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For JP Jones the true lover is an incendiary radical and the faithful artist is a prophet standing against whoever or whatever enslaves the human spirit. Like Leonard Cohen's "The Future," "Back to Jerusalem" has an epic sweep both musically and lyrically, shot through with a satirical wit and unexpected tenderness. And though the poet's voice sometimes cracks, sometimes wavers, his vision never does. --Hugh Blumenfeld


Most of the tracks on Back to Jerusalem started out as MIDI files.  You work with what you've got.   "Red Hot Blue," for instance, was originally composed with a computer.   Working alone has its advantages.  But in the end, other players were way called for.  I'm not sure why this CD along with it's follow- up, Salvation Street, should make such strong references to the Middle East. Something in the air.

At times it feels almost that I sensed 911 coming, but I wouldn't put much weight behind that. 

Recorded and mixed by Lloyd Salisbury with JP Jones at Flat Rock Studios in Moosup, CT.

There's been talk around here lately about the wall
how thin it's getting
polished nearly to transparency by the limbs
of pilgrims passing by on their way to the holy city...
everything is in motion and it's accelerating
what's real? what's the dream?
every once in a while we catch a glimpse of
what appears to be shades, familiar shapes
walking with us on the other side--
we are celebrating redemption, of
the years of labor without reward, of
constant and numbing neglect, of our past,
of all the aimless walks through city streets
under night skies, of a romance
that couldn't or wouldn't come through, of
that nameless yearning we were born for....

Never for control, not for mastery over our lives,
not at all for advantage over others
-- the profoundest sadness in nature called us to this path
back to the ache of solitude, back to simplicity, back to
humility with those huge forces it is not our business to understand,
back to that wall worn so thin by the force of our longing, back to the threshold between the world as it seems and the world of our dreams,
back to Jerusalem.

--JP 2000

Mastered by David Correia at Celebration Sound.


photo: Kerstin Zettmar

Barb Schloff-Arietta: vocals/Back to Jerusalem, Aint that Love?, In My Own Sweet Time, Fancy Guy
Mike Barrette: electric guitar/Back to Jerusalem, Aint that Love, Baoboab Tree
Ed LaPerle: bass/Back to Jerusalem
Kurt Meyer: fretless bass/Getting your Way, Aint that Love?
Vinnie Pasternak: viola/Getting Your Way, As If; vocal arrangement/Fancy Guy; tambourine/It Works for Me
Tom Ratelle: tenor sax/Already Been Thru It, Sweet Time
Lloyd Salisbury: electric guitar/Fancy Guy, Red Hot Blue, It Works for Me; nylon string guitar/Already Been Thru It; trumpet/Red Hot Blue, Already Been Thru It
Maria Sangiolo: vocals/Red Hot Blue
Swami Shivananda Sarasvati:vocals, tablas/Baoboab
Adele Tarkowski: vocals/Fancy Guy
Steve Tavares: snare drum/Jerusalem; congas, bongos, tambourine, gong, claves, gourd, wind chimes/all others
LeRoy White: hand drum/Works for Me(Courtesy Just Him Productions)
JP Jones/all other tracks

Back to Jerusalem

made my camp on the brow of the hill
fires flickered in the valley below
they held their inquisition in the tower of Babel
couldn't get religion it was time to go
back to Jerusalem
by the sea
they can take a picture but they can't take me
back to Jerusalem
they don't know
just me and Augustus and Mar'lyn Monroe

now the popular producer kinda liked my style
called Mary Magdelene, laid in wait
guess he hadn't done a crucifixion in a while
musta missed my moment but I just escaped
back to Jerusalem
on the run
hidin the bruises from the mid-day sun, walkin
back to Jerusalem
in the snow
just me and Augustus and Marlyn Monroe

the crowd was wild and the heat was hellacious
feelin like Caesar on the Ides of March
the trouble with betrayal is they want ya to be gracious
had to find my way by the light of the stars
back to Jerusalem
in the dark
just me and my blues and my broken heart
back to Jerusalem
had to go
just me and Augustus and Marlyn Monroe

sex, success, satisfaction, hey, bingo!
callin down heaven in a satellite dish
a wicked generation seekin signs and signals
had to get out of town before they got their wish
back to Jerusalem
in the rain
guess it was a blessing when I missed that train, walkin
back to Jerusalem
sure but slow
just me and Augustus and Marlyn Monroe

copyright jp jones 1998
newport

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Already Been Thru It

up here on the roof the wind is blowin
imvisible dreams
i'm layin back lookin at a letter
from a carnival queen
we know how ya love, ya love a drama
considering everything
what's in it for me, mama?
do i get to be king?

