Eric Blakely

Eric Blakely

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

"Eric's songs revolve around family and his life experience, and though he infuses his songs with wit and often takes a lighthearted approach, his songs are also honest and sometimes candid tales of unfulfilled life experiences."

Biography

Eric Blakely
People may say they live for music, but with Eric Blakely, the adage rings true. "Those 45 minutes or more when I'm on stage playing for people is what it's all about for me, and why I do this," says the Austin, TX-based singer, songwriter and guitarist.

An independent musical artist, Blakely has forged what many musicians would consider to be a dream career. Over the course of what is now five albums, he has enjoyed critical acclaim. His video for “Uncle John’s Farm” has been in rotation on CMT, his music has taken him around the world, including Texas, California, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, and Paris, France, and he has toured with such other songwriters as Steve Wynn, Mary McBride and fellow Texan, Susan Gibson. He has also enjoyed the buzz of playing Rolling Stones songs onstage in Las Vegas with Stones saxophone man Bobby Keys.

With Still Life at Full Speed, his latest CD on his own Folk Reels label, Blakely delivers yet another stunning set of what England's Bucket Full of Brains praises as "bright, witty and erudite countrypop songs."

It's a collection that runs the gamut of human emotion and experience and fulfills the praise he earned from the Houston Post on his debut recording as "one of the most promising young Austin songwriters." Within its 12 songs (and one bonus track) are the cogent, philosophical ruminations of the title tune and breathtakingly beautiful love songs like "Since I Found You" and "I'll Be Yours" that resonate with the beating of the human heart. Conversely, there's also story songs like "The Ballad of Lester & Mary" and "Hangin' Tree" that feel as old and authentic as the hills, and the cheeky wit of "Another Friday Night at the Laundromat." When Blakely sings that his life has "Been A Long Road," he displays the life lessons he has learned and a musical and lyrical facility that captures the essence of human experience.

"It's a turning 40 record that also reflects where I am and what I feel in a post 9/11 world," he explains. “As the title implies, it's a song collection about how everything's going on around you and you can't seem to do anything about it. I like to write about my life because for me there is an emotional connection rather than making something entirely fictional."

Blakely's musical road began in the cultural hotspot of Berkeley, CA, where he was born and raised. A grandmother who wrote songs and poetry was an early inspiration along with a band from his neighborhood that rose to superstardom: Creedence Clearwater Revival. "It made me think, well, if they can come from my town and make it, why can't a kid like me," recalls Blakley, who salutes the group lyrically and musically on the song "Kensington." CCR's John Fogerty, alongside John Lennon, John Mellancamp, and John Prine - whom Blakely likes to refer to as the”four Johns”- served as models and inspiration to create his own meaningful music.

By his mid teens, Blakely left school to play in bands across Northern California. He polished his craft during stints performing with groups in Paris and Los Angeles before landing in Austin in 1989. There, the well-traveled rocker fell in with the city's fertile singer-songwriter scene and began honing his original works to a well-sharpened edge. He quickly landed a gig hosting the open mike night at the legendary Austin Outhouse and opened his Folk Reels studio to record his own music and such other artists as Slaid Cleaves, Guy Forsyth, Erik Hokkanen and Bob Livingston, to name a few. He also became an in-demand guitarist and ended up back in Europe playing with Austin cult legend Pat Mears.

Blakely's debut album, Uncle John's Farm, made an immediate splash with critics and music buffs in America and overseas. When his video for the title track landed on CMT, Blakely became known as one of Austin's rising artists.

Determined to maintain his artistic integrity and independence, Blakely continued to forge his own way on another album of evocative and resonant songs, Growing Into My Father's Clothes, followed with a celebration of his rock and pop roots, Levity. A collection of his best work titled The Payne Anthology - the double entendre title comes from his studio on Austin's Payne Avenue - won Blakely further fans and praise for the way he spins family dysfunction and his life's journeys into wisdom, insight and humor.

Now with Still Life at Full Speed, Blakely offers his most assured and winning effort yet, blending pop, rock'n'roll and roots music into his own distinctive style. As he says, "When you get an audience and connect with them, it makes it all worthwhile." And connecting with Blakely on this album should be a worthy experience for anyone who loves great music, fine writing and a distinctive sound that comes straight from the heart.

