Archive for songwriting

Song Lyrics – Just a Simple Cowboy

Posted in 12 string guitar, Alternative Country, Chicken Ranch, cowboy, ghost, guitar, hunter, Jamie McPherson, La Grange, Louisiana, lyrics, Mississippi, Music, New Orleans, Songwriting, vampire with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by Jamie McPherson

Hi folks,

Here are the lyrics to my latest song “Just a Simple Cowboy” that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, that I had the pleasure of giving a Fringe debut. After the lyrics, there is a simple explanation of the song. I hope you enjoy –

Just a Simple Cowboy

 

I was born in Louisiana

In the land of the Choupiqui

The Captain, his wife

And a troubled boy called “me”

 

In the Crescent City

Walks the souls like you and me

Whom death they tried to cheat

But it’s never meant to be

 

The Captain taught me how to kill

A hundred miles from the coast

He was a simple sailor killing

Vampires and ghosts

 

The Captain got too slow one night

And copped one in the neck

So I headed on out West

To get away from all this heck

 

I got me a horse and rope

Joined the cowboys on the range

But peace didn’t last long

Camping out beyond La Grange

 

Injun Joe came back to life

And killed us all, almost

He didn’t figure on a cowboy killing

Vampires and ghosts

 

Seven years on the land

Huntin’ vampires down

Killing thirty out on the trail

And a hundred in your town

 

If my blood looks good to you

And you want to grab a bite

You’ll answer to my Winchester

Cause I have you in my sights

 

If you die and walk the streets again

Then your ass is toast

Cause I’m a simple cowboy killing

Vampires and ghosts

 

I went on to the Chicken Ranch

To get myself a gal

I called in to the lobby and

Down came Miss Bell

 

“I heard of a dark-haired beauty

Her name is Raven Knight”

She came on up to my room

And blew out the light

 

I tore her skirts in two

And tied her to the posts

“I don’t mean no disrespect mam

Are you a vampire or a ghost?”

 

When I draw too slow

They’ll suck my cold blood dry

It’s the fate of the hunter

To wither and to die

 

Point that stake right at my heart

And pound that bad boy down

Say a prayer and bury me deep

Deep beneath the ground

 

I’ll stand in judgement for my crime

Before the Heavenly Host

He’ll ask what deeds shame a man like me

What scares me the most

 

I’ll tell him I’m not perfect

And I’m not a man to boast

I was just a simple cowboy killing

Vampires and ghosts

 

Words and Music © Copyright 2013 Jamie McPherson

Written 26 February 2013

 

This song, of all things, was inspired by a video game on my phone. Welcome to the 21st Century! With my upcoming Fringe show entitled ‘Life, Love and the Death of a Cowboy’, I thought it was time to write another song. One in which the hero dies. I couldn’t think of a better subject than a simple cowboy hunting and killing vampires and ghosts. My cross genre song 🙂

A bit like my other songs, geography plays a big role. To me, if you can set a geographical location, the song is half written. It gives a sense of place and time. We are all very visually orientated, so it makes it easier for the listener to picture the song in their head if they can relate to the places it is coming from. And, I also love the journey from one place to another. It sits in well with the characters journey. A journey of place, a journey of life.

The places I used in this song are all real. Louisiana, New Orleans and La Grange. The Crescent City is another nickname for New Orleans. I wanted the story to start down South and move West (“Go West young man!”). The Choupiqui are the Native American tribe of that area. And, being on the Mississippi, I thought his father would have to be a riverboat captain. A simple sailor living a hundred miles from the coast. The Chicken Ranch was an actual brothel just outside of La Grange. And of course there is your town. This is yours and for your imagination only 🙂

So, this young man is trained by his father to kill vampires and ghosts, but then his death prompts him to try to escape this violent world. Only to discover that there is an unatural violence everywhere, and only he is equipped to deal with it.

Of course the story ends with the death of the hunter. It’s the old saying of “he who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword”. The reality of a violent world is that the good guy will eventually die. And of course, death is not the final word. One must answer for ones life and actions.

So, I hope you enjoy my lyrics to Just a Simple Cowboy. It was fun playing it live and I look forward to recording it one day when my studio is up and running again. In the meantime, if you want to see the chords for the song, they are on my website at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

Beannachd leat,

Jamie

June Newsletter from The Official Jamie McPherson

Posted in 12 string guitar, Alternative Country, CD, chilli, folk music, Funeral, guitar, lyrics, Meeting Place, New Orleans, Newsletter, Songwriting, Strathalbyn, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by Jamie McPherson

June Newsletter from The Official Jamie McPherson

Welcome to the June edition of www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

NEW BLOG ABOUT JAMIE!

