Mike Adams

Mike Adams

 Kearney, Nebraska, USA
BandPopSinger/Songwriter

A Tribal Troubadour--Mike Adams's songwriting and performing are the best of an Americana style that combines folk and country with jazz and blues in both acoustic and electric platforms. Recently Mike performed and arranged the music for Carl Sandburg Prayers for the People.

Biography

Mike Adams is a "Tribal Troubadour," living his life true to his music; his songs reflect experiences that speak to all of us. All Adams's performances are unique, in the tradition of American roots music--telling musical tales that bring us back to the common life. Each original or cover, recalls the troubadours of both yesterday and today, true to the tradition: country classics like Hank Williams, Ray Price, Johnny Cash; blues' great Robert Johnson; folk music of Woody Guthrie; pop classic Frank Sinatra; and Bob Dylan, Steve Earle & Bruce Springsteen.

PILGRIM Classic Country, Mike's recent project, gives country greats back to the people. Also his Sandburg Project celebrates traditional American folk songs that Carl Sandburg collected in "The American Songbag," songs depicting the Great Plains and American heartland. Mike arranged and coordinated the music for this program airing April 2009--CARL SANDBURG: Prayers for the People. His current Nebraska Humanities Council program on WOODY GUTHRIE renews American folk music, especially the element of protest. All these projects are funded by Nebraska Humanities and Arts Councils and celebrate AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC.

His recent CD "Sky Above," a collection of originals, features his smooth vocals with innovative instrumentation and spans folk, country, blues and jazz styles. A must hear! Check video samples for Songwriters Showcase at www.faceatmydoormusic.com.

Lyrics

Gettin' Cold

Written By: Mike Adams


There’s a wicked storm a brewin’ outside your door.
You can feel the earth tremblin’ underneath the floor,
And there’ll be no denyin’, and there is no turning back.
You can hear the thunder roarin’ and that sky is getting’ black.

And you can sacrifice your children, you can pray to your god.
There’s a lesson to be learned here--it’s a hard rain gonna fall.
And you’re searching for the answer on the net or in the stars,
But that clock keeps on tickin' and a rain comin' hard,
Ahh-h, there’s a rain … comin' hard.

So don’t you worry, baby, ‘bout your fortune or your fate.
Really doesn’t matter now the hour is gettin’ late,
And you can hear all them old ghosts; they’re just knockin’ at your door,
And you got no place to run and there is nowhere to fall.

And you can sacrifice your children, you can pray to your god.
There’s a lesson to be learned here; it’s a hard rain gonna fall.
And you’re searching for an answer on the net or in the stars,
But that clock keeps on tickin’ and a rain comin’ hard,
There’s a rain comin’ … hard.

So take a look around you now, tell me what you see.
Is this picture is gettin’ dimmer or is this no place to be?
And you’re lookin’ in the mirror and you’re seein’ mighty old,
But that road keeps on goin’ --it’s the moving gettin’ cold.

And you can sacrifice your children, you can pray to your god.
There’s a lesson to be learned here; it’s a hard rain gonna fall.
You’re searching for an answer on your cell phone or in the stars,
But that clock keeps on tickin’ and a rain comin’ hard,
There’s a rain comin’ hard.
A rain .

Set Sail

Written By: Mike Adams

There’s a moonbeam dancin’ round tonight
Turning shadows into light
A mystery I see in your eyes
Tell me, can you feel it too
I think it’s something new

There’s a whisper I hear in your lips
The promise of a lover’s kiss
Touch me like a summer’s breeze
Baby, can you feel it too
I know it’s something new

We’ll dance upon a thousand stars
Forgetting where we really are
Set sail
Let the nighttime slip away
Tomorrow brings a brand new day
Set sail, we’ll set sail

Let the night be our friend
Forget about tomorrow until then
Until then, we’ll set sail

And as you wander near and far
You wish upon a falling star
You know I’ll always be with you
Baby can you feel it too
I love you

And when the day comes to an end
Look in my eyes you’ll see a friend
Then I’ll wrap you in my arms
‘cause baby I can feel it too
I know you love me too

Dance upon a thousand stars
Forgetting where we really are
Set sail
Let the nighttime slip away
Tomorrow brings a brand new day
Set sail, we’ll set sail

Sartoria

Written By: Mike Adams

Sartoria

Take a ride out on the prairie
Down by a bend on the river Loup
There’s a lady livin’ out there
Doin’ the best she can do
Tryin’ to see day through

Sartoria

She had a husband but he left her
Hasn’t seen him in years
Has to think to remember
Why she ever cried those tears
Don’t know why she cried those tears