Lyrics

GRANDMA LIKES A TIN ROOF

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

GRANDMA LIKES A TIN ROOF

GRANDMA LIKES A TIN ROOF
SO SHE CAN HEAR THE RAIN
DADDY LIKED THE BOTTLE
SO HE COULDN'T FEEL THE PAIN

MY GRANDMA CALLED HIM DADDY
MY GRANDPA CALLED ME SON
AND WHEN I MADE THEM ANGRY
THEY CALLED ME SON OF A GUN
I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THEM WHEN IT STARTS TO RAIN

MY BROTHER HE WAS ANGRY
TOOK OFF ON THE RUN
MAMA SHE LAYS CRYING
DIDN'T UNDERSTAND HER OLDEST SON
I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT HIM
WHEN I STARTS TO RAIN

WHEN I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN
I WORKED IN A LIQUOR STORE
SELLING TO THE WINOS
AND MOPPING UP THE FLOOR
THE MONEY IT WAS OK
BUT I KNEW I WANTED MORE

MILLER WAS A BLACK MAN SITTING BY THE DOOR
HE TOLD TROUBLE TO GO ELSEWHERE
WE WOULDN'T TRADE WITH THEM NO MORE
THEY ALWAYS PROMISED TO COME BACK
AND EVEN OUT THE SCORE

MOE HE WAS MY FAVORITE
IN AT 8:00 AM
HE'D COME IN FOR HIS BOTTLE
I USED TO LOVE TO TALK TO HIM
HE TOLD ME ABOUT HIS TATTOOS
AND ALL ABOUT THE WAR

YEA MY GRANDMA CALLED HIM DADDY
MY GRANDPA CALLED ME SON
AND WHEN I MADE THEM ANGRY
THE CALLED ME SON OF A GUN
I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THEM
WHEN IT STARTS TO RAIN
CAUSE GRANDMA LIKES A TIN ROOF
SO SHE CAN HEAR THE RAIN...

ANOTHER FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE LAUNDROMAT

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

ANOTHER FRIDAY NIGHT

It’s another Friday night in the Laundromat,
That’s a good indication of where my life is at
I was the life of the party-- least I used to be, till all my dirty laundry caught up with me
I say
Hey, Hey, My, My, I watch the Clock as the clothes spin dry
I three pink socks, none of them are mine,
I think about giving up nearly all the time.

It’s Saturday morning-- I’m watching cartoons
Black coffee in bed where I stay till noon.
I Throw the dog out in the backyard, it’s a little too late
He’s done his business, I guess it couldn’t wait
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, what a tedious life, I watch the days go by.
I’ve got the TV on with the sound turned down
Just so I can hear my life out loud

It’s early Sunday morning, I should be at church
All that fire and brimstone only makes my head hurt
I wish that I could be like Him everyday
But they nailed Him to a cross for what He had to say
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, I work real hard but the days roll by
Weeks and months just wave good-bye
Before you know it, it’s time to die

It’s another Monday morning and I’m at my desk
I’ve got 2 lines ringing and I do my best
Come 5 o’clock I’m on my way, I couldn’t tell you one thing I did today
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, the tortoise and the hare just passed me by
I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time,
“Super Size me?” no, regular’s fine.

It’s Tuesday afternoon, I’m at my therapist.
I said my mother never loved me was at the top of my list.
She said to take a number I have patients to see. She said you need to get a life, not therapy.
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, hump day’s coming I just want to cry.
Middle of the week, clear blue sky, I just want to live, before I die.

Wednesday evening at the poker game. $20 buy in, but my luck’s the same.
3 Royal ladies staring up at me. Then the aces fell and took them away from me
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, 7 come 11 and I roll snake eyes
Up, down-- life spins me round. I’ve never been lost, but I’ve never been found

Thursday morning I am back at work. I’m a little hung over and my stomach hurts
My eyes are heavy and my mind is numb
You know that Dilbert calendar is really dumb
I say Hey, Hey, My, My, 7 beautiful days just passed me by
My lunch went bad, my milk’s gone sour
I should have took some time to smell the flowers

BUILD MYSELF A CASTLE

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

BUILD MYSELF A CASTLE

BUILD MYSELF A CASTLE (2:39)

