Almost There

by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

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about

2015 Sammy Award winner for Best Americana. Featuring "Eight Days in January," with Rani Arbo on fiddle and harmony vocals.

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released October 14, 2014

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about

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers Syracuse, New York

John Lennon Songwriting Contest grand prize winner and founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine.

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Track Name: Eight Days in January
On the 1st of January, crawling out of bed
Like a half-inch staple is sticking in my head
I don’t see my dog curled up on the floor
Stumble on his belly and slam into the door

On the 2nd of January, got to get to work
Finish up a project for a freakin’ jerk
Yeah, he knows it’s my vacation, but after all
Gotta have it by tomorrow or the sky will fall

Hey now, won’t you meet me by the river
Hey now, won’t you throw me right in
Hey now, won’t you please deliver
Got a sinking feeling but I got to swim

On the 3rd of January I lock myself out
I’m banging on the window with a desperate shout
But the only one listening inside my place
He wags his tail when he sees my face

On the 4th of January my baby is trying
To explain about a fellow she met online
Such a perfect stranger, no history
Not a heap of baggage like she got with me

Chorus

On the 5th of January I’ve got to ask why
Staring in the mirror I find this guy
Needs a freakin’ coffee and a freakin’ shave
Got one foot down in the freakin’ grave

On the 6th of January I hear a little tone
From a new text message arriving on my phone
On the airport taxi all my baby has to say
Are these six characters: C U L 8 R J

On the 7th of January a storm blows in
Finally shovel out the driveway, the plow comes again
Leaves an icy bank about six feet high
I throw my shovel and begin to cry

On the 8th of January I come across this song
So freakin’ cheerful can’t help but sing along
Such a perky melody and chipper little chords
I sing it and I sing it like I'm out of my gourd

Chorus
Track Name: The Wrong Way Home
There’s a black wing circling a brown dirt hill
And the crunch of gravel in the noonday still
With the bottle empty and the hour so long
Taking the wrong way home

The fog has lifted and the signs are clear
We’re halfway going from there to here
There’s no mistaking which road we’re on
Taking the wrong way home
Taking the wrong way home

Where the sea runs dry under blackened sky
I hang my soul to the wind
When the edges fray, I blow away
Ah…

There’s a time for running and a time for rest
There’s a deeper valley when you reach the crest
And you can see nothing but to get along
Taking the wrong way home
Taking the wrong way home

Where the sea runs dry under blackened sky
I’m bound against my will
Try to save a life with a rusted knife
Ah…
Track Name: Closer
On a slow train to the edge of the city
In the lurching of an empty car
Your jaded eyes, a thin disguise
You’ve never gone this far

You hear the punch punch of the hole in your ticket
And the old man sings a station song
And when you dare descend the stair
Your shadow will grow long

This is your time, this is no test
You’ve got no crime to be confessed
There’s only love for evermore
Will take you back to the core

When you stand alone in the crush of the city
When your heartbeat is a distant drum
You never know that you must go
Until the time has come

In the cold light of insinuation
You’re a cartoon of what they say
You take your stand when you demand
Just who the hell are they

Chorus

The drum drum is taking you back...
Track Name: Don't Think That I Can Say Goodbye
Don’t think that I can say goodbye
So I’ll just go
Can’t figure how to quite forget
So much that I know
Some silver lining
Is out in this storm, I’m sure
But all I see are clouds
So I’ll just go

We reach for the reasons
And find only traces and shards
Trifles or treasons
We can’t tell just what they are
As the days blow by
Let the pieces fall
And crumble to dust under our feet

We reach for forever
But nobody shows us the way
We think that we’re clever
Believe all the things that we say
But the painted lines
Are in shades of gray
Dissolving away into the night

Don’t think that I can say goodbye
So I’ll just go
Can’t figure how to quite forget
So much that I know
Some shiny morning
Out on a distant shore
Nothing to say
There will be nothing to say at all
Track Name: Almost There
I am almost certain that I’m almost there
Almost across the line
I am almost wishing that I cut my hair
Guess I’m looking almost fine
Check it

If this is almost heaven, then I’m almost dead
Off to a better place
I could be almost famous for the life I led
Or vanish without a trace
Check it
Ooh yeah

Anytime you call me you will find me standing by
Any situation I will almost be your guy
Check it

Almost told you how I almost feel
Almost every night
Sang my confession on a reel-to-reel
Almost got it right
Check it
Ooh yeah

Anytime you call me you will find me standing by
Any situation I will almost be your guy

The time is coming when I’ll cross that line
With the banners waving, the sun will shine
As I raise the cup, celebrating the day
Balloons are rising in the azure sky
In the blur of faces I catch your eye and then
All the other voices fade away
Away

Anytime you call me you will find me standing by
Any situation I will almost be your guy
Any way you want me
I will try to satisfy
Anything you ask me
You know this is my reply
Ooh yeah
Track Name: Enough About You (What About Me)
Well, enough about you
Yeah, enough about you
And all the stuff you do
Enough of that too
On this at least
We can all agree:
What about me

How cool that you came on by
So awesome you searched my name
Don’t bother to tell me why
It’s all the same
(Yada yada, ooh yada yada)
(Yada yada, ooh yada yada)

