Without a Bird

by Rachel Ries

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    This is the album how it's meant to be. Gorgeous in the warmth of its recording and the rich colors of Miriam Doan's photography. A CD is also enclosed in each record sleeve.

    Also includes immediate download of 10-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Also includes immediate download of 10-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
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  • Without a Bird T-shirt!
    T-Shirt/Apparel

    So pretty and American Apparel. Blues & greens. The boat with feathers for oars designed by Steve Jones, printed by Todd Irwin.

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1.
Learning Too Slow call this evening or call me fool call me stubborn as a damn old mule because I'm not gonna bend I'm not gonna break see, missing you is my finest mistake I'm learning too slow I'm still a loner, I'm still a lonely lady with a heart not stone enough you're a gentleman and a drunk see, I'm calling you out but I'm calling you up I'm learning too slow summer was on its way out when you finally found your way into my heart now winter's on its wind-up as you finally find your way into my house into my house so meet me here with my tongue of silver and eyes of ice and stories delivered hand to mouth and heart to hand babe, I'll try to be kind if you'll be my man I'm learning too slow
2.
Never You Mind never you mind this being yours and you being mine what I mean is come over anytime you feel so inclined to see my shining face lit by a summer daze on a hazy, drunken-something afternoon the streets are full of the bustle & the bang how they rush - it's a crying shame run, run as fast as you can no, no I won't so here's a song to slow us down for you & me on a lazy afternoon then after you get back to town after all of your running around and still you choose to find me in the afternoon we watch the clouds roll in and close all the windows and pour the coffee this is what I need time slows down we sit on the back step and watch the rain fall on the backyard hear the city street slow down you stay awhile until the storm falls away then go back into your life and your day to day just remember me as one who knows just how to spend a rainy, lazy summer afternoon then after I get back to town after all of my running around and still I choose to find you in the afternoon after we get back to town after all of our running around and still we choose yeah we do, oh yeah we do
3.
When Will You Be Mine? when will you be mine? when will heartstrings find their melody? when will fate shine her eyes on me and stay for all time? I feel it everyday sure I’m fine and I get my own way but a lady longs to compromise every once in awhile yeah a lady longs to compromise every once in awhile I guess I shouldn't complain coz the blues are company for a lonesome dame with her hair done up only for the rain falling on the windowpane only for the rain falling on the window pane so come on, find me here you know where I can be found where the lights are low & the piano's loud that's where I can be found so when can you be mine? coz my heart's found her melody and when fate shines her eyes on me seems to me that you could be mine oh you could be mine seems to me that you could be mine
4.
Chicago 04:16
Chicago just come home and you will find I’m alone most of the time I’m spinning wheels on a chorus line sometimes finding my way through a verse been on my mind since late last night when I heard a sleepy bird on my windowsill I share my bed with a cat a typewriter & a laptop it’s telling, is it not? I pull the covers up and then I close my eyes to the city lights coz I’m the same, aren’t I? oh, Chicago come and find us come and hold us come and be with us oh, Chicago come and hold us come and find us come and be with us I’ll sing for you in your kitchen coz this song has a mission to bridge the gulf and call the storm by name and God’s grace and all this impotent rage I turn aside and I turn to you then I open my eyes to our city life coz I have changed, haven’t I? oh, Chicago come and find us come and hold us come and be with us oh, Chicago come and hold us come and find us come and be with us because the sun is sinking down and if the sun is sinking down then this heart is learning how to sing for you forever
5.
Fine, I’m Fine tell me how much farther we’ve gotta go before we can leave Chicago you know I get tired and I’m tired now please let me just slow down because I could pick a small town on the prairie instead stop telling lies and be early to bed I’d watch the sunrise from an easy chair maybe have a couple kids and start dying my hair just put on that Bird song y’know how he sings? he sings like a wire that’s melting I’ve got so much to learn if I’m in this for good God help me lose these ringing blues coz I could get a home on the coast somewhere buy myself a boat and cut off my hair I’d be weathered and worn out and wise I’d hum a tune but just to clear my mind it’s just to clear my mind only to clear my mind but I’m fine, I’m fine
6.
Visit 05:34
