Karl Valentine

Karl Valentine

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

If James Taylor had had children with Cat Power, then Karl Valentine would have popped out. The music is best described as earthy, soulful, and at times wistful and romantic.

Biography

Karl Valentine is a singer/songwriter who was born in New York and raised in Philadelphia during the height of the folk scene on the East Coast. Studying with folks like Chris Smither and Danny O'Keefe, Karl has played a long list of clubs from coast to coast--among them the Tin Angel in Philadelphia, the O.K. Hotel in Seattle, the Sioux City Folk Festival in Iowa, The Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival and Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA.

Currently residing in Seattle, Washington, Karl has completed four albums, each available online at Amazon.com and Apple iTunes.

His key influences have been Neil Young, Stephen Stills, James Taylor, Chris Whitley, Tom Waits, Suzanne Vega and Cat Stevens. Karl tours mainly in the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast northern seaboard. He plays a 1957 00-18 Martin and an Olson SJ when playing solo, and a Tom Anderson Strat when touring with his friends.

His lyrics are very narrative, with tales of love and loss, political outrage, sociological and philosophical reflections, forged in the crucible of late 20th century rock, spiced with equal measures of blues, jazz and folk. Karl has teamed up with Joel Tipke, a guitar prodigy from Spokane, formerly lead guitarist for Inflatable Soule, now based in Seattle. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll break a few lamps, you'll be happy if you're in love, and you won't need to ask why.

Lyrics

Follow You

Written By: Karl Valentine

Follow You

Where do we go from here?
The signs on the road were clear
But still we lost our way
And the world that we had hoped to change
Is still the same

Our parents knew all along
The protests and all the songs
Would all just fade away
It was just a stage
And our parents were not wrong

These are seasons of our lives
And the children do survive
They just follow you along
They just follow you along

Where do we go from here?
Our fortunes and our careers
Have left us wondering
Was it just a dream?
The Great Society is now gone

There’s a man on a downtown train
Who looks every bit like me
He turns I look away
The more we try to change
We’re just the same

These are seasons of our lives
And the children do survive
They just follow you along
They just follow you along

Hard Road

Written By: Karl Valentine

Hard Road

It's a hard road
In this life you chose
And you feel so cold
When you're on your own

Say goodbye, my friend
Seems we've reached the end
Don't forget my name
'Cause memories always fade

I spent eighteen years
On that ghetto fringe
And those City Streets
Are pounding in my veins

Yes, the day will come
Count them one by one
When this road will end
Into some promised land

There's this voice I hear
Whispering in my ear
It says: "Welcome Home,"
You can now let go.

Karl Valentine © 2006

Deeper Meaning

Written By: Karl Valentine

Deeper Meaning

I don't know what it means
to have you next to me
But I don't want to be alone
Somehow, I keep on holding on

You've got to see
I'm struggling
With all these things inside my head
I'm going to wait
Until the day
When it makes sense to me

I don't know what mean to me
I don't know how it's going to be
Somewhere there is a deeper meaning

Sometimes I can't tell what is real
I have emotions I can't feel
Am I just wallowing in pain?
Another Narcissist refrain

You've got to see
I'm struggling
With all these things inside my head
I'm going to wait
Until the day
When it makes sense to me

I don't know what mean to me
I don't know how it's going to be
Somewhere there is a deeper meaning

Everybody wants to know
Is it real or is it show?
How can I try to explain
That there's nothing up my sleeve

You've got to see
I'm struggling
With all these things inside my head
I'm going to wait
Until the day
When it makes sense to me

I don't know what mean to me
I don't know how it's going to be
Somewhere there is a deeper meaning

Karl Valentine © 1999

I Have a Dream

Written By: Karl Valentine

Some things seem to slip our minds
Don't you ask me why
Like war and hate, and Watergate
These memories have died

Take me back, oh take me back
To 1963
Somewhere we got off the track
After John F. Kennedy

I can't say how, it's going to be
Maybe you can tell me
I have a dream, it's going to change
Said Martin King

Can you feel it now, growing stronger?
Can you feel it now?

We live inside our sheltered lives
Pretending not to see
That we have gone too far this time
It's everywhere I see

Now, do I have to spell it out?
It's right on your T.V.
Planet Earth is on a course
That's much too frightening

I can't say how, it's going to be
Maybe you can tell me
I have a dream, it's going to change
Said Martin King

Can you feel it now, growing stronger?
Can you feel it now?

Missouri River

Written By: Karl Valentine

Missouri River

From the Montana hills, to the mighty plains
She races southward bound
She changed my view of America
From a small Iowa town

She's peaceful on the surface top
But she rages underneath
With a passion only lovers know

She can cut you down, it's true
But I'm so in love with you
The Missouri River

Now Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark
To map her to the West
And when they found they were completely lost
They resolved never to turn back

The mountain's high
The river wide
Yeah, she's restless and she's mad
I'll follow her, all the way down

Because one thing will always be true
I'm so in love with you
The Missouri River

Now everyday, she looks the same
But deep inside I know
The waters have consumed the past
But it never stops the flow

And one day I'll be looking back
With eyes that have been aged
But my heart will know the difference

Because one thing will always be true
I'm so in love with you
The Missouri River

Karl Valentine © 1999

She Needed Me

Written By: Karl Valentine

Yeah, she needed me
But she needed to be free
It was not about me

When I hold her hand
Does she understand?
That I’d be her man

I don’t know why
She makes me cry
But sometimes I do
When I think about you

In another world
Would you be my girl?
Let the world stand still

I watched you pass me by
A ship out in the night
Man, you burned so bright

Don’t you ever change your mind
What if the world would stop
And let you off for awhile
Would you think of me?

Yeah, she needed me
But she needed to be free
It was not about me

When I hold her hand
Does she understand?
That I’d be her man

I don’t know why
She makes me cry
But sometimes I do
When I think about you

Karl James Valentine © 2002

Discography

Three albums have been released. Addison Street 2007, Hard Road, 2006 and Missouri River 1999. All are streamed in parts through myspace.com/karlvalentine and have been played on KBCS.

Set List

A typical set is 60-90 minutes. Karl plays songs from among the 200 songs he has written over the past 25 years, and sometimes spices his set with covers such as Neil Young's "On the Way Home," Eric Clapton's "Please be with Me," Lowell George's "Willin'" and Freddy Neil's "Everybody's Talking at Me."

My repertoire is usually a mix of straight ahead folk/pop songs a la 10,000 Maniacs meets James Taylor, with equal measures of blues, inspired by Chris Smither, and jazz songs, inspired by Joni Mitchell. My core passions include folk, rock, jazz and blues. Personal friends with whom I have played and toured include Chris Smither, Chris Whitley, and David Wilcox.