Catch up on my latest news
Thumbs up and a wink wink wink
You’re loving my brand new show
Tell everyone what you think
(Like-a like-a, ooh like-a like-a)
(Like-a like-a, ooh like-a like-a)

Yeah, enough about you
Enough about you
And all the stuff you say
Can’t hear it anyway
So sorry for your troubles
Whatever they may be
But what about me

Yes, I will be your friend
If you will be my fan
And in the final count
I will be a bigger man
They’re buzzing like a hive of bees
All about my new brand
(Like-a like-a, ooh like-a like-a)
(Like-a like-a, ooh like-a like-a)

Enough about you
Yeah, enough about you
And all the stuff you do
Enough of that too
On this at least
We can all agree:
But what about me

What about me (me me)
What about, what about me (me me)
What about, what about me (me me)
Me me (papa's got a new brand)...
All about, all about me
Track Name: I've Got It Here Somewhere
I know I’ve got it here somewhere
I might have left it on the table
I’m fishing into every pocket
But just as soon as I am able
I’m gonna blow down the road

I had it on the city street back when
All my time was all there was to spend
Weaving through the crowd
And I knew I’d find my place
A book of dreams, a touch of grace
I was on my way

I know I’ve got it here somewhere
It might be spinning in the dryer
But if I dropped it on the trail
Might be sinking in the mire
Still I’ve got to blow down the road

I rifle through the memories again
Swear I had it when she held my hand
Looking up ahead
Moving on to who knows where
Without a doubt, a double dare
We were on our way

Groove along my thumb
Only for only one
Swing on a shiny chain
Open the way again

I know I’ve got it here somewhere
I might have left it on the table
I’m fishing into every pocket
But just as soon as I am able
I’m gonna blow, blow
I will blow down the road

I know I’ve got it…
It might be sinking…
It might be spinning…
I know I, I know I
I know I’ve got it here
Track Name: My Bad
Yeah, it’s me, I did it, I am the one
Left my fingerprints on the smoking gun
Used a candlestick in the billiard room
When I see my chance I will resume
To the rhythm of your tell-tale heart
Tell me how it went so I can play the part
I’ll be the kind of man that you never had

My bad...
Mama, mama

Yeah it’s me, I did it, all my fault
I filled the sugar bowl with a mound of salt
When the seat’s left up and your fortune’s down
You know for sure I’ve been around
I put the wrinkles in your tailored plans
My every wish is your command
In every compromise that you ever had

My bad...
Mama, mama

Try to catch me
I am gone
Never catch me
I

I got the superpowers that can’t be matched
When I’m not even there, I leave the door unlatched
Tear the pages from your book of dreams
You know reality is never how it seems
My sneaky moves are unsurpassed
You will never see ’cause I move so fast
I’m the shadow of the doubts you always had

My bad...
Mama, mama
Track Name: Somehow
I want your hair on my shoulder
I want to breathe you now
Feeling our hands getting bolder
Somehow somehow

I want to fall like a feather
Onto the silver ground
I want to rest there together
Somehow somehow

Eyes at the window
I’m caught in the frame
Watching and waiting
For a flicker of change

I want a place at the table
Feeling so hungry now
And I want to serve while I’m able
Somehow somehow

I want a song for the aching
I want to sing it loud
Over the cracks in the breaking
Somehow somehow

Fog in the window
I’m writing your name
Brush of the fingers
Wipes it away
Glow of a headlight
Halo of gray
Sometimes a song
Is all I can say
Track Name: Turn Away
Turn away
You know this scene by heart
Every frame and phrase
Is still the same
And nothing ever goes
Better than before

Turn away
No secret’s hiding there
Inside the rusted past
If you remain
How will you ever know
Better than before

Turn away
Tomorrow calls without explaining
Up ahead you’ll see
Take a chance
Your memories will not sustain you
Turn away with me

Turn away
Those cutting words were said
And we all have our scars
Let ’em fade
And maybe we will grow
Better than before

Chorus

If I sing this song for you
Will you sing with me?

Turn away
Tomorrow calls without explaining
Up ahead you’ll see
Take a chance
Your certainties will not sustain you
Turn away with me
Track Name: Proof
I’ve been so certain I know what I’ve known
I’ve felt the barb on the wire
Soft expectation torn down to the bone
I’ve been so sure of a lie

You’re proving me wrong
Proving me wrong
On a day by day
On a day by day

I've been so certain I know what I’ve known (never know)
I’ve seen the cracks in a smile (piecing together in time)
A shattering window, a fist on a stone (slowly releasing it all)
Sure of the weight of denial (lighter and floating)

You’re proving me wrong
Proving me wrong
On a day by day

I’ve been a framer and I have been framed
A prisoner in my own backyard
Slowly forgiving the blade and the blame
I am releasing the guard

You’re proving me wrong
On a day by day
Track Name: End of the Line
At the end of a dirt road
At the end of the line
Where all of the stars still shine

Gone are the roaring motors
The blinding speed
My two legs are all I need
Gone is the tick-tock torture
My wrist is free
To feel the pulsing of the day
Hey

No gaze in the mirror
And no blade upon my skin
No web of illusion to spin

Clear as the snowmelt
In an icy stream
Hard as the rock beneath my feet
Ambling close and closer
To sanity
And all I really have to say
Is hey