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FRONT ROOM MUSIC CATALOG
CHINOOK WIND

2012 Americana









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Greetings from Texas

Tom & Kelly's Blues

Legends in Our Minds

Chinook Wind

Jim, I Asked Myself

Spirit Catchers

Feather's Song

Cross-legged on the Floor

Close to Home live video



CREDITS:

Jim ~ Martin 6-string & Guild 12-string guitars + Gibson Les Paul electric guitar and vocals
Jamie Hilboldt ~ keyboards
George Coyne ~ guitars
Doug Taylor ~ bass
Tim Nolan ~ harmonica
Greg Lowry ~ mandolin
Charles Ditto ~ accordion
Terri Fann ~ harmony vocal
Butch Hause ~ bass + guitar (Cross-legged on the Floor)

All songs were written by Jim Stricklan © 2012 Front Room Music ~ BMI
Recorded and mixed by George Coyne @ Parrot Tracks Studio ~ Manchaca, TX
Produced by Jim Stricklan & George Coyne for Kokobilly Music Productions
Mastered by Jerry Tubb @ Terra Nova Digital Audio ~ Austin, Texas
Overdubs: Cross-legged on the Floor @ The Ranger Station ~ Berthoud, CO by “Ranger” Butch Hause
CD artwork and design by Michelle Rahbar, Mothership Arts ~ Austin, Texas
Photographs by Kelly Zant, Kelly Zant Photography
Tracking assistance by Leslie Stricklan
Kokobilly Music is a subsidiary of Front Room Music ®


LINER NOTES:

The inspiration for this album blew in like a Chinook Wind. This is a songwriter album, personal and intimate, with the artist's evocative vocal and guitar framed by subtle instrumentation to focus on the Art of Song. "I wanted to keep it simple and showcase the songs rather than production bling. THANKS TO: George Coyne for recording this and all the other albums I’ve made over the past dozen years; to the players who added spice to the mix; to Doug Taylor for loaning me his fine maple 12- string guitar; to Kelly Zant who took time out to photograph me near her home in Vealmoor, Texas earlier this year— during a west Texas Chinook Wind; to Butch Hause for both inspiring and adding finishing touches to “Cross-legged on the Floor,” (from our cowboy yoga years); to Townes Van Zandt for teaching us poetry; to Tom Warkoczewski and Kelly Halls for many fun years of Austin guitar debauchery; to Michelle Rahbar for her beautiful artwork on this and many of my recent CDs. Last but not least—thanks to all whom’ve listened to and supported my music. I’m immeasurably grateful." Jim, Front Room Music ~ September 2012.

ABOUT THE SONGS:

Greetings from Texas ~ a slow ballad version of this song originally appeared on a 1988 cassette, recorded in Louisiana. This livelier rendition was inspired by Doug Taylor’s 12-string Guild and I chose to make it a solo performance, one of two on this album.

Tom & Kelly’s Blues ~ a tribute to picker friends Tom Warkoczewski and Kelly Halls, with whom I’ve spent many hours jamming. Tim Nolan added the blues harp and Doug is on bass; a special nod to Townes Van Zandt, one of our favorite songwriters, and our genuine respect for the Deep River Blues.

Legends in Our Minds ~ written for my first wife, the dancer. Ironically, I re-wrote the first verse in tribute to Neil Armstrong only a few months before he died. He was a real legend, although Sharon and I each blazed some trails of our own. She passed away many years ago. RIP...

Chinook Wind ~ I recently found a poem written for Leslie back when we were dating in the mid-80s, and turned it into a song. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written and was very much like the experience of a Chinook wind.

Jim, I asked myself ~ Written in the early 70s actually, around the time I began playing the coffee houses. There's a live recording of this song, performed in concert at the Denver Folklore Center in 1977. This is the first time I’ve played it in thirty-five years and the 12-string just seemed to fit.

Spirit Catchers ~ Many Americans, especially from the middle-class, have had some experience with the corporate mentality and bear the scars to prove it. This is a song for all of us who've managed to survive with our souls still intact. This message can apply to other scenarios, too.

Feather’s Song ~ I’ve written songs for all three of our calico cats over the years. Miss Lizzy (Old Famous), Xena (Catnap Waltz), and finally, a song for Feather. I could not put a price on the love, therapy, entertainment, and companionship these feline friends have provided Leslie and me.

