Nick Annis

Nick Annis

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

I've been most my life a builder of things, still am, songs came to be one of the things I built, then sets of songs, then sets of songs and stories, till the thing did the job it was supposed to do, same as most stuff I build. I care enough to do the job well, to being live and entertaining.

Biography

Drilling for oil in the Midwest.
Selling ice cream from a truck.
Running a bakery.

Starting points for just a few stories Nick Annis deftly weaves between and through song and performance banter. One man medicine show? Itinerant philosopher? Come to a show and find yourself on an unexpected and welcome journey.

Nick was honored to have his spoken word piece, "In the Beginning," recorded by Chuck Brodsky on his CD "Tulips for Lunch". His song "By My Silence", co-written with Ellen Bukstel has been covered by Sonia (Splash), Sam Weiser (Sam I Am) and is being sung now by church choirs in six states.

Nick Annis is an award-winning songwriter, but he is also admired by folk fans for the storytelling talent that makes his performances memorable. Audiences return to hear him deliver spoken word pieces in the style of brilliant songwriter / storytellers like Gamble Rogers, John McCutcheon, and Dave Carter. Drawing on his diverse background and Greek roots, Nick crafts truth-like stories from most of the usual eternal sources.

Awards / Recognition:
2010 NERFA Formal Showcase
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxGpXt0jy94
2009 1st place NZ Peace Song Contest
2009 Finalist John Lennon Songwriting Contest
2008 1st place PDF Music to Life Contest
2007 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase
2007 2nd place Suwannee Riverfest Songwriting Contest
2006 NERFA Tri-Centric Showcase
2006 1st place SFFF Songwriting Contest (FL)
2006 2nd place Plowshares Songwriting Contest (PA)
2006 2nd place Susquehanna Songwriting Contest
2006 2nd place Suwannee Riverfest Songwriting Contest
2005 2nd place Susquehanna Songwriting Contest (MD)
2003 1st place Wildflower Songwriting Contest (TX)

(see video: http://www.livefromtexas.com/Shows/Wildflower/2003/na-godisgood768.htm)

Lyrics

I'm Not Him

Written By: Nick Annis

I’m not him, I’m not them. Not the one that did you in.
Was not me that left you hanging. Ain’t the one that slammed that door.
I’m still here. I ain’t gone. But I will before too long.
Before I lose another battle in someone else’s war.

Maybe someday you’ll forgive me for everything he’s done.
For every disappointment you’ve been through.
For every broken promise. For every shattered vow.
For all the things you hoped that man would do.
But I’m not him.

It was not me. I was not there. I’m not the one that does not care.
Ain’t the one that left you stranded. Was not me that put you down.
I’d love to stay. I hope you win. But each day seems to begin
with us back in neutral corners to finish out the round.

I’m not the one who chose to be somewhere else with some other one when he was supposed to be with you.
‘That’s the way it goes’ doesn’t go too far to heal the scars of all the things you hoped that man would do.
But I'm not him.

Yes you are. You’re all the same. Different face, different name. Another thoughtless, luckless loser who never keeps his word.
You’re ashamed of how you feel. Afraid this might be real. You’re about what I expected, and you’re less than I deserve.

Maybe someday you’ll forgive me for everything he’s done.
For every disappointment you’ve been through.
For every broken promise. For every shattered vow.
For all the things you hoped that man would do.
But I’m not him. I’m not them. I’m the same man that I’ve been.
And I've been as good a friend as I know how to be.

Home Depot

Written By: Nick Annis

There’s miles of aisles of Chinese-made
Plastic tools by peasants paid
A living wage in bowls of rice so I can get the lowest price
that’s why I love Home Depot
The botanical diversity that was the jungle canopy
Is now a Guatemalan street
So I can buy these plywood sheets.
That’s why I love Home Depot

My ceiling fan’s a Boston Breeze
But the instructions are in Cantonese
I’m trying hard to read them
(WAN DAK TAW) means “find the stud”...
(TEH OOH SAHN) “there will be blood”...
Bring bandages and drywall mud,
The gods say you will need them.

Cause nothing’s built to last, you see
They make it fast and shoddily
But it’s good for the economy it keeps consumers buying
And what else are you gonna do
In the sheet-rock sheds of the chosen few
But pick a peck of drywall screws and just keep on trying...

“Made proudly in the USA” the box says in the big display
And this they’re not allowed to say unless it’s really true
But oh they’re wily like the fox
‘Cause they’re just talking ‘bout the box
The stuff inside was made with pride
By children of Hantsu…

There’s rows of hoses, pails of nails,
There’s stuff to fix the stuff that fails
To work the way it used to
When you bought it new last year
But a billion aftermarket parts
And wizards of the market arts
Will get you up and moving through these doors
And shopping here to these miles of aisles...

