Long List of Priors

(Credits & Lyrics)


Recorded by Chris Allen at Sear Sound, NYC

February – September 2015 & January 2016

Assisted by Grant Valentine & Owen Mulholland

Additional Recording: Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording

Additional Engineering: John Squicciarino & Dave Westner

Mixed by Ben Wisch at Bailey Building & Loan, Ridgewood, NJ

Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Kevorkian Mastering, NYC

All songs written by Kenny White © Mup Music, ASCAP

(p) & © 2016 Mup Music

Cover photo by Sandrine Lee

Buy Long List of Priors – $18

International Orders please email kennywhitenews@aol.com

Lyrics

1. Road Less Traveled

looks like we may have finally hit a dry spell

if i’d any sense i’d tell you we’re sinking like a stone.

it’s never fun when only one can feel the distance

and the path of least resistance is worn and overgrown

 

the heart is a living, breathing contradiction

it gets cooler with friction, warm with a gentle touch

i heard a line about the heart once, now i’m gonna steal it

when it’s full you hardly feel it, when it’s empty it weighs so much

 

day by day, all through the night it’s all about who’s wrong, who’s right

i’m getting tired of the endless battle. . .i’m just looking for a road less traveled

 

operators are assisting other people at this time

hang up, you’ll lose your place in line, this music’s driving me insane

you said my call was important to you

i don’t know if that’s true. . .hey, where’d you go? disconnected again

 

you appreciate my patience but your public relations skills

cause me palpitations, can you answer me at all?

if my meter’s in the basement and my bank is right nearby

why am I talking to Mumbai? i’d like to escalate this call

 

blood’s warm but the trail’s gone cold, have I grown up or just grown old

my hand is steady but my faith is rattled

and I’m just looking for a road less traveled.

 

I’m torn between desire and the will to be released

do i need a locksmith or a priest? i’m just a mess of crossed wires

my reputation’s painted on every wall in town

the past is gonna hunt me down. . . i’ve got a long list of priors

 

they say that money’s wasted on the wealthy

youth is wasted on the young but i don’t fall among

that kind of chatter

all you’re given at the start is a target and some darts

you collect the other parts and then

you try to make ’em matter

 

take your place in the New Frontier

man, i hope you’re happy here

the poet’s dead and the song’s unravelled and

i’m just looking for a road. . .

 

i’m no beacon, i’m no saint

i’m a canvas allergic to paint

the light fades with every swing of the gavel

i’m just looking for a road less traveled


david crosby – harmony vocal

shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – ac & resophonic guitar, mandola

larry campbell – fiddle

kw – vocal, piano, B3

2. Che Guevara

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore

i’ve searched in every NY clothing store

the once proud bohemian is lying in the discount bin

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore

 

nowadays, nothing’s built to last

we’ve learned to pull our heroes from the past

whatever it is you lack, you’re bound to find it on the rack

when you don’t like it, you just take it back

 

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore

i don’t see him as often as before

a troubled man with a violent streak

suddenly, a hip mystique

silk-screened on the brooklyn chic

 

from iconic emissary to ironic, temporary

here’s to the sons of glory, reborn as inventory

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore

this time, a victim of the style war

the face of the proletariat and you wouldn’t know without his hat

 

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore

che guevara’s not fashionable anymore


shawn pelton – drums, drum programming

marty ballou – bass

duke levine – el guitar

antoine silverman – string arrangement

kw – vocal, piano

amy helm, catherine russell – backing vocals


antoine silverman – violin

sean carney – violin

emily yarbrough – violin

sylvia d’avanzo – violin

jonathon dinklage – viola

chris cardona – viola

anja wood – cello

emily brausa – cello

3. Another Bell Unanswered

tried hard to be strong for you so your path was clear.

all i did was long for you, and wish you’d come back here

each morning sun would promise hope; to me it said, okay

get up, time for your heart to start to break again today

 

somewhere along the line your love divided into two

a match between desire and what you thought was right to do

is mercury in retrograde, did the stars fall out of line?

I need a better reason than it just was not our time.

