Gary Bragg

Gary Bragg

 Denver, Colorado, USA
BandAmericanaCountry

Grammy-nominated artist, Gary Bragg's latest album is like Willie Nelson with a sense of humor. In his outlaw country style full length CD, Gary tells timeless stories with heart and hilarity. The sound is outlaw, but there are hints of country rock, folk, Americana and gospel.

Biography

Born and raised in Imperial, Nebraska, a small town that is full of great music -- if you listen for it. Growing up at the empty end of Nebraska meant being outdoors. "It meant reservoirs full of fish and fields full enough of pheasants to keep us tramping through them. We took our shotguns to school so we could go hunting after class. Trying to shoot birds from a moving vehicle made perfectly good sense to us… until we shot the station wagon.”

Gary bears the harmonic strains of his parents (Dad a band director and Mom the former diva of Limon, Colorado). “Mom used to dress up my sisters and me and have us sing at social functions. It left some scars on my psyche.” Trumpet his intent, Gary studied music at the University of Northern Colorado. But it was his other instrument – his voice – that made him a featured singer on a Grammy-nominated album, in only the second college group in Grammy history to be nominated for an award. And at UNC he found his calling as a composer and was a finalist for the Elevox National Composition Contest.

Gary fronted the Denver all Steely Dan cover band for twelve years. In 1998, Gary’s first musical, Before I Wake, was produced in Denver. In 2003, Campaign, a musical that Gary conceived of and co-wrote, was chosen to do a workshop at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Campaign became The Ticket and was performed in 2006 as an equity showcase (16 shows) at the Sage Theatre in New York City. The Ticket features smooth jazz, broadway sounds and even reggae music.

For the past few decades, Gary has been in Denver writing, performing and working.

“I continue to have opportunities to write music. High Plains Storm – making music relating to my rural upbringing, collaborating with good friends who sing along in their own hearts to the wind across the prairie – has brought me the most artistic joy of anything I have ever done. I hope people can hear that in the album.”

Gary is currently playing in the Denver area promoting his new CD.

Lyrics

High Plains Storm

Written By: Gary Bragg

Probably don’t want to know why he is this way

I used to ask but he wouldn’t say

It’s not like I’m complainin’ ‘cause it’s always been the same

That’s how God made him so who am I to blame

He gives one tenth to the church, says it’s money well spent

Rather give it all to them than a penny to the government

His ways are set in concrete; won’t be swayed by another

Drivin’ around in a pickup truck, a flask in one hand…, .45 in the other

There was a high plains storm on the day he was born. Thirty mile an hour wind from the north

Jumped off his horse and killed a rattlesnake by the time that he was four

Even if she’s pretty, won’t go to the city. He’s country to the bone.

Better trust me double, unless you want trouble, it’s best to leave… the old man alone.

When I was a boy, I wanted to be like him

Hunt, fish, drink and cuss like a regular grown-up man

Time has a way of changin’ things, but I know where I’ve been

If I had the chance, I’d do it all again

There was a high plains storm on the day he was born. Thirty mile an hour wind from the north

Jumped off his horse and killed a rattlesnake by the time that he was four

Even if she’s pretty, won’t go to the city. He’s country to the bone.

Better trust me double, unless you want trouble, it’s best to leave the old man alone.

I know he won’t stop fightin’ to hold back what time does

‘Cause every now and then I catch a glimpse of what he was

I hope he still keeps gettin’ more than he’s ever had

He’s been called a lot of things, but I… just call him dad

There was a high plains storm on the day he was born. Thirty mile an hour wind from the north

Jumped off his horse to kill a rattlesnake by the time that he was four

Even if she’s pretty, won’t go to the city. He’s country to the bone.

Better trust me double, unless you want trouble, it’s best to leave the old man alone.

