Greg Kitchel

Greg Kitchel

 Reno, Nevada, USA
BandAmericana

These are original story songs taking a wry, humorous and self deprecating look at life and love in these interesting and sometimes perilous times.

Biography

Ahhhh, my story. Don't we all like to rattle on with our stories. Mine? I live in Baja California just north of Cabo San Lucas. It's a cool life on the beach in the tropics with a great local music scene. I spend eight months of the year here, writing songs and performing the local venues. During the summers, I work my way north to the States to play and/or listen to music. I recorded the cd here in Pescadero with Dave and Shawn, a couple of lifetime musicians with a local recording studio Mountain Magico Studios. What sets me apart? I'll give you a good evening of entertainment, not just a jukebox of Everyone's Favorite Tunes. Generally, I prefer to play originals, but when I do covers, I like to play songs you don't hear every time you turn on the radio. I like to include humorous stories about the songs because I firmly believe that people want to be entertained. They want more than just to hear music. I try to write songs that people can identify with, songs that speak for them. When I travel, I play solo.

Lyrics

Had to go Back

Written By: Greg Kitchel

I saw my friend at the bar he was half past drunk
He was drinking shots and beer.
I said "Man whatch doing you been clean and sober for what....?
Ten months...? A year?
He said, "Yeah I know and I've been doing fine,
But if I could stay straight maybe halfa the time
I'd be ahead of the game and it's enough for me to keep my mind clear."

chorus
And I had to go back, I had to go back, I had to go back again.
I'm tired of the coffee, I'm tired of the meetings, I'm tired of making amends.
It's not the drinking that I miss so much, I'm just tired of missing my friends.
And I had to go back, I had to go back again.

Outside of the bar, I'm out in the cold
I've got my collar turned up and I'm having a smoke
While my friends are inside they're laughing and jokin'
I'm sitting in the dark by the side of the road.
If I had halfa brain I'd quit and I've tried
But the half that works about 3/4 fried
And the rest...well it's folding up under the load.

chorus
And I had to go back, I had to go back, I had to back again
We used to be cool a bunch of rebel fools
Now I'm just decrepit and old
Facing death from cancer
Coughin' and hackin'
A social pariah payin' 4 bucks a pack
And I had to go back, I had to go back again

bridge
sometimes we do what we do and it seems like it's brains we lack
We've been tortured and burned
Twisted and turned
Still we keep goin' back
It's like we don't have a clue
That the things that we do
Just don't make a whole lot of sense
It's like every day is a brand new day
I wonder where so many of them went

So we sat and we drank we laughed and we talked
Until the subject of women arose.
I said I'm still seeing that tall pretty blonde, just lovely from her head to her toes.
We've been fussing and fighting maybe 2 or 3 years
Seems like every day is either laughter or tears
And I don't know why, I guess it's
just how it goes.

chorus
And I had to go back, I had to go back, I had to go back again.
I meet a lotta women but they're just not bringin' me the things I'm lookin' for.
I like to hang out, make out, eat Italian take out
Play guitar 'til my fingers are sore.
And I had to go back, I had to go back for more.

Never Too Later To Do Nothing At All

Written By: Greg Kitchel

You can push, you can shove, you can scratch and claw
You can swagger to the plate like you're ten feet tall
Or when the count is full
You can wait for a ball
You can take a big swing
Take if for the wall
With the game on the line
Win lose or draw
But it's never too late to do nothin' at all

chorus
Nothin' at all, nothin' at all
They put the blindfold on ya
Put your back to the wall
Nothin' at all, nothin at all
It's never too late to do nothin at all

You can go to the gym, run for miles at dawn.
Eat organic granola when the feed bag's on.
When you're drivin' your car, you got your safety belt on.
If you play your cards right the Grim Reaper won't call
And dementia won't getcha and the market won't fall
And it's never too late to do nothin' at all.

chorus

There's doers and sitters, winners and quitters
Look you in the eye, just pure bull shitters.
Make no mistake the world's got as load of 'em all.
But I'm puttin' it down and I'm steppin' away
I'll take another shot but not today
'Cause it's never too late to do nothin' at all

chorus

You can slip, you can slide, you could take a bad fall
Or you could shuffle your days thru the stores at the mall
Take a reach for the ring, or pick a reason to stall
You can change your mind
Change your point of view
You can even change the place you think you're going to
But it's never too late to do nothin' at all

chorus to close

'57 Buick

Written By: Greg Kitchel

Her name was on the internet
On the high school classmates page
"Get yourself a life,"I thought
Grow up, act your age.
But I tapped her out an email
I sent it down the line.
She answered in an hour,
It took me back in time
To the spring of 1968, I was 17 years old
I had a 57 Buick,over 40 years ago.

