Train of Thought

by Chris Williams

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Design by David Kane
    Photography by David Kane (outside) and Scott Haddad (inside)

    Includes digital pre-order of Train of Thought. You get 13 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases August 21, 2017
    item ships out within 5 days
    edition of 300 

      $10 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Train of Thought. You get 13 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    releases August 21, 2017

      $10 USD  or more

     

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about

Somehow my deep South roots took hold in the West, LA to be exact. The city's assault on the senses drove me to the perimeter, to the mountains and the desert. But the city came with me. So here we are, separated by great distances, but getting closer to the origin. All is not lost. You can always go back. But it will never be the same.

Some of these stories could be true. Some end tragically. Even the stories that are made up just for fun are sadly truthful. There is a retelling of "the Road". There is armchair philosophy. There are songs to be sung on the back porch. There are songs about my friends and family, and songs about myself. All of these songs are the music of fictionalized reality. My reality. Maybe yours?

From all that comes my second solo record, "Train of Thought", released in the summer of 2017. I was considering calling it "Yes and No" because...

Is it a country record? yes and no
does it rock? yes and no
Is it a solo record? yes and no
Well, is there a band? yes and no

It started with just acoustic guitar and vocals in a living room. It exploded into a fully arranged and orchestrated record, thanks to multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Bill Bonk (John Prine, Randy Newman, Aimee Mann, et al.) It's not easy listening, but it's easy to listen to. The intimacy of the living room is preserved, but the songs are allowed to wander where they want to go.

credits

releases August 21, 2017

Chris Williams Acoustic guitar, Lead vocals

Bill Bonk Accordion, Balalaika, Banjo, Baritone guitar, Bass, Cellos, Clarinets, Drums, Electric guitars, Flutes, Harmonica, High-strung acoustic guitar, Lap steel, Mandolin, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Tambourine, Violins, Vocal harmonies (all songs except those listed below)

Jim Watts Bass (Illusion, More or Less) Vocal harmonies (1,7,8,9,10,12) Percussion (8,10) Additional programming (1,2,8)

Ethan Allen Piano, Lap steel, Concertina, Electric guitar, Bass, Drum programming (Ain’t No Shame)

All song written by Chris Williams (BMI)

Recorded and mixed by Jim Watts

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Chris Williams Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: What You Would Lose
what makes you think
you can get away with it?
your web of lies
just don’t make sense

You convince yourself
That nothing is wrong
But your double life
Is gonna come undone

When the fire goes out
And the smoke blows away away
I know where you were, but I wasn’t gonna say
Everyone knows
More than they can prove

You know what you have
You know what you would lose

But you still think
you can get away with it
just a matter of time
you know you're gonna slip

you let it go
as far as you could take it
pushed it to the point
when things start breaking
You only live once
You know you have to choose
You know what you have
And know what you would lose

You know what you would lose
Track Name: She's Gone
Well she’s gone, yeah it’s over,
gone forever gone away
No tomorrow or the next one
No she won’t be back some day
Our hearts and our memories
Will never be the same
But still it’s just all over
And will never be again

She’s gone, gone, gone
Can’t step in that stream anymore
She’s gone, gone, gone
Can’t feel like we did before
She’s gone, gone, gone

There was a time she walked with me
Down by the river’s edge
And kisses untold flowed like water
underneath the bridge
but darkness fell and we both turned
and went our separate ways
but that won’t change the way we felt
I loved her on that day

She’s gone she’s gone
And I don’t want to wait too long

To let go and move on
She’s gone She’s gone

There’s nothing left, but this song

I never took a second look
or cared another night
But I can still see her blue lips
And her unblinking eyes
No one ever saw us
and nothing more was said
as I watched her drift away
beneath the gentle waves
Track Name: Train of Thought
was just about to tell you
about my secret plans
this one is simple
but brilliant
something anyone
could understand

but I lost my train of thought
I lost my train of thought
When I saw you

when I started talking
I could not articulate
all of my thought and feeling
the words jut would not cooperate

then I lost my train of thought
I lost my train of thought
When I saw you
well, I knew
I would lose
my heart, too

