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FRONT ROOM MUSIC CATALOG
VINTAGE '47


Americana - Adult Contemporary










Buy now for $12.00 through PAYPAL










Traveling Light
credits lyrics

Django credits lyrics

Universal Sigh credits lyrics

Fortune Cookie credits lyrics

Snows of Kilimanjaro credits lyrics
Song of the Big Bend credits lyrics

I’m Reelin’ credits lyrics
Larry Standard Time credits lyrics

Natalie credits lyrics

Sugar Moon credits lyrics

Rocky Mountain Low credits lyrics

Black Eyed Susan credits

New Blues credits lyrics

Room Full of Rain credits lyrics

Spirit Catchers credits lyrics Working with the Wood credits lyrics video


LINER NOTES

One of the many advantages of being an Indie artist is the opportunity to choose songs and recordings that are favorites of yours—and your fans; whereas, the major record companies make those decisions for you, based on millions of records sold, chart positions achieved {or bargained for} and potential resale profits. I didn’t even contemplate a “Best of” compilation until I’d established a catalogue built upon thirty years of serious work in the music business. After 3 LPs, 3 cassettes, and a dozen CDs, I felt it was time to introduce Vintage 47.

Trying to defy categorization is a difficult challenge for any versatile artist. I’ve had mixed success with projects filled with one type of music or another and some of my albums have contained a variety of the styles I enjoy writing and playing. Earlier compilations served particular purposes—for example: "The West of Jim S" brought together digitally re-mastered songs from three country-western LPs that technology forced into extinction. "Travelogue" allowed me to feature a collection of my Colorado-based folk ballads from the 1970s and 80s.

I’ve been fortunate to find a place on numerous artist compilation discs over the years, beginning with the "KBPI Colorado Album" (LP) in 1976. Deep South’s Blaze Foley tribute series [volume too 1999] includes my interpretation of a Blaze favorite. In recent years I’ve had a number of original songs [singles] released on Hillcrest in Canada, CD TEX in San Antonio, and Backforty Roundup in Ruidoso, N.M. "Texas Has it All" and "Song of the Big Bend" made it to Texas Music Magazine’s “TexMix" 2007 & 2008 compilations.

Through my long association with country radio, naturally a large body of my work includes original country & western songs. For all intents and purposes, The West of Jim Stricklan was a “best of” compilation of those tunes. However, I’ve never felt like those songs {or that category} define me as a singer-songwriter. My influences have been much too vast for such an over-simplification. I’ve also written award-winning gospel songs but I don't consider myself strictly a “gospel” artist. Vintage 47 gave me room to stretch out and showcase good songs in a variety of styles.



TRAVELING LIGHT kicks off the album with something akin to bossa nova {according to my friend Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova} and he should know. I’ll let the lyrics speak for themselves; you can find the words to all these songs written out below. For the first time in thirty years, a book of fully scored songs is now available; kudos to Elbereth Howard for making this possible.

SNOWS of KILIMANJARO was an anniversary gift to Leslie, my sweet wife. SONG of the BIG BEND is a recent one, inspired by memories of college-day campouts at Big Bend National Park in west Texas. Those memories were re-kindled thanks to Leslie’s gift of a wonderful book: Big Bend National Park by Joe Nick Patoski and Laurence Parent; I owe them each sincere thanks for their inspiration. It’s been forty years since I experienced the beauty and freedom of Santa Elena Canyon, while listening to the music of the Rio Grande. I hope to make it out to Terlingua soon.

I’M REELIN’ came out of nowhere I can think of, except the elusive reservoir of romantic notions. It truly amazes me that I wrote something that could easily be mistaken as a Cole Porter song. Hallelujah! That was the last thing on my mind when I wrote it, and I got lucky in this instance. It was a gift from the muses and celebrates the timeless euphoria of first falling in love. I believe that having the luxury of performing on my vintage Gibson ES-125 contributed to this jewel. The song served as a valentine present to Leslie, in lieu of flowers and candy one year.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOW made a brief appearance on my limited edition collection called Travelogue, yet never received the exposure it deserves. It’s a sad one, and like SUGAR MOON, dares to guess what “might have been.” A nod of thanks and apology to my old friend John Denver for the twisted title reference, but it was just too good to pass up. And a final note regarding NEW BLUES…this is an edited, re-mastered version of the original 1993 recording from Elysian Fields. Yes—that is me playing the hot electric guitar solo!

NATALIE was inspired by a lovely and bright-spirited muse I worked with at Austin 911. She’s one of those rare roses among the thorns that can make an otherwise horrific workplace tolerable. I wrote the song as a birthday present to her years ago.