Visit if you come and visit me I’ll fall down on my knees I’ll remember everything I’ll remember everything I’ll place an avocado in the palm of her hand, say - I receive you in peace, I receive you in peace - everyone’s gonna see I’m down on my knees I’m down on my knees, I’m down if you come and visit me my tongue will not believe I’ll point to the weeds I’ll just point to the weeds I’ll tell her - it’s ok, it’s ok that you won and how are your sons? how are your sons? - everyone’s gonna hear my tongue won’t believe my tongue won’t believe, my tongue if you come and visit me I’ll stop missing you I’ll speak only true yeah I’ll speak only true when she says she don’t believe me, I’ll say - you win again. but it’s never the end, no, it’s never the end - and everyone’s gonna see I’m not missing you I’m not missing you, I’m not everyone’s gonna see I’m not missing you and I’m not Mrs. You and I’m not I’m not I’m not I’m not
7.
I Could Leave. I could leave you in your run down, crooked flat above the bar sitting with a Guinness on the floor I could leave you with your clocks & scraps of broke down memories piling up in the corners of every room you’ve lived I could leave you walking out the back to plant your pumpkin seeds never saying what you really mean I could leave you looking down at me with the saddest eyes from the window of every room you’ve ever lived hard it is to go, harder still to stay look, I swear I can drive away hard it is to stay, harder still to go oh my heart unravels I could leave you on 4th street at 5 am a cup of coffee warm in your hands I could leave you, December 23rd but what’s it for? what’s it for, my lonely bird? what’s it for? my lonely bird, you’ve been so long with your shoulders down and sleeping soundly alone I’ve come and gone holding out for something kinder than just a song I sing For You Only don’t you get this by now? so I leave you picking fights on New Years Eve drinking too many daiquiris I leave you but know I’ll just return to the doorway of every room you’ve ever lived to the doorway of every room you’ve ever lived
8.
Without a Bird how do we remember days when they pile & they fray adding up a lonesome rosary for the years that I wear around my neck with it I fidget and I fret but I'll be damned if I stop trying to find a way through this mess with a halo in my chest will we still tell the tales when the stumble & they trail at the edges of a mind when we're trying to forget so it seems I'm just placing my bets on the ones I haven't met yet but I'll be damned if I stop trying to find a way through this mess with a flame in my chest there's a lot to handle here somewhere between the sheets & a song it's gonna be a long night when we wake to find another day rising up up up over the lake but I'll be damned if I stop trying to find a way through this mess with a bird in my chest I'll be damned if I start trying without a bird in my chest
9.
Hands to Water My hands turn to water in the sunlight on the coast You push a boat from shore and glide out to the sandbar I remember you on the island in the summer when your mother was still alive Looking after you and saving us all the time Now your father’s somewhere on the Atlantic, tossed about and true You know that if I had my way I’d return to you Why does it have to be lonesome now? Why does it have to be lonesome now? Remember that night way out past the house, you and me curled up in the woods? I fell asleep trying not to worry about your mom Nobody knows a thing about growing up and letting go Until it’s done and you just lose your hold Why does it have to be quiet now? Why does it have to be quiet now? You were born on the waves You were born to be saved You were born on the waves You were born to be saved One more time, one more time Give me one more time My heart turns to water in the sunlight on the coast I push a boat from shore and glide out past the sandbar
10.
Here We Lie in Wait here we lie in wait waiting for the day the sun will shake us down and in the morning we will laugh the sun will shake us down rattle tooth & bone we’ll put that bottle down and want no more we’ll put that bottle down and pick up the cross lying in the yard wet with morning dew and I will know your name in time I will baptize you in time I will cut your hair in time and may you follow suit here we lie in wait waiting for the day the sun will shake us down and in the morning we will laugh

about

If Rachel's voice were a tree branch, a ripe russet apple would hang at its end: a gift, there to take.
- saidthegramophone.com

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This record is like taking a luxurious bath in an Art Deco tub on the rooftop of a lived-in brownstone on a starry night. Sound good? You bet
it is. The disc is clean and natural-sounding: no studio gimmickry here, just gorgeous arrangements and Ries' heart-wrenchingly elegant
melodies.
- Seven Days, Vermont’s Alternative Weekly, Casey Rae-Hunter

credits

released September 27, 2007

Rachel - guitars, piano, Wurlitzer, vocals
Ariel Bolles - upright bass, vocals
Kevin O'Donnell - drums
Joel Paterson - guitar, pedal steel
Alison Chesley - cello
Maria McCullough - violin

Produced by Rachel
Recorded & Mixed by Kris Poulin at Electrical Audio
Mastered by Jason Ward & Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering

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about

Rachel Ries Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rachel Ries, hailing from the prairies of middle America, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked-hearted. With an electric guitar and piano; a clear voice and steady hand; she deftly pulls listeners in with disarming candor and holds them there with smart and tender poetry. ... more

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