Big Texas Sky

by Darryl Gregory

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about

”Big Texas Sky” is a country album at heart and pulls a lot of the usual emotional strings, but it’s also a love letter to my Texas roots and the down to earth, real life feeling I got whenever I visited my kin in the Lone Star State.

The title of the CD comes from a line in the second track ‘Anywhere But Here’ when the protagonist asks why she was born under a Big Texas Sky. The image of a big sky overhead makes me think of God: the omnipresence, the spirit that is always there, the unseen/unfelt watcher. It's overhead as we live our lives. We either acknowledge it or not, but the fact remains that it is there. Each of these songs are stories of the everyday life we all lead with the final song wrapping it all up with a prayer and a hallelujah.

credits

released 01 March 2012

The Talent:

Jim Allyn - mandolin, fiddle (track 1); piano (track 6 & 7)

Francine Wheeler - vocals (track 5)

Michel Rae Driscoll - vocals (track 1)

Wayne Johnson - vocals (track 7)

Oni Johnson-Hackle - vocals (track 7)

Darryl Gregory - vocals, guitars & bass, piano (track 1), drum inventions, odds & ends

Recorded and mixed at Blue Cave Studios (www.bluecavestudios.com)

Mastered by Brian Hazard, Resonance Mastering (www.resonancemastering.com)

Cover Art by David Cole Wheeler

Cover photo by Renato Ghio (www.rmedia.tv)

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about

Darryl Gregory Connecticut

Darryl Gregory is a true multi-instrumentalist who honed his skills as a rocker and singer-songwriter in the dirty dives of NYC in the late 1990’s and early part of the new century. He produces other songwriters in his studio (Blue Cave Studios) in Sandy Hook, CT, specializing in finding a “personalized sound” for each of his clients. He lives with his wife and son in the backwoods of Connecticut. ... more

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Track Name: Aunt Jean's Piano (CD version)
I run my hands across the keys
Black and white and yellowed with age
The pedals groan - dust makes me sneeze
Old music notes fall from the page
As I play
As I play
As I play
Aunt Jean's piano

I was not privileged to hear her sing
She died before my parents wed
They say she pulled angels from this thing
Then angels carried her from her bed
And I play
I play
I play Aunt Jean's piano

Jean - Won't you play that number
About Jesus near the cross
Her Pa loved the old Methodist Hymns
Jean - Please play something so's
We can have a dance
Her sisters and brother gathered round
And they all wanted a chance
To play
To play
To play on Jean's piano

I feel her ghost inside the chords
As they drift around this room
I see her dancing on the porch
Singing an old Texas tune
God called her home too young
She was only twenty-four
So many songs left un-sung
A piece of furniture left by the door

Now I get to play
I play
I play
Aunt Jean's piano
Track Name: Anywhere But Here
[verse1]
No good-byes from her Mama
As she ran outside
Stood on that dirt road
Under a big Texas sky
And the tears came down
For all the damage done

She's gonna run far
From this broke down life
Step Daddy's greasy hands
And his visits in the night
He ain't gonna hold her down this time
She ain't lookin' back this time

[chorus]
Cause she knows love is
Anywhere but here
She knows hope is
Anywhere but here
She waits for a ride
In the dust and desolation
Not thinking about her destination
As long as it's
Anywhere but here

[verse 2]
She climbs up in the cab
Of a beat up old Ford
The boy who was drivin
Leans over and shuts her door
She can smell the beer and the sweat
But she smiles anyway

He lights a cigarette
And rolls his window down
Say something about gettin married
And stayin here in town
But that's just the same old story
Different book but same old story

[chorus]
Cause she knows love is
Anywhere but here
She knows hope is
Anywhere but here
She looks in his eyes for an affirmation
Sees no sign of her salvation
She knows that it's
Anywhere but here

[bridge]
She says Oh God please
Help me up off my knees
She cries Oh God why
Was I born under this big Texas sky

[verse3]
She's gonna run far
From this broke down life
From every little thing
That ain't treatin her right

They ain't gonna hold her down this time
She ain't gonna be forgivin this time
Make some changes for good this time

[chorus]
Cause she knows love is
Anywhere but here
She knows hope is
Anywhere but here
She got a ticket for a bus
Headed to Austin
Or is it Detroit?
Maybe it's Boston?
As long as it's
Anywhere but here
Track Name: Workin' Man
I'm a working man
I'm chained to the wheel
I'm a working man
They don't care how I feel
I'm a working man
Got my hammer driving steel
I'm a working man
And it's a down-dirt devil's deal

I work
Cause baby needs a new dress
I work
Cause baby needs a diamond ring
I work
Cause baby needs some red shoes
I work
Baby thinks that I'm a fool

Cause I'm a working man
I'm nailed to the cross
I'm a working man
They treat me like a dog
I'm a working man
Don't get no time off
I'm a working man
Punch in late get hell from the boss

Yeah work
Cause baby needs a penthouse view
I work
Cause baby needs caviar
I work
Cause baby needs a mink coat
I work
Baby don't know why I'm broke

I'm a working man
I know the words to the union song
I'm a working man
Hear the whistle man then I'm gone
I'm a working man
This job will kill me before too long

'cause I'm a working man
A working man
A working man
You can bury me with a shovel in my hand
I'm a working man
Track Name: How Do I Tell Her
She hears me pull into the driveway
Same time for twenty years or more
She’ll be helping the kids with their homework
As I come through that old kitchen door
I pull her in tight and hold a little too long
But she’s holding a stranger and knows something’s wrong

It took one little push in this economy
For the dominoes to fall right down on me
Then the corner office boys
Well they sent me their letter

Now I feel like a thief in the night
Like a ghost in my soul I’m going out of my mind
I’m afraid to deliver disappointment
Collecting her tears in kind
How do I tell her the sun’s going down?
How do I tell her the sun’s going down?
How do I tell her the sun’s going down on me?