Free Range

Written By: Gary Bragg

God told Eve and Adam, eat only plants from the garden
One fateful day Eve met a snake, what she did next God won’t pardon
She ate that apple, creation was tainted by sin
the dust cleared, God change his mind, he said animals… could be eaten by men

I like fish. I like turkey. I like quail. I love elk jerky.
If my plate don’t have some meat, it doesn’t feel like a meal
When I’m socially conscious, I eat free range veal

Last night some people were talkin’, said huntin’ and fishin’ are bad
I don’t understand how that could be ‘cause I learned both from my dad
That fella had no right to tell me dad was wrong
I thought about beatin’ his ass but instead I wrote this song

I like fish. I like turkey. I like quail. I love elk jerky.
If my plate don’t have some meat, it doesn’t feel like a meal
When I’m socially conscious, I eat free range veal

I didn’t kill Bambi’s mom but I’m not sorry that he’s dead
‘cause the venison from Bambi’s mom probably kept a poor family fed
I just want to live my life, don’t want to fight or quarrel
But that hippie in leather sandals better stop callin’ me immoral

Now I don’t want you thinkin’ I kill just for the sport
‘cause if you kill it you got to grill it, anything less I can’t support
If God didn’t want me to eat critters, why’d he make ‘em taste so good
If you hunt and fish you’re not evil, just misunderstood.

I like fish. I like turkey. I like quail. I love elk jerky.
If my plate don’t have some meat, it doesn’t feel like a meal
When I’m socially conscious, I eat free range veal

Drunk on Your Love

Written By: Gary Bragg and Eric Ottem

Was it ever enough? I can’t answer that question.
What do I want? How am I s’posed to know?
Do I love her? I doubt it. It’s not love I’m after.
But I always know when it’s time I should go.

Don’t need a shrink to tell me. My mother had some issues.
Didn’t hold me enough or tried to hold me too tight.
That’s why the first drink makes me want the whole bottle
Last call’s the only promise you can count on every night

It’s a little like gamblin’, it’s a little like drinkin’
Why my heart’s always ramblin’, why my dick does my thinkin’
I wish it wouldn't wear off, I wish I liked being sober
I got drunk on your love, now I'm hungover

Yeah, I drank your devotion but now you're pourin’ too light
As long as she keeps pourin’ I’ll be drinkin’ tonight
Love should go down easy, twirlin’ stars around the sky
When the laughin’ turns to cryin’, I start sayin goodbye
I ain’t down on my knees to ask your forgiveness
Just need to take one last look under the bed
To see what I left here, but I don’t see nothin’
Anything I need is probably out in the shed

It’s a little like gamblin’, it’s a little like drinkin’
Why my heart’s always ramblin’, why my dick does my thinkin’
I wish it wouldn't wear off, I wish I liked being sober
I got drunk on your love, now I'm hungover
I got drunk on your love, now I’m hung over

You Are the Cure

Written By: Gary Bragg

Should have known you were cheatin’. Maybe it was my pride
Helped me deny, time after time, what I knew deep inside
You left the house one morning to get groceries, and then take a ride
But when you got back there were no grocery sacks
And the mirror was left down on the passenger side

You told me I was crazy, that I was out of my mind
Swore you were never unfaithful, but there were too many signs
We were out at a party, you disappeared and when I finally found you
You had a lie on your lips and his pants were unzipped. Said, he’s just a friend, but that wasn’t true

I’m right; you’re left …behind. I never thought you could be so unkind
When it comes to deceivin’, you’re the best. You are the cure for my happiness

When you said you loved me, was it ever true? I tried to believe you.
But it’s hard when you do the things that you do…

By the time I finally found out, I was the last to know.
I should have seen what others could see, but sometimes it is hard to let go
Outside our house he was screamin’ your name. Grabbed my gun and said may I help you.
He couldn’t stop cryin’, asked why you were leayin’. He just found out you were cheatin’ on him , too

I’m right; you’re left …behind. I never thought you could be so unkind
When it comes to deceivin’, you’re the best. You are the cure for my happiness

Kansas Land

Written By: Gary Bragg

Grandpa left Missouri in 1929. Rollin’ hills are far behind.
He was just a boy, trying to be a man. He was workin’ the Kansas land.
Dust on his face, Sunflower state. Grandpa took what Kansas gave.
Watchin’ the wheat fields grow while the Kansas wind did blow.
Makin’ his life with the Kansas land.