WELL I WENT OUT TO FRISCO
I GOT A PLACE ON THE WATER
BUT THE EARTH STARTED SHAKING
SO I HAD TO LEAVE

SO I WENT DOWN TO L.A.
WHERE I BOUGHT A FANCY CAR
I TOOK IN ON THE FREEWAY
BUT I DIDN'T GET FAR

SO I WENT TO EL PASO
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
MET A WOMAN IN A BAR THERE
BUT THEN WE GOT IN A FIGHT

SO I WENT TO NEW ORLEANS
WHERE I JOINED A JUG BAND
I PLAYED MY HEART OUT
ALL OVER THIS LAND

THEN I WENT TO SAINT LOUIS
WHERE I JOINED A HOCKEY TEAM
YEA THEY KNOCKED ALL MY TEETH OUT
YEA THEY KNOCKED THEM OUT CLEAN

THEN I WENT TO MONTANA
I WORKED ON A DUDE RANCH
I ATE BISCUITS IN THE MORNING
BUT GOT ANTS IN MY PANTS

THEN I WENT OUT TO PORTLAND
WHERE I DRANK A LOT OF BEER
I DRANK A LOT OF BEER
AND I DRANK A LOT OF BEER

THEN I WENT OUT TO NASHVILLE
I THOUGHT I'D WRITE A COUPLE SONGS
INSTEAD I WASHED A LOT OF DISHES
WITH THE RADIO ON

THAT'S JUST THE WAY MY LIFE'S BEEN
I'VE JUST HAD TO MOVE AROUND
I BUILD MYSELF A CASTLE JUST TO TEAR IT DOWN
I GOT A GAL IN EVERY CITY
I GOT A GAL IN EVERY TOWN
AND THEY ALL LOVE ME
BECAUSE I NEVER HANG AROUND...

c Eric Blakely

I DON'T PLAY THE BLUES

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

DON'T PLAY THE BLUES

WELL I DROVE AROUND THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
LOOKING FOR ROBERT JOHNSON’S GRAVE
WELL IT’S A SHAME I NEVER DID FIND IT
MAYBE SOMEONE STOLE IT
OR MAYBE HE GOT SAVED

WELL I DONT PLAY THE BLUES
BUT I FEEL THEM SOMEHOW
I DON’T PLAY THE BLUES
I THINK I GOT THEM NOW
ON THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
WHERE MY DADDY CAME FROM
DONT BE LATE FOR DINNER OR YOU DON’T GET NONE

WELL BUTTERMILK AND CORNBREAD
SOME BLACKEYED PEAS
CHICKEN IN A SKILLET
AND SOME TURNUP GREENS
ON THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
WHERE MY DADDY CAME FROM
DON’T BE LATE FOR DINNER OR YOU DON’T GET NONE

CAUSE I DONT PLAY THE BLUES
BUT I FEEL THEM SOMEHOW
I DON’T PLAY THE BLUES
I THINK I GOT THEM NOW
ON THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
WHERE MY DADDY CAME FROM
DONT BE LATE FOR DINNER OR YOU DON’T GET NONE

WELL YOU CAN AIM HIGH
OR YOU CAN LAY LOW
LET THE MUDDY WATER
TAKE YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
ON THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
WHERE MY DADDY CAME FROM
DON’T BE LATE FOR DINNER OR YOU DON’T GET NONE...

REPEAT CHORUS

DONT BE LATE FOR DINNER OR YOU DONT GET...

THE BALLAD OF LESTER AND MARY

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

THE BALLAD OF LESTER AND MARY

The Ballad Of Lester and Mary

Lester was the town drunk, sitting by the bank.
Mary brought him sandwiches in the Drunk Tank.
Mary was a hooker, she worked the town.
She had a heart of gold when the sun went down.

One day Lester says to Mary, “I love you.”
Mary just laughed and pushed the sandwichs through.
See, Mary loved the Preacher, but the Preacher loved God.
He’s the only man in town she hasn’t got her hands on.

Well there’s an awful lot of talk for such a tiny town.
Even a rumor of a rumor gets spread around.
What goes up, must come down.
But we all wake up before we hit the ground.

