Steel mills and apple pie

Some 15 years ago I composed an instrumental canvas called ‘The ballad of Errol Warwick’. Recently I added an original love story, based on personal experience and transformed it into ‘Steel mills and apple pie’. Thank you G Tee Pee, Bill McCarthy, Caleb Anderson and Amy B. for helping me to create an epic piece, bringing back happy memories…

Nothing ever changes around this town
Nothing ever moves, it’s in the ground

Fifteen, high school, looking past the school room
She sat two rows in front of me
The one I wanted instantly
It’s raw when you’re a teen

Hung at the club where you played guitar
I listened it broke my heart
the drunks in the bar
drinking hard

It’s better than this, that I know

Mid life, now I’m twenty five
It’s a clown show, full flow
Played out and passed out on the bar floor
Saw your mother still serving slow

Malt to the flies and the guys from the yard
Hard men, working men
That’s all we are

Small town girls look for a car
A ride away to a dance in the bar
Nothing changed, nothing does,
Nothing will, the way things are
Nothing ever changes around this town
Nothing ever moves it’s in the ground
Of steel mills and crunching sounds

Thought I’d look up to you again
thought I’d think that’s what mother said
I met him at high school, the captain of the team
There was something about him, that stood out to me
He treated me good, he treated me right
It ended up leaving in the same night

Nothing ever changes, nothing ever moves
We’re all stuck in the ground
With nothing to lose

Been around the world
Had many nights
Some full of pain
Others of delight
Other wild times
So high on life

I’ve had many lovers of all kinds
I’ve rolled from bed to bed
from nameless faceless, hopeless covers
Missing you so much that
I can’t take it, I can’t take it

Nothing fills the hole of you
Nothing feels the same as you
Nothing works, work work harder
Run away you run further

So I find I’m here again
(Nothing ever changes around this town)
Back here again, sober, straight, saved
(Nothing ever changes)
Ghost of a town, ghosts are all around
(Nothing ever moves, it’s in the ground)
There’s no more draw than you
No more pull than your eyes
You keep me true
(Hypnotized by the local sound)
This is the life I found
(Steel mills and the crunch of apple pies)

Excuse me miss, do you know the way to the…? Well I’ll be, it’s you! Umm, how have you been? It’s been ages you look wonderful, striking actually.

It has been some time hasn’t it, I’ve been well. I’ve been traveling a lot with a man that I met. There are some days that I wish for a quiet moment without the motion of life swirling around me, but those times of trial have made me much stronger.

Sounds like quite the journey. Are you you doing anything right now? If you have time I know a beautifully little cafe right by the beach where we could catch up. I’d love to hear about your all of your plights and victories.

You know what, I think I might have an hour or two that I could spare.
Come on, let’s go.

Nothing ever changes around this town
Nothing ever moves, it’s in the ground
Hypnotized by the local sound
of steel mills and the crunch of apple pies

(Lyrics: G. Tee Pee, vocals: Caleb Anderson and Amy B.)

The Healing

Sure, it was my idea and it is my production. But my goodness… The über-excellent contributions of Joey six, Jim Bryan, Mark Miller and Jeff Bragg made to this 3-minute power ballad almost were too much for me. Do yourself a favour. Open up to 179 seconds of sheer class.

Now who am I?

Frustration, desperation
The seeds of this anxiety
What if I open my eyes?
If what I see I despise?
Powerlessness feeds insanity

Destitution my restitution
For all these atrocities

Reclamation, emancipation
Where did you leave the keys?

Each day begins the healing
Pages in the book of liberty

Just who am I supposed to be?

Starting early, not yet seaworthy
These first steps of sobriety
But am I immune to the lies?
Primed for another reprise
Prepare for another round of apologies

Now who am I supposed to be?

Remembering who I was
Essential to who I will be
I live for it all …

(Lyrics & Vocals by Jeff Bragg)

Wretch

Dark and awesome. That’s ‘Wretch’ alright. Sean wrote some first class lyrics and his vocal performance is beyond compare. Not to mention his wicked guitar playing. And on top of that there’s the solid bass Mark Bowen provided. Are you ready for some serious music?

I’m running out of time.
Before the loneliness is revived.
I’m searching for another drink.
The only way I think that I’m alive.

I’m running out of time.
I’m running out of time.
Before the emptiness will arise.
Before the emptiness will arise.

You don’t even have to try.
You don’t even have to try.
All you need to do is survive.
All you need to do is survive.

I’m running out of time.
I’m running out of time.
Before that person has arrived.
I’m searching for a new way out.
But what’s so wrong when they all think you are fine?

You don’t even have to try.
You don’t even have to try.
All you need to do is survive.
All you need to do is survive.

Why do I keep asking for more?
Why do I keep asking for more?

