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"Calls to mind a Nashville Skyline-era Dylan, Unplugged Clapton, and Springsteen at his best."-- Ken Stroebel, Norwich Bulletin

Broken Open, recorded at Lloyd Salisbury's  Flat Rock Studios was the second CD recorded for Vision Company Records, a family affair. Most tracks were recorded live without over-dubs, except for background vocals, trumpets, piano, and a little percussion.  This was my first CD conceived and recorded as a whole.  Lessons learned here went on to serve me well in future projects.

A brief admonishing story: Broken Open was my first CD to elicit requests from other artists to have me produce their recordings.  My response to such requests is to describe my methods to ascertain whether they would work with respective clients.  What I discovered is that other artists, while valuing certain qualities in my work and hoping for my "expertise" to produce similar results in theirs, don't really want me to "produce" for them.  This is particularly true of artists who have limited experience in the business and/or in the studio.  We bring a lot of naivete with us in such situations, and it's costly in every sense for everyone involved. I explain that I want the artist(s) to bring 15 songs, say, that they have performed with success in live situations, that we will record as many as we have time for in  few days, do minimal over-dubs that seem obligatory, then mix 10-12 tracks for the final product.  Then the artist comes in with the exact amount of songs in the order in which they are to appear, and intend to build up the recordings a couple of tracks at a time.   This is not how I work, nor an efficient or satisfying experience for me.  On top of all this, a "producer" these days usually brings a certain amount of business clout to the table, and my track record is not going to put someone over the top commercially.  Produce your own recordings when you're first starting out-- the dues you will pay will be their own reward-- that's my advice.

If You Will Walk with Me

peggy was a girl with a
heart of gold
johnny didn't always do
like he was told
they always knew each other from a
way back when
everybody knew that they were
only friends
always on the move never
comin in from the cold

if you will walk with me
i will walk a little bit taller
if you will walk with me
i will take your part
if you will walk with me
all the trouble seem
a little bit smaller
if you will walk with me
if you will walk with me

johnny says to peggy, girl,
i like your style
she says, i got the highway blues
about a hundred mile
johnny blows her mind
with a bright idea
she whispers in his ear,
hey, it's nice t see ya
and they headed off together
down the road a while


johnny says to peggy, hey,
the sky's on fire
don't know what it means
but i know the desire
peggy says to johnny, boy,
i like you fine
never knew you wanted me
to make you mine
but there's somethin you can do
to get us both a little bit more higher


copyright jp jones 1992, 2009


Bold Troubadour

oh my darlin young minstrel
with your fiddle and drum
it's a long way you've traveled
through the rain and the sun
i'm the onliest daughter
of a poor man's only son
with two babies to feed
and a husband long gone so

dance me round the parlor
and swing me once more
and heaven have mercy
on the bold troubadour

oh my darlin young minstrel
how long can you stay
if you value your heart
you best be on your way
all our problems are big ones
and we've tried everything
and you've little to offer
but the song that you sing but


oh my darlin young minstrel
what message do you bring
when every one's after
the ear of the king
and we curse all our leaders
while we worship their wealth
and we gamble and swear
every man for himself so


all the women want power
the men all want gold
and the children are starving
for someone to hold
and the times just get harder
and the work will not come
if you know the tune play it
on your fiddle and drum and


oh my darlin young minstrel
it's a long way you roam
for a man on the run
it's a long way back home
but sing me your story
of a promise yet to come
of another new morning
and a place in the sun and


copyright jp jones 1992, 2009


Letter to Ramone

tell me what's the payoff
ragged poet of the street
they say the truth is bitter
aint it really bittersweet
now i know your journey's cost a lot
you've come so far from home
sit down and tell me everything
for my letter to ramone

i road off into the sunset
in search of inspiration
lived on the romance of the street
and games of desperation
and somehow we fell out of touch
till nothin seems to matter much
i hope the roses i sent weren't crushed
in my letter to ramone

out here there's a billion different points of view
and every one is sacred
your gods are your beliefs and then
your life is what you make it
do you believe in the human heart
just exactly what is the unforgivable part
it's not all ya need but it's not a bad start
in my letter to ramone

