Long Winter

by Jesse LeBourdais

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about

Recorded and Mixed by Paul Boechler at FaderMaster
Mastered by Brock MacFarlane at CPS Mastering
Artwork and Design by Denise Cymbalist

credits

released 30 September 2014

Jesse LeBourdais - Guitar, Piano, Organ and Vocals
Dave Leslie - Drums, Mandolin
Elliot Langford - Bass
Nate Pennell - Banjo

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Track Name: Welcome
There's a pile of records sitting on my floor right now. They've been waiting for my dirty hands to get clean enough to hold. Somewhere in that pile is something that will hold me and won't let go, and when that needle finds a vein in the groove, it goes straight into my soul.

I will sing it to myself one thousand times to make sure that it sticks. I won't forget how much it means to me and I don't pretend to understand how something I perceive to be so valuable, can be to others just a passing phase. Like a worn out welcoming.
Track Name: Breathing In/Out
Breathing out is easy, and it means that you are done. It's taking in the air that demands a little more; you have to want to live to see your next breath finish what it starts. If the best of your intentions burn and crumble to the ground, you can wallow in the dust, wherever you are found or you can start to rebuild from what is left under your feet. But you have to climb.

As for the best times of my life, I hope I have not seen the day. I never want to say for sure until I'm moments from the grave when I can stand up tall and scream my name into the dark. If I hear an echo, I'll know I lived loud enough to be heard after I'm gone.

Every time I hear your name, I swear I won't forget. However many years it's been, it hasn't happened yet and I don't care about the pain. I only want to remember the way your voice carried on the wind. You can find yourself inside my mind, at least once a day and for every word I sing, I hope you wanted it that way. It doesn't matter where you are. It's who you help along the way, for which you will be remembered.

As for the best times of my life, I hope I have not seen the day. I never want to say for sure until I'm moments from the grave when I can stand up tall and scream my name into the dark. If I hear an echo, I'll know I lived loud enough to be heard after I'm gone.

As for the best times of my life, I hope I have not seen the day. I never want to say for sure until I'm moments from the grave when I can stand up tall and scream my name into the dark. If I hear an echo, I'll know I lived loud enough to be heard after I'm gone.
Track Name: Take Me Home
I won't be offended if you don't make it out tonight, I know how it goes. It's pouring outside, and it still feels so cold. I can't believe it's gone, can't believe it's over. How many times were you there for us? I won't turn my back on you and it ain't ever gonna be the same.

This town will swallow you whole, please take me home. These nights don't seem as long as they used to be, but maybe they weren't good at all and we didn't care; we still had time to lose.

I don't know which is worse, suffering the truth or taking in the bullshit. So I won't believe a word that you say until I hear it from one of my friends. There is a line never to be crossed; you don't steal from the ones that you love. You don't hold them by the hand, look them in the eye and stab them in the back when you do.

This town will swallow you whole, please take me home. These nights don't seem as long as they used to be, but maybe they weren't good at all and we didn't care; we still had time to lose.

So I wait with the curtains drawn for the light of the morning to shine through my window and remind me why I care at all. Because tonight I do not know.

This town will swallow you whole, please take me home. These nights don't seem as long as they used to be, but maybe they weren't good at all and we didn't care; we still had time to lose. I feel like I still have things to do.
Track Name: Kensington
Maybe it would be better for us all if I were to leave, I need to clear my head. There ain't no room to breathe here and these closing walls start to feel like a cage. I have no destination, no fixed point. It's just a wandering path, but it's one step better than doing nothing at all.

I don't really care if this is going anywhere, and I don't mind if you have to leave. I'm happy with what I've been given so far and if I die tomorrow, then tonight is my night.

I spend my days waiting for the night to fall, it can't come soon enough. I spend my nights wishing I was doing something better with my days. It's not complicated, it's not that hard, it's just a lingering doubt that keeps me here, keeps me toiling away.

