Zephyr

by Gold Light

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about

Zephyr is a place in Surry County, NC, called as such cus there's always a gentle wind blowing across it. The only two things really in Zephyr are the Gum Orchard Baptist Church and across the street, the Zephyr cemetery.

credits

released October 10, 2019

Written, Performed, Mixed, and Recorded by JOE CHANG
At BAILEY PARK Asheville, NC Summer 2019.
Additional Mixing and Mastered by NESEY GALLONS at Mouse Mountain, ME.

JOE CHANG: Guitars, Vocals, Harmonica, Keys, Synths, Bass

Album Cover Photo courtesy of the Miles Family.

“Devotion” is for Aaron Graves.
In loving memory of Joe Bill and Edna Miles.

"Til we meet again and never shall part."

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about

Gold Light Asheville, North Carolina

Tracking through cinematic tales of heartache, love and loss while bouncing between genres from 50’s rock and roll to post-punk to classic country, Gold Light becomes a catchall for Chang’s prismatic take on American music.

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Track Name: Cannon Street
Johnnie drove in from Elim last night to meet the love of his life
He'd been working for his Ma out on the farm
Just after her Daddy'd died
Jess was on the porch in a red velour dress drinkin' wine and lookin' oh so fine
She was smokin' slims as she waited for him beneath the pale moon light
And as he walked up the stairs he saw the gold curls in her hair and that starry look in her eyes
And I saw the way she kissed him for he'd been gone a long time

And the romance of life makes itself seen tonight down on Cannon Street
Boys calling up to girls in their windows like drunken Romeos they meet defeat
And Johnnie listens to them and remembers back when he was so golden at that age
But he's just drinkin' his life away now
Can't seem to win the race
It's such a hard pace to keep up with these days


Johnnie grew up on the Myers Farm some misty years ago
And as a young boy he got a hurt in his heart he never wanted to show
But the day he met Jess she took that mess it met it's match in her eyes
And the fear that once had gripped him so tight fell by the wayside
So this mornin' for fun they got up with the sun down to the beach they did ride
And I saw the way she held him in the sand like she'd known him her whole life

And the poetry of life writes itself out tonight down on Cannon Street
Girls callin' down to boys from their windows like fair Juliets in this heat
And Jess listens to them and remembers back when she was so golden at that age
But she's just wishin' her life away now
Can't seem to win the race
It's such a hard pace to keep up with these days


Now Jess is sittin' on her bed thinkin' something complex when Johnnie bursts through the door
And he's fallin' down drunk at her feet and he's bleedin' all over her floor
He says I done something tonight I know ain't right and I'm gonna have to pay for
And I don't know what the future might bring but I know what it has in store
So meet me down on the block if ya still wanna give me a shot but right now I gotta go and settle this score
And I saw the way she hugged him like she knew when she let go she wouldn't ever hold him no more

And the tragedy of life plays itself out tonight down on Cannon Street
And them boys up the block they'll be waitin' for us layin' low in the backseat
And Johnnie listens to me as I lay out the scene for this whole world is our stage
But we're just dreamin' our lives away now
Can't seem to win the race
It's such a hard pace to keep up with these days
Track Name: The Score
I'm on the run
Smoking gun
I hurt someone
Under a setting sun
I left the city
Drove all night
Didn't stop a lick
Til I saw sunlight
Now you won't see me around
Won't see me no more
Tell me how you expect
To settle the score

I'm on my own
Long way from home
And all my gold
From you I stole
You asked me to stay
Said there's a price to be paid
Said there ain't no such thing
As a clean getaway
I turned on my heels
Right there on that floor
As I walked out the door
I just said "Sorry, babe,
But you settle the score."