That’s right folks. The laughing bard himself, Mat Drogemuller, in his quest for greater musical enlightenment, has featured yours truely in his blog. Besides being a serious musician, Mat has a brilliant writing style that is both funny, imformative and extremely entertaining. Mat and I conversed over many emails and this ripper of a blog was what came out of it. There were many other things we talked about that didn’t make it to the blog, but I suppose that is just for us to know and you to puzzle about. Maybe one day one of us will publish our other gems of wizdom, but until then, I highly recomend you read not only this part of the blog, but also the other extremely entertaining blogs.

You can read Mat’s blog, The Laughing Bard at http://thelaughingbard.com

NEW SHOW ANNOUNCED!

Who cut the cheese? Well, you can find out in September at The Cheese Factory Studio Gallery.

CHEESE FACTORY SESSIONS

The Cheese Factory Studio Gallery is open on the THIRD SUNDAY of each month offering a delightful afternoon of…

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, PRODUCE PLATTERS, LOCAL WINES, COFFEE, SWEET TREATS, VISUAL ARTS & CRAFT…

and

Songwriter and balladeer

JAMIE McPHERSON

Jamie’s songs are stories of love, life, death, family and friendship, strange people in stranger lands, observing the world around him and the people who have occupied it. Often his songs incorporate his love of the Australian landscape and his ancestral home of Scotland along with some good old fashioned penned cowboy ballads. His words and melodies are firmly rooted in all these worlds and have a definitive Australian take on folk and alternative country music. And he is never afraid to poke fun at himself or the society we live in.

So, come on down and cut some cheese!

at

The Cheese Factory

Great local food and wine served at 1pm and show starts 2pm. Get ready to taste some of the best South Australian wines and yummy platters and sweetie treats!

CHEESE FACTORY SESSIONS – between 1:00 – 4:00pm The Cheese Factory Sunday, September 16th, 2012 239 Kondoparinga Road Meadows South Australia 5201 Aus (08) 8388 3725  Price: Adults $10 – Children $5

http://www.cheesefactory.com.au/cheese/home.html

What’s been happening?

Well folks, Tikarma and I have been quite busy. It has now been a year since we settled into our new digs in Strath and we are wondering, where has all the time gone?

Besides a few stellar shows, I’ve been busy writing a few new songs. Two which I just love are ‘Love, Served Me Chilli’ and my all time favourite, ‘A Sunny Day in New Orleans’. One is a bit of a ballad and the other is a New Orleans jazz funeral song. I can’t wait to get the studio up and runnig again, as this one will be full of trombones, trumpet and clarinet, and who knows, maybe one day it might be played at my funeral. One day…far…far…away! You can check out the lyrics and the blog for these two songs in the Blog section of www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

Speaking of funerals, I suppose I can not go past the very sad passing of two great musicians who have been a real inspiration to me. Donald “Duck” Dunn and Levon Helm. These two great men have been pivitol in forming my love of music and who have been a great influence on my own music. They are both sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones.

The website had had a minor tweak in my bio. Just to bring it more in line with the musical direction I seem to be heading. Nothing major, but if you want to check it out, just go to the Bio section of www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

And, as you know, I have had the great privilage of being featured on Mat Drogemuller’s blog, The Laughing Bard. We had a real blast and a lot of laughs conversing about all things musical, and you can read the results at http://thelaughingbard.com

Also, you will have seen that a new show has been added at The Cheese Factory. This venue just looks brilliant and I have heard by several sources that the food is just to die for! So, I urge everyone to mosey on down and check it out. Preferably for my show, but if you can’t make it, take a drive down there anyway some time to see some amazing artwork! And, they are on the net at http://cheesefactory.com.au

The good news is that CD sales have seen to be suddenly taking off again, with CD’s sold in far away places such as Austria and Germany and picked up by a major distributer in the USA. Also, Myspace plays have gone through the roof along with doing well on the Reverb Nation charts reaching number 3 for South Australia’s folk charts, and not too shabby on the national charts either.

Meeting Place is still for sale at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au as well as all the major international distributers on the net.

Tikarma’s been quite the busy little bee lately! She has finally finished the archive of all her poetry, and it is just brilliant! It has been a real joy to re-read these gems. Truely, a great talent! Now, she is building up a backlog of new poems to be put in the archive. When will she find the time?

