At The Seams

by Eli Conley

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about

Eli Conley is a Bay Area-based singer-songwriter with a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in Americana music and the singer-songwriter tradition, he crafts modern day folk songs for misfits from the raw material of his life as a queer man with Virginia roots. "Oh what gorgeous, soulful music!" raves roots music innovator Laura Love, "Eli Conley's writing and singing are exquisite."

With At The Seams, Eli Conley embarked on his first studio recording in a project completely funded by his devoted fans. Propelled by an impressive 141%-funded Indiegogo campaign, Eli was able to record at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle with producer Michael Connolly, whose list of credits include albums for Tylan (of Girlyman) and The Blackberry Bushes, as well as tours as a side musician with the Indigo Girls and as a performer with his own sultry roots trio, Coyote Grace. Michael’s breadth of experience made him a perfect choice to produce At The Seams: on the album he plays all the instruments that accompany Eli’s acoustic guitar, including dobro, bass, accordion and Rhodes piano. The arrangements are spare yet well-balanced, creating space for Eli’s songs to shine.

The songs themselves span a wide range of themes, easily flowing between the personal and political while dancing artfully between genres. “Call You Out” features instantly catchy rhythms and is about a secret crush. “Dry as Sin” is a classic political folk ballad drawn from the mountain coal mines of Virginia where Eli finds his roots. The songs gently inhabit familiar ground— inviting comparisons to Steve Earle, Elliot Smith, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch—but never dwell in one place for too long. As a result, the album has broad cross-genre appeal.

credits

released September 28, 2013

Eli Conley - guitar, vocals
with Michael T. Connolly - bass, piano, mandolin, octave mandolin, lap steel, accordion, dobro, Rhodes piano, percussion
All songs written by Eli Conley, BMI, all rights reserved

Produced by Michael Thomas Connolly
Recorded and mixed by Michael T. Connolly at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle, WA
Additional engineering by Jordan Cunningham
Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering in Seattle, WA
Papercuts and sewing by Tobie Klibanksy
Cover based on a photo by Phyllis Christopher
Graphic design by Michael T. Connolly
Lyrics at www.eliconley.com

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about

Eli Conley Berkeley, California

Eli Conley is a Bay Area-based singer-songwriter with a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in Americana music and the singer-songwriter tradition, he crafts modern day folk songs for misfits from the raw material of his life as a queer man with Virginia roots. "Oh what gorgeous, soulful music!" raves roots music innovator Laura Love. ... more

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Track Name: When God Sets His Sights On You
When God Sets His Sights on You

Mary Ann waits tables nightly
Down at Jack’s on Highway Two
Her daughter Jean started acting strangely
She cut her hair, she’s wearing old men’s boots

Then at home they were getting dinner ready
Jean said she had something to tell
“I’ve started seeing someone pretty steady”
“And mom,” she said, “her name’s Danielle"

If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
When god sets his sights on you?

Mary Ann stared at her daughter
She said “I taught you better, I am sure”
Now let’s get on our knees and pray out these demons
I can’t see my daughter anymore

Jean grabbed her coat and she set out running
Down to the river and the creaky bridge
Said her own prayer, sent it up to heaven
Opened up her mouth, and she did sing:

If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
When god sets his sights on you?
If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
When god sets his sights on you?

She’s got love to give, and she’s got a life to live

Jean spent all night staring at that river
a-splashing and a-racing off so far
the she grabbed her truck, her favorite kitten
her toothbrush, a couple of shirts and her mom’s guitar

She turned the key, flipped on the headlights
They blazed up against the autumn corn
Mary Ann’s face flickered in the doorway
Jean just drove off for Californ’

If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
If you believe in the word of god, what are you gonna do
When god
When god
When god
When god sets his sights on you
Track Name: Call You Out
Call You Out

It’s true I haven’t met you yet
But I can tell I’d like to make you sweat
Cause I have watched from afar
And I know just what you are

I’m gonna call you out
You’re gonna scream and shout
Cause I can see what you’re all about
I’m gonna call you out

You’re strong of arm and pure of heart
And I know things like to make you start
So as skin grazes skin
Won’t you please, let me in?

I’m gonna call out
You’re gonna scream and shout
Cause I can see what you’re all about

I am a hawk and you’re a hummingbird
Could this be foolishness, is this absurd?
Well mark my words, ooh

That when you fall I’ll kiss you sweet
And you’ll forget who tripped your feet
As we lie on the ground
there’ll be birds all around

I went and called you out
You’re gonna scream and shout
Cause I can see what you’re all about
I’m gonna call you out
Track Name: Dry As Sin
Dry As Sin

They’re building prisons in Appalachia, where my family comes from
To keep the brown folks from the city, far away from their homes
And the only other job you can find
Is in the dregs of the old coal mine

Chorus:
They’re building coal plants in Virginia again
And prisons full of thousands of Black and brown men
And guards all make minimum wage at that pen
And the coal dust coats everyone’s lungs
Dry as sin

Senator Byrd put stock in a lie
Coal will be clean and donkeys will fly
Now mountains that stretched from the creek to the clouds
Are craters of dirt, wide gaping mouths

Chorus

When the rain rolls off
The bare mountain tops
Creeks turn to sludge and the fish flop on the moss

We are never too far from the valley of death
And these holes in the hills bring us all closer yet
Name each white man a cop, each brown man a thief
And you’ve paved every back road with certainmost grief

Chorus
Track Name: I Found You
I Found You

Hey rock that cradle, hey ring that bell
I found a man, who loves me well well well
And I was searchin’ searchin’ searchin’
For that good lovin’ man
Yes I was flirtin’ flirtin’ flirtin’
But no one does me like he can

Chorus:
Well I found you right where you’d always been
I found you, the one who’d been the best of friends
Just as I was getting ready to give in
I found you, you

No fame nor fortune could fuel my soul
I’ve got a hunger that won’t let go go go
The only thing that feeds my hunger
Is love from you, you love me true
And no I don’t believe in always
But I believe in me and you

Chorus

Here comes the train and it’s a long one
They wrote our names there on the side
I think I’ll ride it till it’s all done
And then say thank you for the ride

Chorus
Track Name: What Is It About Me?
What Is It About Me?