I don't really care if this going anywhere, and I don't mind if you have to leave. I'm happy with what I've been given so far and if I die tomorrow then tonight is my night.

I will raise a hell the likes of which you have never seen. I will rain down a thunderous approval and then I will be on my way.
Track Name: Burnt Out Frame
The air is cold, the wind it blows right through my bones. In the winter, the sun don't stay around too long before giving way to the night. I have been driving down this road for my whole life, so the light from the moon is all I need to guide my way to the last remaining turns. I'm almost home.

When I am far away, and I don't recognize the stars, I look to a line from someone back home to remind me of what it's worth to know the wind is still blowing and the ground is at their feet. It will keep me on mine, keep my head on straight and it will keep me looking up. I've spent my whole life looking up.

I would do anything for you, but I can only apologize for the times I was not there. I don't like reliving old glories, but I love my old mistakes. They tell me what I'm made of, where I'm going and who I want to be.

Until I am left with nothing but a burnt out frame to lean on, and any good that we did has been forgotten by our kids, and I have become nothing more than a shade of my former self. I will always remain in humble servitude to all the friends that I have made along the way.

In the Valley where I plan to one day take my final steps, I hope it never crumbles to the ground but rises up instead; and an endless song springs forth, my dying breath begins the chord…..and it will echo through the hills reminding everyone that they have made it home.
Track Name: The Valley I Am From
It's way too late, and I am way past tired. I can't think this straight, the clarity just won't come. I made a mistake, but you never had a choice and all the things I lost don't compare to what you'll never see again.

I can show you how to stop caring about anything at all, but you showed me how much better it is to pay attention to every single step.

It's a long way home to the valley that I am from, in the mountains far from the sea but I will make it if I can. Along the way, I will keep treating myself like I'm the biggest fool alive and the day has just begun, plenty more in me left to burn.

You showed a strength; you showed what really matters is not what you possess. If it was me, I would have tore my own heart right out of my chest.

That should tell you everything you need to know, I won't waste anymore of your time, defending how I choose to waste my own.

It's a long way home to the valley that I am from, in the mountains far from the sea but I will make it if I can. Along the way, I will keep treating myself like I'm the dumbest fuck alive and the day has just begun, plenty more in me left to burn and I'm painfully aware of every turn.

The best that I can do is offer bitter condolences. I know it won't mean much. You won't be satisfied until someone answers all of your questions, and resolution takes away those lonely desolate nights.
Track Name: Things Will Get Better
You talk a lot about trust, then you steal everything from us. You talk a lot about moving forward, but you don't say too much about why we are behind. You talk a lot about living in a world that I am just not sure I do. You talk a lot of shit, but you throw it out as truth.

I'm tired of feeling like these fuckin' politicians are the best we can do. I'm tired of seeing people sitting around waiting for their lives to change into something new. I'm tired of seeing all the people I don't wanna see in all the places I don't wanna see them. I'm tired of feeling like feeling like this will never change.

I don't believe my best interests are served by anyone but me, my friends my family and the strength of community.

So stay a little while my friends, stay until the lights go up. Stay a little while my darling, it's way too cold to go home. If you stay I promise things will get better; take what you need and don't make a fuss. Sing with me just for a moment, because none of us are here for very long anyway.

I'm not trying to say my life is much better, there is much I have to answer for. I've worked much less than I should have, and I have received more than I have earned, but I'm trying my best to distance myself from the entitlement we claim we were born. So I will help you if I can, and you need it. I sure don't want to see you starve.

I don't deserve anything more than I can easily hold. Anything that's left, was never really mine.

So stay a little while my friends, stay as long as you want. Stay a little while my darling, I don't want to see you go. If you stay I promise things will get better; and I'll promise it till the very end. Sing with me just for a moment, because none of us are here for very long anyway.
Track Name: Falling Behind
I keep falling behind, and all these things keep piling up. Everything I need is broken down, and my ambition to stay inside is in conflict with the emptiness of my bank account. It keeps me lying awake wondering if I'll be worried about this forever, but when sleep comes, and it always comes,

I will rest easy knowing the things that seem untouchable from above seem so insignificant from the ground. The bottom of the barrel looks better every day. I can burn my name into the wood along with all the rest, and just take everything for what it is worth at the time.