In 1954, Grandpa said no more. Packed six kids and he hit the road.
Colorado he would go and he even took Uncle Joe.
Said goodbye to the Kansas Land.
Dust on his face, Sunflower state. Grandpa took what Kansas gave.
Watchin’ the wheat fields grow while the Kansas wind did blow.
Said goodbye to the Kansas land

Grandpa cried the day that Grandma passed away.
Things don’t always go as planned
To Dodge City we would return with Grandma’s ashes in the urn.
Givin’ her back to the Kansas Land.
Tears on his face, Sunflower state. Grandpa took what Kansas gave.
Watchin’ the wheat fields grow while the Kansas wind did blow.
Givin’ her back to the Kansas land
Givin’ her back to the Kansas land

She Canceled the Cable

Written By: Gary Bragg and Charles Kouri

Woke up when I heard the front door slam.
Teeth rattling, couldn’t feel my hands
There was nothing between me and the floor.
Maybe I’m dreaming or maybe I’m dead. Should be a pillow, should be a bed.
Rubbed my eyes, I’m cold to the core
I knew down deep there was something up. The day I woke up on the wrong side of love

She took the spin from the tires, the fire from the grill
Took the roads from my maps and the mash from the still
Took the springs from the bed and the hands from the clock
The soles from my boots and the keys to my locks
She took the chill from the fridge and the leaves from the trees
Took the blue from the sky and the buzz from the bees
She took the sweet from the sugar and the smell from my nose
Yes she took all the highs and left all the lows.
Should have seen it coming, but no such luck.
She canceled the cable, and rented a truck.
I guess it’s over ‘cause She said we were through. Had some good times, but she took them too

She took the green from the grass and the back from my chair
Took the whiskey from my glass and the hope from my prayers
She took the sharp from my knife and the aim from my bow
The wag from the dog and the fish from the bowl
She took the spark from the match and the swing from my doors
Took the studs from the walls and the pull from my drawers
Took the grip from my pliers, color from my TV
Took the spines from my books and the caps from my knees
Should have seen it coming, but no such luck.
She canceled the cable, and rented a truck.
I guess it’s over ‘cause she said we were through.
Had some good times, but she took them too

The sun made her angry and the moon made it worse
Can’t help the one you love even when it’s a curse
She was a bandit, black hat and all
She took everything except for this song

She took the loops from my jeans and the brim from my hat
She took the line from my reel and the ball from my bat
But when she was finished and could take nothing more
Pulled out the rug, took the ceiling and the floor

Should have seen it coming. But no such luck.
She canceled the cable, and rented a truck.
I guess it’s over. She said we were through.
Had some good times, but she took them too

She took the clouds and left the rain
She took the window and left the pane
She took the punch line and left the joke
She took the flame and left the smoke
Should have seen it coming. No such luck.
She canceled the cable, and rented a truck.
I guess it’s over. She said we were through.
Had some good times, but she took them too
Had some good times, but she took them too

Born in a Barn ( A Holiday Classic)

Written By: Gary Bragg and Eric Ottem

Across a wide sea of doubt. Back when gods rode winged horses,
We had chariot races, but no rodeo…Just taxes to pay the armed forces.
We had back-stabbing rulers. Beer but no coolers. And oil still waitin’ to flow
Oceans of sand, ten rock-hard commands More troubles than you’ll ever know

There were no pickups or Nascar, No fiddle, bass or guitar,
To help sing out what’s got you hurtin’ Sittin’ under that big ol’ bright star.
How she told you she’s pregnant, And how you ain’t the father,
And somehow the kid’s gonna be king.
It’s a strange situation, fills you with frustration;
Boy, ridin’ that donkey sure stings.

He wasn’t a cowboy; He wasn’t pure country
He wasn’t raised on a farm… But whenever he left, he left the door open
’Cause Jesus was born in a barn.

We don’t have the money. To buy enough insulation
To stop that old breeze wherever it blows. Is it a storm or finally salvation?
It’s a drafty old world. That’s why candles all flicker
And everyone catches his death. It sounds like a whisper
But it ain’t no secret. What blew you in will take your last breath.

He wasn’t a cowboy; He wasn’t pure country
He wasn’t raised on a farm… But whenever he left, he left the door open
’Cause Jesus was born in a barn.

When you feel that old wind. Blowin’ in from the desert
Blowin’ in through the cracks in your soul…
When you’re wrapped up in sin. Tryin’ to ride out the blizzard
Only faith can make your heart whole.

He wasn’t a cowboy; He wasn’t pure country
He wasn’t raised on a farm… But whenever he left, he left the door open
’Cause Jesus was born in a barn.

He wasn’t a rancher , Or a country swing dancer
But Lord knows he could spin a mean yarn
And whenever he left, he left the door open
’Cause Jesus was born in a barn.
Yes whenever he left, he left the door open
’Cause Jesus was born in a barn.