The Preacher finally gave in to Mary’s charms.
You’d of thought the fire department set off 5 of the alarms.
When people know your business and every eye’s on you.
You’ve got no choice to run the whole night through.

Now Lester was sober cause of what he knew.
Mary told him on Sunday what they were going to do.
Lester’s heart was broken, the Preacher’s wife’s was too.
So they stood together in the that wooden pew.

Everybody sang out, but Lester started to cry.
It might as well have been a funeral for a love that just died.
Lester never took a drink from that day on.
Mary and the Preacher had long since gone.

It’s a complicated life for such a simple town.
Even a rumor of a rumor gets spread around.
What goes up, must come down.
2 people got lost 2 people got found.

Lester gave a fiery sermon that brought the steeple down.
From every Sunday on you could find the whole town,
Stand before the altar taking bread and wine.
That Lester had to offer, it was so divine.

There’s very little talk now in this tiny town.
Though a rumor of a rumor still gets spread around.
What goes up, must come down.
But we always wake up before we hit the ground.

2 people got lost - 2 people got found.

IT'S TIME TO GO

Written By: ERIC BLAKELY

IIT'S TIME TO GO

IT’S TIME TO GO

IV’E DONE ALL I CAN HERE
IT’S TIME TO GO
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I HOPE

I HAVE A FEW REGRETS THOUGH
THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE
A FEW STONES LEFT UN TURNED
A LITTLE WORK UN DONE

THE STREETS ARE COLD AND WET NOW
AS RAIN FALLS ON MY FACE
AND I KNOW THAT IV’E BEEN CRYING
CAUSE IT’S SALTY TO THE TASTE

I HOPE I’LL BE FORGIVEN
FOR WHAT HAS COME TO PASS
AND WHEN I’M OLD GOD WILLING
I HOPE I WON’T LOOK BACK

TO A LIFE THAT I HAVE WASTED
ON REGRETS AND BROKEN HEARTS
I HOPE THAT I CAN FACE IT
TAKE WHAT COMES WITH OPEN ARMS

IV’E DONE ALL I CAN HERE
IT’S TIME TO GO...
(c) Eric Blakely

Uncle John's Farm

Written By: Eric Blakely

UNCLE JOHN'S FARM

WHEN I WAS JUST ELEVEN
I WAS SENT TO LIVE ON UNCLE JOHN'S FARM
THEY SAID A LITTLE HARD WORK A LITTLE SWEAT
WOULDN'T DO ME KNOW HARM
WELL WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT THEM
CAUSE THOSE WERE THE BEST DAY'S OF MY LIFE
I'VE NEVER FELT MORE LOVE AND AFFECTION
IN ONE MAN'S BLIND EYE

Chorus:

I LEARNED TO LAUGH
I LEARNED TO LOVE
I LEARNED TO LIVE
ON UNCLE JOHN'S FARM

I LEARNED THE MEANING OF THE TRUTH
AND TO WATCH OUT FOR THE LIES
ON UNCLE JOHN'S FARM

HE SAID IT'S OK TO HAVE DREAMS
AND TO CHASE THEM
ON UNCLE JOHN'S FARM
HE NEVER MADE ME ASHAMED OF MY MISTAKES
ON UNCLE JOHN'S FARM

HE WOULD DRIVE ME TO THE COUNTRY
TELL ME "BOY THIS IS PARADISE"
WELL YOU KNOW I DIDN'T DOUBT IT
I COULD FEEL IT IN THE TONE OF HIS VOICE

HE SAID A MOUNTAIN COULDN'T STOP YOU
IF YOU KNEW, YOU KNEW HOW TO CLIMB
AND JUST BECAUSE A MAN CAN'T SEE
DOESN'T MEAN THAT HE'S BLIND

chorus

ON UNCLE JOHN’S FARM...

Discography

Still Life At Full Speed
The Payne Anthology
Levity
Growing Into My Father's Clothes
Uncle John's farm
Love and Squalor

Set List

Letting Go
Kensington
Another Friday Night InThe Laundromat
I Don't Play The Blues
Growing Into My Father's Clothes
Lemon Tree
A Lot Better Off
Uncle John's Farm
Like A Wheel
This Is Now
Hell Or High Water
The Ballad Of Lester And Mary

Plus many others from a 5 album catalog.