Kerry Grombacher

Kerry Grombacher

 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
SoloAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Written in the spirit of the troubadours of old, Kerry Grombacher's songs paint vivid portraits and tell fascinating stories that span the landscape he travels, from New Orleans to the Hi-Line of Montana.

Biography

Kerry Grombacher plays guitar and mandolin and writes and performs contemporary folk and western songs. In the spirit of the troubadours of old, he paints vivid portraits and tells fascinating stories that are set in the landscape where he’s worked and toured, from his home on New Orleans’ Bayou St. John to the desert Southwest, and up to Montana and the Northwest forests. You’ll find him at Folk Festivals and Cowboy Poetry Gatherings, singing his songs, playing mandolin as a sideman, and picking in the jam sessions and around the campfires until the last song is sung.

Kerry has performed on stages as varied as the Newport Folk Festival (Newport, RI) and Cowboy Songs & Range Ballads (Cody, WY), the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA) and the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Durango, CO). In addition to appearing at Folk Festivals and Cowboy Gatherings, he regularly sings his songs at performing arts centers, coffeehouses, house concerts and other music venues – and on Sands Motel parking lots!

Kerry’s recordings include the cds, It Sings in the Hi-Line (2008), Sands Motel (2001) and Riding for the Brand (1999), and the tape releases, Dreams of New Orleans (1998) and Home to the West (1996). Artists including Gary Prescott, Chris Chandler, The Texas Trailhands, Earl Gleason, Duke Davis, and Trails & Rails, and have recorded his songs. He’s performed on the nationally distributed radio program, River City Folk, the Louisiana Jukebox television program and the Montana television show, It’s Still the West. He’s been featured on the Route 66 website and in The Big Round-Up (www.cowboypoetry.com), and there’s a room named for him at the Sands Motel on historic Route 66 in Grants NM!

Kerry Grombacher is a member of the North American Folk Alliance and the Western Music Association, and he participates in the endorsement program for Elixir Guitar and Mandolin Strings. When he’s not on the road, Kerry lives in New Orleans, where he’s recently moved back into his flooded home.

Lyrics

The Edge of the World

Written By: Kerry Grombacher

The Edge of the World

He rose above the desert floor
And left his fevered dreams
A sundog framed his upturned face
Like an icon in a church
He murmured words he once had heard
The old men chant at dawn
His voice was dust and wood smoke on the wind
The second time I saw him
Was on the highway east of Gallup
Walking on the shoulder
With his back turned toward the cars
He turned down the ride I offered
And left the right of way
Drifting toward the edge of the world

We saddled borrowed horses
And rode across the plain
Lava rocks on westside hills
Were still cold from the night
With our leather creaking in the frost
We rode, then stopped and listened
Straining for a message on the wind
Born in sand and scrub mesquite
The cattle hunt for water
They shelter in the shade of ruins
Of homesteads long abandoned
A struggling bunch of headstrong calves
Had climbed above the canyon
And drifted toward the edge of the world

Chorus:
The circle that we ride is like the wheel that rolls the heavens
The spider weaves its fragile web each day
To trap the turquoise sky inside its web before it shatters
One careless motion tears the web away
At the edge of the world it falls away

A pilgrim and a troubadour
In a land of wind-carved mesas
Cast out of the angel band
I roam the borderline
At a low bank of the river
The snowmelt washed me clean
That evening, I was born again
Saw a coyote in the borrow ditch
Flies buzzed round his eyes
Just another trickster, caught
And paying for his sins
What happens to the least of us
Is hardly ever noticed
This side of the edge of the world

The angle of the sun reveals
A lion’s shadowed track
Cattle all have scattered
Like sand, like blowing snow
In a tight arroyo
Lies a mossy seeping spring
The water dark as night beneath the rocks
Chipped into the hard stone walls
The meaning lost to ages
Silent testimony
From those who came before
A star a deer, an outlined hand
A single flying man
Returning from the edge of the world

Chorus

He rose above the desert floor
And left his fevered dreams

© 2007 Kerry Grombacher (Ring of Fire Music – BMI)
kgrombacher@yahoo.com

Moonrise, Hernandez NM

Written By: Kerry Grombacher

Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico

The old dog barked backward, too weary to rise
As men trudged home from the tavern
The last rays of sunlight lit the crosses in the graveyard
And the moon rose over Hernandez