I made my way
Across the border
Didn't know the weight
Be so hard to shoulder
Now I don't know what
The future might hold
But I got an idea
What it has in store
There's a little town
In El Salvador
With a little bar
Right there by the shore
And if you got the guts
Can't stand it no more
You come and find me there
I'll be waiting up
We can settle the score
Track Name: Days Of Heaven
I killed that man with my own bare hands
Went on the lam in West Texas
Me and my lover we had to pretend
We was brother and sister born and bred

We'd work long days in the summer's heat
Damn near broke my back killed my feet
But come the nighttime in the cool tall grass
Me and my lover would meet at last

Bossman was a wealthy man
Oh but death was close at hand
So my lover took to be his wife
Hoping that soon he'd lose his life

But our plan went awry
For the bossman never died
Then my lover fell for him
So I had to kill me another man

One day I will pay for all my sins
My only prayer is that I will ascend
With my lover into the promised land
Dreaming of days made of heaven
Dreaming of days made of heaven
Track Name: Devotion
Where the tobacco grows in rows
Like golden roads of old
And the trees all reach for the sky
Like loving hands held up on high
Sun going down o’er the hills
Soft breeze rustling through the fields
Your belly wrapped up in my arms
Feel a little one inside just’a kicking up a storm

Stars all scattered like diamonds
'Cross a big black stretched out canvas
Moon’s shinin’ layin’ low
Fireflies glowin’ in the grove
Crickets singing in the air
As my fingers run through your hair
Little one cradled in your arms
As we sit on the porch and listen for the coming storm

Be as it may in Heaven may it be here on the Earth
Sky above me, below me the dirt
I see it all laid out before me
In all it’s heavenly glory
All things divining, all things shining


Come the grey glory of morning
Red sun lets out a warning
Bringing everything back to life
Everything that didn’t die
And it all sinks back in slow motion
As to you I pledge my devotion
Holding that little one in my arms
You by my side and all I feel is calm
You by my side and all I feel is The Calm
Track Name: Strangeman
Strangeman Hutchins was a hard workin' man
Made his living off of the land
Ain't nothing ever come easy for him
Gettin' by just the best he can

Strangeman was my neighbor for years
Over yonder quarter mile from here
Evenings he'd sit nursin' a beer
Front porch in nothin' but his underwear

And sometimes I'd hear him whistlin'
When the wind carried over this way
And he didn't know I was listenin'
As the sun went down on another day


Strangeman Hutchins was a handsome man
Townswomen all would turn their heads
But they had dreams he didn't understand
Strangeman had no interest in them

Strangeman never married no one
But that don't mean he didn't have no fun
At night he'd have some women around
Next day it'd be the talk of the town

And sometimes I'd see 'em laughin'
Watch 'em there across the way
And they didn't know I was listenin'
As the sun went down on another day

Strangeman became a pious man
Baptized down by the river's bed
Did his best to be born again
Believed every word the good book said

So no more drinkin' no more women
Givin' up all'a his hard livin'
Crossed his heart that til the day he died
He'd live by faith with God on his side

Sometimes I'd see him come home
Drop down to his knees and pray
Out on his porch all alone
As the sun went down on another day

And if I was ever to leave my man
You can bet I'd go over to Strangeman's land
Track Name: Blood
In the summer of '91 back when I was still young
Boys climbing up in trees fallin' down scrapin' their knees
My daddy come and pick me up carry me home stitch me up
He said "Boy, you better act tough, it ain't nothing but blood".

In the spring of '83 my mother gave birth to me
Brand new branch on the family tree growing roots forming leaves
Family traits from my father's side met their match in my mother's eyes
And for this much I am much obliged for blood that forms the ties that bind

In the fall of '73 my mother turned 18
Her daddy drove her down bus station on the edge of town
Never the kind to say much but as that bus pulled on up
He said "Babe, you are my blood, and that'll always be enough".

In the winter of '51 grandaddy got his gun
Shipped him off to some foreign place killed a man never saw his face
And the blood that was shed never washed off of his hands
He said "In God I have put my trust, but he's spilled too much of my brothers' blood".