Sartoria, Sartoria

And when she wakes up in the morning
She wonders if this will be the day
When that knight in shinin’ armor
Rides his white horse her way
Comes to take her away

Sartoria, Sartoria

And in the evening looks out the window
She sees that storm come rollin’ in
Feels the loneliness settle on her
Like the dust settles on the shelf

Sartoria, Sartoria

So by this time tomorrow evening
She’ll be ridin’ on an eastbound train
No one to tell that she was leavin”
She hope that pasture gets some rain
Don’t know if she’ll ever come back again

Sartoria, Sartoria, Sartoria
Goodbye

Early Times

Written By: Mike Adams

Early Times

We’re born to run this race
From the cradle to the grave
I don’t know why, can’t tell you why

And our lives from day to day
Like an old photo just fades
And comes a memory, just a memory

And I will always remember you
Yes, I will always remember you

And loved ones we have known
We find one day they’re gone
Well I don’t know why, I can’t tell you why

I can only tell your true
How much I love you
And I always will, you know I always will

And I will always love you
Yes, I will always love you

Some Change

Written By: Mike Adams

Some Change

They said he was a mean one,
Rode for the Ashton Line,
Came over the top of Wolf Creek
In the dead of the wintertime, dead of the wintertime.

He was raised down in Kansas
When times they were hard,
Learned when he was a young one
To live outside the law, live outside the law.

There was a time down in New Mexico
When somebody pulled out a knife.
He just pulled out a bigger one
And said I’ll take your life, you know I’ll cut your life.

Did you did look into his eyes?
Tell me what did you see.
No tears did he cry.
I think he was lonely as he could be.

Then he took to drinkin’
And the devil took his head.
The ladies they just took him,
And they laid him down in bed, they laid him in their beds.

They say that he died in Nevada
High up in the Sierra range.
And on the day that they laid him down
He had a dollar and some change, a dollar and some change.

And did you did look into his eyes?
Tell me what did you see.
No tears did he cry.
I think he was lonely as he could be.

Sow the Wind

Written By: Mike Adams

And so you pray in the name of Jesus
And you say that you are blessed
But your eyes can't see and your ears don't hear
You sow the wind, you reap a whirlwind

Yes it's true that you are generous
It's well known you give to charities
But have ever really smiled at a poor man's child
You sow the wind, you reap a whirlwind

And the day is coming when you will stand alone
Oh my friend I hope you're ready
See the lightning flash and hear the thunder roar
Oh my friend I hope you're ready

And yes your church stands upon a hilltop
And it shines brightly as the sun
But do you really know the words that Jesus spoke
You sow the wind, you reap a whirlwind
You sow the wind, you reap a whirlwind

Look behind the Curtain

Written By: Mike Adams

Look behind the Curtain

Don’t think Jesus is goin’ save me
I don’t know if true love will ever come
I don’t’ think Santa Claus brings presents
Ain’t never bet on a horse that won

But still I think that there’s a reason
And a purpose for everything under the sun
Sometimes it gets so hard to see it
You have to open your eyes to see the dawn

Don’t know why there’s so much sorrow
In this old world from day to day
Seems like there’s a lot of people
Just a-strugglin’ to find a way

I hear a voice out in the distance
And I think that it is true
Take away your darkest hours
But you got to listen too

And I think that there’s a day that’s comin’
And I think that day is soon
Can’t you hear that choir singin’
For a world that’s made brand new

And maybe you got lots of money
Or maybe you ain’t got a dime
Maybe you while away your hours
Or maybe you just ran of time

Stop now and take a listen
You’re gonna hear a brand new song
You got to look behind the curtain
To see that brand new world comin’ on

Blues for K

Written By: Mike Adams

Well I don’t know why you love me like you do
And I don’t know why I should even think about you
I don’t know why I love you but I do

And I don’t know why this old world keeps spinnin’ ‘round
And I don’t know we stay around this old town
I don’t know why you love me but your do

Seems like there’s dark clouds on the horizon
Seems like there’s a countin’ that’s comin’ due
Most folks actin’ like there ain’t nothing happenin’
Most folks are blind even when their eyes are wide open

I don’t know why there’s stars up in the sky
And I don’t know why you got a lovelight in your eyes
I don’t know why you love me but you do

Seems like there’s dark clouds on the horizon
Seems like there’s a countin’ that’s a-comin’ due
Most folks runnin’ around like there ain’t nothing happenin’
Most folks are blind even when their eyes are wide open

