh a ton

    I wrestled the devil for a flower of chance

    I’m tired of trying to please somebody someplace else

     

    (Musical Interlude)

     

    I’ve been shot down where there wasn’t any guns

    Came in last place before a race was run

    But I’m still singing this song no others have sung

     

    (Chorus)

     

    The flowers of chance are not just black and white

    But every color in between

    I finally found one and I know that it's right

    Cause it matches the color of my dreams

     

    I wrestled the devil for a flower of chance

    One that’s right for me

    Not somebody someplace else

    One that’s right for me

    Not somebody someplace else

  • 04:44 Lyrics
    Just A Little For Love

    Just a Little for Love

    Drew James © 2007

     

    Every dream I dream for you

    And every hope I hold for you

    And every chance that I take

    And every law that I break

    And every wish I wish comes true

     

    It’s all for you, all for you

    All for you, it’s all for you

     

    All the trouble that I bear

    And all the damage I repair

    And all the pain that I face

    All the illusions I chase

    And all the changes I go through

     

    It’s all for you

    All for you

    It’s all for you

    All for you

    And just a little for love

    Just a little for love

     

    Every smile I smile for you

    And every good time I save for you

    And every rose that I smell

    And every joke that I tell

    And every silly thing I do

     

    It’s all for you, all for you, It’s all for you

     

    I want so much for you

    I don’t ask much of you

    And I always try to take your side

    I wonder can you see

    How much you mean to me

    And all the love that's behind my eyes

     

    Is all for you, It’s all for you

    All for you, it’s all for you

    Cause you’re the one I know how to love

    The only one I want to love

     

    It’s all for you, it’s all for you

    All for you, it’s all for you

    All for you, it’s all for you

    And all I want

    Is just a little for love

  • 03:57 Lyrics
    Bad For Business

    Bad for Business

    Drew James © 2006

     

    I grew up a poor boy

    Got a job by the time I was twelve

    Worked in an ice cream shop when I was in my teens

    That was back in the 60’s

    So I grew my hair like the hippies

    Until the boss man pulled me aside and said these words to me

     

    He said it’s bad for business

    And I don't go in for that kind of thing

    Bad for business

    I just want to hear that register ring

    His words made me wonder

    Why the American flag ain’t green

    I guess good for business is just bad for me

     

    When I graduated

    Got a job from nine to five

    Which grew to seven to seven then five to nine

    My weekends got squeezed so tight

    They all fell on Sunday night

    So I asked the boss, “Please hire more help I’m dyin’! “

     

    (Chorus)

     

    So I took off my suit and tie

    And picked up my electric guitar

    And taught myself to play some rock ‘n roll tunes

    I tried to get a gig at a bar

    I told ‘em I could be a star

    But the owner said, “With no draw you won’t be playing here soon.”

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Now my cashflow is in retreat

    And food’s all I know how to eat

    And it's bad for business that's bad for me

    I guess it’s just business that's bad for me

     

    Well good people

    If it’s business, I guess it can’t be fun

    And if it’s fun, I guess it can’t be a business

    So much for the pursuit of happiness

    They just keep giving me the business

  • 04:00 Lyrics
    Invisible World

    Invisible World

    Drew James © 2007

     

    Life goes on in my invisible world

    Inside its shell lies a beautiful pearl

    Like a needle in a haystack way down deep

    Where it lies is a secret to me

     

    Don’t need a shovel to bury my pride

    Where can I find you when there’s no place left to hide?

     

    The invisible world is at my feet

    So I look down when I’m on the street

    In the company of strangers I’m a lost soul

    You can still be lost when you know your way home

     

    Don’t want to die until you know I’m alive

    Where can I find you when there’s no place left to hide?

     

    When my poor heart’s about to burst

    My last laugh won’t best the first

    Come the day I can’t keep it inside

    Where can I find you when there’s no place left to hide?

     

    The invisible world is in your hands

    You hold the key to the promised land

    Just a little bit of heaven lies under your thumb

    Like some queen of kingdom come

     

    Living on the edge of a great divide

    Where can I find you when there’s no place left to hide?

     

    (Chorus)

    Where can I find you when there’s no place left to hide?

  • 04:15 Lyrics
    Pain And Paradise

    Pain and Paradise

    Drew James© 2007

     

    If I were to ask you

    Would you answer truly?

    Would you smile softly?

    Would you whisper to me?