Why don’t you do me like you do me when you do me in my dreams?
Cause if you do me like you done me I’d be bursting at my seams
Yeah it’s high time I found a man who gives it like I want it
I can dish it out as well as take it, yeah I’ll make it worth your while

Chorus:
What is it about me that attracts these quiet shy types?
Heaven knows I’m angry and insensitive, I spit and chew and bite
What is it about me?

Why don’t you come around more often, why don’t you stay when you have come?
I crave a moving violation, violate me with your tongue
I know handfuls of boys who’d love to watch me in my underwear
But when you’re in my bed you roll away as if I wasn’t even there

Chorus

So here I am on highway five
Your seat is empty as I drive
Don’t need no man to tell me I’m
The prettiest, prettiest boy alive

I’m gonna do me like you do me when you do me in my dreams
Cause if I do me like you done me I’ll be bursting at my seams
Yeah it’s high time I found a man who gives it like I want it
I can dish it out as well as take it, yeah I’ll make it worth my while
What is it about me?
Track Name: Draw The Line
Draw the Line

Wish I could write you a letter
Of all the things I coulda done better
And all the hopes I have for you now that you’re free

It feels like spring in February
And I am not the kind of fairy
Who makes to move like I can carry this sadness so easily

Chorus:
Cause I got all this time
And you are always on my mind
So heaven help me draw the line
That you ain’t mine

Wish there was some way I could say
I never meant it to end this way
You pulled the trigger and I swayed to meet the music

But now it’s all been done
Whether the battle’s lost or the battle’s won
It’s time to empty out our guns and scrub ‘em till they shine

Chorus

How long how long how long till I get it right?
How long how long how long till I find the light?
How long how long how long till I sleep through the night without missing you?

Chorus
Track Name: Siren Song
Siren Song

I rise in the early morning
And watch the ocean and the sun
At daybreak the sailors are yawning
They’re not expecting anyone
I know the days of storms are yet to be
Cause the blue horizon never stays with me

I got fever in my bones and blood between my teeth
For every ship that goes down in this blasted coral reef
Their souls are bundled up with mine
(I know) It’s just a matter of time
Till I cut this line

At first it was so easy
To while away the days and nights
Weaving my seaweed purses
Braving those endless seagull fights
I’ve found that as the days grow long
I tire of singing siren songs

Said I need to get on board this ship and sail away
Drink whiskey, wear a red dress and paint my face
I’ve had enough of salt and sand
I’ll give Poseidon the upper hand
I’m gonna join a band

How many oceans must I cross to find the end of this?
Hey what’s the use of song if each man dies upon my kiss?
Is love a myth that has lived out its usefulness?

So now I sing a new song
Sling my guitar across me tight
The boys all sing along
My words have lost their deadly bite
But listen to the bass line creep
My music stands to make them weep

Now I got marrow in my bones and blood here in my veins
And every man who hears my song will rue his mother’s name
Their souls are bundled up with mine
You know it’s just a matter of time
Till I cut this line
Track Name: Now I'm Doing Me
Now I'm Doing Me

What made you have to do that?
It’s like you stabbed in the chest just to see if I’d bleed
You dropped me on your doorstep
And now you have the nerve to get on your knees
And beg and plead for one more chance
Well not under under any circumstance
Would I kiss your mouth again

We are over, get it through your fickle head
That we are over, go find some other fool instead
And I’ll do like I did before — You set me free
Now I’m doing me

I saw you at the party
All gussied and laughing with your friends
I tried to hold my head up
And wait until the spinning in my brain would end
I guess I had to see your face
There was no proper hiding place
But I wish I’d gone and left no trace

Cause we are over, I’ll get it through my fickle head
That we are over, I’ll find some other fool instead
And I’ll do like I did before — You set me free
Now I’m doing me
Now I’m doing me

The photos fade
The daisies rot
And in the end ourself is really all we’ve got

I’m walking down the road now
Instead of kissing your sweet face goodnight
I don’t know which way I’m headed
But I will know when it is right
So though I miss your yellow room
And the way you hold your fork and spoon
I’m gonna sing my own damn tune

That we are over, we’ll get it through our fickle heads
We are over, we’ll find some other fools instead
And I’ll do like I did before — You set me free
Now I’m doing me
Now I’m doing me
Now I’m doing me
Track Name: Take It Slow
Take It Slow

You’ve got me smelling roses
You’ve got me cleaning up my house
You knew just what I wanted
You filled me up, don’t let me down

There is more to life than falling in love
And there is more to love than letting go
Let’s take it slow

I see you in the papers
And in the rocky river banks
Your face pops up in movies
From Doris Day to young Tom Hanks

I had a lovely life before I met you
But something in your smile says not to let you go
Let’s take it slow

We all got a row to hoe
Let’s plant these seeds and watch ‘em grow
Let’s take it slow