Well I don’t why the stars shine at night
And I don’t know why you got that lovelight in your eyes
I don’t know why you love me but you do
I don’t know why you love me but you do
I don’t know why I love you but I do

Ghost of O'Keefe

Written By: Mike Adams

Ghost of O’Keefe

Oh once there was a time of quiet when the eagle flew on high
When the waters ran pure and clear we gazed on a clear sky
The paths made by ancient feet were the only roads
And everything we needed was known

But now there is so much noise that you can’t hear an eagle cry
The water runs hot and slow, with a haze on the sky
Ancient paths have disappeared under ribbons of tar
Things are going so fast we don’t even know who we are

Now maybe the time will come again when we realize
The things in life that are needed now your money just can’t buy
Will the quiet come back once again?
Will we gaze upon a clear blue sky?

Will Not

Written By: Mike Adams

Will Not

There comes a time in everybody’s life
When you hear the slammin’ of the door
And there comes a time in everybody’s life
When you know you got to say

I cannot do this any more
I will not do this one more time
I’m gonna find a better day
I’ve got to find a brand new way

And there comes a time when you finally understand
That you just cannot justify
And there comes time when you realize
That there can be no compromise

And you will not do this any more
You will not do this one more time
You got to find a better way
You’re gonna find a brand new day

And no one can tell you why
And no one can tell you when you’re gonna go

There comes a time in everybody’s life
You can hear the slammin’ of the door
And there comes a time in everybody’s life
When you know you got to say

I will not do this any more
No I will not do this another time
I’m gonna find a better way
I’m gonna find a brand new day

I Wish I Had a Little Time

Written By: Mike Adams

I Wish I Had a Little Time

I wish I had a little time to sit and talk with you
Baby, I could make things right
A bottle of red wine and just me and you
Baby, I could make things right

Talk about the weather--you think it’s goin’ rain
Talk about who’s leaving who—oh man, aint’ that a shame
Talk about your brown eyes, we can about our friends
We can talk about you and me and when you’re goin’ do this again

Now I wish I had a lucky charm—Darling, I’d give it to you
To help you make it through the night
I wish I had your heart right here close to mine
The twinkle of teardrop in your eye

Now I wish that I could wish one thing for you
I’d turn back the pages of time
I’d let you be a child again and I’d give you a sunny day
Watchin’ them old white clouds just roll away

I wish I had a little time to sit and talk with you
Baby, I could make things right
A bottle of red wine and just me and you
Baby, I could make things right

Run Away

Written By: Mike Adams

Run Away

Come on baby, let’s go, let’s run away
Don’t care where we go, let’s just go today
Time is passing us and we ain’t getting younger now
Come on baby, let’s run away

Come on baby, let’s go, we’ll run and hide
Find that little cabin up on the great divide
Laying out on that summer’s grass just watching the night time dance
Come on Baby, let’s run away

Come on baby, can’t you see
Just how much you mean to me
Come on baby, let’s run away

Come on baby, let’s go, let’s blow this town
Ain’t nobody here gonna miss us if we ain’t around
We’ll watch the sunrise on some brand new place
Come on baby, let’s run away

Last Days in Abiquiu: Carl's Song

Written By: Mike Adams

Last Days in Abiquiu: Carl’s Song

He poured himself a cigarette from his tobacco pouch
Lit it with a kitchen match and he stuck it in his mouth
You know I’ve seen ‘em come and I seen ‘em go
And I‘ve watched these years fallen like a new winter’s snow
But when I was a young man and my back was strong
I worked hard for my livin’ and I never did no wrong

And even though I’ve lived here for my whole life
This land feels like a stranger to me now
And I don’t know why

And when I sit here in the first light on this old front porch
Sometime I catch a breeze that‘s soft like a woman’s touch
And even though my memory don’t come back so clear
I can still close my eyes and I feel her near
But now I’m turning loose of things, I’m letting go one by one
And it takes a little longer now to warm myself in the sun

And when that sun starts sinkin’ behind that bluff in the western sky
I get this lonely feeling deep down
And I don’t know why

And now that sun has sunk behind the bluff in the western sky
And I got this lonely feeling deep down
I say goodbye

Sad Day

Written By: Mike Adams

Sad Day

Came into town on a midnight train
Been walkin’ all night in this pouring rain
Look in the windows … what do I see
Lonely faces lookin’ back at me

It’s gonna be a sad day, a sad day

I feel the cold steel on my hip
I feel the smoothness of the wooden grip
And there’s only thing that I got to do
Put a bullet in the heart of the man that stole you

