Dirt Road Confessional

by Jeffery Straker

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    Purchase Jeffery's NEW CD "Dirt Road Confessional", plus one other CD for a reduced price.
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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Dirt Road Confessional, North Star Falling, Jeffery Straker Live with CBC Radio, Comin Home for Christmas (single), Songs From Highway 15, Step Right Up, Under the Soles of my Shoes, and Vagabond. , and , .

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about

Jeffery Straker’s new 12-song recording “Dirt Road Confessional” brings a roots-inspired flavour to his piano-driven sound. The musician grew up listening to country music on the farm where he grew up in rural Saskatchewan. At the same time he was studying and enjoying classical piano music – eventually playing full sonatas and concertos by composers like Beethoven and Grieg. While doing that he was a sucker for a good pop song with a great hook, as well as the poetry and wordsmithing of Joni Mitchell. Fast forward to this album. The singer-musician and road warrior has created a recording that sounds like his influences: little bit roots/country, a little bit piano-folk-pop, & a lot of wonderful stories. Lyrically the album speaks to the tug between life on the road pursuing a dream of music and the longing for love and cultivating a relationship. It takes the listener into the dusty corners of life's travels, through it's dynamic yet cohesive range. Some songs add a steel guitar as accompaniment to the piano, while others invite dobro and banjo to the microrphone to add the right texture and flavour. Produced through 5 recording sessions that took place in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia; Toronto, Ontario; Los Angeles, California; & Regina, Saskatchewan.

Jeffery thanks: FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) and Creative Saskatchewan for the financial assistance in making this album. Special thanks goes out to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for the long term support of Jeffery's creating and touring.

credits

released May 19, 2017

All songs written by Jeffery Straker (SOCAN)
Except: Deliver Me & Bravery written by Jeffery Straker (SOCAN), Royal Wood (SOCAN), Lawrence K Katz (ASCAP)/What He Said Songs (ASCAP) | Walking Shoes written by Jeffery Straker (SOCAN) & Jay Semko (SOCAN) | Queen of Broken Souls written by Jeffery Straker & Karen Kosowski (SOCAN)

Producers/Engineers: Daniel Ledwell (Something’s Gotta Give, Fool for You, Fades to Grey); Dean Drouillard (Sweet Sweet Nothings, Get What You Give); Brad Prosko & Murray Pulver (Beauty in the Grey, Boom Boom, Thousand Miles Away, Walking Shoes); Lawrence K Katz & Royal Wood (Deliver Me, Bravery); Robyn Dell’Unto (Queen of Broken Souls)

Recorded at: Something’s Gotta Give, Fool for You, Fades to Grey (Echo Lake Studio, Lake Echo Nova Scotia); Sweet Sweet Nothings, Get What You Give (Dream Date Studio and Hepbourne Lab, Toronto ON); Beauty in the Grey, Boom Boom, Thousand Miles Away, Walking Shoes (Touchwood Studios, Regina SK); Deliver Me, Bravery (Argyle Studio, Los Angeles California); Queen of Broken Souls (Beaconsfield Ave, Toronto ON). Backing vocals on Deliver Me recorded by Dean Drouillard at Hepbourne Lab.
Backing vocals (Erin Prop) on Walking Shoes recorded by Murray Pulver at Signpost Music.
Steel guitar, banjo, electric guitar on Queen of Broken Souls recorded by Aaron Goldstein at Baldwin Street Sound.

Mixed by: Daniel Ledwell (Something’s Gotta Give, Fool for You, Fades to Grey) at Echo Lake Studio; Dean Drouillard (Get What You Give) at Hepbourne Lab; Brad Prosko (Thousand Miles Away, Walking Shoes) at B-Rad Studio; Tim Abraham (Deliver Me, Bravery, Beauty in the Grey, Boom Boom, Sweet Sweet Nothings) at The Hive; Stew Crookes (Queen of Broken Souls)

Strings on Get What You Give, arranged/recorded by Drew Jurecka
Horns on Sweet Sweet Nothings, arranged/recorded by Bryden Baird
Horns on Fool for You & Fades to Grey arranged/recorded by Daniel Ledwell
Steel guitar on Thousand Miles Away recorded by Stephen Hinson (Nashville TN)

Mastered by Joao Carvalho at Carvalho Mastering (Toronto ON)
Design/layout/typography: Christine Peters
Cover Illustration: Natasha Sasic
Photography: Jeffery Straker

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about

Jeffery Straker

Jeffery is a Canadian singer-songwriter-pianist touring 100+ shows yearly. He performs in living rooms, clubs, theatres, & at festivals. He's performed in concert with a symphony orchestra & debuted at Canada's National Arts Centre.
Chicago Free Press says: “Rufus Wainwright, as well as k.d. lang are among the Canadians making essential & beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list”
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Track Name: Beauty in the Grey
Beauty in the Grey

Another view of the country from here behind the wheel
Coffee shakes and high hopes take the edge off & conceal
Doubts from all directions, tonight’s another stage
Moth unto the lamplight never to forsake, to forsake