 

now you turn the page and you send your best to me

was it a momentary journey or a broken destiny?

another bell unanswered, another unplayed song

if our fate was in the heavens,

this time the heavens got it wrong.

 

who knows where we’ll be standing a couple years from now

my boyish looks long abandoned, though i still pretend somehow

the day always seems to come when hope no longer springs

and all those lovely notes must then return to their strings

 

but every now and then, clear out of the blue

something will remind you how much more there was to do

might be out there in the shadows, as you pull the evening blinds

you’ll wonder where he is and if you ever cross his mind.

 

now the gray geese call, and winter finds it’s voice

and the leaves will fall as if they had a choice

just another bell unanswered, another unplayed song

if our fate was in the heavens,

this time the heavens got it wrong.


david crosby – harmony vocal

shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – ac guitar

larry campbell – el guitar

john “scrapper” sneider – trumpet

dan block – clarinet, bass clarinet

wayne goodman – trombone

kw – vocal, piano

4. Cyberspace

i learned about a wedding, crashed by rebels in New Delhi

i learned about a guy who stashed three kilos in his belly

i learned Amelia Earhart may, in fact, still be alive

and that killer bees in Sicily are learning how to drive

i learned my friends are 2 dimensional, every secret written

you don’t need to tap their phones, there’s nothing left that’s hidden

i learned that cats are cute unless you happen to be a mouse

i learned it only takes a suit to be elected to the House

 

i spent the day in cyberspace. . . contagious insanity

as goes the human touch, so goes humanity

 

i learned the world’s a lovely mystery, i’m just glad to tag along

as soon as someone’s sure they’re right, that’s when I’m sure they’re wrong

i learned that it’s a better thing to build a bridge than burn it

i learned that people taught to turn the other cheek won’t turn it

and that evidence and science now at that we thumb our noses

the mention of a dying earth. . . the conversation closes

but pitchforks and street of gold, that we’re gonna swallow

well, i learned not to judge but pardon me if i don’t follow

you can spend half your life tossing hopes into the air

two hands engaged in labor do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

 

i spent the day in cyberspace. . . contagious insanity

as goes the human touch, so goes humanity

 

i learned that looking good may have a lot to do with lighting

i learned about a war or two we had no business fighting

i learned that the highest judges in the land can still be bought

i learned that if you play footsie with the next stall you’ll be caught

and that you can repent once, but the second time you’re toast

i learned the ones most guilty are the ones that yell the most

i learned that people cite the constitution ’til they’re blue

when the only amendmentthat they know is number two

some try to save the unborn through their righteous megaphone

but god help you after the first breath you take on your own

 

i spent the day in cyberspace. . . contagious insanity

here’s to the human race and all of it’s vanity

 

i learned that people swallow metal things more often than i’d guess

i learned that less is more and that i’m sure of, more or less

i learned that even when you think you are, you’re not alone

i learned that Walmart shoppers are a breed unto their own

i learned that music i detest has other people smitten

the only time i have agreed was, ‘worst lyric ever written’

Horse with no Name

plants and birds and rocks and things

 

i learned the body politic is now severely broken

i learned the best opinions are the ones that stay unspoken

but still i sing this song to you, despite my own advice

believe me, soon it will be over and i’ll sing something nice

i learned we’ve got a stack of bills and nothing left to pay ’em

no more things to say and now a hundred ways to say ’em

i learned all this in an hour here at laptop college

so much information, so little knowledge

I learned we need to make time for our husbands and our wives

and that we’re driftingfar from what’s important in our lives

not you and me, I’ll make your motor run, don’t you ever doubt it

but baby, hurry up and come, so I can tweet about it.