    Or would you stare at me in silence

    And shake your head in disbelief

    Would I regret it for a lifetime?

    Would you turn around and leave

     

    Are you the dream that will come true?

    Or must I learn to forget you?

    Without an answer to these questions

    I’ll be doomed to spend my life

    Between pain and paradise

     

    If I were to tell you

    All the things I want to say

    Would you reach your hand and touch me?

    And chase my loneliness away?

    Or would you question my intentions

    Would you believe me insincere?

    Would your words come from a distance?

    Would you pretend you didn’t hear?

     

    (Chorus)

     

    If I were to kiss you

    Would your lips be moist and sweet?

    Would you draw me ever closer?

    Would your passion quickly heat?

    Or would your eyes fill up with horror?

    Would you break down into tears?

    Would you pull away in anger?

    Confirming all my deepest fears

     

    (Chorus)

     

    If I were to ask you

    Would you answer truly?

    Would you meet me half way?

    Would you lead me up the pathway?

    Up the pathway to paradise

    To paradise

    Would you meet me?

    Would you lead me to paradise?

  • 05:04 Lyrics
    More

    More

    Drew James © 2005

     

    When I landed on the shore the soil was soft beneath my feet

    The sun was golden warm the air was clear and sugar sweet

    Above a wooded hillside flew an eagle through the sky

    The beauty of that moment merely whet my appetite

    I wanted more, I wanted more, I wanted more

     

    They came with tides of welcome sharing all they had to give

    Without words I could tell what they spoke was live let live

    They showed me to the fountain where great spirits rise anew

    They led me ‘cross the mountain well before they ever knew

    I wanted more, I wanted more

     

    More, though my pockets were stuffed

    I wanted more, I just couldn’t get enough

    I wanted more, I wanted more, I wanted more

     

    I felled the mighty timbers that rose high above the ground

    I dug up gold and silver that was begging to be found

    The valleys, hills and rivers that I conquered were renamed

    The people I encountered were the savage to be tamed

    I wanted more, I wanted more, I wanted more

     

    Once each mile between the seas was under my control

    History wrote destiny not a country that was stole

    The tribes all were rounded into lands I didn’t need

    I took the richest earth and left them with the dust and weeds

    I wanted more, I wanted more

     

    (Chorus)

     

    I stepped from the casino after all was finally lost

    It was way too late before I realized the cost

    When out comes a well dressed man with skin of red

    I asked him how this happened, he said “Don’t you understand?

    You wanted more, you wanted more”

     

    More, when your pockets were stuffed

    You want more, you just couldn’t get enough

    You wanted more, you came for more, now you got more

    More than you bargained for

    More than you bargained for

  • 04:57 Lyrics
    I'll Tell You Later

    I’ll Tell You Later

    Drew James © 2008

     

    Dry your eyes

    There’s a million dreams about you

    Mesmerized

    They can’t spin their tales without you

    Pale moonlight

    Slips in through the open window

    Hold on tight

    This is where the midnight wind blows

    Through your mind

     

    Close your ears

    There is nothing left to hear

    All the simple words that scratch beneath the crowded surface

    Have now fulfilled their useful purpose

    And turned away like total strangers

    So I can’t tell you now I’ll tell you later

    Can’t tell you now I’ll tell you later

    Can’t tell you now I’ll tell you later

     

    Truth or lies?

    Both are told by saints and sinners

    Who decides?

    Can’t tell the losers from the winners

    Paradise

    Is sweeter than a thousand crimes

    If I’ve heard it twice

    I’ve heard it a thousand times

    So I would mind

     

    (Chorus)

     

    I know anything that I might say

    Would sound like some old tired refrain

    It’s gentle meaning used and worn away

    Just like yesterday

    Like goodbye

     

    Can’t tell you now I’ll tell you later (X2)

     

    (Bridge)

     

    Can’t tell you now I’ll tell you later (X2)

NOTES
This is Drew's first "hands on" recording at Road Tested Tunes Studios. He recorded the basic guitar and vocal tracks at Niagara Falls (Bruce Kaphan's California Studio.) The recording process coupled acoustic microphones on vocals and guitar with a recording from a live sound system. The mixing process integrated these two sonic frameworks to closely produce a live show sound. Keyboard and other instrument accompaniments were added at Road Tested Tunes and the CD was mixed there with Bruce as mixing consultant. Unusual accompaniments were chosen to enhance the acoustic guitar and vocal performance.

Award Winning Songwriter

 

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