so the troubadours are fast asleep
the gypsies must be hiding
the prophets puff on big cigars
and watch the money riding
they squeeze the world from a tube a nonsense
crucify ya for innocence
but i got back all my confidence
in my letter to ramone

now half the people want revenge
the rest just want protection
the whole world's got a broken heart
i don't claim there's no connection
but dreams will be recognized as real
and there'll be peace on earth for
every boy and girl
when the veils all fall from this
lonely world
and time cracks like a stone

right now the bells are ringin and
the sky is blue
and there's a world of work
left for me to do
so i'll send my love on ahead to you
in my letter to ramone

copyright jp jones 1979, 1996



all through the night till the dawn's early light
i have kept my mysterious vigil
no words remain to convince or explain
just one star fades to grey on my window
don't talk about how you got it figured out
so cold and full of danger
not one soul shall be wasted in the grave
no child born is a stranger

i am not here to be living in fear
or to envy another man's pleasure
wonders concealed day by day are revealed
in a joy that no mortal can measure
don't talk to me of the wickedness you see
as if that were just human nature
not one soul shall be wasted in the grave
no child born is a stranger

cynical hypocrites wait in the wings
whispering words dark and solemn
greedy for power and desperate for love
when their sky must have long ago fallen
don't talk too loud as if people should be proud
when others' misfortunes are greater
not one soul shall be wasted in the grave
no child born is a stranger

lovers can come and some lovers must go
and the heart has its own set of reasons
no one can win till a wisdom rushes in
that is tender and wild as the seasons
don't talk about all your bitterness and doubt
as if hope runs out with the changes
not one soul shall be wasted in the grave
no child born is a stranger

all through the day as the time fades away
miracles bloom in the shadows
science and art shall not blot out a part
of the heart that each woman and man knows
o let my voice be a trumpet of the love
that calls across all of my pages
not one soul shall be wasted in the grave
no child born is a stranger

copyright jp jones 1987


In the Kingdom

i was young when i left home
and started down this road
searching for the city of my fortune
where the frozen gates of time and space
would fall open with the key of faith
and everyone was welcome
in the kingdom

all the love along the way
i learned to call the fairy tale
just a dream we told ourselves as children
blinded by my fear and pride
when all the time my heart would guide
where everyone is welcome
in the kingdom

do you know the way from here
can you tell me are we near
where everyone is welcome
in the kingdom

between the shores of faith and doubt
we could cast our nets of wonder out
and find whatever we may have in common
and we shall be free and complete
here in the moment where we meet
and everyone is welcome
in the kingdom

will you let me walk with you
where all roads are leading to
and everyone is welcome
in the kingdom

copyright jp jones 1976, 1993, 2010


Down in the Bunker

down in the bunker
down in the bunker
i'm a-callin to you
honey baby please

i think we sunk her
i think we sunk her
smoky horizon
smoke on the breeze

o the peace is sweet
temporary deep retreat
of the wind

the earth is churnin
the earth is churnin
my eyes are burnin
you're on the moon

needle's a-jumpin
needle's a-jumpin
temple a-thumpin
boom boom boom boom

and i'm o so tired
i'm sick and tired
of the wind

stars in the darkness
stars in the darkness
steel on the carpet
blood on the sand

my heart is broken
my heart is broken
my heart is open
where do you stand

and i feel the fire
i feel the fire
of the wind

copyright jp jones 1991, 2008
january 19


Poodles from Hell

livin in they mansions
with they pretty young things
sittin down to dinner
just like princes and kings
throwin all they weight around
pullin some strings

poodles from hell
poodles from hell

little pink mouths that go
yap yap yap
little pointy noses
they stick up your lap
they tap dance up your street
and leave a little bitty crap


now some dogs have style
and some dogs are wild
and some are heavenly blessed
any mongrel may
be a pet or a stray
but the poodles are all possessed

little red ribbons
in they long white hair
jumpy little monkeys
they don't care
ya can't be too careful
cause they're everywhere