already been thru it
already mine
already been thru it
done my time

ain't takin no medicine to fix it
hold the advice
i'm feelin a whole lot better thank you
for not thinkin twice
i'm so sane i'm dangerous
so shattered I'm sure
punched a hole in the picture
and taken the cure

already been thru it
already mine
already been thru it
done done my time

a woman sits waiting by a window
and draws on the walls
alone in a lonely, lonely tower
nobody calls
she don't know her own name
don't know her address I guess
day and night lights are burnin
but i digress

already been thru it
already mine
already been thru it
done done my time

advertise it
compromise it
man you know the rest
heaven knows that
where it goes is
anybody's guess
cry and yell it
buy and sell it
tell me where it's at
been there
done that

nobody above it, baby
but thru it'll do
you're gonna get your turn to love it
you'll go thru it too
next time ya come back to earth
ya come as an apple tree
grow your fruit like ya like it
and give it for free

i'm comin back as a bodhisatva
the spiritual path
and make it look so damn easy
you do the math
and when they come down from hollywood
with my big chance at last
i'll know what to do and i'll do it
lay back and laugh

already been thru it....

copyright jpjones, 1996, 2003
newport

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Red Hot Blue

when you're down you get down to it
even when you know you blew it
all along you knew you knew it
there's a way you can get thru it
ya get red hot blue
ya get red hot blue

charlie parker, melba mavis
mona lisa and miles davis
wore their hearts behind their faces
stood their ground and courted grace
they got red hot blue
they got red hot blue

if you've up and gone and done it
lost someone and wondrin what if
things had gone the way you wanted
you'd still feel so sad and haunted
reasons don't help, blame is useless
goin half crazy for the grief
turn the flame on down to simmer
for relief

children all know how they need it
love come from somebody else
hopscotch and follow a leader
forgive yourself
forgive yourself

ya get red hot blue
ya get red hot blue

down is down but not forever
cool is cool but warm is better
sad's a place to hide a treasure
we all walk alone together
red hot blue
ya get red hot blue

copyright jpjones, 1998
newport

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Aint That Love

tell my soul
do not let me worry too much
take that chance
day by day
day by day
everything is like the first time
we were born
to feel this way

i was born
knowin what i really wanted
you were born
knowin miracles can happen

aint that love?
aint that love?
aint that love?

what is this?
flesh and blood
and a heart that's beating
eyes that shine
like a child
hold me tight
i can't keep my hands
from trembling
like some dream
i spent my whole life
remembering

on the street
people talk about it all the time
i walk on
and thank my god i am alive

aint that love...

aint that love?
no its just infatuation
aint that love?
no its just the supercrave
aint that love?
you'll get over it after a while
aint that love?
no you wont
it's here to stay

copyright jpjones, 1985, 2002
brooklyn

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Getting Your Way

o there's no getting through
to the girl i once knew
in her peak
for love or for kindness
your telephone highness
can't speak
no time to spend on a friend
from the past
all I can do
is watch you through the glass
hirin and firin
your will is like iron today
i see where you're heading
i'm glad that you're getting
your way

the dirtiest work
of the dirty old men
on the take
a corporate world
and a corporate girl on the make
you dress for success
and you fool all the fools
you don't like to think
of the boy back in school
appointments to peddle
and deals with the devil
to pay
no use in fretting
i'm glad that you're getting
your way

your new boy is clever
you'll never be hungry in chains
wheeling and dealing
and stealing the blood
in your veins
your heart is a desert
you whore with your head
you couldn't make love
with a saint in your bed
you're three quarters dead
but don't let it get in the way
good luck with the wedding
i'm glad that you're getting
your way

the new age is breakin
and playin right into your hands
spiritual trends you can bend
to fit in with your plans
conjure of this thing
visualize that
money and miracles
drop of the hat
climbin the ladder
and turning your back
all the way
no use regretting
i'm glad that you're getting
your way

so what were the changes
that made you arrange it
like this
aching and faking and breaking
the rose for a fist
business as usual
bottom line heart
where will you turn
when it all falls apart
what good will it do
that i tried to tell you
on that day
an old sun is setting
i'm glad that you're getting
your way

