Blue on Blue on Blue

by Frank Gayer Martin

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1.
Blue on Blue on Blue ©2015 Frank Gayer Martin The wake peels off the back of the ferry Shot pure white, like a waterfall Shallow waves curl into the glimmer And disappear from view Layers of mountain rim the sea Receding into the salt air and sky We stand together in the wind And take it in, blue on blue on blue Tourists line the deck, speaking in foreign tongues Jacking cameras at the sights We chat with a family from Israel There’s a couple from Boulder, too Some of the passengers aren’t tourists at all Moving from point A to B, Whittier to Valdez Stretched out on bench seats To dream… blue on blue on blue Moving, distance and time are deceptive We study a peak rising from a steep forest Rising from the water, rising from underwater We turn around and there’s a new island We’re traveling as grandparents now We may not be living as hard anymore But we ride on a love as deep as this sound Me and you, blue on blue on blue
2.
05:25
Jesús ©2009 Frank G Martin I mispronounced his name, stumbled time and time again He’s been here so long I thought he was a citizen He turned stones into walls like water into wine I've seen him at job sites kneeling at the plumb line In the name of Jesus we make exception In the name of Jesus we make welcome But the one named Jesús we send him packing Jesús lays stones only Jesus could roll away Fingered into joints that would rival Notre Dame any day If you want the best, take a number — you're going to wait His hands are idle la migre saw to that Was Jesus a deportee? I could make a case for that He stole across the border, got busted — they shipped Him back And the fate that awaits Jesús in El Salvador Is lorded by gangs in the living hell of the poor You can break up a family, you can break up community You can break a man's will and send him back to poverty But you'll bend your back, work your fingers to the bone If you try to tear down any wall Jesús made of stones
3.
Goodbye Cheyenne ©2013 Frank Gayer Martin This didn’t work out well, I’ll admit Fast money, cheap beer and such There’s lot’s of churches in Cheyenne But no preacher moved me much My mother meant well, I recollect With words and deeds and abiding love But I found it suffocating And gray day, I’d had enough It’s time to leave Goodbye again, goodbye again Goodbye Cheyenne Get your things No time to spend, goodbye again Goodbye Cheyenne I got a summons, not some higher call And the only thing I know about the law It’s not about forgiveness, it’s about the cost I see my chance, I’m gonna run A misdemeanor is exactly that You’re offending society But cross the line, you’re not coming back Leastwise, that ain’t me Fifteen, nineteen and twenty-two They got a record of what I’ve done But it can’t tell you who I am So it ain’t true And who I am and what I’ve done Sometimes don’t seem the same I watch myself hurt somebody else My heart pulls up lame
4.
Leaving Montana ©2008 Frank G Martin Dashboard lights paint your face in the gloom We've not said a single word since noon I played all out in my mind Endless broken white lines Leaving Montana... Logging skids and timber stands we know well Long hard days and paychecks for a spell The season end comes too soon North, south, east, west — it's your move Leaving Montana... Remember that house on fringe of the Boise Cascade I thought we could afford it and you said okay In three months the price jumped We had ourselves a big drunk that day Leaving Montana...
5.
04:14
But Not Mary ©2008 by Frank Gayer Martin Everything’s all in order Whitewashed walls and folded linen Straight-back chairs, buttoned down collars And calico dresses for all the women But not Mary The reverend’s vision God provided So many sisters for all the brothers Who will reign, household masters Over sanctified servant daughters But not Mary On the seam of sky and sand Three stories high, windows gleam A beacon of hope on the promised land Where the Godly man can worship free Mary prays in a cheap hotel Deliver me from this hell Made by man in the Father’s name Oh Lamb of God you should have known damn well The married man, blessed he One wife is forty, another twenty And the betrothed is just fourteen Pure as snow and oh so pretty But not Mary
6.
05:43