My objective was not only to pick good songs but many of my “best” recordings from the quarter of a century: 1982 – 2007. I’m proud of this collection of songs, which represents my finest work to date. I hope you enjoy it too and will take time to share your impressions of Vintage 47.

JIM


CREDITS

Words and Music on all songs by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music
JIM STRICKLAN – vocals and guitars on all songs.
Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Inc – Austin, TX
Thanks Michelle Dewey at BAH! DESIGN Austin, TX for artwork and graphic design.

1 Travelin' Light: (track debut) recorded and mixed in 2004 at Parrot Tracks Manchaca, TX by George Coyne> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Larry Rothwell and Maryann Price – backing vocals; Chuck Ditto – piano; Joey Colarusso – flute; Doug Taylor – electric bass; Gary DeVries – kit drums.

2 Django: (from Universal Sigh 1997), recorded and mixed at Lonestar Austin, TX by Jim Watts> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Maryann Price – duet and backing vocals; Gary Feist – electric bass; Marlon McAllister – conga drums; Gary Slechta – trumpet. * Dedicated to Django Reinhardt!

3 Univeral Sigh: (from Universal Sigh 1997) recorded and mixed at Lonestar Austin, TX by Jim Watts> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Maryann Price – backing vocals; Gary Feist – electric bass; Chuck Ditto – piano; Gary DeVries – kit drums; Jim Watts – chimes.

4 Fortune Cookie: (from Universal Sigh 1997) recorded and mixed at Lonestar Austin, TX by Jim Watts> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; JP Allin – harmonica. * Dedicated to Leslie Stricklan!

5 Snows of Kilamanjaro: (track debut) recorded and mixed in 2004 at FK Austin, TX by Frank Kamerdeiner> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Frank Kammerdiener – cellos, bass viola, strings. * Dedicated to Leslie Stricklan!

6 Song of the Big Bend: (track debut) recorded and mixed in 2007 at Parrot Tracks Manchaca, TX by George Coyne> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Doug Taylor – acoustic bass and backing vocals; Greg Lowry – gut string guitar, accordion, frog percussion.

7 I'm Reelin': (track debut) recorded and mixed in 2004 at Parrot Tracks Manchaca, TX by George Coyne> Jim S – electric guitar and vocal; Maryann Price – backing vocals, scats; Chuck Ditto – piano; Joey Colarusso – baritone sax solos; Doug Taylor – electric bass; Gary Devries – kit drums.

8 Larry Standard Time: (from Universal Sigh 1997) recorded and mixed at Lonestar Studio Austin, TX by Jim Watts> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Maryann Price – backing vocals; Joey Colarusso – saxes; Chuck Ditto – piano; Gary Feist – electric bass; Gary DeVries – kit drums. * Dedicated to Larry Rothwell

9 Natalie: (track debut) recorded and mixed in 2004 at Parrot Tracks Studio Manchaca, TX by George Coyne> Jim S – electric guitar & vocal; Jamie Hilboldt – keys/synthesizer horns; Doug Taylor – electric bass; Gary DeVries – kit drums;. * Dedicated to Natalie G. Best

10 Sugar Moon: (from Honky Tonk Fantasies 1982) recorded and mixed at Juniper Pine, CO by John Macy> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Stephen Fulton – acoustic guitar & harmony vocal. {2 Martin D-35s!}

11 Rocky Mountain Low: (from Travelogue – the Colorado Years 1996) originally recorded at JMC Denver, CO by John Macy; additional tracks added at Lonestar in 1996> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Joseph Brunelle – harmonica. * Dedicated to Teri Brisky

12 Black Eyed Susan: (from Elysian Fields 1993) recorded and mixed at Music Lane Austin, TX – produced by Ted Arbogast, engineered by Bill Munyon> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Ted Arbogast – fretless electric bass, acoustic guitar & SFX.

13 New Blues: (from Elysian Fields 1993) recorded and mixed at Music Lane Austin, TX – produced by Ted Arbogast, engineered by Bill Munyon; edited at Parrot Tracks in 2007 by Jim Stricklan and George Coyne> Jim S – acoustic guitar, electric guitar solo & vocal; Abbe Waldman – blues harp; Ted Arbogast – electric bass; Gary DeVries – kit drums.

14 Room Full Of Rain: (from No. Twelve 2000) recorded and mixed at Sonic Arts Austin, TX by David Valley & Kenny Rufenacht> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Jamie Hilboldt – organ; David Valley – electric bass; Gary DeVries – kit drums. * Dedicated to all Emergency 911 call takers & dispatchers!