WD-39

Written By: Nick Annis

I’m not the one I’m not the savior
I’m not the soul your sorrow seeks
I was called to walk this road before Him
Called there by a thousand screams and squeaks
And I stand here with that honor
While the riches and the fame
And the rain of righteous glory
Falls to him who took my name
I am famous for one step
In a long and troubled line
I am alone. I am a stranger.
I’m WD-39

Well I did once displace the waters
I laid dry that crimson sea
And the frozen of the chosen
Lord I set them children free
You would have me in your home now
You’d call my name by heart
But all this life I’ve known
Is how to own a missing part
Yeah I’m famous for one damn step
My maker did not find
I am alone I am forsaken
I’m WD-39

John said to the seekers
Who asked was he the one
He told them clear I’m only here
To pave the wayward Son
Well if that’s true at least he knew
Who the master had in mind
Oh Lord I’ve worn the crown of thorns of 39

It’s hard to be this can you see WD-39

Jesus Said

Written By: Nick Annis

Well I give my heart to Jesus.
I asked him what to do
He say look in the Book
I wrote it down. Read it through.
And if you don’t understand Something that you read
You can ask me any question
I will answer in your head
In a still quiet voice soft and clear
If you cut out the noise maybe
you can hear Jesus said,

All men are brothers,
Blessed are the meek.
Love one another, and
Turn the other cheek,
Jesus said, Feed the hungry
Jesus said, Help the poor.

I can't find that line where
He says Go start the war.

So I put my hope in heaven
I set my soul to prayer
And listened for that still quiet
Voice whispering there
I said Lord what I’ve seen
Across this great land
Done in your name
I don’t understand

Let the sound of the words
That you heard ease your doubt
A still quiet voice does not
Scream and shout it says

Love those that hate you
Forgive your enemies
Bless those that curse you
Leave vengeance to me.
Jesus said who lives by the sword
Dies the same way
Why do you call me Lord, Lord
and not do as I say
I am the light of the world
In peace and love I came
No way did he say kill them
all in my name

Jesus said let him without sin
cast the first stone
To clear dust from your brother’s eye
Pull the board from your own
Your Father in heaven gave his Son that you might see
What you’ve done
to the least among you
You have done to me.

Jesus said all men are brothers.
Jesus said turn the other cheek
Jesus said Love one another.
To find the love you seek,

Jesus said
I am the light of the world
In peace and love I came,
No way he could say
kill a soul in his name.

Grady

Written By: Nick Annis

Grady was a middleman when Congress called the war.
He put his bets on Uncle Sam down on the trading floor.
He put a dime on copper, dropped a yard on steel,
He cornered some corn and rice
He doubled down and spun the wheel,
He took the points, man he owned them dice.
In the time it takes to tell you half the ways he won.
He go and win another one.

Grady took it as a sign that the times had changed.
He took the come against the line, he struck the streakin’ vein.
He bought a chair in a paper room and piled his hedges high
He turned his share of a paper moon into paper pies in paper skies
In the time it takes to tell you how half the job was done,
He go and pull another one.

In the time it takes to tell, half the rules, half the games,
Six are suspended, seventeen ended, some numbers renamed
In the time it takes to tell you, how half the scam was run,
He go and run another one.

Grady knew the shorts were called, by the sirens in the street,
Grady let the hammer fall, and he shot them to the beat,
‘Till the air was smoke and sand, and the rod was broke and bent
Grady took the busted ends, showed them to his friends
And they all swore his measurement
In the time it takes to tell you,
Half the charm of that spin,
He go and do it all again.
Yeah.

Hey Love

Written By: Nick Annis

Hey love, time to go and start my working day.
Hey love, it's hard to put this waking dream away.
When all is said and done, you are the only one I leave.

Hey love, time to go and find my world again.
Hey love, it's hard to leave and lose my closest friend.
When all is said and done, you are the only one I leave.

And all tomorrow holds turns on a single day.
The calling of our souls, is coming to me,
Coming to reach me this way.

Hey love, time to say the words I never said.
My love I might have shared but kept inside instead.

And all tomorrow holds is in this moment now.
The futures that unfold are coming to me,
Coming to meet me this way.

Hey love, time to go and start my working day.
Hey love, it's hard to put this waking dream away.
When all is said and done, you are the only one I leave.

Discography

2010: Apples & Oranges
2007: A Frog's Thursday
2003: Steal the Cow
2002: The Road that You Planned

Set List

Nick typically performs two 45-minute sets or one 75 minute set consisting of stories, original songs, and occasional folk covers (Michael Smith, Richard Shindell, Dave Carter).

Nick customizes the set list by inspecting bumper stickers in the venue parking lot.