Why don’t we waste a little time?
Come on…it’s just some time.
I’m running out of time.

I know you,
Are keeping score.
Are keeping score.
Think you really win this war ?
You think you’ve really won this war?

(Lyrics and vocals by Sean DeCataldo)

Fully charged

Power, drive, pop. ‘Fully charged’ definitely has got it all. With the help of David Koehler, Buck M., VocalRun and Grandmaster Joey on leadguitar. Boost yourself:-).

Fully charged
Ready to stream
Livin’ large
A YouTube dream
A virtual world awaits
Altered states
Window to the collective mind
Human experience
All you can find

Pay a song
Take me on the go
Catch a score
Be where you need to be
Check this out
Have a split ego
I’ve seen it before
With me your mind runs free

All I need is battery power
I’ll keep you busy hour after hour
Hour after hour

Fully charged
Ready to stream
Livin’ large
A YouTube dream
The light is green…

Your crowd will descend
Following the trend
Meet there if you can
Following the trend
Stream until the end
Someone never known
Is a suddden best friend
I’ll be your best friend

Rumors catch fire
The truth is pretend
No time for reason
Must hit the send
Pumped up with power
All the knowledge of the planet
Doesn’t matter how you use it

I’ll feed your fire
I’ll help you fan it

Fully charged
Ready to stream
Fully charged
Ready to stream
Fully charged
Livin’ large
Fully charged
A YouTube dream
Fully charged

(Lyrics: David Koehler, Vocals: Buck M. & VocalRun)

Descendant II

‘Descendant II’ is the remake of an earlier version –https://justvera.com/2019/07/31/descendant/-, with an entirely different jazzy vibe. Lyrics by Tez Katajala, Bill McCarthy on drums and Jim Bryan on fretless bass. Marc Brouwer’s rearrangement of the piano part is truly great in every way and clearly showed the new direction. And on top of that: Kari DeNeal with an unequalled vocal performance… JustThat.

I can’t help who I am
I am a descendant
I can’t show who I am
I’m lost in the dissonance

I’d like to rise above the noise
But I’m stuck in the present
I’d like to fly away
But I’ve been grounded

I need you to help me
To keep from drowning
I’m lost in all the noise
Will I be found

Will I be found
Will I be found
Will I be found

To rise above the noise
I need to be persistent
I am a descendant

Lost in the dissonance
Stuck in the present
Trying to keep from drowning
To keep from drowning

(Lyrics: Tez Katajala, Vocals: Kari DeNeal)

Valhalla

When I started ‘Valhalla’ three months ago, I felt there was magic. Chris Bouchard (drums), Joey Six (guitars), Dave Koehler (lyrics) and Mike Patterson (vocals) must have felt the same…

‘Valhalla’ turned out as I hoped it would: with the Scandinavian vibe, the power and excitement in every vein. Enjoy the warriors.

We ply the icy waves
By stars we steer
In dragon ships
Without fear

Foes scan the sea
Spot our sails
Their stomachs turn
Their hearts quail
Some test our might
And some turn tail
But those that fight
Were doomed to fail

On the field
Don’t mourn the fallen

Valhalla
Valhalla
The warrior’s right
Battle all day
Eat and drink all night
So may we fly to Valhalla

Fly to Valhalla

By northern lights
We are born
To live by strength
And fear no storm

Forward in battle
Weapons unshorn
Eternal disgrace
For those who yield
I will never yield

Honor for those
Carried home on a shield
When the horns sound
And the blood will flow
We will fight and win
Or to Valhalla we will go

Valhalla
Valhalla
The warrior’s right
Valhalla
Valhalla
We’ll battle all day
And drink all night

Valhalla
Valhalla

Valhalla

(Lyrics: David Koehler, Vocals: Mike Patterson)

The goal

Greed… It’s one of the seven sins which are the subject of ‘The goal’. Written by David Koehler and convincingly performed by Buck M. The musical stage is my usual Reason programming plus the subtle rhythm guitar of Nicola Offidani providing that special 80-ies feel. Enjoy!

You act like you’re
Some Robin Hood
But you ain’t foolin’ me
You’re up to no good

You’re a clever one
Smooth talkin’ man
Sell water to a fish?
I know you can

You come by your funds
In nefarious ways
Then pretend you’re a hero
Like the ace of spades

What’s the goal
For the money you stole?
What’s the goal ?
What’s the goal?

You took from the rich
Give to the poor
That was your story
‘Til you passed those stores

It ain’t from need
You’re livin’ fine
It’s more like greed
Can’t walk the line

Weird addiction
Don’t you see it’s a crime?

What’s the goal
For the money you stole?
What’s the goal man?
What’s the goal?