15 Spiritcatchers: (from Spirit Catchers 1998) recorded and mixed at Flashpoint Austin, TX by Eastside Flash> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Frank Kammerdiener – cellos & bass viola. * Dedicated to the everyday working class heroes - and I don’t mean CEOs or self-righteous politicians!

16 Working With The Wood: (from Elysian Fields 1993) recorded and mixed at Music Lane Austin, TX – produced by Ted Arbogast, engineered by Bill Munyon> Jim S – acoustic guitar & vocal; Tree Brunelle – backing vocals; Laird Consadine – bass & mandolin. * Dedicated to my fellow performing musicians!


LYRICS


Travelin' Light
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music
bossa nova / moderate /Key of C7

When I follow the dream,
such a beautiful thing…
that sometimes I find
the peace of mind to sing-
I’m travelin’ light
not a cloud in sight
when I follow the dream

When I follow the heart
It isn’t always smart…
only the heart knows
the way to play its part-
I’m travelin’ light
in the pale moonlight
when I follow the heart

CHORUS

If you’re seeking the truth
listen now- it’s a pleasure to be kind;
there are so many notes
on the measures of time
to unwind…

When I follow the Son
the victory is won…
faith heals and I feel
my life has just begun-
I’m travelin’ light
not a cloud in sight
when I follow the Son

Django
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Django – le jazz hot gypsy man-
when God burned your fingers,
He put lightening in your hand;

Django – in the clubs of gay Pari-
rhythm was king and you made it swing,
tou joo avec le saint esprit…

CHORUS:

Along the Seine, le jazz was the thing
you would hang your chapeau on;
the way you play, le ze bon-ton roulette,
that’s why I sing this song (about)

Django – talkin’ ‘bout old Django-
Django – talkin’ ‘bout old Django.

Universal Sigh
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Two little kids on a merry-go-round,
laughing, playing—while the world goes spinning round;
this simple innocence profound defines the universal sigh.

Two young lovers sitting on a front porch swing,
pledging each other love with kisses and a ring;
we know that faith in love can bring us to the universal sigh.

CHORUS:

Corduroy clouds in a true blue denim sky—
watch God do the soft shoe in the blink of an eye,
I believe we all can find peace if we try—
and breathe a universal sigh.

Two old married folks out on the open road—
jobs behind, the kids are fine, now there’s a lighter load;
they set their cruise control and roll on
toward the universal sigh.

Two old enemies lay down the swords of shame—
with nothing left to lose and everything to gain;
shaking hands and making plans
to sanctify the universal sigh.

Fortune Cookie
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

We bought some take out from the Chinese restaurant,
soup and rice enough for two;
my moo goo gai-pan with sweet and sour sauce,
spicy Sezhuan beef for you.

We’re as different as the snow pea from the prawn,
as water chestnut from tofu—
but wisdom teased the fortune cookie,
and distance lends enchantment to the view.

Just for the halibut we make each other laugh
with fishy pun and joke dejour;
there’s time enough for crying when we’re left alone,
we’ve both been down that road before.

And we’re as different as Singapore and Austin,
as sake from the local brew—
wisdom teased the fortune cookie,
and distance lends enchantment to the view.

Snows of Kilamanjaro
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Back when the two of us first met
we both were learning to forget-
you were an unknown quantity,
I was still wild and fancy free.

Most of my life I’ve been alone
living in the shadow of a song-
until you came and took my hand,
I was a lost and lonely man.

chorus:

like the snows of Kilimanjaro,
our love’s the everlasting kind-
like the snows of Kilimanjaro,
high above the barren plain,
dancing in the clouds and rain,
Heaven’s really not so hard to find.

Bridge:

Something I’ve come to know is true:
one’s only half as blessed as two-
by giving freely we receive,
love makes it easy to believe.

Song of the Big Bend
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

The moon rising over Boquillas
is quite a magnificent moon—
the restless and wild Rio Grande
shines like a long silver spoon;
as the night winds blow through the canyons
Coyote’s beginning to croon…
yes the moon rising over Boquillas
is quite a magnificent moon.

The sun setting over the Chisos,
sets fire to the sky and the peaks—
down in the town of Terlingua
it renders them helpless to speak;
say a prayer to our great padre Dios,
for the blessings we daily receive…
the sun setting over the Chisos
sets fire to the sky and the peaks.

Yi yi yi yi- Yi yi yi yi;
Yi yi yi yi— Yi yi yi yi

It’s been forty years since I left there,
as a young man and started to roam—
with millions of folks in the city,
I still can’t help feeling alone;
how I miss the Sierra del Carmen,
a paradise carved out of stone…
give my love to good Santa Elena
tell the Big Bend that I’m coming home.