It’s gonna be a sad day, a sad day

I hope God forgives me but I don’t care
I’m dancin’ with the devil … I can see his icy stare
Sometime a man got to do what he’s got to do
Put a bullet in the heart of the man that took you

It’s gonna be a sad day, a sad day, yeah
It’s gonna be a bad day,
It’s gonna be a sad day

And then I see him … my blood runs cold
You’re laughin’ there with him … that’s when I know
I was a fool … you took me for a ride
The shots ran out … I can remember the look in your eye

It was a sad day
It was a bad day
It’s a sad day, it was a sad day

So now I sit here in this jailhouse cell
I’m waitin’ for the hangman to send me straight to hell
I’ll always love that woman and I don’t know why
You know it broke my heart just to watch her die

It was a sad day
It was a sad day, a sad day
It was a sad day, yeah

Frozen in Time

Written By: Mike Adams

Frozen in Time

Sittin’ here starin’ at my window
Watching the sun as it sinks so low
Takes me back to another time
When these winter winds didn’t feel so cold

We were younger then and our hopes were high
We all felt that a change was goin' come
But as the years passed came the realization
That there was still more to be done

Frozen in time I see you your face now
Frozen in time I can hear your song
No more tears for you and no more laughter
For you’ll always live there … frozen in time

Then there came again a little hope again
We could hear it in your song
It just took our imagination
To know that the struggle still went on

But then the word spread in a cold December
And for a moment we lost the light
But as the time passed then we understood
That in that moment it had turned so bright

Frozen in time I can see you your face now
Frozen in time I can hear your songs
No more tears for you and no more laughter
For you’ll always live … frozen in time

That's All

Written By: Mike Adams

THAT’S ALL

I love you.
That’s all
I need you.
That’s all
In the daytime, the nighttime too,
I want you near me.
That’s all

In the shower, taking a walk,
I want you with me.
That’s all.
And even when you’re not here,
I still want you near.
Never be without you.
That’s all.

I can’t be without you,
Don’t even want to try.
So lucky to have found you.
You make me believe again.

So as we walk together, take my hand.
I will always love you.
That’s all
And we will watch the sun rise, we will watch the sun set,
Always be together.
That’s all.

I love you.
That’s all.
And I need you.
That’s all.
Forever and forever.
That’s all.
We’ll always be together.
That’s all.
Always be together.
That’s all.

Another Christmas Song

Written By: Mike Adams

On a clear Christmas evening as stars shine so bright
In a little church in the valley ‘neath a blanket of white
Hear the children singing a song of good peace
That is ours for the asking, just take you need

To all of my friends I wish you good cheer
May your hearts find joy throughout the year
Time is like gold, it can be stolen away
May your heart know a true love at the end of the day

The song drifts through the valley as snow begins to fall
And the peace that it brings can be felt by us all
And on this night we feel the love we can know
That comes down from heaven like the new fallen snow

To all of my friends I wish you good cheer
May your hearts know joy throughout the year
Time is like gold, it can be stolen away
May your heart know a true love at the end of your day

Discography

Sandburg Project (2007): Collection of American folk songs, including "John Henry" and "St. James Infirmary."
Sky Above (2006): Collection of best of originals.
Count on Us (2004): Collaboration with singer/songwriter Warren Wilken.
Mike and Fred Show (2002): Collaboration with cousin Fred Wolkin and Colorado musicians.

Set List

Typical set includes originals:
Run Away
Blues for K
Set Sail
Some Change
The Price,
... and more

His Classic Country set includes:
Hey Good Lookin'
Ghost Riders in the Sky
Heartaches by the Number
Movin' On
Pistol Packin' Mama
Stand by your Man
Lonesome, Ornery and Mean
T for Texas (Blue Yodel #1)
Amarillo by Morning
Crazy Arms
Are the Good Times Really Over for Good?
Workingman's Blues

Other covers:
Bob Dylan (All ALong the Watchtower, Tangled Up in Blue, Like a Rolling Stone, Feel My Love, Knockin' on Heaven's Door)
Beatles (This Boy, I Say Her Standing There, In my Life, One After 909)
Carl Perkins (Matchbox)
John Lennon (Imagine)
Merle Haggard (Workin' Man's Blues, Pray)
Robert Johnson (Sweet Home Chicago)
Johnny Cash (Folsom Prison, Give My Love to Rose) Trent Reznor/Johnny Cash (Hurt)
J J Cale (Call Me the Breeze, Cocaine, Same Old Blues)
Hank Williams Sr (Move It on Over, You Win Again, Your Cheatin' Heart)
Frank Sinatra, (When I Was Seventee