Well you finally got caught
And you did some time
Now you’re on parole
But you’re still not buyin’

And history repeats itself
You’re just diggin’ a hole
And sellin’ your soul
For a glamourous role

So that’s the goal
For all the money you stole
You brag about diamonds
But you’re diggin’ up coal

Is that the goal, man?
Is that the goal?

(Lyrics: David Koehler, Vocals: Buck M.)

Angela

‘Angela’ was a slowstarter, which turned out beyond my expectations. More than a year ago there was Pepino Lorenzo who added a driving drumtrack to my idea. Then there was a long silence, until Buck&Dave showed up. Dave’s passionate story inspired Buck to an extraordinary vocal performance.
Sometimes lightning strikes and Magic happens…

I walk alone this evening
Setting sun’s like your ruby lips
Thinkin’ about your sultry eyes
Wanna feel your swaying hips

Temptation is a fire
That melts my pride
All I feel is desire
Something I can’t hide

Why did we fight
Angela
It just ain’t right
Angela

You make me sad
You don’t seem to care
You treat me bad
If I treated you
Like you treat me
You’d rain a hellfire for all to see
Angela, Angela, Angela…

I’ll call and call
Will you take me back?
Will you see me again?
Will you be on the attack?

This is your game
I’m always to blame
I’d walk away, but I
I can’t quench this flame

Temptation is a fire
That melts my pride
All I feel is desire
Something I can’t hide

Angela
Why did we fight
Angela
It just ain’t right
This ain’t the way
Stop makin’ me pay
Angela
Stop makin’ me pay

(Lyrics: David Koehler, Vocals: Buck M.)

Spot the wolf

Pop. With a twist. Or two. Thank you so much Elizabeth Auzan (lyrics) and Kris Pride (vocals) for this wolf in sheep’s clothing: ‘Spot the wolf’.

You smiled at me across the dance floor
Then I wanted more
And Mary’s little lamb
Didn’t see the wolf’s pointy fangs

Red Riding Hood’s gran,
The Wolf of Wall Street man
It’s sheep or wolf since time began

Felt like the star of Dirty Dancin’
Ready for romance
I was a silly sheep
You, the wolf, swept me off my feet

Red Riding Hood’s gran,
The Wolf of Wall Street man
It’s sheep or wolf since time began

I don’t enjoy living dangerously
This much you could see
I didn’t recognize
The hard, wolfish glint in your eyes

I gave you my heart.
You wolfed it down
I was just your clown
You told beautiful lies
And you laughed every time I cried

Red Riding Hood’s gran,
The Wolf of Wall Street man
It’s sheep or wolf since time began

Like tigers who never change their stripes
Wolves will always bite
Cunningly disguised
They’ll take you by surprise

Red Riding Hood’s gran,
The Wolf of Wall Street man
It’s sheep or wolf since time began

(Lyrics: Elizabeth Auzan, Vocals: Kris Pride)

Anytime you need me (ft. EllenDXY)

I started with the bass, added drums and guitar. Then Patricia Kigilcim came up with the lyrics and vocal melody. Soon there were contributions of Bill McCarthy, liljoe6string, IanT. and JeanLui Toudou. This collab was boiling like I didn’t experience ever before… So many awesome ideas and contributions which probably shouldn’t be combined into one mix.

I decided to produce two versions: a rocky version with Ian T’s vocals and a much softer female one. The male version was released in July: https://justvera.com/2020/07/02/anytime-you-need-me/

Today I proudly present the second version with awesome vocals from EllenDXY. An entirely different vibe. With the same groovy drums Bill delivered months ago. And the inimitable lead guitar of Joey. A truly epic solo. Anyway, enjoy this original lovesong. I do.

One step forward, two steps back
Life’s a struggle
You always have my back
Reach out to me
When you hear my call
Take my hand
Never let me fall

Anywhere you’re going, I wanna go
Anytime you need me, baby let me know
You bring light, peace to my soul
Fill this life
Baby make me whole

Positive feeling
all because of you
I must be dreaming
But I only dream of you

Can you feel it? (positivity)

Nobody knows you like I do
Nobody teaches me to love the way you do
You give meaning to everything
Positive feeling
You make wanna sing

Can you feel it? (positivity)

Anywhere you’re going
I wanna go
Anytime you need me
Baby let me know
You bring light
Peace to my soul
Fill this life
Make me whole

ooh can you feel it? (positivity)

Anywhere you’re going I wanna go
Anytime you need me
Baby let me know
ooh Can you feel it? (positivity)
ooh Can you feel it? (positivity)

ooh Can you feel it? (positivity)
ooh yeah Any time you need me
oh Any time you need me
Let me know

(Lyrics: Patricia Kigilcim/EllenDXY, Vocals: EllenDXY)