I'm Reelin'
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

I’m reelin’ – better take it slow,
rockin’ in my sox, to and fro…
I’m reelin’ – since I fell for you

The ceiling – just can’t be found,
don’t know if I’m looking up or down,
I’m reelin’ – since I fell for you.

CHORUS

Makes me dizzy gazin’ in your eyes,
or swaying to your kisses;
tell the genie in the lamp, “surprise!”
I won’t need no more wishes

This feeling – that I’m not alone
is a feeling I have never known…
I’m reelin’ – since I fell for you

I’m reelin’ – better take it slow,
rockin’ in my sox, to and fro…
I’m reelin’ – since I fell for you

Larry Standard Time
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

You might as well leave a message – he’s not home,
hey there, he could be anywhere between the dusk and dawn;
his bio-rhythm and blues are just one toke over the line—
he’s livin’ and lovin’ on Larry standard time.

To be specific, I know he loves that sweet North Pacific coast,
he might imply that Rocky Mountain high’s higher than most;
his guess is Texas is one lonesome state of mind—
when you’re coasting along on Larry standard time.

BRIDGE:

He don’t punch no clock, ain’t got no Rolex up his sleeve…
It’s easy come and easy go, you can damn well do what you please.

So get back Jack and cut him some slack,
he’s a man of leisure and ease-
this ain’t no race, he’ll set his own pace if you please;
He’s been there and done that too,
since he crossed that old dateline…
he’s been livin’ and lovin’ on Larry standard time.

Yea—he’s carefree, but if you ask me
the boy’s music is sublime!
He’s just livin’ and lovin’ on Larry standard time.
Just a shuffle away – another laid back day
Just a shuffle away – another laid back day
Just a shuffle away – another laid back day

Natalie
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Natalie – the girl with the laughing eyes
mystery can sometimes turn into surprise,
there’s something lazy bout the crazy kind of clothes you wear-
sunbeams seem to dance around the red in your hair,
it’s savoir faire, Natalie

Natalie – you’ve got my heart in your hand
sympathy girl, I hope you understand-
there’s only so much a red-blooded boy can take,
contemplating all those Meg Ryan moves you make
for Heaven’s sake, Natalie

B R I D G E:

You’re like a talking book to the blind-
you’re like champagne sparkling wine-
there’s such a thing as too much fun,
somebody better call 911…
you give me fever and I’m breakin’
out in rhyme—

Natalie – lone star le femme fatal
honestly now, I just wanna be your pal-
has anybody ever stopped to tell ya you got soul?
Squirrel Nut Zippers playin’ on your stereo…
ain’t that so, Natalie?

Sugar Moon
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

There’s a total eclipse on your sugar moon,
in your love duet someone’s out of tune—
oh no, what’s a heart to do?

It’s a sad, sad story when your love is dying,
one gives up while the other keeps trying—
oh no, what’s a heart to do?

CHORUS:

You can’t understand why a woman and a man
won’t try to get it right;
You laugh and you cry about who woke who up
in the middle of the night—
the saddest part of all is the brand new wall
between you and your friend,
now you know you’ll never know
what might have been;
will you ever get that kind of chance again?

It’s a hard cold rain on your soul parade
when you’re only left with half of the plans you made,
oh no, what’s a heart to do—
when the leavin’s all over, there’s no one left to please;
a pair of toothbrushes and a lot of memories-
oh no, what’s a heart to do?

REPEAT CHORUS / BREAK

There’s a total eclipse on your sugar moon,
in your love duet someone’s out of tune—
oh no, what’s a heart to do;
oh no, what’s a heart to do.

Rocky Mountain Low
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

New Blues
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Room Full of Rain
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

Spiritcatchers
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

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

CHORUS:

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



Working With The Wood
Words and Music by Jim Stricklan © Front Room Music

This old guitar—made of wood and steel,
is the mother of my music and I love the way she feels-
anyone who knows me knows I like working with the wood;

We stretch the truth and polish up the rough,
as if these gifts we have aren’t somehow good enough-
when we’re getting down to cases I like working with the wood.

CHORUS:

Despite my education, one thing I have learned:
that too few give a damn in no uncertain terms,
but I have faith in them who do (for me and you)
I’m working with the wood.

A thousand singers in a city of guitars,
one on every corner and playing all the bars-
I’m proud to be another brother out here working with the wood;

From shore to shore—let freedom ring,
with the good vibrations of the hardwood and the string-
I thank the good Lord for the trees,
and letting me work with the wood.

I play my banjo when I’m feeling really good-
I wouldn’t be no rocket scientist even if I could,
I can’t outrun the human race…
my saving grace is working with the wood.

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