So when I say to myself, "this is all that I can take" that's when I say to myself, "this is what you asked for, aren't you happy if you can eat till you are full and never ask for more." Well, maybe life just don't work that way but I will keep on trying the same, because it feels more like living and not just racing to find a grave.

We gather in the darkest places we find, because our own light shines strong enough. The hungry of the heart, the cursed and lonely poor. To burn your name into the street and watch it fade away.

To thank everyone for just being here, for a time. If I get the chance I will thank all of you for your patronage, come again.
Track Name: All But Gone
You should know that I won't be here when you come home tonight. I don't want you to worry when I am gone. I can only spread myself so thin before I disappear, so I won't be coming back.

I left a note describing all the reasons I am leaving on a dirty piece of paper, on top of a pile of overdue bills. Don't look to deeply into it, it's all off the top of my mind. I could have probably made it longer, but I'm not looking for a fight. Of that, I am tired. If we never yelled again I would be fine.

I wanted to tell you that this was all your fault, even though that is a lie. It just feels so much better than admitting my own blame. I do not understand at all how this ended up so bad, I feel like I'm at war when I'm beside you.

I did not leave a number, or a place that I'd be found. Just know I am in the company of those who would never do me harm. If that does not bring you comfort, then there is nothing I do, because I do not want to see you and I am pretty sure you can't stand the sight of me. I hope to hear from you soon, just not now.

If I told you how sorry I was, would it make any difference at all? Would it change the way I feel when I'm with you? I can only dig myself a hole so deep before I'm all but gone, so I won't be coming back.
Track Name: Penance
It's been two months, and I ain't heard from you at all. Not so much as a word. I just tend to worry when I'm left to my own, my mind likes to wander. It's been three months since I've been outside city lines, and I have kept my days full. But the truth is, I have grown comfortable hiding from the light, in the safety that is found behind a door.

So I'll take my penance any way you see fit, I deserve it and more, but I don't want to stay here, I just want to leave.

A lot of my friends are out on the road, doing what I said I would do and I'm here pounding nails and cutting things down, growing older by the hour. My days are filled with excuses and wastes of time that I call my work, and I could have been done weeks ago, this could have all been behind me. I'm the only one who holds me back.

So I'll take my penance any way you see fit, I deserve it and more, but I don't want to stay here, I just want to leave. We all take our chances wherever we go, and I won't let you down but I just can not stay here. I just can not stay.

I cut myself down to much for my own good; I actually start to believe the things I tell myself when I am at my darkest when I know in my heart it's not true. I just tend to worry, when I'm left to my own. So darling, when I am gone, know I won't be gone too long.
Track Name: Simple
This simple song is not going to change your life. It will not make you wealthier, or keep you safe at night. This simple song is not gonna change the world, it will not even have the chance. It will barely be heard.

But it's the only thing I've got to take the fire from my heart and turn it into something that won't burn me in the end.

This simple song is not gonna save your life. It will not bring your children back, or reunite you with your wife. This simple song won't even change your mind. It will not bring you to your knees, and there is nothing to believe.

It's just the sound of familiar chords being played by fingers that are getting sore and all too familiar lines of anger, honesty and passion.

I was never much for marching in the street, but we all share the pain and I feel the heat and I never believed it when anybody said that we should not take care of each other.

So, when I am gone, don't pretend that I'm anything more, than just some singer with a broken guitar, following the path of others that have come before. That will free us up to spend every waking moment that we have doing whatever it is we want to do with the time that we have.

Then it's gone, and all that remains is our imprints on the stage, but memories are my favourite way to spend a night with friends.

I was never much for singing about love, but I'm so much stronger when it's around. I always believed it when my grandmother said that we should always take care of each other.