Warm My Soul @2015 Frank G Martin It’s been a hard time down in the valley All the ice is holding fast The ground is hard, jobs are scarce For any man whose prime has past But spring will come I’m hoping it will come Bit by bit comes the sun And it will warm my very soul It will warm my very soul Longer days come I know It will warm my very soul It will warm my very soul Yea, the sun will ever warm my soul It’s a hard life down in the city Strangers never meet your eyes If kindness was some gentle flower Where’s the water, where’s the sky? But grace will come I’m hoping it will come In the heart of someone chorus I used to live in a prison Behind walls I couldn’t see But precious love soothed my anger And her touch set me free And what will come We’ll face it as it comes With the first light of the sun chorus No more time can we borrow The days are short and few And if I have no tomorrow I can give today to you And what will come We’ll face it when it come At the first light of the sun
7.
Pick Up Your Feet ©2010 Frank Gayer Martin What can I do, what can I do, what can I do? Where can I go? What can I do, what can I do, what can I do? Where can I go? Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me and you will know Pick up your feet, walk down the road My heart is heavy, my arms are weary, my heart is heavy and my feet are sore My heart is heavy, my arms are weary, my heart is heavy and my feet are sore Your heart is heavy, your arms are weary, your heart is heavy, but I can open the door Pick up your feet, walk down the road My brother suffers, my sister suffers, my children suffer. This is what I know My father suffers, my mother suffers, my country suffers. This is what I know Suffering’s a burden we a share, suffering is why I care, so know Pick up your feet, I’ll walk with you down the road
8.
Wings of a Crow ©1997 Frank G. Martin These pilgrims scorn me, throwing bread and fruit Not a twitch I give them, imprisoned in a chicken coup Are they bitter about the money or the long wait in line To pity one, an angel, and spit the nails of a lifetime Time doesn't matter And I'm old enough to know As I rise up unsteady On the wings of a crow The woman thought she knew and had seen my kind before But to see her lover fallen, she kill what she adore And the family calculated there was money to be made Should I thank them for my refuge, thank them for my cage chorus Inside my tattered pockets Balled in the fists of my hands Behind my breast barely beating My skin cold, pale and damp My anger lies sleeping A tempest cloaked in black Broken and enormous Like the wings on my back
9.
Forever Changed ©2014 Frank Gayer Martin You sing like a soaring bird On a north wind, blue sky Takes a pure heart to sing that free I have to leave my feet to sing that high And voices reach beyond words And flesh and blood to do more contain Our souls are thus entwined And I will never be the same I’m forever changed Your fingers are ballet They leap and skip on string and fret Your heart does guide them true and strong To places undiscovered yet And I know the price dancers pay Solitude and ache and pain I’ve shared your life and art And I will never be the same I’m forever changed You don’t talk much My night drive companion You whistle low and drum the dash To Scofield and Sheridan And all the things you never say Add weight to what remains Our brother of miles and stage And I will never be the same I’m forever changed You turn a silver wrench Between beats and rests A busted-up discarded bike Rebuilt with mindfulness Don’t improve yourself too much We love the jester with no shame And laughing at ourselves And I will never be the same I’m forever changed You asked me how I felt My heart fit to burst And when I lied and said okay You knew where it hurt And should we both act our age Yours and mine might be the same Somewhere on the broken path And I will never be the same I’m forever changed A moment comes and goes Like a crow in the snow Wings beat, the crow is gone And I will never be the same I’m forever changed

about

Frank Gayer Martin returns to his songwriting forte — storytelling songs that explore the social, political and personal.

Blue on Blue on Blue captures both Steve Earle’s earthy bite and Bruce Cockburn’s complexity. Martin is well regarded for his inventive, tasteful guitar playing and singing.

As he tells his band mates… “play it like a blues band playing gospel music.” Amen, and plug in the Telecaster.

credits

released April 1, 2017

Frank Martin / vocals, guitars, mandolin, lap steel, harmonium
William Brown / bass
Aaron Taylor / drums, precision
Vid Weatherwax / keyboards
Ross Kribbs / violin
Dale Loper, Sophia Clark and Oliva Pevec / vocals
Dave Taylor / engineer, mix, mastering
Recorded at Cool Brick Studios
Photography & Design / FG Martin
Produced by Frank G Martin and Dave Taylor

Thanks to Paula Stepp for unconditional support and the good ears; Dave Taylor for passion and endless well of enthusiasm; Guy Welles for the harmonium.

All words and music: Frank Gayer Martin/BMI

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Frank Gayer Martin Glenwood Springs, Colorado

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