The warmth of fresh tortillas spread like pinon smoke
On the snow-chilled air that blew down from the mountains
The last rays of sunlight caught a far-off bank of clouds
And the moon rose over Hernandez

(Chorus) The moon rose over Hernandez
In the gathering dusk of All Hallows Eve
Mothers kept their children close beside them
For wolves y la Llorona roamed like thieves
When dawn broke on el Dia de los Muertos
The sun shone down on graves covered by flowers
On Halloween the sad-eyed moon watched dead souls rise and dance
To accordion and guitar played through the witching hour

A fighting cock strutted proudly across the campo santo
It paid no heed to the graves of the departed
The last rays of sunlight smoothed its battered feathers
And the moon rose over Hernandez

As night came to roost in the branches of the cottonwoods
And the stars, one by one, lit their lanterns
The last rays of sunlight touched the tan adobe church
And the moon rose over Hernandez

(Chorus)

Ansel Adams might have heard the faint notes of that accordion
The keys caressed by fingers dark and lithe
The last rays of sunlight etched the film in Adams’ camera
And the moon rose over Hernandez

Prisoners, our eyes are fixed forever on that image
The dusty town, the living and the dead
The last rays of sunlight cast shadows on the wall
And the moon rose over Hernandez

The moon rose over Hernandez
Halloween 1941

C 2007 Kerry Grombacher (Ring of Fire Music - BMI)
812 N. Carrollton New Orleans LA 70119
512-296-7833 kgrombacher@yahoo.com

Wild West Mambo

Written By: Kerry Grombacher

Wild West Mambo

Buffalo Bill on the riverboat
White goatee and a buckskin coat
He said I got a sure-fire money-making scheme
We take the Wild West Show to New Orleans
Wild West Show in New Orleans
Biggest show that they’ve ever seen
We got buffalo hunters and the lion fighters
Little Sure Shot and the bareback riders
Buffalo hunters and the lion fighters
Little Sure Shot and the bareback riders

Gathered at the fairgrounds late at night
Big Pow-Wow by flambeau light
Turkey feather and the circle dance
Cowboy songs and Indian chants
African drum and a willow flute
Sparklin’ beads on an Indian suit
The strangest thing that you ever saw
Cowboys and Indians at the Mardi Gras
The strangest thing that you ever saw
Cowboys and Indians at the Mardi Gras

From Elysian Fields to the River Bend
Black man and Red man makin’ friends
Creole Wild West and the Ogallala
Buffalo liver and the gumbo ya-ya
On the wharf by the cotton bales
Passing the pipe and swapping tales
Suited up and stepping out
Spy Boy and the Indian Scout
Suited up and stepping out
Spy Boy and the Indian Scout

The Wild West Band went to Basin Street
To drink their fill and get a bite to eat
When they left the District their ears were ringing
With the hot new music and the wild blues singing
Storyville music set their feet to tappin’
Syncopated rhythm had their fingers snappin’
Back of the Quarter it was so sublime
To hear the Wild West Band join a Second Line
Back of the Quarter it was so sublime
To hear the Wild West Band join a Second Line

Rich and poor, old and young
Came to see how the West was won
From Baton Rouge and Lafayette
Algiers, Delacroix and Chalmette
Buffalo Bill said, “It’s such a pity
To leave our friends in the Crescent City.
I’ll miss the oysters and the good red beans
But I must say goodbye to New Orleans.”
“I’ll miss the oysters and the good red beans
But I must say goodbye to New Orleans.”

Wild West mambo – mambo, mambo
Wild West mambo – mambo, mambo
The biggest show that we ever seen
Was the Wild West Show in New Orleans
Buffalo Bill had himself a dream
To take the Wild West Show to New Orleans

C 2005 Kerry Grombacher (Ring of Fire Music – BMI)
812 North Carrollton Ave New Orleans La 70119
kgrombacher@yahoo.com 512-296-7833

Discography

It Sings in the Hi-Line (2008 CD)
Water in the Streets of New Orleans (2006 CD single)
Mothers Day, Tupelo (2002 MP3)
Sands Motel (2001 CD)
Riding for the Brand (1999 CD)
Dreams of New Orleans (1998 cassette)
Home to the West (1997 cassette)

Songs recorded by Belinda Gail, Chris Chandler, Duke Davis, The Texas Trailhands, Gary Prescott, Earl Gleason, Trails & Rails
Airplay on broadcast radio, internet radio and XM Satellite Radio