She’s searching my face for answers
She studies my hands for signs
Got no Hallmark card to console her
You can’t fix this world with a rhyme
Why can’t I trust her love for me?
Til death do us part and all that’s supposed to mean

I’m too angry and too old to start it up again
When the bank’s run dry there no room to pretend
She says Baby
We’re gonna work it on out

Still I feel like a thief in the night
Like a ghost in my soul I’m going out of my mind
I’m afraid to deliver disappointment
Collecting her tears in kind
How do I tell her the sun’s going down?
How do I tell her the sun’s going down?
How do I tell her the sun’s going down on me?

I’ve lost that free and easy
Got the world on my mind
But when she kisses my face so softly
I just leave my worries behind

She tells me You're no thief in the night
You got reasons to hold your head up high
She says baby I got faith that you’ll deliver
And look your fears in the eye
So why should I care if the sun’s going down
When she pulls me close and turns my head around
She whispers baby our love is the key

Her simple words
Allow the sun – to shine down on me
Track Name: What About Love
What about you
What about me
Was I your guiding light
Your rock of Gibraltar
Did I part the sea

What about the moon
What about the sun
Was I everything you wished for
Was I the one

So what about you
So what about me
And what about love

Place your hand upon my face
Each touch is a memory
A different place

I'll stop the newspaper
I'll call the kids

Put our stuff in a plastic box
And close the lid

So this is all we have
So this is all we've earned
A simple good-bye
A tear in the eye
And then we breathe
Every morning we breathe

What about you
What about me
Was I your guiding light
Your rock of Gibraltar
Did I part the sea

What about the moon
What about the sun
Was I everything you wished for
Was I the one

So what about you
So what about me
And what about love
Track Name: Elegy For An Old Man
I am an old man
I have an old man's body
I have an old man's memories
I see with old man's eyes
There ain't nothing left for me
No more Christmas mornings
I'm tired to the marrow
And I'm ready to die

Long time ago I was a sailor
Long time ago I fell in love
She made me give up the sea
Built her a house in the low country
And we watched time pass through our hands like so much water
What I'd give to see her face again
Have a whiskey with my old friends
But here I sit like a poor lamb led to slaughter

I am an old man
I have an old man's body
I have an old man's memories
I see with old man's eyes
I've played all my pieces
I've won some I've lost some
But it doesn't really matter
When you're preparing to die

I was a man of broad shoulders
Never thought my strength would disappear
Death snuck up behind
Cause I paid him no mind
Now we sit here in familiar conversation
My children whisper their good-byes
They stare into my eyes
In me they see their future compensation

I am an old man

You can beat the drum slowly
You can dress me in white linen
Like a lonely cowboy
I did my share of living
I loved and lost
Like all men do
And here at the end
I've got nothing left to prove

I am an old man
I have an old man's body
I have an old man's memories
I see with old man's eyes
There ain't nothing left for me
No more Christmas mornings
I see the angels a comin'
And I'm ready to fly
Track Name: Prayer & Hallelujah
Give me peace
In my soul
Give me love
Let me rock-n-roll
I'm gonna reach up into heaven
And touch the light of an angel's wing
Bring it all back to my heart
So the world can hear me sing
Hallelujah

May compassion light my way
Through these dark uncertain times
An irresistible call
Illuminates my heart and mind
All that I have taken in
I will spill out to those in need
The more I give from my treasure
The more wealth I will receive
Singing Hallelujah

May we all feel the light
May we all feel the light
May we all feel the brilliant light of love

Give me peace
In my soul
Give me love
Let me rock-n-roll
I'm gonna reach up into heaven
And touch the light of an angel's wing
Bring it all back to my heart
So the world can hear me sing
Hallelujah
Track Name: Aunt Jean's Piano (radio edit)
I run my hands across the keys
Black and white and yellowed with age
The pedals groan - dust makes me sneeze
Old music notes fall from the page
As I play
As I play
As I play
Aunt Jean's piano

I was not privileged to hear her sing
She died before my parents wed
They say she pulled angels from this thing
Then angels carried her from her bed
And I play
I play
I play Aunt Jean's piano

Jean - Won't you play that number
About Jesus near the cross
Her Pa loved the old Methodist Hymns
Jean - Please play something so's
We can have a dance
Her sisters and brother gathered round
And they all wanted a chance
To play
To play
To play on Jean's piano

I feel her ghost inside the chords
As they drift around this room
I see her dancing on the porch
Singing an old Texas tune
God called her home too young
She was only twenty-four
So many songs left un-sung
A piece of furniture left by the door

Now I get to play
I play
I play
Aunt Jean's piano