Live at the Freight & Salvage

by Misner & Smith

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about

Misner & Smith perform 11 of their original songs, recorded live at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA on January 31st, 2010 © Poor Player Records/Misner & Smith

credits

released October 10, 2010

Recorded live by Brian Walker at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on January 31st, 2010. Mixed/Mastered by Blair Hardman Zone Recording in Cotati, CA. Album Design by Dirty Hippie Feet Design in Sacramento, CA.

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about

Misner & Smith San Francisco, California

(my-zner) & smith
Misner & Smith’s music is a search for meaning. The songs yearn for connection, ache for understanding, relish in mystery, and rejoice in creation. In a world that often feels to be crumbling down around us, they dig deep, and find hope in simple things, in the beauty that surrounds us all. ... more

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Track Name: Greyhound Days
Greyhound Days

Greyhound starts crawling at quarter past nine,
Leaving this county now, so say the signs.
I look out my window but nothing I find
Can change my direction or settle my mind.

I’ve been wild and reckless and often been tame,
I’ve been proud and honest and sometimes ashamed,
Been clever and certain, free from all pain,
Sometimes so lost all I knew was my name.

The man sitting next to me chuckles and sighs,
Leans back his head and he fixes his eyes.
“Never trust comfort, it’s weak and it lies,
Have faith in the struggle, don’t rest till you die.”

The cross that he wears through a hole in his ear,
He says killed a prophet who the reappeared.
“Though I ain’t religious his message seems clear
Each eye that we meet, son, is only a mirror.”

Through Arizona the desert’s in bloom
At night all these cities seem haunted as tombs
Freight trains in Denver move down the line
While ghosts of the hobos drink red boxcar wine.

Depot to depot drifting along
Looking for somewhere to be and belong
Graced now and then with a phrase from a song
St. Louis this morning, by midday we’re gone.

The lands that I’ve traveled, the places I’ve been
Know all my secrets, my pleasures, my sins.
Weather vane forecasts lost in a spin
When life’s accidental and random as wind.
Track Name: Cold Rain Fell
Cold Rain Fell

Cold rain fell, full up was the well
But the water circled ‘round cabin doors
Spirits raised as she played her fiddle
And she played it till the middle of the morn

Guitars strummed the bass it hummed
Soon the sound of voices
Songs that night were filled with light
And drove off all of the darkness

The last three days we fixed our gaze
On the clouds, river and lightning
Walls are strong but won’t last long
If the noose of the water keeps tightening

Papa soon picked up his spoons
Mama frailed her banjo
Songs were prayers like Heaven’s stairs
Reaching high where winds blow

Her fiddle’s strain broke the rain
The flood fell away along the shore
Seven days they stood and played
Thunder always rapping at the door

Hickory flames danced and sang
Winds howled a warning
But all were calm and sang along
Deep into the hours of the morning
Track Name: Compose
Compose

Sewn in the lining of her coat
Verses, sonnets and prose
And she knows
It’s all just ribbons and bows
Some rhymes are harder and sometimes it shows
I suppose

Rain in the middle of the day
Blue skies fading to gray
Whisked away
She sets off with words to explain
All of the places her heart’s been since dawn
Yesterday

Calm, walking down the street she’s on
Aimless, wandering and strong
Life moves on
One moment here and we’re gone
Come ‘round to find out that it’s been a song
All along

Go to any other shore you know
Send me what you compose
Highs and lows
Weather of sun or of snow
Whether it wilts soon or whether it blooms
Like a rose

Sewn in the lining of her coat
Verses, sonnets and prose
And she knows
It’s all just ribbons and bows
Some rhymes are harder and sometimes it shows
I suppose
Track Name: Madeline (Paradise Cracked)
Madeline (Paradise Cracked)

Deep in the night, moon’s almost down,
Silence has savagely covered this town.
Lying awake, cold restless thoughts have
Gathered around you and tied you in knots.
Tired and lonesome, lost as a ship
Whose compass is broken, whose sails are all ripped.

Madeline, Madeline
Close your eyes and sleep again.
Ain’t no way forward but you can’t just turn back
After discovering Paradise cracked.

Spent all you money on schemes that went south,
They lived and they died on the edge of your mouth.
Desperately searching, spinning a line
But circumstance curses you most of the time.
Why don’t you change something, shake off the rust
If there ain’t no one here but yourself you can trust.

Madeline, Madeline
Close your eyes and sleep again.
Ain’t no way forward but you can’t just turn back
After discovering Paradise cracked.

Shelves full of wisdom gathering dust,
The words on the pages seem bankrupt and bust.
You’ve read all the poets and written some tunes,
But sought inspiration alone in your room.
Chasing a fatal American dream
As false as a lover a broken heart fiend.

Madeline, Madeline
Close your eyes and sleep again.
Ain’t no way forward but you can’t just turn back
After discovering Paradise cracked.
Track Name: One Day
One Day

One day I will be old
Gonna swim in the ocean all alone

One day I will be old
Like a child’s chased wave these young days won’t stay

One day we’ll be as old as the stars
Yes, and perhaps we already are

Your eyes could hold up the sky
Fill it with blue and make rain clouds dry

Someday I’ll understand
And I’ll know if all these waves are planned

One day I will be old
Gonna swim in the ocean all alone

One day we’ll be as old as the stars
Yes, and perhaps we already are
Track Name: Piccolo Pete
Piccolo Pete

The docks are in shadows, sun is lean as a bone,
He’s traded in his trumpet for a slide trombone.
Wailing on the corner is Piccolo Pete
Trying to sell his stories for a bite to eat.
Ninety-nine sailors all alone at sea, boys,
One swam back, that one was me.

