The Last Second Chance

by Drew James

Released 2006
Released 2006
Drew's original music is an eclectic mix of Americana, blues, rock and folk. He adopts each of these styles as his own using a highly melodic, traditional songwriting style. His main influences are Tom Waits, Steve Earle, R.L Burnside, Lucinda Williams.
  • 02:45 Lyrics
    Rise and Shine

    Rise and Shine

    Drew James © 2004

     

    Rise and shine

    The morning sky is getting clearer

    Leave Mr. Worry behind

    Shrinking in your rear view mirror

     

    Tuck that belly in

    Whistle like the wind

    Count your blessings on your dirty fingers

    Put on some favorite clothes

    Hang a smile beneath your nose

    I’ll meet you where the blues never lingers

     

    Rise and shine

    Get that chip off your shoulder

    You’re one of a kind

    There’s more to life than just getting older

     

    Don’t try and pretend

    You know how the story ends

    You don’t even know where it is written

    C’mon take a chance

    Pull that wallet from your pants

    And I’ll bet you this day’s worth living

     

    Rise and shine

    The morning sky is getting clearer

    Leave Mr. Worry behind

    Shrinking in your rear view mirror

    And don’t be surprised

    If happiness comes a little nearer

     

    Like the sun in the sky

    Let it rise and shine

  • 04:53 Lyrics
    All Over that Girl (with Lynn Asher)

    All Over That Girl

    Drew James © 2005

     

    I touched down in this Mardi Gras town about half past eight

    And waited in line for the taxicab ride down to Vieux Carre

    The moon was high in the Louisiana night when I hit the street

    It was a carnival parade, a drunken masquerade and it felt so sweet

     

    I saw her leaning there against a lamppost

    An angel in red boots and black hose

    She threw some plastic beads in my direction

    I caught ‘em in my teeth just to get her attention

     

    It was all over that girl, it was all over that girl

    I pictured in my mind what it would be like to be with her

    It was all over that girl, it was all over that girl

    Outside of her there was nothing else I wanted in this whole wide world

     

    Together we ran, hand in hand down to Jackson Square

    She held me tight on a buggy ride through the humid night air

    After a taste at a quiet little place we were flying high

    She whispered “Trick or Treat” down on Rampart Street with the devil in her eye

     

    Then she led me through the gates of an old graveyard

    To a tomb covered with x’s and strange marks

    I read the name out loud “Marie Laveau”

    She kissed me and said, “That’s me, you know!”

     

    (Chorus)

     

    I woke up in the morning all alone

    Leaning up against a broken headstone

    Now I spend my time wanderin’ ‘round the Quarter

    Vainly searching for her

     

    I can’t get over that girl, I can’t get over that girl

    I keep picturin’ in my mind what it would be like to be with her

    I can’t get over that girl, I can’t get over that girl

    Outside of her there’s nothing else I want in this whole wide world

     

    It was all over that girl, now I can’t get over that girl

  • 05:10 Lyrics
    It’s Always Summer Somewhere (with Noe Venable)

    It’s Always Summer Somewhere

    Drew James © 2005

     

    Train whistles, piano music, burning leaves

    Make me turn and look back up this one way street

    You know I never kept

    All those notes you left

    But underneath the bed

    I found one that said

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

     

    I guess the truth just wasn’t very plain to see

    We blurred the line between our love and perjury

    I thought I knew you best

    So I put it to the test

    And forced you to confess

    In a note that read

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

     

    June romance blew hot just like the Santa Ana wind

    July took us to places that we had never been

    In August you promised me our love would never end

    Then September drained these words out from your pen

     

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

     

    This winter night has chilled me way down to my bones

    This note you left behind drilled way down to my soul

    It was tearing me apart

    Until I had a change of heart

    And found it held the secret

    To my brand new start

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

     

    Gone now are the reasons that I had left to stay

    Gone just like the seasons in a world of constant change

    I’m picking up your final note and I’m throwing it away

    As I walk out the door I too will say

     

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

    It’s always summer somewhere

  • 03:36 Lyrics
    Inside Out

    nside Out

    Drew James © 2004

     

    Maybe you’re easy to please

    And maybe not

    Maybe I’m all you need

    And maybe not

    All I know for sure

    Is I’ve got no place to hide

    You’re driving me crazy but baby I’m enjoying the ride

     

    Inside Out

    I think you know what I’m thinking about

    Outside In

    I’ll try to hide it, but I’ll never win

    Till I’m

    Inside out

    Round and round

     