 

i spent the day in cyberspace. . . contagious insanity

as goes the human touch, so goes humanity

i spent the day in cyberspace. . . contagious insanity

as goes the human touch, so goes humanity


shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – el guitar

kw – vocal, piano

amy helm, catherine russell – backing vocals

5. The Other Shore

there’s a time, early evening

the city shows it’s mercy

lines are cast through the river glass

as the sun sinks into Jersey

 

on my left, the lady glints

the copper torch of liberty

on my right, the faded prints

of where you stood so near to me

 

through window panes as thin as prayer

you can hear the peals of thunder

i’ve spent hours sitting there

confusing love with hunger

 

today my longing knows no limits

i’m held by what i cannot hold

stay with me for just these few more minutes

keep me from the cold

 

soon the car will come and take you

and i will have to let go

for just one more chance to make you laugh

i’d give the world, you know

 

i haven’t always shown my best

i’ve wounded those i most adore

but all is well, safely rest

i will meet you on the other shore


kw – vocal, piano

antoine silverman – string arrangement


antoine silverman – violin

entcho todorov – violin

emily yarbrough – violin

sylvia d’avanzo – violin

matt lehmann – violin

jonathon dinklage – viola

chris cardona – viola

anja wood – cello

amy ralske – cello

pete donovan – contrabass

john “scrapper” sneider – trumpet

dylan schwab – flugelhorn

eric davis – french horn

keith o’quinn – trombone

andrew sterman – bass clarinet

 

6. Glad-handed

choked up from the depths of indigestion

an aging, hard of hearing bottle blonde

who knows too much to ever ask a question

just happy swimming in her little pond

 

but if you want to make your mark, get busy

you believe it, then you gotta take your stand

you’re sitting on the wrong side of sixty

and your hourglass is running out of sand

 

glad-handed backroom deals, pinning hopes on spinning wheels

one minute, riding high then down you go

c’mon, absolutely, yeah, can’t wait, most likely, well see,

sorry, i don’t think so, no.

 

you said, ‘i love you but i can’t pick up the phone, dear’

you said, ‘i love you, because i got the sense i should.

i’d tell you what i think but i’m alone here.

i gotta wait for someone else to say it’s good.’

when it somes to taste, you’re undernourished

and when it comes to style, you’re overfed

when it comes to choose, you got no courage

and when it comes to know the differences, you’re dead.

 

glad-handed backroom deals, pinning hopes on spinning wheels

one minute, riding high then down you go

c’mon, absolutely, yeah, most likely, well see,

sorry, i don’t think so, no.

 

i can’t believe what has you so excited

if you like that i hope you don’t like me

i used to be among the few invited

now i’m tearing up my RSVP

 

i thought my road was paved with good intentions

i’m not sure i can say it after all

i aimed for the stars and revved my engines

instead, i found out how far i could fall

 

you wake up feeling like a lonesome prisoner

and you realize all that glitters isn’t gold

it’s true, your words might never find a listener

but that doesn’t mean the story can’t be told

 

glad-handed backroom deals, pinning hopes, spinning wheels. . .

 

glad-handed backroom deals, pinning hopes on spinning wheels

one minute, riding high then down you go

they say absolutely, yeah, can’t wait, most likely, well see,

sorry, doubtful, i don’t think so

 

c’mon, absolutely, yeah, can’t wait, most likely, sorry, doubtful, i don’t think so. . .

c’mon, wait a minute. . . have we met? oh, you must be kidding. . . no.


peter wolf – duet vocal, harmonica

shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – el guitar

larry campbell – el guitar

kw – vocal, piano, B3, percussion

amy helm, catherine russell – backing vocals

7. Lights Over Broadway

the siren crawls past shop displays

still none of the cars get out of the way

the building tops are swallowed by gray

oh, how it’s raining in new york today

 

midtown color carnival show

is it day? is it night? no way to know

i’m flashing back to the sweet glory days

soldiers returning to a feverish haze

 

when the band would call the tune

sinatra flew to the moon

the lights over broadway never so bright

 

madame z will read your palm

cigarette dangling, beads on her arm

the f.b.i. tried to put her away

but the charges were dropped and she’s open today

 

you wouldn’t recognize this place

all of the excess, none of the grace

there was a time we lit up cigars

the city was swinging on moonbeams and stars

 

all those days on the brink

sound and picture out of sync

you grabbed your girl and held her tight

sax and trumpets blew all night

nothing else mattered. . . everything right

 