So I fill the tank and chart the course and say my good byes
I miss my friends and family oh how I’m alone but I'm not lonely
These voices in my head whispering about the hunger, waiting to be fed

Chorus
Some days I work for dollars, some days for dimes
I’ve rolled downhill, aimed for stars, I’ve braved the steep inclines
I Follow fate through the shadows, seeking beauty in the grey
I got wandering in my bones and I let go, ya let my heart lead the way

I got a pocket full of promises I’ve made to myself
The prophets on their barstools say, only time will tell
I been thinking about the faces, I never get to know
Don’t let myself get too close, for to ease the letting go

Chorus

and as for regret it tiptoes in every now and then
Looking for a place to lie and stumbles out again

Chorus
Track Name: Bravery
Bravery
Since you been gone been trying to reach you, your name I been calling out
Though things have been wrong been trying to make do, these fears I can do without

Chorus
Bravery I sure could use you now, bravery it’s you that I seek
Bravery I sure would like to feel, bravery

This morning I woke, more than ever I needed a helping hand
And now that you’ve spoke you’re so clever I feel I can understand

Chorus
Bravery it’s good to see you, bravery come take a walk with me
Bravery you’re a true friend to me, bravery

Now that you’re here I can be set free
Things are so clear just this honesty bravery, bravery

I’ll need you again there’s no question we both know a time will come
Until then my friend I learned a lesson, my work here is never done

Chorus
Bravery sure been good to see you, bravery until the next time
Bravery oh my old friend, bravery
Track Name: Thousand Miles Away
Thousand Miles Away
There's a part of me that's never ever left the farm
There’s a part of me that’s still out on the land
I see an open sky glow and it’s a letter sent from home with a full moon postage stamp
And I’ve crossed through majestic Rocky Mountains let ‘em lift me up defying gravity
And I’ve spent time by the water out on the coast wondering if the tide would pull me out to sea

And I’ve tried my shoes out in the city under bright lights pounding pavement and concrete
All the while comparing the rush and the buzz to gravel roads and dirt beneath my feet

Chorus
I was looking for a place where my heart belonged where beauty would put a smile on my face
And I wonder if I’d have ever seen it if I’d not been looking back from a 1000 miles away

We said good-bye and I thought I’d never turn back to you, felt our love had come and it had gone
But the late night telephone conversations and distance had me thinking I was wrong
When you’re off chasing parts of you that are missing, oh there’s no telling what you’re gonna see
And buried between hope and consequence I met a stranger who looked a lot like me

Chorus

Now I trace the full circle that I’ve come with you staring up at this starry night sky
And I think of all the roads I had to travel to see what was before my very eyes

Chorus
Track Name: Boom Boom
Boom Boom

I thought I was empty, empty in distress
Thought there was no use getting myself outta bed
I thought my heart was all but dead

But you’re like Ringo Starr just tapping on my chest
I can’t seem to get you outta my head, play me like your drum
Oh that rhythm has begun, ya ya ya

Chorus
You’re putting back a little boom boom
you’re putting back a little boom boom in my heart, ya ya ya
you’re putting back a little boom boom, you’re putting back a little boom boom in my heart

With a beating of your snare you’re marching me off to
The waiting fields of my waterloo, if this were war oh I’d lose
just giving in to you, ya ya ya

Chorus

You’re my booster cables you jump started me
You’re a bolt of lightning, you’re electricity
Thought it was a wasteland, hopeless and cold now this
Being with you this power of 2, I can’t see this getting old
No no no no

Was just a hollow echo achin by my lungs
But you brought em back to me one by one by one
Oh behold my salvation

Chorus
Track Name: Deliver Me
Deliver Me
I’ve been waiting for the truth to come, I been down on bended knees
I been looking for the way to go home now, baby please deliver me

Chorus
Only love, love, is enough, is enough
Only love, love, please deliver me

I been out alone for so long, I been lost at every turn
I been searching for the one to get me through now, baby please deliver me

Chorus

I recall when words were spoken, they’re just echoes in my head
Now I’m feeling for the broken, baby please deliver me

Chorus
Track Name: Sweet Sweet Nothings
Sweet Sweet Nothings

Never heard a sound so good
Make me imagine things I never knew I could
Never felt a rush like this, your voice oh I rejoice in that body bliss

Chorus
oh lay your sweet sweet nothings on me
oh whisper your sweet sweet nothings ya honey set ‘em free
there’s a little something something in between those little nothings
lay your sweet sweet nothings on me

Don’t need no whiskey oh don’t need no cigarettes
But Behold your sugar oh I take all I can get
Wild horses running up and down my spine
Your every little word racing this heart of mine

Chorus

Sing for me your most beautiful song, it’s a symphony & my heartstrings are playing along
It shakes my veins, churns my blood oh I’m holding on for dear life
But baby please take your time

Chorus
Track Name: Something's Gotta Give
Something’s Gotta Give

Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give

I been losing sleep, mind churning overtime
Bucket full of dreams, flaws in their design
All this shadow boxing, all this black and blue
Choices, chances, get the best of you
Feet dangling in the fire flirting with a flame
and a smile pasted on my face