    Maybe you’re playing it cool

    And maybe not

    Maybe I’m playing the fool

    And maybe not

    All I know for sure

    Is I’ll never be the same

    Whatever we’re playing, honey I’m enjoying the game

     

    (Chorus)

     

    We thought we were playing it so discrete

    Now I've heard the word has hit the street

    And we’re

     

    Inside Out

    Cause they all know what we’re thinking about

    Outside In

    We’ll try to hide it, but we’ll never win

    Till we’re

    Inside out

    Round and round (X3)

     

     

  • 02:41 Lyrics
    Ahead on the Highway

    Ahead on the Highway

    Drew James © 2004

     

    Ahead on the Highway (X3)

     

    Big ass Cadillac, top down

    2 lane drifter

    I’m right on her back, hell bound

    Look out sister

     

    A foot from her bumper

    I signal that I’m comin’ around, round, round

    She flips me off

    And pushes her pedal to the ground, ground, ground

     

    Ahead on the Highway (X3)

     

    She goes half a mile, top speed

    Then flashes brake lights

    I come up behind, high beams

    She’s in my sights

     

    I veer to the left

    And give my engine a thrust, thrust, thrust

    She cuts me off

    And leaves me back in her dust, dust, dust

     

    This situation will never come to no good, good, good

    What the hell is she packing under that hood?

     

    Ahead on the Highway (X3)

     

    I’m back on her tail, again

    This is an outrage

    There’s a passing lane, ahead

    And I’m on a rampage

     

    I fake to the left and she tries to impede

    So I pass her on the shoulder in a blaze of speed

    I gaze in the mirror to glare my delight

    But all I see is that trooper’s red light

     

    (Slow down - Then stop)

    So I pull over by the side of the road and watch as that big caddy goes tooling by doing 55

    Yeah, there she goes …

     

    Ahead on the highway (X4)

  • 04:10 Lyrics
    Good Morning Girl

    Good Morning Girl

    Drew James © 2003

     

    Warm me up in your brilliant sunshine

    Burn me alive in your flame

    Feed me out of your fertile garden

    Wash me clean in your rain

     

    Let me gaze at the silver moonlight

    Shining off of your skin

    Let me rise in your starry heaven

    Wrapped in your original sin

     

    Good morning girl

    I want to live in your world

    I’ll count my blessings on a long string of pearls

    If I can live in your world

     

    Hide me in the dark of your cool, cool forest

    Blow me away in your wind

    Strand me out in your thirsty desert

    Rock me to sleep in your limbs

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Blue diamonds shine in your skies

    Gold glitters bright across your land

    And the pearl necklace hung from the nape of your neck

    Has no beginning or end, so

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Good morning girl

    Good morning girl

    Good morning girl

    I want to live in your world

     

     

  • 03:42 Lyrics
    Prison with No Bars

    Prison With No Bars

    Drew James © 2004

     

    Sweet, sweet baby

    I really love you so

    But sometimes

    I just don’t let it show

    I could be the man you need

    If these bad habits would just let me be

     

    Wish there was someone

    That I could blame

    But I’m the dealer

    In my losing game

    With each new hand I sit and stare

    But I’ll be damned if I can make a pair

     

    Oh, I know I’ve kept you waiting

    There’s no anticipating my next move

    It’s been a constant struggle

    And this hole I dug will leave me sad and blue

    But I’m tossing in my cards

    ‘Cause life’s become a prison with no bars

     

    My knees went weak

    Beneath a neon sign

    My throat went dry

    And my eyes went blind

    In this dive where the pool balls roll

    I’ll bury my pride and my self-control

     

    (Chorus)

    I’ve tried and tried so hard

    But it’s all come apart

    Because my life became a prison with no bars

     

    Sweet, sweet baby

    I really love you so

    Sweet, sweet baby

    I really love you so

     

  • 02:27 Lyrics
    Cry, Cry, Cry

    Cry, Cry, Cry

    Drew James © 2003

     

    Cry, Cry Cry

    Baby tell me no more lies

    I can’t believe you’d make a fool of me

    I hope you had your thrill

    Watchin’ me roll down that hill

    But like Jack and Jill you won’t be far behind

     

    What you did was wrong

    Leading me on with your allure

    Stringing me along

    ‘Till I was hooked for sure

     

    (Chorus)

     

    I’m tired of you and all your lies

    So I’m gonna set you free

    Even those big tears in your eyes

    Look like forgeries

     

    (Chorus)

     