Shadow Gold

Written By: Gary Bragg and Charles Kouri

They give you horses and then hide the trail
They set you adrift without a sail
They put you in jail and deny the bail
They give you a way to have a say and charge you for air

Cut down the trees to give you a view
Carve up the land and tell you to move
Bury the children who question their power
Say there's a cure by selling the future
And charge by the hour

There's a long shadow and it's made of gold
There's a long shadow that blocks out the soul
It's the only way they know. Lead you down the same old road
Your dream's already sold and all their words are shadow gold

You must find your way by the sound of your voice
When all the maps are made of noise
When you feel the ground you, you will believe
This is our land we'll take a stand
In the land of the free

There's a long shadow and it's made of gold
There's a long shadow that blocks out the soul
It's the only way they know. Lead you down the same old road
Your dream's already sold and all their words are shadow gold

Hope Inside of Me

Written By: Gary Bragg and Charles Kouri

I won’t try to stop you; But there’s something you should know
That one-way ticket back is the one way I won’t go
Ever since I can remember we took the bitter with the sweet
Now you’re goin’ back to Casper but there’s nothin’ there for me

Will you ever find what you cannot see.
The beauty inside of you and the hope inside of me.

They said we were all wrong so did it on our own.
Made something out of nothin’. And now we have a home.
I took away the lonely but still you’re gonna leave
You can pack all your belongings, but you can’t pack this dream

Will you ever find what you cannot see.
The beauty inside of you and the hope inside of me.

That night we made a promise watchin’ stars on Lander mountain
You know that I was countin’ on the two of us forever
Will you ever find what you cannot see.
The beauty inside of you and the hope inside of me.
I pray the time will come when you will finally see
the beauty inside of you meet the hope inside of me

Locked and Loaded

Written By: Gary Bragg and Eric Ottem

You can have your patdowns, your metal detectors
Just more reasons why rednecks don’t fly
Rather be on the ground guardin’ the orchard
From immigrants gobblin’ up our apple pie
It’s true what they say, how bad goes to worse
It’s what gets me started with Jack Daniels most nights
There’s terrorists out there in the dark, creepin ‘ up on us
Teachers are all commies and kids higher than kites

But I’m not afraid, cuz I got protection
Got it from a paper our forefathers signed
Five bullets waitin’ and one in the chamber
I’m locked and I’m loaded –one step shy of the line

Things are so bad I take my pistol to church.
Keep my eye on each hand in the collection plate
It’s my job to deliver each penny to Jesus
And deliver a soul, by chance or by fate
There’s lots to be done and a short time to do it
Just hope I can keep on pullin’ my weight
So when the big one comes around I’ll be cockin’ and aimin’
Prayin’ to fire before it’s too late
But I’m not afraid, cuz I got protection
Got it from a paper our forefathers signed
Five bullets waitin’ and one in the chamber
I’m locked and I’m loaded –one step shy of the line

I’m armed and dangerous with nothin’ to lose
Except what’s dear to us, true red, white and blues
If you think bad guys’ll change for us, then you don’t watch the news
So don’t piss me off stranger cuz I got a short… fuse

I’m not afraid, cuz I got protection
Got it from a paper our forefathers signed
Five bullets waitin’ and one in the chamber
I’m locked and I’m loaded –one step shy of the line

Discography

High Plains Storm

Sons of Igor

Songs from The Ticket

Songs from Before I Wake

Set List

Twenty Originals by Gary Bragg
Big River -- Johnny Cash
Quiet Man, Flashback Blues -- John Prine
Waymore's Blues -- Waylon Jennings
Got me a Woman -- Levon Helm
Heart of Gold, Cinnamon Girl, Rockin' in the Free World, Like a Hurricane, After the Goldrush,
Powderfinger, -- Neil Young
Head Full of Doubt -- Avett Brothers
Stuck in the Middle with You - Stealers Wheel
Dancin in the Moonlght -- King Harvest
Don't it make you want to Dance - Rusty Weir
Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain -- Hank Williams
Shotgun Willie, Lucky Old Sun -- Willie Nelson
Great Afternoon, Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room -- Merle Haggard
Up on Cripple Creek, The Shape I'm In, Ophelia, The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down -- The Band
Atlantic City -- Bruce Springsteen
When I Paint My Masterpiece -- The Band
Livin' with the Shades Pulled Down -- Bob Wills
Innocent When You Dream -- Tom Waits
L. A. Freeway -- Guy Clark
Pissin' in the Wind