Small Town Girls

by Jessi Robertson

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  • Small Town Girls CD

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about

Lucid Culture's review:
lucidculture.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/jessi/

"Why is there so much madness in small towns? Because that’s where dreams get ground down into the dirt? Because anyone who can get out does, and those who stay behind are hell to be around? Jessi Robertson explores themes like these on her intense new album Small Town Girls. The women here want one thing and and one thing only: to escape. In a breathy, occasionally gritty contralto, over smartly arranged Americana rock, Robertson chronicles how they do it, or what they substitute for the real thing. More often than not, it’s impossible to turn away from. If you like the idea of Lucinda Williams but don’t like all the cliches she falls back on, Jessi Robertson is for you."


Songwriter Monthly's review:
www.scribd.com/doc/49533442/Songwriter-s-Monthly-Feb-11-133-Jessi-Robertson
"Through the difficult lyrical terrain traversed on her debut full-band studio album, Small Town Girls, Jessi offers an abyss of insight, understanding and victory that ultimately provides hope."

"Jessi is staggeringly vulnerable in her music. She risks all for the truth. But it's a truth that's sung with beautiful, soul-weary vocals that resonate with compassion, making Robertson's performance absolutely mesmerizing."

credits

released 01 March 2011

Jessi Robertson - vocals, guitars
Chris Cubeta - arrangements, guitars, bass, piano, percussion
Greg Tuohey - arrangements, guitars
Ryan Vaughn - drums, percussion
Jim McNamara - upright bass
Paul Basile - vocals on "the travelers"
Mark Lord - bass on "whiskey and cigarettes"

Produced by Chris Cubeta
Recorded, engineered, & mixed by Chris Cubeta, Jeff Berner & Gary Atturio at GaluminumFoil Productions studio, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Mark Lord

All songs by Jessi Robertson

Album artwork by Jessi Robertson
Back cover photo by Emily Raw
Inside photo by Larry Hyland

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Track Name: You and Me
We walk in shadow, we walk in light
and what’s to become of us?
There may not be another tomorrow or tonight
so why do we waste today on the same old fight?

don’t stop now, we’ve only just begun
don’t stop now, we thought we were so young
but you and me, while we can sing and we can breathe
there’s still time to believe in something
and I believe in you and me

The moon turns red, the sun grows weak
and it breaks our hearts
Can’t look at what’s looming above or what’s beneath
So where do we turn when the earth shudders under our feet?

don’t stop now, we’ve only just begun
don’t stop now, we thought we were so young
but you and me, while we can sing and we can breathe
there’s still time to believe in something
and I believe in you and me

I believe in something
I believe in you and me
Track Name: Small Town Girls
When things got bad I’d sneak away with a book
Or scribble poems laced with blood and tears
No one thought to ask if something was wrong
While I withdrew to the prison of my fears

Small town girls learn how to tell big lies
When the neighbors know all the details of your lives
And gloss over the heartache in your eyes
Yeah, small town girls have to learn to tell big lies

I’d read all night until the sun scorched my face
And stumble dazed into the hallway
Playing out the colored Classics in my head
While sleepwalking through another shabby day

Small town girls learn how to tell big lies
When the neighbors know all the details of your lives
And gloss over the heartache in your eyes
Yeah, small town girls have to learn to tell big lies

I thought someone was coming to rescue me
A savior or a hero or destiny
I waited patiently, expectantly
And I learned to save myself eventually

Small town girls learn how to tell big lies
When the neighbors know all the details of your lives
And gloss over the heartache in your eyes
Yeah, small town girls have to learn to tell big lies
Track Name: Half-Moon
Half-circle moons glow in my palms
The mark will fade if that’s what I want
But I need it to conjure your trembling ghost
You’re still the drug I crave the most

You meant well, yeah you meant for good
But it all turned to shit like we knew it would
Now I can’t see your eyes or taste your lips
Your moon killed my sun in a noiseless eclipse

Will it wax, will it wane, the way I feel?
Will it reveal that we are strangers?
Some of us lie together, some of us lie alone
but we all lie to hide what we cannot show

I feel my body break away from me
Fragments spinning out without gravity
In the stereo static I can’t be read
I tried to laugh but I screamed instead

You put me together, you pulled me apart
You cradled my head, you buried my heart
The day was too long but it ended too soon
My sun wastes away in the glow of your moon

Will it wax, will it wane, the way I feel?
Will it reveal that we are strangers?
Some of us lie together, some of us lie alone
But we all lie to hide what we cannot show