Well the years they come and go some move fast some move slow
And the funny thing about time it can move forward or it can rewind
And the stories get retold ain't no rainbow if there ain't no gold
Cus in the end only love remains comes from the blood running in your veins
Track Name: Riverbed
Walk with me down to the riverbed
Watch the preacher as he dunks in your daddy's head
It's an attempt to wash away all his sins
But you and I know there ain't no getting rid of them

So he comes home says he's a brand new man
That from here on out gonna be some changes
But he always ends up in some sore trance
And you and I are the ones that know the rest

Well there's questions on your mind can only be answered in time
And your daddy ain't the preaching or the talking kind
And your search for salvation will leave you nothing to find
But you know all this so much better than I

Every night I lay you down tuck you into bed
Say a prayer o'er you then I kiss your head
And there's things that I done that I do regret
But you and I know some words best left unsaid

Well I know I had it bad but you have it much worse
Cus his blood runs through your veins and it's taking it's course
But when you get older I hope you know for what it's worth
You can always go down to the riverbed for a second birth
Track Name: Carolina
Papa always told me there was gold beyond them hills
So when I came of age I got me a set of wheels
And I came to decide gold was what I wanted to find
So I left Carolina behind

See Papa'd always scold me and it'd turn into a fight
Five fingers make a fist but two wrongs don't make it right
So when I went away I didn't even say goodbye
Just gathered my things drove out of Carolina

Well I made it to Kentucky met a girl who'd come to love me
We ran off got married come one Easter Sunday
She was patient she was kind I was hers she was mine
Carolina was the last thing on my mind

Well the next thing that I know got two kids full grown
And somehow my father's footsteps had become my own
But I do my best to try give 'em roots but wings to fly
The way the winds of Carolina gave me mine

It was an early day in May when the call came down the line
My mama she was crying sayin' my daddy'd died
And I thought of all the things I wouldn't ever get to say
And my heart just fell apart shoulda never gone this way
And I thought about the gold he told me I would find
As I drove back to Carolina one last time
Track Name: Zephyr
Joe Bill always smelled of gasoline
Used to drive long distance for the Crosstown Company
From North Carolina to the Northeast
Knew the back of his hands like he knew them streets
Used to pass through New York City
Saw Mickey Mantle play in the summer of '53
It must've been some sight to see
Though he always hated them damn Yankees

Mary Edna waited tables downtown
In a diner where Joe Bill come around
Til one day a little courage he found
And he asked her out
And he'd drive that little girl where'er she wanted to go
But when he took her home she'd make him drop her off at the end of the road
And walk the rest of the way alone
Cus she didn't want him to see how poor they were

See the thing about time it's always passing you by
Ain't no friend of yours sure ain't no friend of mine
But there's a place where time seems to stand still
Out yonder beyond the pines just over them hills
You'll come upon an old oak tree in the middle of town
Where Joe Bill carved their initials with a heart around
And sometimes you'll hear it's name coming in on the wind
If you're listening


So they got married in '55
More and more Joe Bill toe'd that company line
Always find himself out on that lonesome road
Leaving Mary Edna and a little newborn at home
She used to cry every time she'd watch him leave
But she waited for him oh so patiently
Letters arrived she'd read 'em eagerly
Write him back just as fast signed I'm Yours, Affectionately

See the thing about time it's always passing you by
Ain't no friend of yours sure ain't no friend of mine
But there's a place where time seems to stand still
Out yonder beyond the pines just over them hills
You'll come upon a little house in the middle of some land
That Joe Bill built for his love with his own two hands
And sometimes you'll hear it's name coming in on the wind
If you're listening


In the fall of '58 spirits were low
Mary Edna got ill so Joe Bill got off the road
And at the ripe young age of 23
He drove that little girl down to the infirmary
Pass the diner where they met and the old oak tree
And that's where she would stay and remain confined
Til bye and bye 1959
The good Lord called her home to be by his side

See the thing about time it's always passing you by
Ain't no friend of yours sure ain't no friend of mine
But there's a place where time seems to stand still
Out yonder beyond the pines just over them hills
You'll come upon a cemetery in the middle of some land
Where Edna's body was buried with Joe Bill's bare hands
And sometimes you'll hear it's name coming in on the wind
If you're listening

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