Live At Jettison Studios

by Isaiah Matthew Harris

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about

Songs about my life, which, much like my life, are a little rushed, a bit out of tune, and slightly rough around the edges...

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I had planned to play Dan a few tunes I'd written.

He asked, "why don't I set up the mics?"

I apprehensively agreed.

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"If he weren't such a talented finger-style guitarist, you could take these songs as a kind of outsider art, stream-of-consciousness lyrics and all. But the twist he gives to these songs is to seek grace and beauty in seemingly insignificant interactions.

Much of the charm on Live at Jettison Studios comes from Harris' free association and seemingly tossed-off lines, but a few songs show traces of more careful craftsmanship.

...he hits Sufjan-esque levels of family history, decades-old guilt and scene-specific detail." - Christian Schaeffer, Riverfront Times

Full review here: bit.ly/2jFy3eF

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credits

released December 4, 2015

songs and photography by
Isaiah Matthew Harris

recorded November 15, 2015 by
Daniel Mehrmann at Jettison Studios
jettisonstudios.com

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Isaiah Matthew Harris Saint Louis, Missouri

Isaiah is a teacher songwriter, and composer in St. Louis, MO.

He enjoys cooking & baking, frequenting antique malls, sleeping on the couch with his dog, Davey, and spending far too much time on the internet.

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Track Name: Today, I Bought A Guitar
Today, I bought a guitar
From a nice man named Steve

It's got a faint aroma of wine
I didn't notice until after leaving

And it's in great condition
Oh it's got real nice action
Oh yea, it plays like a dream

And Steve said he was glad
It'd be in good hands with me

He said he plays in a church band
And volunteers with the elderly

I said, "Steve, you're a better man than I could ever hope to be."

And we laughed and I went on my merry way

And then I came home to find
The styrofoam container
From my lo-mein last night

Chewed up and strewn
About the living room
And I had to laugh at the sight

'Cuz I knew that puppy dog couldn't help himself
It smelled good and he just had to have a bite

So I said, "hey, little guy, I'm not mad. No, it's alright."

And he wagged his tail and licked my face

And went on his merry way
Track Name: I Met Rodney In Chesterfield Valley
I met Rodney in Chesterfield Valley
At St. Louis Bread Company
He informed me that he and Casey
Were considering touring

And it filled my heart
With oh so much pride
To have them invite me
Along for the ride
But I told him I can't commit to that
Because of my own aspirations I have

Playing for children in hospital wards
Performing in homes
With no amps and no cords
Finding the willpower, time, and money
To earn a music therapy degree

But outside my window
Sweet, chipper melodies
White-throated sparrow
Singing from her tree

But now with winter's
Cold fast approaching
Won't be much longer
'Til she is leaving

Monday I got a cortisone shot in my ass
To ease this inflammatory aching I have
Radiating from my lower back
Into my legs, man, makes driving a drag

Nurse gave me prednisone and Tramadol
And Methocarbamol to help me to fall
Asleep when I'm lying in my bed at night
Fitfully tossing myself side to side

My student's dad, Eric, was in a car wreck
Decades ago, chronic pain in his back
He recommended I see his PT
And I know I'm too sedentary


December 18th I go under the knife
Laryngoplasty performed by Eisenbeis
Read an essay he wrote about doctors' neckties
And whether they promote HAIs

I'll be sedated at Mercy round noon
Get an incision to hopefully improve
Timbre and volume whenever I speak
Which he said I shouldn't do for a week

After the surgery, I must, consciously
Concert to cease these compensatory
Habits I've formed quite instinctually
The incessant throat clearing

But then all of those
Sweet, chipper melodies
Will they still so
Far out of my reach?

Oh, now with winter’s
Cold fast approaching
These are the questions
I find myself asking
Track Name: Oh, Cherokee
I saw the drummer from Sleepy Kitty
At the premiere screening I was attending
Last evening at Foam Coffee & Beer

He looked busy, probably writing a piece for his magazine
Hope he prints one about me this year

Oh, Cherokee!
God, what a scene...
It's a bit too hipster for me

So bourgeoise and faux artsy
But I wouldn't mind playing here regularly

I spend most my time out in Maryland Heights and the burbs
And I rarely journey out here

But my music's in All The Bosses
And Casey had asked me to play with her

At Earth Alchemy's
Grand Opening
Halloween Costume Party

And my girlfriend made these
Super tiny
Superman capes we're wearing
Track Name: Places I've Been
Illinois and Florida Indiana South Dakota

Maryland I've been there twice
One time with my sister
She went with me when Taryn died
Oh, and also West Virginia

'Cuz my friend Phil was a member of
A church called Beautiful Savior
And I went with him on a mission trip
To an impoverished mountain town there

Michigan I should go again
To visit with my godparents

And when I was a kid my family went
Vacationing in Wisconsin

I went to Pennsylvania
With my high school girlfriend's father
To bring her back from ballet camp
Where she'd been felt up by some dancer

My friend got a farming internship
Afew years ago in New Mexico
And I rode with him while he drove
So he wouldn’t have to go so many miles alone

We stayed overnight in Amarillo
But the most I saw of Texas were the hotel pillows

Then I rode the train home through Colorado
Watching snow capped trees roll by the windows
While the guy next to me evangelically spoke of Warren Haynes’ solos

He had me listen to Whipping Post
From an Allman Brothers show
I found it awfully boring
Though I tried not to let my indifference show
Track Name: Mark, You're My Hero
You have a way of doing what we do
I do truly admire

So it's no doubt true
My admiration for you
Has had no small influence over

The way I play guitar and sing my songs
Oh yes, your work informs them most

And I swear I do not mean to rip you off
I hope it doesn't get your goat

Because Mark
Oh, Mark
Oh yes, Mark
Mark, you're my hero

You're my guitar hero

You're not the type of guy to lay back
Resting on your laurels

You've written tunes
That are surely to prove
Themselves to be immortal

And oh how I listen to them
Time and time again

Ålesund, Track Number 8
Young Love, and Ben's My Friend

And Sunshine In Chicago
Track Name: When My Father Went
My father died in 2002
It was my junior year of high school

He had a flute he kept on the sideboard
He always wanted to play but never learned

He had cassettes of Herbie Mann & Hubert Laws
He'd play on the tape decks of vans that belonged
To Tom McCullen, and to Richard Portner
A couple of men who my father worked for

Rolling and bagging, delivering newspapers
But always swung home to record Ghostbusters
Saturday mornings mid his longest route
I'm sure that he loved me
Of that, I've no doubt

But I was living at my aunt and uncle's house at the time
When my father died and
Autumn's friends came by
To tell me
And I ran up the stairs crying

Cuz I'd been blocking
The phone line with the Internet
When my father went
Track Name: Nowhere To Be Found
The autumn leaves
Blow in the breeze
And suddenly
You are nowhere to be found

I wait for you
All afternoon
But when evening comes
You’re nowhere to be found

Fickle and fair-weather
Friend that you’ve been
Why should I care
When you reach out again?

You’re busy, I know
But then again
I could be the one to phone
Or send a message

The summer breeze
Blows through the trees
But suddenly
You are nowhere to be found

Searched up and down
The whole world round
No matter where I go
You’re nowhere to be found