Britta Lee Shain

Britta Lee Shain

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

The female lovechild of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Biography

Britta Lee Shain was born with a transistor radio in one hand and a pen in the other. Her mother was a professional singer turned actress whose singing credits included Radio City Music Hall. Her Uncle was a noted Brill Building songwriter and music publisher who, in her youth, would send her the latest 45 rpm records hot off the press. At six, she began playing classical and popular piano. At twenty, a James Taylor concert at the Troubadour (with opening act Carole King) inspired her to buy her first guitar.

Coming of age in the late 60’s and spending pivotal years in both Berkeley and Los Angeles, her early musical tastes were edgy and varied: Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. In the 1990’s she studied creative writing for seven years with famed author of City of Night and Penn Lifetime Achievement Award Winner John Rechy. After trying her hand at screenwriting, novel writing and even writing a memoir about her travels with a rock and roll band, in 2001 she turned her creative energy to songwriting.

Up until her recent solo stint, she could most often be seen performing with her San Diego based band, the Howling Coyotes. Britta Lee Shain's first solo CD--Between The River And The Road--was released in October 2010 and has already enjoyed airplay across the country and around the world. It was produced by legendary multi-instrumentalist Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, K.D. Lang).

Dark, edgy and political. Not for the faint of heart.

INFLUENCES:

Lucinda Williams, Eliza Gilkyson, Mary Gauthier, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Videos are available at YouTube and at www.myspace.com/brittaleeshain

Lyrics

Mercy Town

Written By: Britta Lee Shain

I’m goin’ down to Mercy Town
Gonna have myself a look around
I’m goin’ where the sun shines bright
& everybody’s soul is filled with light
And there’s no need for struggle
No need for tears
No need for irrational fears
No need to worry,
About what’s comin’ down...
In Mercy Town

I’m goin’ down to Mercy Town
Where music is the only sound
I’m goin’ where the dogs run free
& time stands still and waits for you and me
And there’s no need for hunger
No need for pills
No injustice and no ill will
No need to worry
About what’s comin’ round...
In Mercy Town

I’m goin’ down to Mercy Town
Bought my ticket
That’s where I’m bound, Mercy Town
I’m goin’ where the flowers bloom
& peoples’ spirits soar up to the moon
And there’s no need for stealin’ from the poor
No need for greed, cheatin’
Or senseless war
No need to worry
About what’s goin’ down...
In Mercy Town

I’m goin’ down to Mercy Town
Gonna take a stroll around
Lie down on the ground...
In Mercy Town
I’m goin’ where the sun shines bright
& everybody’s soul is filled with light
Oh yeah

America The Beautiful

Written By: Britta Lee Shain

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

I’m walking down Main Street
Hustling for spare change
Wishing people wouldn’t
Look at me like I was strange

Got my dog and my rain coat
My cardboard box
Don’t need much these days
Don’t need no locks

America the beautiful
Home of the brave and free
America the beautiful
How could you ever...
Turn your back on me?

A woman walks toward me
Five dollars in her hand
Stuffs it in my cup
Trips over a grain of sand

I know I’ll never see her again
Anytime later or soon
But tonight in my newspaper bed
I’ll dream of her under the moon

America the beautiful
Home of the brave and free
America the beautiful
How could you ever...
Turn your back on me?

Some things you’d like to forget
Like how you got to where you are
Some things you regret
Some things have simply gone too far

First tour of duty
I came back lucky to be alive
Fifth tour of duty
A land mine took my eye

But I could still see in my dreams
Bombs bursting like fireworks
Body parts raining down
On foreign dirt

America the beautiful
Home of the brave and free
America the beautiful
How could you ever...
Turn your back on me?

Now I’m going to crawl off
Sleep under a bridge somewhere
Out of sight, out of mind
Going to vanish into air

And hope that tomorrow’s the day
When I wake up
To find that red, white & blue...
Rainbow in my cup

America the beautiful
Home of the brave and free
America the beautiful
How could you ever...
Turn your back on me?

America the beautiful
Home of the brave and free
America the beautiful
Land of peace and prosperity
America the beautiful
God shed his grace on thee

How could you ever...
Turn your back on me?

© 2010 Britta Lee Shain

Lay Your Body Down

Written By: Britta Lee Shain

LAY YOUR BODY DOWN

It's 82 degrees, ten-thirty
Full moon spinning round and round
Why do I get the feeling
You're messing with me?
Come on, baby, lay your body down

We've been passing like
Dancers in the night
Our feet they barely touch the ground
I want to see you undressing for me
Come on, baby, lay your body down

I see your skin shimmering
In the pale moon light
Is it such a sin
For me to want to hold you
Through the night?

It's 81 degrees, eleven-thirty
Sweet smell of honey suckle abounds
Santa Ana wind
Blowing your shirt wide open
Come on, baby, lay your body down

I see your skin shimmering
In the pale moon light
Is it such a sin
For me to want to hold you
Through the night?

It's 80 degrees, twelve-thirty
Crickets are too tired to make a sound
I hear your heart's soft beat
As our lips meet
Come on, baby, lay your body down

© 2010 Britta Lee Shain

The Hard Way Down

Written By: Britta Lee Shain

THE HARD WAY DOWN

I’m traipsing through the moonscape
As if I cannot see
I’m sleeping through the shadow play
Pretending to be free
The road I walk is a bumpy one
Though I barely make a sound
As I careen off cliffs above
Taking the hard way down

I’m drifting on the summer wind
Trying not to leave my mark
Sometimes when two souls collide
There’s not even one spark
Not so with you, my love
You’ve charred me to the ground
As I careen off cliffs above
Taking the hard way down

The hard way down
The hard way down
It’s the only way to fly
The hard way down
The hard way down
You really ought to give it a try

And as the days grow shorter
I fear to say goodbye
I’m fragile as a bird’s wing
Without the will to fly
Your arms like broken branches
Reach up to make my crown
As I careen off cliffs above
Taking the hard way down

The hard way down
The hard way down
It’s the only way to fly
The hard way down
The hard way down
You really ought to give it a try

© 2010 Britta Lee Shain

I Want To Be Me

Written By: Britta Lee Shain

I want to be me
I want to go far
I want to reach up
And touch the stars
I want to come out
I want to be in
I want to be free…

I want to stand tall
Stop feeling so small
Take my back from against this wall
I want to do good
Stop feeling so bad
I want to be me
I want to be me

I want to think big
Don't mind if I fail
Just want to break
Outside this jail
I want to be loved
I want to love back
I want to be free…

I want to be strong
I want to speak out
Don’t want to be
Filled with self-doubt
I want to be heard
I want to be seen
I want to be me

You don't know me
You can't tell
The smile I'm wearing
Hides a living hell
And what you say about me
Cannot penetrate me
I will be who I am
Even if you hate me

I want to be me
I want to fly high
Just want to kiss this pain goodbye
Don’t want to feel caught
Or be what I’m not
I want to be free
I want to be me

Discography

Britta Lee Shain

Between The River And The Road

Howling Coyotes, self-titled CD

Set List

Sets vary according to venue. I like to mix 'em up. Happy/Sad/ Quiet & Rockin'. No covers. My songs tend to make people think.