Chorus
Won’t be remembered for the things I never did
I’m on the precipice of the thick of it
Take this crown as tarnished as it is
Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give oh
Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give

I fear the day when dreams become explanations
Naked, on trial nowhere to run
With a compass & a map clutched into my hand & an hour glass run out of sand
Keeping arms length from all my re grets
Life teaches you lessons then it gives you the test

Chorus

Oh the hours are fleeting
Oh for my mind to be believing in my heart

Chorus
Track Name: Queen of Broken Souls
Queen of Broken Souls

They come for the excitement and the Vegas hype
The velvet curtains drawn too tight
This dim lit room like honey for bees
Oh how misery loves company
Whiskey and a steady chain of cigarettes
They can butt em out but they can’t forget
There’s nowhere else that they can go
A single spotlight warms to a glow

Chorus
Cleopatra plays piano while the audience looks on
At first she sings a show tune then she sings a slow sad song
In her gold and silver sequins once the queen of rock and roll
Now her court’s a lonely theatre she’s the queen of broken souls

Bartender smiles and pours another round
He’s helping all their sorrows drown
One wrong turn off the yellow brick road
How it happened nobody knows

Chorus

One more number from her catalogue of hits
The chords all sound the same, the choruses never change
Everybody knows the words, but no one moves their lips
Put a coin in the machine she’ll sing you anything

Chorus
Track Name: Fool for You
Fool For You

It’s just a taste of the honey, a little sting of the bee
Tiny force of nature is moving in me
Now it’s a thing of beauty, beautiful scene of a crime
Undercover feeling your heart stealing mine
Everything I could ask for, but I don’t got no need for asking
No no no no no no no more

Chorus
If I were so bold as to call this love, oh would you call me a fool?
I be calling that true, I’m head over heels
ya I’m a fool for you, for you

Hook line and sinker one taste I’m yours
Don’t need no more red wine, no no no no more running to the liquor store
You’re hijacking my daydreams, in the corners of my mind
You’re not just stealing little pieces of my heart oh no no no no no
You’re robbing me blind. Everything I could ask for
But I don’t got no need for asking no no no no no no, no more

Chorus

I’m disobeying the wise men as I’m banging down your door
And my heart can’t stop thump thumping for yours

Chorus
Track Name: Get What You Give
Get What You Give

You might pray for love, try to coax it your way
Cross your fingers to the point of breaking cuz you
Just need a place for your heart to go to sooth the aching
With those 3 words you got tucked at the back of your mind
You know what you want but it's hard to describe
do you go looking for it or let it find you, pretend to kill some time?
Place poetic quotes in old picture frames, and wishbones and clover and falling star games, it’s hope reaching out trying to tap on the shoulder of fate, oh

Chorus
Do you fear for the break, hold on to what if’s?
No the truth of the heart lies in lessons you live
When it comes to love it seems you get what you give

The stranger you were too scared to say hello to
The moment slipped by like a ghost and you were
Caught between what’s meant to be and what it meant to you

Those 3 words sitting there at the back of your throat
you wanna move ‘em to your lips where they matter the most
Be proud you said it wear that smile around like the warmest winter coat

Chorus

While a pawnshop is selling off old wedding rings you feel a tug at your sagging heartstrings, a widow places flowers on a grave she’s been tending
You see newlywed tears under confetti spray, that couple one table over with nothing left to say, words struggle to hold the heavy of all that weight
But you put it together & you come know, the greater the heart the more cracks it can hold, while a small part of you knows that at some point it might be too late, so

Chorus
Track Name: Walking Shoes
Walkin Shoes

Been working on my Spanish, brushing up on my French
I’ve travelled South America, haven’t found myself yet
I been crossing rivers, I been climbing hills
Heard about slowing down, doubt I ever will
Meanwhile back on the farm

Chorus
Measured out in crow’s feet, stored deep in your bones
All those years of living only you’ll ever know
And like the North Star in the sky inside me there’s some of you
I’m grateful that you handed me down your walking shoes

The leather’s warn but beautiful, and cracked in the soles
All your years out in the fields & walking gravel roads
Now it’s checking crops and friends on coffee row
Shifted down the gears, how’s it feel to take it slow?
There back on the farm

Chorus

Sometimes like oil and water, we didn’t always see eye to eye
Oh but with time

All that invisible gold, the riches of your years
Your walking shoes on my feet I’m setting out from here

Chorus
Track Name: Fades to Grey
Fades to Grey

Mirror mirror if only you could see what I see
Ashes blow between the ghosts the silver screen’s a fading scene
And it’s pushing me away, I’m holding on, I’m not that strong

Chorus
And the lights go down, and you walk away and it fades to grey
And I’m down on my knees and I can’t be saved and it fades to grey
I’m calling your name, I’m calling your name

Darkness fell and crushed the words inside my mouth
Broken pieces falling out to the ground
Comfort me I’m afraid, water’s rushing down my face

Chorus

Mirror mirror all my memories collide
Bruises on my fingertips from holding on too tight

Chorus