She’s also done some wonderful paintings, and the one she is currently working on is a real gem! I can’t wait for this one to be completed! To check out her website, just go to www.tikarmavodicka.com

Also, we now have set up a Ravenwood Studios page on Facebook. This is for all things Tikarma and Jamie. Just head on over to www.facebook.com/Ravenwoodstudios

You might notice that for the next few months, both Tikarma and I will be quite quiet as she will be undergoing two lots of surgery. All will be good, but her health and recovery will be taking top priority for us.

So, that’s what’s been happening in our world. Wishing you a great musical June and in the meantime, feel free to check out all the webpages.

Beannachd leibh,

Jamie

Jamie McPherson Songwriter/balladeer/composer/live performing artist

www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

A Sunny Day In New Orleans

Posted in 12 string guitar, Funeral, guitar, Jamie McPherson, Jazz, lyrics, Music, New Orleans, Songwriting, Trombone with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Jamie McPherson

Hi all,

I just wanted to share my latest song with you all. This song is yet un-recorded due to awaiting studio upgrades, but hopefully it will make its live debut soon. Just to let you know, this song is separate from my Lester Moore project.

I was walking along the streets of Mt Barker the other day enjoying the wonderful Summer sunshine when all of a sudden, I started hearing trombones in my head. It sounded pretty cool. It sort of reminded me of a New Orleans Jazz Funeral. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and started to write down all the lyrics that came flooding in to go with these trombones. It was quite and experience as even the melody came flooding in! By the end of it, I was quite chuffed with it all.

Then, later on today, I sat down with the twelve string guitar and worked out the chords for it, that went well with the melody I had. I plugged in, gave it a whirl and Tikarma gave me the thumbs up! So…now I have a new song. I can’t wait to record this one as it will have a nice four part harmony for the chorus and a trombone and trumpet solo. But…that will have to wait.

So, here are the lyrics for A Sunny Day In New Orleans. If you want to check out the chords, just go to the Chords/Lyrics section at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

So, ladies and gentlemen….I present…A Sunny Day In New Orleans –

A Sunny Day In New Orleans

Chorus

I’m just a funeral procession, processing

I’m just a professional confessional, professing

 

Lazy ways in the

Summer haze

What a way to

End my days

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

I’ve moved on up from the

Second line

I may be dead but it’s a

Hell of a time

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

Chorus

The band’s in front followed

By my crew

And then some folks that I

Hardly knew

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

They’re carrying me out with my

Feet first

No need to worry about a

Big black hearse

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

Chorus

It’s awfully hot in this

New Orleans heat

Travelin’ this style just

Can’t be beat

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

They called up dead Slim on the

Slide trombone

To play some swing to

Bring me back home

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

Chorus

This casket’s nice, it is

Velvet lined

A good bed is

So hard to find

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

The road’s been long but the

Party’s been good

See all the folks come out from the

Neighbourhood

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

Chorus

When they get to the grave and they

Cut me loose

This band’s gonna swing just like a

Hangman’s noose

Kickin’ back just listening

To the band

 

I’m in the ground but the

Band plays on

It’s my party and I’m the

First one gone

Kickin’ back just thinking about

The band

Yes, just kickin’ back

And thinkin’ about my band

 

Words & Music © Copyright 2012 Jamie McPherson

Written 12 January 2012

 

The Ballad of Lester Moore Pt1 – The Ballad of Lester Moore

Posted in folk music, lyrics, Music, Songwriting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by Jamie McPherson

Hello there and welcome to part one of my latest project, entitled The Ballad of Lester Moore. Each part will be the lyrics of a new song for this latest project. As my studio is not currently up and running, I will be focussing on songwriting and so therefore decided to post up my progress. I will start with the lyrics to the latest song, and afterwards explain a bit about it or where the project is currently at. So, here we go on the journey with the opening song….The Ballad of Lester Moore.

The Ballad of Lester Moore

Here lies Lester Moore

Four slugs from a .44

He’ll sleep forever more

No less, no more

 

He lies buried beneath the ground

The only way to keep ol’ Lester Down

He’ll ride out no more

No less, no more

 

He sailed out to Plymouth Rock

Killed his first man on the dock

He came ashore

No less, no more

 

Running money for Boston Brown

Until word had got around

He was wanted by the law

No less, no more

 

Lester decided it was time to flee

Went down to Tennessee

He arrived in Jonesborough

No less, no more

 

He dealt faro at the Eureka Inn

Killing a man there was no sin

We all knew the score

No less, no more

 

There worked young Katie Hayes

Who fell in with his wicked ways

She became his whore

No less, no more

 

Then just as a cruel twist of fate

He joined up, became a Confederate

Gentlemen, we’re at war

No less, no more

 

He left the game at table eight

Said goodbye to his beloved Kate

Into the breach once more

No less, no more

 