We were high school sweethearts
Goin' to the dance,
The Lovin' Spoonful and the Beatles
Dancin' close and holdin' hands.
In the back seat of my Buick
She smiled and told me, "Yes".
I think about her often and wonder how she is.
That's been a lot of years ago
To me she meant the world
I had a '57 Buick and a sweetheart of a girl.

We met for lunch in Phoenix
Near a place we used to go.
The old hangout's gone now
It's a mega picture show.
I was in town for business
She was there for life
She had a hardened way about her,
Like an old sharecroppers wife.
Her skin was shot to hell
From the sun and cigarettes
The crystal meth had got her teeth
But it hadn't killed her yet.

She said she'd been a waitress
Since her man been doin' time
She blew a smoke ring toward the ceiling
Told me I was lookin' fine.
She asked if I was married
Leaning close across the table
I said I had a dinner flight
Headin' south to Pescadero
"It's sure been great to see you
We'll have to stay in touch.
It's been a whole lot of fun
Adios and thanks so much".

Back on the beach in Baja
Thinkin' 'bout what coulda been.
Thinkin' 'bout a woman back in Phoenix
And her man back in the pen.
Thinkin' 'bout my life in general
How it's turning out OK
How it matters what we keep
And what we give away.
What we choose to carry with us
What we live behind.
I left that '57 Buick
And that little girl of mine.
There'll always be a reason for the things we leave behind
I left that little girl in Phoenix and that big old car of mine.
It isn't often easy knowin' what to leave behind
I left that '57 Buick and that little girl of mine.

Graduation Day

Written By: Greg Kitchel

I did a little stretch of government time
Three years in lockup for the federal crime
Of bringing brown skinned people up north
By the shortest way.
They're leavin' their homes for the jobs and pay
Passing southbound Gringos along the was
Headin' out, headin' south trying to get away.

I married young, didn't use my brain
I liked the sex, didn't mind the pain
I couldn't see the light
I was blinded by the flash.
She had a tongue like a dagger
It was quick and sharp
With each little slip she'd cut me apart
And left me out on the curb
Right along with last weeks trash.

chorus
And it's just a couple bad moves made along the way
Just a momentary lack of attention
And another heavy price to pay.
And it's just another class tuition ain't free
Just another course in humility.
Just another step down the road to a Phd.

I did construction workin' metal by trade.
It was feast or famine in the sun or the shade
We built jails and hospitals and secondary schools.
There's somethin' there for everyone you see
If you're like most people you get 2 outa 3
I avoided the one and spent time in the other two.

chorus

The road's been rough, it don't seem that long.
Some moves I made were painfully wrong.
I had some bad information but I carried on just the same.
There's been some twists and surprising turns
Unexpected detours, well, live and learn.

chorus tune
Now I'm livin' down south on the beach in Mexico
Writing songs and playing music
And hangin' with the people I know
And I like the work, I don't mind the pay
I just might stay here 'til I slip away
And who knows, it might be another graduation day.

And I like the work, I don't mind the pay
I just might stay here until I slip away
And who knows it might be another graduation day.

On Getting Older

Written By: Greg Kitchel

A little older, a little smarter
I can't read without my specs
I can't hear what you said
But I think I know what you meant.
I've got some miles on the chassis
The paint's faded and the fender's bent.
The motor burns a little oil, but it's not done yet.
When I was young and tough
I could stand the pain.
Sweat all day in the sun,
Sleep out in the rain.
Out all nite and settin' the pace
I'd drink you under the table
With style and grace.
Get up in the morning and do it again.

A little softer, a little kinder,
Has anybody seen my specs?
They're around here someplace
But I haven't found 'em yet.
I like a good book and a soft chair
I like my sweetie to rub my head.
I wake up early, by ten o'clock I'm in bed.
I went to the doctor, it didn't help
He said, "Man you're lucky at least you got your health".
Was there something I said that he didn't hear?
Did I speak too soft, were my words unclear?
He said you're a little older but you're not done yet.

A little older, a little bolder
With a little more self respect.
I haven't done it all
But I"m not finished yet.
I like a warm hug and a soft kiss
I like the mangos when they're sweet and fresh.
I like all the pretty girls
But I love my little darlin' best.
I've taken my share of bruises and abusions.
I've left behind some presumptions and illusions.
If life is just a game, the winnin's in your mind.
We'll all be standin' naked at the finish line.
And I've lost a step or two but I'm feelin' fine.
I keep findin' new ways to accomodate my state of decline.
I'm gettin' better with age like a bottle of that Two Buck Chuck Trader Joe's wine.