I was relieved of my duties
I was relieved of my pain
when I saw you standing there smiling at me
it was like a warm summer rain
but I lost my train of thought
I lost my train of thought
When I saw you
Track Name: Under the Radar
thinking out loud
"why'd i go out in this storm?"
i hate the crowds
I love the empty sea shore

why down you come down?
don't leave me alone

under the radar
we hang out in your car
and talk over the radio
'til it gets dark
we just went nowhere
took so long to get there
we never have to go out
we’re laying low

under the radar
we’re laying low

wondering now
"why don't i pick up the phone?"
we're missing out
you’ll hate yourself if you don’t
you don’t have to love me
but don’t leave me alone

under the radar
we hang out in your car
and talk over the radio
'til it gets dark
we just went nowhere
took so long to get there
we never have to go out
we’re laying low

under the radar
we’re laying low
Track Name: Desert Town
Closing the apartment door
Rolling down the window
Packing up Los Angeles
heading south of Barstow
East of San Bernadino
Out into the barren land

Parallel universe
can you feel the lanes merge?
Intersection, must slow down
to the pace of this desert town

Clouds meet the ridge line
Boulders touching the sky line
Heat waves cool down slow
Night birds fly around
Wind has finally died down
Fire is heaving smoke

Desert sky turns gold
Just before the evening cold
Blankets wrap colors around
The warm glow of this desert town

When the daylight comes
We’ll go back to where we’re from
Until the wanderlust
blows us away just like dust

We’re going out like stars tonight
We’re gonna light up this whole sky
Whoa-wo-o-o-o-oh
Whoa-wo-o-o-o-oh

Open like the apartment door
Rolling down the window
Track Name: Waning Sun
In the waning sun of the afternoon
Think your day is done, but you spoke too soon
Here the colors come
But it’s mostly blue
In the waning sun of the afternoon

If you need a ride I’ll pick you up at 4:30 let me know
If you need a ride I’ll pick you up at 4:30
We’ll make a beer run and forget about your worries
If you need a ride I’ll pick you up at 4:30
let me know

We’re gonna talk about natural disasters don’t you know
We’re gonna talk about natural disasters
What cha gonna do but pick up the pieces after
We’re gonna talk about natural disasters that’s for sure

We’re gonna talk about illegal immigration don’t you know
We’re gonna talk about illegal immigration
If you’re not white you’re going down to the station
We’re gonna talk about illegal immigration that’s for sure

We’re gonna talk about celebrities in rehab don’t cha know
We’re gonna talk about celebrities in rehab
When you’ve got it good why ya have to make it so bad
We’re gonna talk about celebrities in rehab that’s for sure

We’re gonna talk about son and daughters don’t ya know
We’re gonna talk about son and daughters
She looks like her mother but acts just like her father
We’re gonna talk about son and daughters that’s for sure

We’re gonna talk about relationship disasters don’t cha know
We’re gonna talk about relationship disasters
I know what she said, but it’s what he did that matters
We’re gonna talk about relationship disasters that’s for sure

There is room for everybody at the table don’t cha know
There is room for everybody at the table
Get another chair and pull those two together
There is room for everybody at the table that’s for sure
In the waning sun of the afternoon

Think your day is done, but you spoke too soon
Here the colors come
But it’s mostly blue
In the waning sun of the afternoon
Track Name: More or Less
This is what seven feels like
When you go to bed at four
lights are a little too bright
still you wanted just one more
her comes another cab ride
unless she says “I’ll take you home”

And you got more or less
what you want; she said yes
It was not for the best
But it was more or less what you want

felt the fog roll in
I guess the night got cold
Getting up to piss again
Man, this is getting old
Her dog wants to go out
The light wants to come in
shower’s slowly getting hot
Alarm goes off again

And you got more or less
what you want; you confess
It was not for the best
But again, I digress

Light wants to come in, but we want let it
Just forget it - never again
Leaving unnoticed, the door closes
And it’s darker than it’s ever been

And you got more or less
what you want; no regrets
It was not for the best
Pretty good, yeah I guess
It was not for the best
But it was more or less what you want

