At The Seams

by Eli Conley

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1.
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
2.
02:55
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
3.
03:28
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
4.
03:05
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
5.
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?
6.
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
7.
03:02
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
8.
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
9.
02:55
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

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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Eli Conley Berkeley, California

Eli Conley titled his sophomore album Strong and Tender, but he might well have been describing himself. On stage he’s an earnest yet funny storyteller. His songs urge us to love ourselves even when it feels like the world does not. You can’t help but sing along. ... more

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