Jes Raymond

Jes Raymond

 Seattle, Washington, USA
BandFolkAmericana

Singer. Songwriter. Strummer. Stomper. Elements of old-time, bluegrass, gospel and swing echo through songs of warm acoustic life.

Biography

Once upon a time, Jes Raymond left the recital hall in Chapel Hill, NC, and she headed west on a Greyhound Bus with a guitar, a notebook, and a pair of hiking boots. When she reached the Rocky Mountains, the walking began. It went on for years, deep into Washington’s Olympics and North Cascades. And when she came back down, out of those mountains, what a song she had to sing.
Her debut studio album, "Even the Trees" was recorded with the help of the Jackstraw Productions Artist Support Program, and features many of Seattle’s finest instrumentalists. Elements of old-time, bluegrass, gospel, and swing echo through songs of warm acoustic life. The arrangements form a spectrum from sparse banjo and guitar duets to dense ensembles of drums, bass, piano, clarinet, fiddle,guitar and dobro. The songs are crafted with the simplicity of a true poet’s intentions.
In addition to her solo songwriting career, Jes formed and tours with the old-time/bluegrass group The Blackberry Bushes Stringband who placed 2nd in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition in 2009. She was awarded the 2009 Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs City Artist Award.
Jes Raymond knows well the dusty path between tradition and new illumination.

Lyrics

Eliza Crossed The Ice

Written By: Jes Raymond

Eliza crossed the ice of the Ohio
she took her angel's hand and jumped from floe to floe;
hunters and bloodhounds watched her from the shore.
Eliza crossed that ice with the wind and water roaring

" My heart, I've got one just like every other fool.
It's beating like it ought to, like it will until its through.
My mind, I've got one, and my hands I have got two.
I could say that we're both dreamers and I think that would be true."

It was morning when she left in the broad daylight.
she'd tried to run so many times they chained her legs to her bed at night.
All the ones she loved touched her one last time
She made her way to that river, empty handed to the other side.

There is a balm in Giliad
It will make the broken whole;It will help the hopeless laugh
We are all blood and bones, not one of us is glass.
Sometimes we change slow. Sometimes the change is Fast...

You can't love too much. You just can't love too much. Every bit of your love, will be just enough. Every bit of your love, it's just enough.

Poor Black Sheep

Written By: Jes Raymond

Poor Black Sheep...caught in the wire by your wooly foot.
Haven't we all made a little deal with the devil if we thought we could?

Hold Back, hold back,
hold back the time
start the day with kisses
end it with wine

Poor black sheep...all alone on a hot highway
Haven't we all let the devil give us a lift if he was goin' our way?

Poor Black Sheep...locked away and cryin low
Haven't we all let the devil keep us warm sleepin' on the floor?

Red White and Blue

Written By: Jes Raymond

I see God in the skyline
I've got the Goddess by my side
I find them both in anything that grows;
I find it all in anything alive.

Red White and Blue...
this is our country too.

I can give my love to a boy.
I can give my love to a girl.
I can love them both right, and all in the same night
This is a beautiful world.

I can let my little light show.
I can wear my shirt too low.
I can dance crazy,Choose when to have my babies, and let this guitar tell me all she knows.

I will not turn away Guantanamo.
I will not pretend that I don't know.
Torture is treason on humanity and reason.
No, no, no Guantanamo.

I will open up my front door and run.
I will never be a silent one.
I will pledge my allegence, to people and seasons,
water, and songbirds, and sun.

The Ocean and The Highway

Written By: Jes Raymond

The ocean and the highway make the same sound.
They will both grind you down till you are just a grain of sand,
running through the fingers of the one you thought you loved. The one you loved because...oh just because...

I hear myself squawking like a big old white seagull;I push and I pull against this Emerald City.
I came here last year to begin again; the year came and went, and I'm still sinking in.

Every wave is racing to be the inch of water that gets to meet the sand.
Over and over, always and always, the ocean pulls it back again.

Everybody's running late;they're leaning on their horns. They have tempers hot and short; they don't leave an inch of space.
So I am driving faster than I mean to now, no place to slow down, keeping with this crowd.

I fall every time for a kiss with confidence. A little song and dance sends me out to sea.
I am standing right here, but you can't see most of me. I flow underneath, way down deep.

April Showers

Written By: Jes Raymond

April showers bring May flowers.
April showers bring puddles by the road.
Wouldn't I love lose my list to do in that water, and spend one day in April with no place to go.

I know two ways you can see the sunrise,
you can go to bed early or not go to bed at all,
there are days when I would leap right out Love's window; there are days when that window opens to a wall.

I do know, I am assured, the nine to five clips the wings of many a traveling bird.
Ends meet ends by your breath and your sweat.
I heard the feather tips hit the floor, a sound I can never forget, just never forget.

The night is so big; it doesn't end. I have never really been afraid, the dark is my friend. That's where rain makes diamonds out of plain black rocks, and drowns out the tick of time that comes from my pocket watch, my pocket watch.

I Met You on the Road

Written By: Jes Raymond

I met you on the road;I loved you on that road.
I met you on the road, so how was I to know?
You'd taken a wrong turn, you'd taken a wrong turn and you were not where you were meant to be.

I lose you and I find you...I think I recognize you in every face that comes around the bend.
In the weedy wildflowers, in the simple sunny hours practicing my love and my mandolin...

I don't want to pretend that I know what I don't.
I don't want to pretend I'll I willstay when I'll go.
I can't pretend that I don't see what palinly reveals its nature to me.

You can't love me if you hold yourself above me.
Everytime you judge me honey, you make the water much to muddy
to open my eyes under the waves, I try and try to find the words to say...

Beecharmer

Written By: Jes Raymond

I've been called a beecharmer
I've been called a honey fool.
I aim to be what I might have been if
I had known before
there are no real rules.