This is what seven feels like
Track Name: Illusion
there's a movie within the movie
but it's not up on the screen
playing nightly in my head
every single dream
but when you wake
and see things differently
it's just an illusion ¬
can't you see

you know this isn't real life
it all seems so absurd
but you never question
anything in this world
feel the magic
become reality
it's just an illusion
can't you see

they do it for the gold
they did it for the green
the do it for the people
who watch it in TV
they do it fir the fortune
they do it for the fame
and when it's all over
they feel just the same

it's just an illusion
can't you see

The story's never over
there is no final scene
You think you’ve got it covered
it feels so incomplete
that's just your perception
it's not reality
it's just an illusion
can't you see
Track Name: Something's Different
Open up the window
When it starts to rain
Now you know how it feels
To release your pain
I’m try to focus
You’re drifting in and out of frame

Feel the distance
something’s different
Something’s different
in the air

A cloud of radiation
Filling in the empty space
Excruciating
Slow pace of change
Maybe you found someone?
I don’t know and you won’t say

Feel the distance
something’s different
Something’s different
in the air

in the air
Track Name: Good Times, Bad Choices
good times, bad choices
you can write that on a rock above my grave
good times, bad choices
yes, we had some fun along the way
sometimes the good life just cannot be saved

daddy was a stand up guy
mamma was just sweet and kind
can't blame them for making me this way
brother, sisters - hearts of gold
might have smoked once I've been told
can't blame them for leading me astray
they could not account for my sins
the first time or every time again

Yes, I’ve spent some time in jail
But that doesn’t mean I’ve failed
To live a life that’s good and straight and true
But sometimes I disagree
With the law and the police
Especially when I’ve had a drink of two
They would not allow for my sins
The first time and every time again
And again
And again and again and again
good times, bad choices
Track Name: Riding Shotgun
I’m riding shotgun ‘cause I can shoot
A glass of whiskey – about 100 proof
But I got pulled over – couldn’t walk the line
Now I’m riding shotgun and I’m doing fine

I’m riding shotgun ‘cause I can’t drive
I met this girl in a run down dive
Then I met her boyfriend - he punched my eye
Now I’m riding shotgun with a bag of ice

I’m riding shotgun so I can hunt
For another place where we can get drunk
I prefer whiskey, but I’ll drink a beer
But I’m riding shotgun ‘til the coast is clear
Track Name: Ain't No Shame
ain't no pride ain't no shame
just trying not to worry
about mistakes i've made
ain't no pride ain't no shame
just trying to get back in the game

please don't talk to me
about that ancient history
i don't have no memory
of what you're trying to pin on me
but i will tell you from the heart
I try to finish what i start
until it falls apart
i keep moving like a shark

what you said to me
when i was wrapped up in your sheets
evoked the imagery
of endless possibility
but when i found out that you
had shared these words with others too
i knew that our time was through i had lost my faith in you
Track Name: the Road
We’re lying in a stand of trees
We’re laying low
Where no one else could see us
Against the cold
But they could see our fire
Better hope no one comes by here
open that last can of hope

Glassing the frozen hillside
Think we’re alone
You see a plume of smoke rise
An abandoned home
I’m peering through the windows
Looks like there’s no one in there
Hold the gun while I kick the door

You cover that feeling
I’ll cover this hole
Let’s gather our things so we can
Get back on the road
Nothing left but embers
No match for the cold

It’s all for nothing
Unless we get back on the road

Confronting ravenous, bloodshot hungry eyes
Familiar stench as smoke rises against the sky
We’ve got just one more bullet
So we can’t make a move yet
Can’t let them lay one dirty finger on the boy

You cover that feeling…
I’ll cover this hole
Let’s gather our things so we can
Get back on the road
Nothing left but embers
No match for the cold
It’s all for nothing
Unless you get back on the road

We reached the water and it’s dead and black as oil
There’s a ship that’s overturned; I’ll
swim out to explore
We need more provisions
I should go back in there
You need enough to last until I’m gone

Your mother couldn’t stand to see the brutal, harsh decline
Without the hope that she would see a new sun rise
If you find one good person
I want you to stay with them

You cover that feeling
I’ll cover this hole
Let’s gather our things so we can
Get back on the road
Nothing left but embers
No match for the cold