The Women I Love

Written By: Greg Kitchel

The woman I love just no damn good.
Bad job, bad house in a bad neighborhood.
She got a bad exhusband with a jealousy streak.
She's got a kid in jail, gettin' out next week.
She's got a payday loan that's a month overdue.
She's got a broke down car and the 3 day flu.
And the woman I love, just no damn good.

The women I love are all bitchy and hard.
With a head full of anger and a heart full of scars.
They've got a tongue like a dagger that cuts 'til I bleed.
Got a smile that makes me weak in the knees.
I can know it I can see it but it just doesn't help.
The women I know are sent straight here from Hell.
And the women I love are just no damn good.

bridge
I don't know what, I don't know why
I pick the same kinda woman almost every time.
There's just one thing that occurs to me,
I don't pick them, maybe they jpick me.

I knew a woman she was lovely
she could sing like a bird.
She was kind and gentle and she heard every word
I had to say, lame as they were
She was quick with a smile and she loved me for sure.
There was only one thing that left me feelin' flat
The women that love me don't love me like that.

repeat last 2 lines to close

Blue Collar Blues

Written By: Greg Kitchel

Alarm clock, it's still dark
It's Folger's in a cup that leaks.
The car's old the heater's broke
It's Monday of a 6 day week.
The job sucks, the pay ain't much
But all the overtime he can use.
And it's just another day of life slippin' away
From the man with the blue collar blues.

She got a short fuse
But it's no use
They don't listen anyway.
She's a tired wife with a hard life
Three kids and a minimum wage.
She got a worn down husband
No good for nothin'
She dreams about island views.
And it's just another day of life slippin' away
From that woman with the blue collar blues.

The kids are into gangsta rock
It's Ice Tea on the loose.
Pierced tongues, their minds numb
Their bodies half tattoos.
They got no jobs, my God
They're old enough to be cut loose.
They can figure out a way
To be workin' their way
Thru the world of the blue collar blues.

bridge
Blue collar, white collar, ring around the dollar collar
All gonna squeeze you the same.
Horse collar, choke collar, rock you with a shock collar,
All gonna rattle your brain.
But you can get loose from that hangman's noose
Or there's a blindfold if you choose.
Or you can find a way to be slippin' away
From the world of the blue collar blues.

The boat's old but the beer's cold
Ceviche down by the beach.
They're underway come what may
Outbound on a fat beam reach.
They're puttin' it down
They're steppin away
They're takin' their shot
They're leavin' today.
They're slippin' away from the world of the blue collar blues.

repeat bridge to close

Closer to God, Farther From TV

Written By: Greg Kitchel

Closer to God, farther from McDonalds
Farther from french fries
And hardened arteries.
Closer to the earth, a little closer to the sea.
Closer to my soul, a little closer to me.
Closer to God, and farther from TV.

A little house in Pescadero perched on a little hillside.
A little dirt road but not too little for me.
A million little stars hangin' in the nite sky.
A million miles of ocean, as far as I can see.
A little close to God, a little farther from TV.

I've got a bunch of good friends
Many more than I can name.
They treat me like they love me
I try to do the same.
I've got a god feeling
This is where I ought to be
A little closer to my soul
A little closer to me
A little closer to God,
A little farther from TV.

bridge
I've got sunrise on the mountains
Sunset on the sea.
Siesta pro la tarde, turtles on the beach.
Dinner at Felipe's, the bounty of the sea.
A little closer to God, a little farther from TV.

It's quiet on the huerta, the wind is in the trees.
The workers in the fields, the surf up on the beach.
I've lost that crazy drumbeat, Keeps my soul away from me.
A little closer to my soul, a little closer to me.
A little closer to God, a little farther from TV.
Mas cerca a Dios, mas cerca a mi.
Mas cerca a Dios, mas cerca a mi.

Cold Shoulder

Written By: Greg Kitchel

I like cold beer and I like ice tea
When it's cold outside it's fine with me
I like cool weather, I like cool things
I like cool dancing like west coast swing
There's only one thing that's too cool for me
Your cold cold shoulder's too cold you see.

When it's hot outside I like to sit in the shade.
I avoid the sun, I sip cold lemonade.
I like cool music like BB King
I pick my clothes out like cool's the thing.
I'm a cool cool daddy that's plain to see
But your cold cold shoulder's too cold for me.

bridge
Your cold cold shoulder givin' me the chills.
Your cold cold shoulder won't pay my bills.
Your cold cold shoulder make it 'bundantly clear
I'll be takin' the southbound outta here.