Cross-legged on the Floor ~ This tune sprung from visits with my Colorado friend “Ranger” Butch Hause, who brought many notable characters (like Ramblin' Jack Elliot) to KBRQ for interviews on my Denver radio show during the 1980s. A man of many talents, Butch has given my music many a boost over the years, on stage and in the studio. This one's for him!

Close to Home ~ I wrote this a few years back when I was feeling low and trying to get a grip. I took inspiration from my late friend Steve Brown, as well as fellow storyteller Tom T. Hall. The baseball metaphors somehow worked themselves into the picture. Never give up because you never know when the next chinook wind will blow in and chase the chill away.


LYRICS:

GREETINGS FROM TEXAS

Well hello there and greetings from Texas-
my only guess is—I’ll be leavin’ here too soon;
Colorado is where I’ve been staying,
and someday I’ll be laying beneath that lone star moon

Deep down in the heart of Dixie
there’s some old drum I’m marching to-
where the Sycamore trees bend gently in the breeze,
Sweet Texas—I’ll be coming home to you…

This business has made me a loner-
yea I thought I was a goner,
but somehow I’ve hung on;
my music gets me by and I use it,
Lord I pray that I won’t lose it
‘til that final goodbye song

Deep down in the heart of Dixie
there’s some old drum I’m marching to-
where the Sycamore trees bend gently in the breeze,
Sweet Texas—I’ll be coming home to you.



TOM & KELLY'S BLUES

Here comes that same song again and my patience is wearing thin;
why not play something sweet and low like Norah Jones or Norton Buffalo?
You got your jukebox on your iPod—you can download almost anything you choose;
as for me, I wanna hear Tom sing Loretta and Kelly play them Deep River Blues.

Front room music’s still the thing…hear guitars ring with a simple melody;
there must be too few troubadours round anymore, who can write real poetry.
You got your jukebox on your iPod--you can download almost anything you choose;
As for me, I wanna hear Tom sing Loretta and Kelly play them Deep River Blues! (drb)

“Loretta, she’s my barroom girl, wears them sevens on her sleeve--
dances like a diamond shines,” I still remember every line (cause it’s poetry)

Here comes that same song again and my patience is wearing thin;
why not play something with some soul like Stevie Ray or Norton Buffalo?
You got your jukebox on your iPod--you can download anything you choose;
as for me, I wanna hear Tom sing Loretta and hear Kelly play them Deep River Blues.



LEGENDS IN OUR MINDS

Neil Armstrong walked up on the moon, so it must've been 1969;
you were a teenage queen, I was there to play and sing—
we were both legends in our minds.

You welcomed me to your apartment to thank the good deed I had done;
halfway believing racy rumors, I was halfway hoping for some fun.

You had a knack for easy lovin’--I had a funny way of lovin’ only me;
it was an awkward situation…neither one of us was able to see
what was to be...was to be.

You were a runaway, a dancer, who had just come off of the road;
a woman-child with a child of your own, and afraid of carrying that load.
I heard somewhere that we were married—I read it in a book of mine;
you had your furs and clothes; me, I had my songs and prose…
we were both legends in our minds.
we were both legends in our minds.




CHINOOK WIND

Chinook Wind, you blew right in to chase the chill away—
your bright eyes shine like berry wine; I love the things they say.
Caress me like a gentle breeze upon my face-
I love to linger here in your warm embrace,
Chinook Wind…you chase the chill away.

Chinook Wind, I’m wonderin’ which way you’re bound to blow,
as I throw caution to the wind and let my feelings grow.
Caress me like a gentle breeze upon my face-
I love to linger here in your warm embrace,
Chinook Wind…you chase the chill away.




JIM, I ASKED MYSELF

Jim, I asked myself…
doesn’t today feel like a good day for a change?
Would you like to explore this attitude,
or will you blow it off and remain the same?
You’re living such a frantic pace but you’re bored.
What about those good intentions?
What about all the people you have ignored?

Jim, I told myself…
I remember what seems like yesterday—
you were laughing and holding a girl,
who said she’d never felt that way;
that was then and this is now…
and she slipped away somehow;
I hope you didn’t hurt her,
she’s got her own life to live now anyway.

Maybe I’ll just drift on down to Texas—
roam around and see some old friends of mine;
it’s not that I don’t love your Rocky Mountains…
Colorado, you’ve been much more than kind,
don’t I come back every time?