copyright jp jones 1987, 2003
april 23


Moving Train

i been sailing seven oceans
i been searchin heart and mind
i got a heart that's
broken open
i got here on borrowed time

i wanna go where that
train is goin
i can feel the moan
of the whistle blow
i'm in love
and the wheels are rollin
i wanna go
where the lovers go

i been out climbin
every mountain
i been out standing
in the rain
help another weary pilgrim
up on to a
moving train

i got a girl
like a girl you pray for
shinin like a beacon
in the night
you can believe her
when she said she'd wait for
me till i made it
to the light

mother mary
i'm a two-time loser
is there room up there for me
holy hannah
i dont wanna lose her
use your wings
and set me free

i been out climbin
every mountain
i been out standin
in the rain
help another weary pilgrim
up on to a
moving train

i been sailin seven oceans
i been searchin heart and mind
i got a heart that's
broken open
i got here on borrowed time

every time we come together
all of the walls come
tumblin down
i wanna live with her forever
and shower our love all around

i been prayin
for the healin
i been knockin on the door
i can't run from
what i'm feelin
i dont wanna wait no more

i been out climbin
every mountain
i been out standing
in the rain
help another weary pilgrim
up on to a
moving train

copyright jp jones 1993, 2010


'S Folk to Me

waitin for a stage
mindin my own business
makin up a wish
on a twinkelin star
off in the distance
i can hear the hissin
who in the folk
do you think you are
imagine my surprise
you had got my number
after all this time
of forgettin my name
i'd like to reply
but i'd only blunder
if ya don't mind
if it's all the same

everybody gets to feel some
delicate feelings
i may even get to get a few
everybody gets to get
their own opinions
's folk to me
and s'folk you too

my taste it mine
and so's my hunger
i like my fun
i'm a natural man
don't know but i bet
we were born for wonder
and here's another wonder
i don't understand

naked as the day
i was born to wander
thinkin of a state of mind so free
where everybody old enough to
no-no better
than thinkin everybody
should agree with me


i pay the price
and i do my number
i hold my own
on an average day
over my head
when there's no more under
over the top
what more can i say

i'm a survivor
or so they all tell me
i'm still around
so it's probably true
somethings're wrong
even when ya believe em
somethings're right
when they're right for you

i do my dancin
to a different drummin
takin the chances
that haven't been tried
if this offends
maybe you had it comin
if we were friends
maybe you let it slide


copyright jp jones 1992
october 10


If Pigs

if pigs can fly
why not i
and i and I
and in your eye
if pigs can fly

if cows get blue
why not you
and you and you
what else would
a blue cow do
if cows get blue

if ducks don't float
n fire don't smoke
n fish don't swim
n frogs don't croak
n if somebody's
got your goat
lend them a boat
if ducks don't float

if chicks get laid
in the shade
haven't we all
got it made
if chicks get laid

if love is like
a lightning rod
if symphonies
are sung by frogs
if horses laugh
and grasses nod
why not you and me
and god if
love is like
a lightning rod

copyright jp jones 1992, 2009


My Old Home Town

the river flowed with a friend's request
to take him to a hospital out west
inside the man i saw the child's fears
and what it takes to face
a pain that's lasted years

it made me think all about my life
a friend of mine under the surgeon's knife
i took a drive and i looked around
the haunted streets of my old home town

somewhere a child who once was me
runs up the porch and turns around to see
this stranger's face behind the looking glass
behind the future and into the past

both had a pain he could not conceal
don't even ask me which of them was real
one turned away the other turned around
and vanished like a shadow in my old home town

the ragged yard and the paint all chipped
the sky as grey as a battleship
these people fallen on their own hard times
behind the windows that i once called mine

could there still be something here for me
among these warehouses and factories
my grammar school both boarded up and down
without a trace of mercy in my old home town

i loved a girl here when we both were young
no sweeter name had ever crossed my tongue
the last i heard a daughter of her own
far across the river where i heard she made her home

and while my thoughts rose above these things
i saw the place as if my soul had wings
and i was lifted to a higher ground
carried by an angel over my old home town

the highway sign and the railroad track
you can remember but you can't come back
nostalgia alley is no place for me
i took a deep breath and i turned the key