So I straighten my shoulders and hold up my head
Pour out my wine and break my bread
I wanted to walk but I danced instead
Under the half-moon

Will it wax, will it wane, the way I feel?
Will it reveal that we are strangers?
Some of us lie together, some of us lie alone
But we all lie to hide what we cannot show
Track Name: Don't Come in Here
I know the lock won’t hold
I could pry it open with a butter knife
and the door’s only a cheap piece of plywood
but I still get the urge to check it twice

I sit on the floor with my back against the door
trying to disappear, just don’t come in here
please just don’t come in here

I wrote on the wall with black ink
A caricature saying, “happy holiday”
Then I drew all over my arms and legs
It’s permanent but it washes away

I sit on the floor with my back against the door
trying to disappear, just don’t come in here
please just don’t come in here

I never wore a cap and a gown
They said I’d never get out of this town
But I defied everyone
I always knew how to hide, then I learned to run

So I don’t have to sit on the floor with my back against the door
Trying to disappear, please just don’t come in here
please just don’t come in here
just don’t come in here
Track Name: You Don't Want to Taste My Heart
I reached through my own skin
Deep between my lungs and ribs
I fought to hold my heart down
Until it stopped struggling

You can’t live with so much pain
So you learn to turn it on and off again
I can only be free when I sing
Then I have to hurt myself again

You don’t want to taste my heart
You don’t want the band-aid off
But I can’t stop the flow of blood
til it pours out in a flash flood

You can’t live with so much pain
So you learn to turn it on and off again
I can only be free when I sing
Then I have to crush myself again

You think I shut the deluge down
When I chatter and I play the clown
But the fall just takes another form
I lie in the center of the storm

I can only be free when I sing
I’m only free when I sing
Track Name: SunStorm
This morning’s rain is clinging to my blue coat
it still lays in glistening lines on the highway outside my window
the sound of turning wheels whispers a siren call
the warning bell sounds again and I don’t mind it at all

I know how this story goes
You’ll never leave me
You’ll never leave me alone
and that’s why I want to go

You rise like the sun scattering the clouds
I wanna lay in your warmth and hear you say my name out loud
but when the storm rolls in I want electricity crackling on my skin
the thunder and the lightning to strike me again and again

I know how this story goes
You’ll never leave me
You’ll never leave me alone
and that’s why I want to go

Will I see you again?
Will I see you again?
This is all my fault but I can’t change who I am
and that’s how the story ends
that’s how the story ends
Track Name: The Travelers
I don’t know why I get up each day
and pick up my guitar and start to play
pin down my thoughts so they don’t slip away
then bite my tongue like I’ve got nothing to say

I forget where I am
which country, which continent
all the places I long for but have never been

I guess you’re the only one who understands
with no promises and no demands
Let’s just run away while we still can
It’s not too late, give me your hand

We could drive off and drift around
Playing songs in little beat up towns
For tips and free beer and a place to lay down
Then off to the next one, till the money runs out

I forget where I am
which country, which continent
all the places I long for but have never been

I guess you’re the only one who understands
with no promises and no demands
Let’s just run away while we still can
It’s not too late, give me your hand
Track Name: Broken Rosary
Where were you when she was drinking too much
in the middle of town? We were afraid that she’d pass out.
They poured water on her head until the ambulance came,
and I watched through the car window as they rushed her away.

we believed, we believed

Where were you when he was suffering?
He could barely speak but he knew he had to feed her.
They hung him out the window by two little feet,
and when he played make believe everyone was falling.

we believed, we believed

we will be ok, ok, ok
at least, that’s what we’d always say

Where were you when she tore up her skin
and crippled the hand she used to paint with,
when she crashed her car into a wall on purpose?
She always walked away with new scratches.

but we believed, we believed, we believed
Track Name: Whiskey and Cigarettes
A real woman drinks whiskey and smokes cigarettes
Until the room’s spinning she feels no regrets
And when closing time comes she’ll face the night alone
A real woman don’t need a man to walk her home

You ask if she’s lonely, she says, “Not for one minute.
I strangled trouble before you could begin it.”
You don’t understand her and how distant she gets
When she drinks her whiskey and smokes those cigarettes

She gets under your skin and stays there somehow
You cannot possess her, but you can hold her for now
She’ll leave you with questions, she’ll leave you with regret
Someday she’ll just leave you even though you can’t see it yet

’cause a real woman don’t need anyone’s help getting home
A real woman don’t feel lonely even when she’s alone
A real woman conquers you and then quickly forgets
A real woman drinks whiskey and smokes cigarettes