Riding in Forrest’s Cavalry Corps

Charging into blood, bodies and gore

Death was all they ever saw

No less, no more

 

He got his fill at Wilson’s Raid

Couldn’t take blood for what they paid

Men died by the score

No less, no more

 

He deserted and travelled to Tombstone town

Got a job and settled down

Became a clerk in a store

No less, no more

 

One day Dunstan came through that door

In his hand was a .44

Death came knocking at his door

No less, no more

 

The two men faced off across the floor

We heard the shots, numbering four

Les was slower on the draw

No less, no more

 

Here lies Lester Moore

Four slugs from a .44

He sleeps here forever more

No Les, no Moore

 

Words & music  © Copyright 2011 Jamie McPherson September 2011

So….that is The Ballad of Lester Moore. The idea came to me while I was searching the net. I came across his epitaph that read “Here lies Lester Moore, four slugs from a .44, No Les, no Moore”. This just captured me straight away and I saw a song in it. I did some research into Lester Moore, and all we know is that he was a clerk in a store who was shot by a man called Hank Dunstan over an argument about a crushed package Dunstan had received in the post.

I thought as very little is known about this man, I could create a life for him. So, I let my mind wander and invented this story for Lester. It needed a beginning, so I had him emigrate to the US on the Eastern seaboard. I had to create pivotal moments in his life to show his descent into a world of death and murder, a turning point where he leaves it all behind, and then that fateful day with Dunstan. I wanted to stay true to the period, so lucky the history buff in me got to do a bit of research into names, places and events true to that period. Songwriter/history buff heaven 🙂

Alongside of his personal journey, I gave him a physical journey too. I always think that a sense of place always co-exists with the events in one’s life. I wanted him to start in an urban/city environment, and gradually move down South and then West to Tombstone.

Some interesting points of note. Yes, there was a Eureka Inn in Jonesborough during that period. Also, Forrest’s Cavalry Corpse did exist and take part in Wilson’s Raid. It always helps to have a good smattering of truth in the stories you make up.

I chose the name Katie Hayes for his love interest because I found it a sympathetic name. I wanted her to be more than a love interest. She needed to be a victim of his corrupted life.

And then of course, there is that fateful day with Hank Dunstan.

The song is a nice simple ballad in 3/4 time. I’ve played it a few times at gigs and it’s gone down very well.

When I had completed writing the song, I re-read the lyrics and found that there was a much bigger story in this. I read through it all and went “There is a song there…there is a song there…”. So, I decided that this will be the cornerstone of my latest project. A sort of musical narrative if you will, telling the story of Lester Moore as I have created it.

I am looking forward to this musical journey, and am very excited about this project. And I am just itching to record these songs and get it all together. And who knows, maybe I can persuade some of my very dear and talented friends to take part in the recordings. We’ll see.

So, that is the first installment of The Ballad of Lester Moore.

Part two will be ‘The Wandering Jew’

Beannachd leibh,

Jamie

Ceud Mile Failte (A Hundred, Thousand Welcomes)

Posted in CD, Music, Recording, Songwriting, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Jamie McPherson

Hello all and welcome to my blog. I thought that as many a good friend has come over to WordPress, in order to put a face to the comments I leave, I would  join up myself. And, while I am here, use the opportunity to leave the occasional post as to what is happening in my world of songwriting, composing, recording and any other big events.

So, as this is really more of a welcome to you all and a big HERE I AM, this will not be much of a post.

But, rest assured there will be a post on its way. The big news is that behind the scenes I have been working on my first CD release. This has been an all-consuming passion and has seemed to have overrun my life. So, I won’t go into any great detail, except that the release date should be sometime in October (fingers crossed). I am very excited that it is so near after two years of hard work, and even more excited that two very talented artists and people who are very dear to me will be working on the visual elements of the CD. One is the very talented photographer Jeremy Watson and the other is artist (and love of my life) Tikarma Vodicka. So, with these two brilliant visual artists in my corner, it should look fantastic!

Also, to coincide with the release, there will be a new website at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au , but this will not be up and running until the CD release. In the meantime, it will just have a link to my MySpace page where you can catch up to the latest news or listen to my music.

Alas, that is it for me at the moment, but I will post once again when the CD is ready to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting world. In the meantime, I will be busy behind the scenes and taking some time to get everything up and running and visiting a few dear friends in WordPress.

Thank you for dropping by, and I look forward to this new adventure.

Yours in music and verse,

Jamie

To view Tikarma Vodicka’s artwork, please visit her website here

To view Jeremy Watson’s photography, please visit his website here

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