    Jack and Jill

    Went up the hill

    To fetch a pail of water

    Jack fell down

    And broke his crown

    And Jill came tumblin’ after

  • 04:25 Lyrics
    Ship in a Bottle

    Ship in a Bottle

    Drew James © 2003

     

    Be quiet, the captain is sleeping

    The anchor is deep in the mud

    The bell in the tower is ringing

    It’s morning, but I just can’t wake up

     

    The sailors are all at the harbor

    Awaiting the order to sail

    But they’re landlocked at port and at starboard

    By a clear glass waterless jail

     

    My ship in the bottle

    Never goes out to sea

    There's nothing as hollow

    As a voyage that never will be

     

    I was born in this small upstairs bedroom

    86 years ago May

    This house is my only heirloom

    It protects me from night and from day

     

    Everything I’ve ever needed

    Is contained by these windows and walls

    But lately I can’t help but feeling

    Like a boat with no ports of call

     

    Like a ship in the bottle

    I never go out to sea

    There's nothing as hollow

    As a voyage that never will be

     

    I dreamed last night

    That a rising tide

    Washed out the downstairs door

    And swept me away from this lonely old place

    Off towards some long distant shore

     

    My ship left it's bottle

    And headed out towards the sea

    As this ancient house toppled

    I was finally free

    I was finally free

  • 03:59 Lyrics
    I Went to See Maria

    I Went to See Maria

    Drew James © 2004

     

    I went to see Maria

    Went there on the train

    It was too far to drive

    And I was too cheap to take a plane

    The porter was a lady

    I think her name was Mo

    She sat me in the dining car with folks I didn’t know

    Those people talked about themselves

    While I briskly ate

    Then Mo came by to tell us

    We’d be arriving late

     

    I went to see Maria

    I went there on the train

    But what I didn’t know

    Was that train would go so slow

    Forward progress seemed to take forever and a day

     

    I said, “Mo what’s the problem?”

    She pointed with her hand

    Outside the window was a winter wonderland

     

    I went to see Maria

    I went there on the train

    But what I didn’t know

    Was that train would go so slow

    Because of all the snow

    Forward progress seemed to take forever and a day

     

    I stumbled to the sleeping car

    And tossed and turned all night

    When I got up in the morning the tracks were solid ice

     

    I went to see Maria

    I went there on the train

    But what I didn’t know

    Was that train would go so slow

    Because of all the snow

    The rail switches froze

    Forward progress seemed to take forever and a day

     

    Then I went to the bathroom

    A stench had filled the air

    Mo said, “Hey buddy, I wouldn’t go in there?”

     

    I went to see Maria

    I went there on the train

    But what I didn’t know

    Was that train would go so slow

    Because of all the snow

    The rail switches froze

    And the toilets overflowed

    Forward progress seemed to take forever and a day

     

    Up and down the mountains

    Those days became a blur

    When I got to Maria’s town

    I went to visit her

     

    I went to see Maria

    I went there on the train

    But what I didn’t know

    Was that train would go so slow

    Because of all the snow

    The rail switches froze

    And the toilets overflowed

    By the time I got to Maria’s house she was married and moved away

     

    I went to see Maria

    Went there on the train

    It was too far to drive

    And I was too cheap to take a plane

  • 03:47 Lyrics
    Thank You Brother

    Thank You Brother

    Drew James © 2003

     

    I used to take for granted things would last beyond today

    And the future when it happened would be oh so far away

    Then I’d laugh and light another cigarette

    It’s so hard to remember and so easy to forget

     

    I used to look through blinders from a narrow point of view

    Sometimes I wouldn’t call you for a week or maybe two

    And I ever told you how much you meant

    And I never thanked you, it’s so easy to forget.

     

    Thank you for the good times brother

    Thank you for the little things that I won’t leave behind

    Thank you for those words when I had none to say

    Thank you for the sunshine when those clouds got in the way

     

    You know you made me grateful for everything I’ve got

    Now I accept life for what it is and for what it’s not

    You taught me my best lesson yet

    But I never thanked you, it’s so easy to forget.