all those days on the brink

the sound and picture out of sync

now you could feel the raindrops again

you grabbed your girl and held her tight

sax and trumpets blew all night

nothing else mattered. . . everything alright

 

a melody, a turn of phrase

notes were jumping off the page

dance floor, dizzy on champagne

spinning ’round like the wheels of a fast train

 

and the band would call the tune

sinatra flew to the moon

everything just right

the lights over broadway never so bright


kw – vocal, piano

shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – el guitar

john “scrapper” sneider – trumpet

antoine silverman – string arrangement

amy helm, catherine russell, angela reed – backing vocals


antoine silverman – violin

sean carney – violin

emily yarbrough – violin

sylvia d’avanzo – violin

jonathon dinklage – viola

chris cardona – viola

anja wood – cello

emily brausa – cello

8. Charleston

I heard the words coming from my radio

singing, “If you’re ready, (come go with me)”

the pulse was steady and the rhythm slow

Mavis, tearing up the melody

 

Then the news broke my reverie

and turned the summer heat to frost

with words I’ve heard too frequently;

nine good people paid the cost.

 

you brought me water when I needed to drink

you held out a net when I was near the brink

you covered me up when I thought I might freeze

now they’ve taken you, and left me on my knees

 

who are these devils with hearts of coal

and empty rooms behind their eyes

how many bells still need to toll

how many suns still need to rise

 

and my blood sped up and my body shivered

for the angels lining up at Heaven’s Gate

when nine in Charleston were hand delivered

by the cold fingerprints of hate

this peaceful house has lifted souls

by teaching how to rise above

now each and every bullet hole

shall be filled with grace and sealed with love

 

I’ve raised this voice for all these years

been rewarded for the sound it makes

it won’t mean a thing if I can’t dry the tears

when the gun shot rings and the levee breaks

 

and my blood sped up and my body shivered

for the angels lining up at Heaven’s Gate

when nine in Charleston were hand delivered

by the cold fingerprints of hate

200 summers’ healing hands

200 winters’ open door

200 autumns, and may you stand

for at least 200 more


ada dyer – duet vocal

shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – bass

duke levine – el guitar

kw – vocal, piano, B3

john “scrapper” sneider – trumpet

joel frahm – trombone

any helm, angela reed, catherine russell, james d-train williams, kw – backing vocals

 

9. The Moon Is Low

i’ve never been too good at this

chatting up bar-stool potentials

the prelude to an empty kiss

stories and jokes, the essentials

 

all the voices turned up loud

the deejay’s artillery fire

i scan the faces in the crowd

mine is the one that’s most tired

 

one more dip into the well

before i leave these neophytes

to duke it out among themselves

for some company tonight

 

i’m drawn less to the flame of love

more to the anticipation

and i wish to god it was enough

but i’m scared to death of salvation

 

it all starts as a one-night stand

until that one perfect memory lingers

after that, you’re holding sand

too tight and it slips through your fingers

 

it’s time to throw these letters out

where i sent my kisses and sealed them

in pages filled with dreams and doubts

when you made it safe to reveal them

 

then i’ll pick up tomorrow’s Times

a couple of bucks and a smile

the moon is low and about to climb

i’m just gonna walk for awhile


kw – vocal, piano

10. West L.A.

i really wanted her to stay

i’m never gonna get my way

so i’m moving out to west l.a.

me. yeah, me.

 

everyone tan and fit

don’t need no sarcastic wit

leave all that back in new york cit. . . y

 

underneath an auburn haze

sitting on the 405 for days

and while you wait you pretend to conversate

with a girl in the next lane

 

“i will know you horizontally

it’ll stay between just you and me

we’ll ride this town convertibly

you’ll see.”

 

and we won’t feel any guilt here

’cause that’s not how we are built here

y’know, the roses never wilt here, honestly.