the corner house with the missing tree
must be somebody else's memory
i hit the highway and was southward bound
and said a prayer for dreamers in my old home town

the river flows and the night descends
a little longer and the winter ends
a shooting star so high and silent comes
and returns into darkness where the river runs

as for my friend and the surgery
he's doing well in his recovery
somewhere a child is now safe and sound
fast asleep and dreaming in my old home town

copyright jp jones 1992
march 13


Good Night Baby

yes i guess you've had a pretty busy day
it's true
doin all the things that only you know who
could do
if anybody likes to carry on it's
me and you

good night baby
dream sweet dreams for me
good night baby
dream sweet dreams

now your mama and i would like to go into the
other room
and do the thing that two can do we used
to do
to make you


and have stars to guide you
on your way
tomorrow is
another day

doin all the things that only you know who
could do
if anybody likes to carry on
it's me and you


copyright jp jones 1989, 2006


Headed for Home

O my name it means nothing
but for to be scorned
abandoned condemned
the day i was born
and spent half my life
in your jails for reform
if you're on the same road
take this warning

for i took all my beatings
from every man's hand
for to teach me my place
till i know where i stand
till i hardly have feelings
aint hardly a man
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

a friend of my uncle's
he once took me in
and he treated me almost
like one of his kin
and he got me the job
where i met Mary Lynn
at the gas station
down at the corner

and i courted her proud
till the word got around
to her brothers who heard
of the man she had found
sayin give up your life
or get out of this town
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

one night unsuspecting
i came through their door
and i laid both the brothers
face down on the floor
and i opened their skulls
with their own forty-four
and i left them to die
without warning

and i walked from that house
in a terrible trance
feeling free as a man
who has blown his last chance
for relief or redemption
or a lover's romance
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

two troopers pulled up
by my truck at the light
on the outskirts of town
and they looked at me twice
and i begged them to kill me
while they read me my rights
for the murder of Wesley and Orin

and the sergeant he spat
while he locked up the cell
if ever a demon was headed for hell
and me holding my tongue
knowing better than well
how i'm headed for home
in the morning

the t.v., reporters, magazines too
turned the town inside out
and the court to a zoo
and except for the grace of god
it could be you
in a world where you never belong in

you're crazy, they'd say
and you never did care
and you'd think they were right
and the punishment fair
so have done in cold blood
what i've done in despair
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

now the judge he did rage
in a voice thin and hoarse
you aint worth the hangin
but mercy would be worse
for killin without reason
or rhyme or remorse
while i studied the rain
outside pourin

and i pitied myself 
and the girl Mary Lynn
and i pitied the brothers
their family and friends
but i pity him most
who must lust for revenge
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

so shackle my ankles
and mumble a prayer
and lead me through shadows
to the killin chair
with a mattress behind it
the bullets to share
and i won't even hear the air roarin

you'll do your duty
and i'll play my part
only aim well my brothers
aim well and look smart
and put to rest swiftly
what's left of a heart
and i'm headed for home
in the morning

copyright jp jones 1993, 2010
3/7/93, voluntown
based on a traditional tune


Drummer Boy

playin in the park
playin in the dark
playin any part
with an open heart
and two sticks of wood
shake em east and west
rattle up the rest
roll me down a highway
where i never even guessed
it gets this good

o my drummer boy
i really need it now
you could play it any way
and you could show me how
if anyone could

you been playin it forever
and you've only just begun
i'll still be hearin you
when every body else gets a drum

the moon comes up the river
and the angels bend down
stars light up the heavens
and the people gather round
when my drummer boy comes

hit it hard and humble
like a fire like a flood
like the crack and rumble
of the beating of the blood
inside my veins
like a ringin shot
white and diamond hot
like the day had come
when you knew there's got
to be a change

o my drummer boy
with your rattlin hum
whisper like the wind
beat like the sun
or the drivin rains

you been playin it forever
and you've only just begun
i'll still be hearin you
when every body else gets a drum

the moon comes up the river
and the angels bend down
stars light up the heavens
and the people gather round
when my drummer boy comes