     

    Thank you for the good times brother

    Thank you for the little things that I won’t leave behind

    Thank you for those words when I had none to say

    Thank you for the sunshine when those clouds got in the way

     

     

    Now I can look back without regret

    And I just want to thank you

    And I never will forget

     

    (Repeat Chorus twice)

  • 02:54 Lyrics
    Mama Mia

    Mama Mia

    Drew James © 2006

     

    When I was only six years old

    My brother was a three-a

    We were looking through my papa's drawer

    To see what we could see-a

    Beneath the socks in a jewelry box

    Was a big ten cent cigar

    We lit it up, had a few puffs

    And my mother walked in the door and yelled

     

    Mama, mama, mama, mama

    Mama, mama mia (X4)

     

    When I was 12 years old

    I had a friend across the street-a

    When his parents weren't home

    We stole his papa's vino

    I drank too much and I upchucked

    Right in front of the house

    My mama came out and began to shout

    “My poor little boy is soused” she yelled

     

    Mama, mama, mama, mama

    Mama, mama mia (X4)

     

    Now I'm grown away from home

    My other stayed behind

    But we go to lunch once a month

    And have a glass of wine

    When the waiter says, “Hey Lady,

    What is it I can bring ya?”

    I asy, “Hey matey, that's no lady

    That's my mama mia” I say

     

    That's my mama, mama, mama, mama

    Mama, mama mia (X5)

  • 04:59 Lyrics
    That Old Friday Night Feeling (with Dallis Craft)

    That Old Friday Night Feeling

    Drew James © 2005

     

    My first job was at an Omaha meatpacking plant

    They started me out on the swing shift

    Just a bit above minimum wage

     

    I remember at the end of my first full week

    Smelling the ink on my paycheck

    As I drove out the company gate

     

    There’s was something fresh in the air

    It ran like the wind through my hair

    It lit up the sky like an independence day flare

     

    It was that old Friday night feeling

    Welling up inside of me

    A feeling almost too good to believe in

    Oh, my outlook gets back on the mend

    When my baby’s waiting ‘round the bend

    With that old Friday night feeling

    It’ll carry us into the weekend

    And the best part of my story comes at the end

     

    After near ten years on the same loading dock

    I noticed the shipments got fewer

    And the layoffs were not far behind

     

    After near six months on the unemployed line

    I got a call at home from my foreman

    Sayin’, “Drew, come on back to the job”

     

    Last Monday I was back on the dock

    Now it’s Friday and I just punched the clock

    And there’s an old friend riding with me tonight in my truck

     

    It’s that … (Chorus)

     

    Now I’m coming around the bend

    Down the block there’s a small piece of land

    And there with my baby is where my story will end

     

    With that …(Chorus)

NOTES
Award winning songwriter Drew James, a San Francisco native, began writing and performing his own contemporary folk songs in 1996. He performs his solo act all over the west coast, primarily in the bay area, including the Bread and Roses concert series. Drew’s songs have received airplay in the U.S. and Europe.

His 2007 acoustic CD release "Way Beyond the Maze" is an intimate set of songs, including the 2006 Great American Song Contest award winner "You Can Cry to Me" and the 15th Billboard World Song Contest award winner “Thicker than Blood.” In 2006 he released “The Last Second Chance,” produced by Bruce Kaphan, which was submitted for Grammy consideration. It includes the Billboard Song Contest award winner "That Old Friday Night Feeling." The CD was also featured at the Toofy Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado. He appeared on Shuteye Records’ “United State of Americana” compilation CD that made it to #53 on the Americana Music Association charts in 2005.

“On his The Last Second Chance CD (2006), Drew James has created his own music realm, attractive and hospitable to any Real Music lover, no matter his or her genre preferences. Strictly speaking, the album is recorded in a folk-rock key, but there's so much True Blue feeling in every track that they sound "more Blues" to me than many of the "canonized" 12-bar standards. The arrangements and performance are tasteful and natural, and the production is simply perfect (a George Martin level work done by guitarist Bruce Kaphan). To those yet deciding whether to buy or not this CD, I'd say it'd be one of their best investments, a "long term" one - the more you play this record, the better it sounds. Drew James' music world is a place to stay - "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave".”
- Paul Bondarovski, Midnight Special Blues Radio

“As Far As I Know subscribes to traditional roots songwriting, but bends the rules slightly by subverting traditional sounds with intimate singer/songwriter blues tones” – Ryan Hoffer, Shuteye Records A&R

Award Winning Songwriter

Love Through a Prism - New CD!

 Stream samples from this and Drew's other CD's on the AUDIO page.

Upcoming Shows

  • Oct 21
    Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market, 
     
  • Oct 22
    Irvington Farmers Market, 
     
  • Oct 28
    Pleasanton Farmers Market, 
     
  • Oct 29
    Montclair Farmers Market, 
     
  • Nov 4
    Hayward Farmers Market,