Seabirds are nervous all along the coast,
There’s something in the air they could feel the ghosts.
Widow-walks are crowded but the graves are holes
With nothing now to put in them but names of souls.
Ninety-nine sailors lying in the sea, boys,
One still walks, one still breathes.

Half a cup of whiskey and I’ll spin you a tale
As honest as the truth on a three-beam scale.
Salivating businessmen shiver in the cold,
Sacrificing freedom for the taste of gold.
I used to chase the greenback but it ain’t for me, babe.
I once was blinded but now I see.

I used to know a banker but he sold his soul.
Gave up his sense of humor for a heart of coal.
His eyes are full of razors now, his head is full of greed,
He dreams at night of nursery rhymes and fires that bleed.
I used to feel the fever but it ain’t for me, babe.
I once was blinded but now I see.

The docks are in shadows, sun is lean as a bone,
He’s traded in his trumpet for a slide trombone.
Wailing on the corner is Piccolo Pete
Trying to sell his stories for a bite to eat.
Ninety-nine sailors all alone at sea, boys,
One swam back, that one was me.
Track Name: Lost & Found
Lost and Found
Turned my eyes and was blinded by the sun.
Set my mind and broke into a run.
Like the poems we scribbled in the sand,
All our words wash right through our hands.

Listening for familiar sounds,
Pressing both our ears to the ground
Trying to pinpoint if we’re lost and found.

Dropped a ring, shining in the snow.
Caught my eye and wouldn’t let me go.
All the seeds we hurled at the moon,
Wondering if we’d be harvesting them soon.

Tumbling to some place we’re bound,
Loved or hurt, disgraced or crowned,
Balanced now between lost and found.

Turned my eyes and was blinded by the sun.
Set my mind and broke into a run.
Like the poems we scribbled in the sand,
All our words wash right through our hands.

Listening for familiar sounds,
Pressing both our ears to the ground
Will our hearts be lost and found?
Track Name: Bird Street
Bird Street

He’s painting by the moonlight
Silver shadows bloom.
Peering out a window
At the world outside his room.

Midnight she was dreaming
She was falling through the stars,
Sweeping up her secrets
Then she seals them in a jar.

Crossing to the canvas,
Turning on a dime.
Often while he’s painting
Every brushstroke seems to rhyme.

Tales spill on the pages,
Pouring from her pen.
Quiet inspiration
That will visit now and then.

Sunrise in the city,
Eighteen floors above,
Wondering why this yearning
Fits him like a glove.

Sewing in the garden,
Roots are growing ‘round her toes.
Naming all the seedlings,
Giving back more than she owes.

Cross-eyed from creation,
Sharpened like a blade.
Running down the alleys,
Free and unafraid.

There’s a sunny spot on Bird St.
In a corner tucked away.
They danced there on the sidewalk,
Hidden from the fray.
Track Name: Wanderin' Fool
Wanderin’ Fool

Put that needle back on that record babe,
And let's go out in the rain.
I'll put my suitcase back up on that shelf babe,
And show you the reason that I came.

I'm a wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
I won't take nothin' for granted
And I won't leave nothin' for show.

Somehow the last time that I saw you,
The inches and feet seemed to stretch.
And all of my weight was a burden,
And all of my words were a mess.

I'm your wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
I won't take nothin' for granted
And I won't leave nothin' for show.

Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
One more time.

I think you better uncork that bottle babe,
And let this thing breathe for a while.
And I'll do my best to sit pretty babe,
And look like the sun on the Nile.

'Cause you're my wanderin' fool,
Or didn't you know?
Take whatever you're takin' for granted
And I'll take what you leave for show.

Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
Let me hear you sing, "ooh"
One more time.
Track Name: 15 Months
15 Months

Fifteen months, first deployment
I figured he’d be back by June
Just a little late to meet his baby
Thinking of it now makes me swoon.

Sweep the house and run my errands
Fill my day with lists of things to do
Seems like every moment’s filled with thinking
Of a different way to tell him “I love you”.

The first will be around again on Monday
Another month that we’ll be overdue
He fights a lonely war out in a desert
He fights a war to save a mortgage too.

Midnight and the candle in the kitchen
Flickers once and rises clear and bright
Hugs and tears, white lies and bedtime stories
Questions without answers, wrong or right.

The envelope is worn where it’s been handled
I read the letter nearly every night
Some days I just hold it in my fingers
Or pressed between my palms with all my might.

I declare
I declare
Lord, I am scared
I declare

Sometimes when the distance dances heavy
And the danger looms above me where I lay
I know it’s only his for that I’m worried
While I am safe and he is far away.
While I am safe and he’s so far away.
Track Name: Poor Player
Poor Player
I am just a poor player waiting in the wings,
Clutching to the curtains, watching all the others sing.
Lift my inspiration from a scribble on the wall
Perhaps someday I’ll leave a scratch, my signature I’ll scrawl.
For now I’m but a poor player.

Louie brews a moonshine with a burn that makes you cough,
Slurs your speech and takes a week to finally sleep it off.
Lately now I find myself knocking on her door
First thing in the morning and by noon I’m back for more.
Nothing but a poor player.

Foggy days and matinees, fawning on a star
Who doesn’t even care to learn your name or who you are.
Understudy errands till you’ve proven you can stand.
Even then it might depend on how you shake their hands.
You know you’re just a poor player.

I wonder what you’d think to do if crowds no longer came,
And all the scores who cheered before no longer call your name.
Fretting your position standing naked center stage,
Caught without your crutches on a foot-lit steel cage.
Would you be a poor player?

I am just a poor player waiting in the wings,
Clutching to the curtains, watching all the others sing.
Lift my inspiration from a scribble on the wall
Perhaps someday I’ll leave a scratch, my signature I’ll scrawl.
For now I’m but a poor player.