 

(west l.a.) a cure for the weakened heart

and when you finally land that speaking part

she’ll suffer the effects of this painful separation

at least that’ll be your interpretation

 

so there’s no need to tear up

this traffic’s starting to clear up

it’s time for you to cheer up

in west l.a. west l.a. west l.a. west l.a.


shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – el guitar

dan block – clarinet

john “scrapper” sneider – trumpet

wayne goodman – trombone, tuba

kw – vocal, piano

angela reed – harmony vocal

amy helm, catherine russell – backing vocals

 

11. Color of the Sky

i wish i could stay. i wish i could find a way

to fix it so you would be with me everyday

and each day could last forever

 

i don’t want to go. i don’t want to end the show

and have to find my way back in the dark

left to wonder if i’ll ever

feel you or hear you, know you, or hold you again

 

the color of the sky is not the one that i remember

now the summer doesn’t feel as warm

knowing that somebody else can

have you and hold you, kiss you and love you

again and again and again and again and again


shawn pelton – drums, drum programming

marty ballou – bass

duke levine – ac guitar

larry campbell – el guitar

dan block – clarinet

kw – vocals, piano

 

12. 4000 Reasons to Run

carrilon bells chime in the mist

you want to give in but you need to resist

still you open the latch in case love shows up

one strike of the match and the whole thing goes up

you weep like a willow, you move like a cat

you’re gonna put someone’s heart out playing like that

 

yesterday’s kiss makes me shiver tonight

something so crazy and perfectly right,

and the jukebox is telling me i am just one in a line-up. . .

“where do i sign up?”

this bar’s full of sad sacks, dogs on the loose

beer guts and bad backs from years of abuse,

“hey now, don’t take your freedom for granted”

this song, these hats, the attitudes. . . man, i can’t stand it

 

she and adonis surrounded by water,

i’m holding the lifeline but it keeps getting shorter

look in this picture, the camera has caught her

one foot in paradise. . . one, only sorta

i’m self-medicating and skating up hills,

this wine is misleading, i brought the wrong pills

 

the piano won’t give me a thing that i need today, it’s got a mind of it’s own

either i bleed, or it’s gonna play all the same crap that we’ve heard before

and we really don’t need to hear anymore

you haven’t cut me up bad enough yet, i’ve got one or two veins that haven’t been let

it’s a prizefight i barely can stand this, i’m still on my feet in the 10th

on my way to the canvas

 

i knock on the door, wait ’til you pull me in

your hand tactily reading my skin.

i could count to infinity before i’d retire

this unholy trinity: you, me, and hell’s fire

i’m staring at four kings and still want to fold

i’ve got so much to look at and nothing to hold

 

i’m not gonna fight you if that’s what you came for, you know how i feel so

if it’s not the same for you go now, cause love never wavers, if you don’t see that

don’t do me any favors. i wish i liked whiskey more than i do

it sure would help soften the volume of you

and i might’ve seen the clues from day one

when you gave me your heart and 4000 reasons to run


shawn pelton – drums

marty ballou – ac bass

duke levine – el guitar, dobro, ac guitar

kw – vocals, piano, B3

 

13. The Olives & The Grapes

 

the sun made good time today, broke the long night’s tension

it skied along the cloud tops, ’til it lit the starboard engine

doesn’t matter how the coin lands, heads or tails,

with paradise dissolving into vapor trails

 

up here, you’d think we’d be much closer to the spot where heaven waits

no that’s down there, somewhere among the olives and the grapes

 

lost under fedoras, dead smokes and worn out skin

the men stand at the bar and nod to every person that walks in

already on their 4th cup, the fraternity is clear

as they laugh at the same jokes they’ve told for 40 years

 

i’m leaving with a missing part, the story’s incomplete

so i’ll make up an ending with fewer bruises and scrapes,

‘the boy who traded in the blacktop for the olives and the grapes’

 

war has knocked on doors here, spilled it’s venom in the streets

and history’s been laid low between enemy drumbeats

a young girl sits by the water, like so many have before her

imagining a life that reaches way beyond her border

 

i know that she has planned at least a hundred great escapes

but she belongs right there among them

belongs right there among them

she belongs right there among the olives and the grapes


kw – vocal, piano

antoine silverman – string arrangement

gary schreiner – accordion

marty ballou – bass


antoine silverman – violin

entcho todorov – violin

jonathan dinklage – viola

anja wood – cello

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