i'm burnin up in anger
drowning in my tracks
melt me with the magic
of your rat-a-tat-tat
the way you do
hammer pound and knock
strikin like a clock
shatter all my shame
on the rhythm and the rock
and i'll come through

o my drummer boy
all the longing i can't name
turn the world around
and make it all come out again
true and blue

you been playin it forever
and you've only just begun
i'll still be hearin you
when every body else gets a drum

the moon comes up the river
and the angels bend down
stars light up the heavens
and the people gather round
when my drummer boy comes

copyright jp jones 1988, 2005
november 7


JP's Talkin Bio Blues

this is the jp jones semi-automatic
bio-graphic one man walkin talkin
music business bio blues
it's a short piece
with a long title

i was born back there a while ago
to have one more round at life or so
memory's weak, what the hell
could be here, hard to tell
looks promising... so far

them first nine months was kinda rough
settlin down, that kinda stuff
all moved in, next thing i know
i'm comfortable and it's time to go

now the way they kick this world about
it takes guts to come on out
don't get me wrong, i'm no quitter
but a kid might wanna reconsider
izza cold world out there
hard to get a good job
New Age...
folk singer...

so the first thing out i get this slap
so i bit the doctor in the lap
looked around, took one look back
said, after this the rest's a snap

now they set me down to television
to see the latest nuclear fiction
glamour girls and politicians
arousing my buyin addictions
with a plutonium sandwich
n canned laughter... heaven on earth

wasn't long before i's makin history
not that hard for a prodigy
three years old when i hit the top
angels stepped aside and clapped
said i was the real thing
the one everybody's been waitin for!

yeah, i was god's own gift to the music lover
it was one success after another
i could make the lady's undress with my drummin
blow my horn like the second comin
thick lips n fast fingers

well i could go on and on some more
but you probably heard it all before
how i healed the sick, spun golden thread
walked on water... knocked em dead
that kinda thing
big time

there is one more thing i'm proud of
in this world
and i'm good at lots, you can ask my girl
that one more thing that takes the ribbon?
to get this far and still be livin
was a close call
long road

what's next?

so if any you people need more details
about how my life succeeds or fails
you got my song, you got my thanks
i'll send out forms, you fill the blanks

copyright jp jones 1990, 2007


She Knew What She Was Doin

i was new in town
a little lonesome
so i slipped into that bar
probably should a known better
can't help it
today that's how things are

she had a tambourine in her hand
she was a singer with the band
and i caught myself
starin like i was blind
she knew what she was doin
all the time

took her out to breakfast
we talked a bit
and she picked up the bill
from that point on
things progressed
in just the manner
things often will

and through a friend of hers
i found some work with a carpenter
and i'd meet her every night
after closin time
she knew what she was doin
all the time

then one night
she turned to me
leaning in the door
and smiled a half-sad smile
that said it all
and said some more
and she traced a word
upon the wall
her finger in the dust
and said, i can't afford
to be afraid
to do the things
i must

it's funny how the days unwind me
once again a needle in the sun
and late at night i catch myself
wondering what's become
of every one

new friends come my way
some old ones fade away
we all do what we must do
and ya let it shine
she knew what she was doin<
all the time

copyright jp jones 1974, 1991, 2008



photo: Lyn Tyler

Produced by JP Jones for Vision Company Records. JP Jones, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica.
Kurt Meyer, fretless and acoustic bass.
Dave Lang, Al Valee, drums.
Lloyd Salisbury, Trumpets, nylon strong guitar.
Rick McKinney, fiddle, mandolin.
Adele Tarkowski, Dave Hopper, background vocals.
Rob "Wash-Wash Rudin, scrub-a-dub.
Paul Hubert, rain stick, bells, congas, tam-tam. Engineered by Lloyd Salisbury and JP Jones.
Cover art, Kerstin Zettmar.

1st Edition mastered by Harry Hirsch at Digital House.
2nd Edition mastered by David Correia at Celebration Sound.

Music and performances İ 2016 JP Jones. Publishing  İ  2016 Vision Company Records. All Rights reserved.