Blue on Blue on Blue

by Frank Gayer Martin

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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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Track Name: Blue on Blue on Blue
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
Track Name: Jesus
Jesus
©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 Jesus we send him packing

Jesus 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 Jesus 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 Jesus made of stones
Track Name: Goodbye Cheyenne
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
Track Name: Leaving Montana
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...
Track Name: But Not Mary
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
Track Name: Warm My Soul
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
Track Name: Pick Up Your Feet
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
Track Name: Wings of a Crow
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
Track Name: Forever Changed
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