Your cold cold shoulder give me shiverin' pain
Like an Arctic wind in the freezin'.
It makes me feel so down and alone
It's like frostbite, clean to the bone.
Your cold cold shoulder leavin' me no doubt
I'll be packin' my things and I'll be checkin' out.
You might think you got nothin' to lose,
But I'm a long gone daddy on a southbound cruise.

Devil's Habanero

Written By: Greg Kitchel

The Devil's Habanero

She ordered chili verde from the local eatery,
She ordered it picante, just like the locals eat.
She ordered corn tortillas and a cold Dos Equis beer,
She knew her way around the menu like she's born and raised right here.

(chorus)
But when she took a bite her eyes rolled back and WHOA!
The Devil's habanero pierced her body to her soul.
And it was hot chili, hot, hot chili for her.

Pablanos, jalapenos are about the same to me.
They're green and chili peppers from a bush or from a tree.
They grow them in the huerta, they're picked and served with pride.
They serve them chopped in salsa, or serve them pickled on the side.

(chorus similar)

A dinner party with some friends, sushi, rice and Chardonay,
Outside around the table while the daylight slipped away.
A scoop of guacamole wasn't what it looked to be.
Wasabe's what they called it, it was the fires of Hell for me.

(chorus similar)

(bridge)
I gasped for air in dumb surprise, I shuddered to my soul.
With desperate panic in my eyes, I struggled for control.
Eyes wide like silver dollars, I choked but couldn't speak.
I fumbled with my beer to slam it down to cool the heat!
And it was hot chili, hot, hot chili for me.

If there's a moral to this story, or a message to this song.
It's when you think you've got it right, you've got it wrong
And when you're living large and you're talking proud and tall
You'd better gird your loins, man, 'cause the Devil's 'bout to call.
And bringin' hot chili, hot, hot chili for you.

And when you're livin large and you're talkin proud and tall
You'd better gird your loins cause the Devil's about to call
He's bringin hot chili, it's the Devil's chili grande your you.

Ice Cream Sundae

Written By: Greg Kitchel

Ice Cream Sundae Greg Kitchel

I've got a hard headed woman with a mind of her own
But she's smart and she knows when to leave me alone.
She's got her own way of thinkin' but what the heck
She's always got an answer she's a pain in the neck
But she's sweet and she loves me and tells me I'm cool
She touches my soul and as a rule
She knows when to break out the satin and lace G
She knows what it takes to keep a smile on my face.

chorus
Life's like a sundae with a cherry on top
It's sweet and it's rich and likely as not
With a little bit of luck ands a lot of suspense
It will all shake out in a way that makes sense.

I've got a sweet guitar that rings when I play.
I've got the sun in the window when I greet the day.
I've got a good cuppa coffee with sugar and cream.
I've got a smile on my face, I think you know what I mean.
I've got a place by the beach keeps the rain offa me.
I've got a car that starts when I turn the key.
I've got the ocean in front and the mountains in back
When I'm countin' my blessings, there's little I lack.

chorus

I've got everything I ever wanted to have,
I've got a coupla good kids callin' me Dad.
I've been livin' the life I've been dreamin' about,
I'm doin' good shit instead of doin' without.
When I'm long in the tooth, and they're callin me home,
I don't want to face it alone.
Just hold me close while I'm slippin' away,
And promise me it's gonna be ok.

chorus

Discography

The discography is painfully short. On the other hand our Greatest Hits are all right there on Never Too Late To Do Nothing At All. Several tracks have enjoyed airplay on KVMR in Nevada City. Discs and downloads are available at cdBaby, Itunes and the usual online sources.

Set List

I normally perform solo and do about a half and half mix of covers and originals. I incorporate stories into the mix because it works and because I think people like to know where the songs came from. A one hour set might be: It Feels so Good to Feel Good Again, I Had to Go Back, Down in the Banana Republic, Pencil This Mustache, Never Too Late to do Nothing At All, You're the Lucky One, I Must Be Living Someone Else's Life, Closer to God and Farther From TV, '57 Buick, Every Woman's Different, Every Wife's the Same, Who's Gonna Build Your Wall, Save the Last Dance For Me. So that would go about an hour. If I'm playing in a restaurant I'll usually do 2 sets back to back so the customers don't leave when the music stops, take a short break, and try to sell some cd's, then come back for a mini set to close out the evening.