Oh I love Honey Bees,
the clover and the queen
Honey bee, honey bee,
I reach right in,
you don't sting me.

The very first time I saw that wild hive
the one I loved had his hand on my knee
I was blushing like a berry when that honey bee flew by
and disappeared into the hollow of her tree.

We all hear what we want to hear.
I heard that hive like it was calling me home
Before I could say if it was right or wrong, that boy was running and I held the honeycomb...

What have you done to me, sweet soft honey bee?
Your honey it is so so sweet, but here I am so lonely...

Stand Where He Stands

Written By: Jes Raymond

Red is not my favorite color,
except when the crimson birds
land in the snow.
My Dad and I had that one in common;
We both loved to watch them
from our own windows.

Dad was a dancer if the music was country;
He'd shuffle and sway in 3/4 time.
I would dance with him, but we hit the crossroads;
and we changed directions at our great divide.

He had the brightest eyes;and the hardest hands.
A little boy who could tumble, jump and twist and bend...
grew stiff and straight trying to be a bigger man,
and I would not say it's easy to stand where he stands.

He could swing in a circle way up on a high bar;
let go with one hand for a full pirouette.
But a working man's son gets in line at the factory,
and lets go of handsprings and such foolishness.

He was raising two babies before he turned twenty;
he money was elsewhere and the worry was fierce.
He'd lean on his elbows and we'd orbit around him,
while the belt in the bedroom hung nervous and near.

He had the brightest eyes;and the hardest hands.
A little boy who could tumble, jump and twist and bend...
grew stiff and straight trying to be a bigger man,
and I would not say it's easy to stand where he stands.

He never said red was his favorite color,
but he'd watch those birds every winter day.
I bet he's still standing there at that window;
break your heart lonely and drawing the shade.

Atlanta

Written By: Jes Raymond

She took my husband and she took my crown
I've got no love for that Southern Town
broke my windows, broke down my doors
Atlanta left my home in peices on the floor

He was sneaking with a college girl
all baby fat face and chesnut curls
looking for someone to call her sweet nicknames
the ring he was wearing;just something to rearrange

Atlanta, Atlanta,
Atlanta, What am I supposed to say?
When California's not far enough to keep Atlanta away?

She had his baby in the summertime
after something like that there is no denying
So I hung her baby's name on my family tree
then I hid it away where my own children couldn't see

I had two daughters and I had too sons
I never told them about the other one
Secrets have a way of sneaking outside
That one stung me twice because I tried to hide

Atlanta, Atlanta,
Atlanta, What am I supposed to say?
When California's not far enough to keep Atlanta away?

I took our promise from our day in church
I'd built my life on what that was worth
took it to the river that cut through downtown
worse than no love at all is a love you have to drown

Atlanta, Atlanta,
Atlanta, What am I supposed to say?
When California's not far enough to keep Atlanta away?

Eliza Crossed the Ice

Written By: Jes Raymond

Eliza crossed the ice of the Ohio;
took her angel's hand and jumped from floe to floe.
Hunters and bloodhounds watched her from the shore.
She crossed that ice, with the wind and water roaring.

"My heart, I got one like every other fool.
It's beating like it ought to, it will until its through.
My mind, I've got one, my hands, I've got two.
I could say we're both dreamers; I think that would be true."

It was morning when she left in the broad daylight.
She'd tried to run so many times they chained her legs to her bed at night
All the ones she loved touched her one last time;
she made her way to the river, empty handed to the other side

"My heart, I got one like every other fool.
It's beating like it ought to, it will until its through.
My mind, I've got one, my hands, I've got two.
I could say we're both dreamers; I think that would be true."

They say there is a balm in Giliad
it will make the wounded whole, it will help the hopeless laugh
We are all blood and bones, not one of us is glass
sometimes we change slow, but sometimes the change is fast

You can't love too much. You just can't love too much.
Every bit of your love is just enough. Every bit of your love is just enough.

"My heart, I got one like every other fool.
It's beating like it ought to, it will until its through.
My mind, I've got one, my hands, I've got two.
I could say we're both dreamers; I think that would be true."

Eliza crossed the ice of the Ohio;
took her angel's hand and jumped from floe to floe.
Hunters and bloodhounds watched her from the shore.
She crossed that ice, with the wind and water roaring.

Discography

2009 Even the Trees
2008 These Days
2007 A Sound
2006 Creatures of Habit with the Blackberry Bushes
*#1 on KAOS radio for the months of July and August
2004 Moon Pie - LP with the Blackberry Bushes
KAOS Olympia charted Moon Pie with the College Media Journal

Set List

I perform original material and depending on the needs of the event cover standards and traditional songs from the old-time, bluegrass, and swing jazz genres. Examples from each (originals, old-time and bluegrass, swing) are below.

Salt Creek
California
Aphrodite
25 Crows
Whiskey
Poor Black Sheep
One Man Band
Peril and Pearls
These Days
Garden Song
Mosa
Burn
Carry On
Love Letter Writer
April Showers
Bee Charmer
A Sound

Lonesome Fiddle Blues
Jerusalem Ridge
Billy in the Lowground
Cherokee Shuffle
Blackberry Blossom
I�ll Fly Away
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Old Joe Clark
Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Bill Cheatham
Friend of the Devil
Sugar Baby
Coo- Coo
Orphan Girl
Cripple Creek
Clinch Mountain Backstep

Swing 48
It don�t mean a thing
Honeysuckle Rose
Sweet Georgia Brown
Swing Gitan
Limehouse Blues
Dark Eyes
Sunny Side of the Street
Ain�t Misbehavin
Can�t Give You anything but Love
Bossa Dorado
I�ll see you in my dreams
Minor Swing
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