Jim, I asked myself--
Why are you worshipping stars upon the wall?
When the stars that shine in the night,
you never even notice them at all;
Spiritual enlightenment might be passing you by-
don’t you think if you look deeper,
you might find a better way to survive?

Jim, I asked myself…
what happened to the man that we once knew?
Did he run away in shame?
What do you say, let’s try on something new?
Cause I’m a little bit tired of the old one too;
and I can tell by looking at you, you’d like to help me out—
Is there anything we can’t talk about?

Maybe I’ll just drift on down to Texas—
roam around and see some old friends of mine;
it’s not that I don’t love your Rocky Mountains…
Colorado, you’ve been much more than kind,
don’t I come back every time?



SPIRIT CATCHERS

We have given all the best years of our young lives to reach your goals-
extra hours to please the powers, doing all we can to save our souls;
still believing but not receiving, makes it so hard to carry on—
when the spirit learns of deceiving, then the spirit will find a safer home

Imagination fuels the fires of progress,
and human sacrifice should not be seen;
spirit catchers must be careful—
kill the spirit and you will kill the dream



FEATHER’S SONG

You came in on the wind like a feather in our lives—
one early August morn, we heard your gentle cries;
So small and wild and hungry, in a big world all alone—
knowing humans can’t be trusted, you came into our home

You’re the feather in my cap, the twinkle in my eye;
a comfort in my lap...you make me want to cry,
and laugh, and love--

Old Xena was quite jealous when she had to share our love—
it turns out there is plenty sent by Someone up above;
and what we lack in patience, you make up in hair--
when we run out of energy, you’ve plenty more to spare.

You’re the feather in my cap, the twinkle in my eye;
a comfort in my lap...you make me want to cry,
and laugh, and love--



CROSS-LEGGED ON THE FLOOR

Dang near thirty years have passed, if memory serves me well-
my days of riding airwaves, cowboyed up and raising hell;
when I was a country DJ in a Colorado town—
chasing girls and whiskey, passed that ole’ guitar around.

A friend of mine in Brighton owned The Country Music Store,
a good-time pickin’ parlor, full of records by the score;
Ramblin’ Jack and Ian Tyson were some folks we came to know—
and even Chester Atkins once dropped by to say hello.

We played the mighty Buckhorn and the old Brook Forest Inn,
had quite a thrill at Swallow Hill, when Ernie M sat in;
but I’ll never forget pickin’ at the Country Music Store…
Ranger Butch and Too Tall sitting cross-legged on the floor;

Mr. Hause stands out because he’s not like all the rest-
if there’s a definition, they ain’t come up with it yet;
and Sarah singing harmony, it’s all for Heaven’s sake-
an echo of a songbird on a clear blue mountain lake.

We sang our songs at Hill’s Café, beneath the Texas moon—
and if we get an encore, honey, it won’t be too soon;
Even Stephen Foster’s ghost passed through the kitchen door
[to hear] Ranger Butch and Too Tall sitting cross-legged on the floor;

We played the mighty Buckhorn and the old Brook Forest Inn,
had quite a thrill at Swallow Hill, when Ernie M sat in;
but I’ll never forget pickin’ at the Country Music Store…

Ranger Butch and Too Tall sitting cross-legged on the floor;
Ranger Butch and Too Tall sitting cross-legged on the floor.



CLOSE TO HOME

You have your doubts of what this game’s about—
there ain’t no more pitch hitters and you know you’re striking out;
you’re short on smiles—and weary from the miles,
you feel like they can shut you out by turning little dials…

Hitting pretty close to home, when you’re tired and all alone—
and your’e waiting for some miracle to up and come along;
when you’re lost you can be found, you must seek some solid ground;
don’t hang it up, just hold the phone, you’re hitting pretty close to home.

You took the rap when they laid it in your lap—
now you’re feeling like some little town not even on the map;
you long to go—to where you do not know,
cause your life’s sitting on empty and your spirit’s a quart low…

Hitting pretty close to home, when you’re tired and all alone—
and your’e waiting for some miracle to up and come along;
when you’re lost you can be found, you must seek some higher ground;
don’t hang it up, just hold the phone, you’re hitting pretty close to home.



PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE:
All photos by Kelly Zant except photo of Feather and of Jim playing the Hummingbird by Leslie Stricklan.

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