copyright jp jones
newport

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Works for Me

well
i done changed my way a livin
think i'll dust my broom and see
got my self a new religion
i think i'll read a book or three
study till my mind is satisfied
it works for me

tell all my buddies and my baby
no need to worry up on me
i seen the shaman and i'm better
better than he ever seen me be
have the party started when i get there
it works for me

i got the paper in my pocket
and my baby on the right
got my wire in the socket
and i think i seen the light

i'm gonna take it to the highway
somewhere i never been before
gonna paint my self a rainbow
i'm gonna tie it round my toe
it'll be the first thing to get there
everywhere i go

pullin gold out of the garden
pullin weeds out of my sea
takin my self for granted
just like i knew it had to be
nobody else's gotta like it
it works for me

my grapes are easy pickens
my vine as fine can be
call the Dali Lama quick
somebody better bottle me

i got my self a new religion
new arms
new legs
new knees
i got my self a whole new vision
the kind you don't need eyes to see
got the new revised edition
it works for me

copyright jpjones, 1998
newport

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As If

as if a mouse was humble
as if an eagle was proud
as if a sky was blue
cause it missed a cloud
as if the frogs went a-courtin
and the cows came home
and a horse'd force a rider
for a ride of her own

as if a pond could ponder
how an eel could feel
as if a spider was a writer
with a publishin deal
as if a daisy was lazy
and a snail could crawl
and a cricket had a ticket
to the symphony hall

praise the darkness
praise the light
praise the daylights
outta the night
praise all creatures
great and small
as if a song could make a
little bit a diff'rence at all

as if a tiger would dine
with a fork and knife
as if a lion was a mayan in
an alternate life
as if the june bugs're cousins
of your salt water otter
and a fly made friends with
your mother's fly swatter

praise for adam
praise for eve
praise the snake god
had up his sleeve
praise the darkness
praise the fall
as if a song could make a
little bit a diff'rence at all

as if a beaver could believe'r
think it all absurd
as if a robin had a problem
on becomin a bird as if
the strings did the strummin
that the hand only heard
as if the universe were hummin
cause it forgot the words

praise the living
praise the dead
praise the wine
and daily bread
praise this big blue
beautiful ball
as if a song could make
a little bit of
diff'rence at all

as if space was a place
and time was a stage
as if god had a job
for the minimum wage
as if the angels set a table
when we're finished with things
as if a human could be
bloomin in a
butterfly's wings

copyright jpjones, 1997
newport

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Dream House

looked my baby in the eye
the earth stood still
and we could fly
felt a million years go by
when i built my dream house

i built it with a wooden door
with love enough
to know the score
and room enough
for making more
when i built my dream house
when i built my dream house

the walls were cut from sacred trees
i got down upon my knees
spoke the word and it came to be
when i built my dream house

when i built my dream house
it was rainin
it was blowin
when i built my dream house
sun was shinin
river flowin
when you build your dream house
you wake up to
life unfolding

kissed my baby on the mouth
we held hands and headed south
and turned the secrets inside out
when i built my dream house

copyright jpjones, 1985, 2002
brooklyn

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In My Own Sweet Time

you don't need to push me
i'm pullin all i can
a righteous man
can be a lonely man
i've been as lonely
as a man can stand
had a dream that
we could make it
hand in hand
could this be the promised land?
you and me
was born to see
a master plan

in my own sweet time
in my own sweet time

running after something
that we can't avoid
waiting for the breakthrough
to that fertile void
the whole thing is over
but there's nothin destroyed
i just keep hangin on in
surprised by joy

in my own sweet time
in my own sweet time

the miles pile up
the years fly by
i saw the possibilities
all in your eye
what if it could be
as good as
it could be?
what if we could learn
to trust a fantasy?
i'm gonna have to
take a chance
and see
baby would you like
to have this dance with me?

in my own sweet time
in my own sweet time

copyright jpjones, 1986, 2003
brooklyn

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Under That Baoboab Tree

under that baoboab tree
under that baoboab tree
leaves will spread the shade will shine
we'll all make a love divine
under that baoboab tree

summer sun, dust won't bother me
cool, cool waters flow so easily
take my mass in the long tall grass
feel the earth under my ass
under that baoboab tree

just like Jesus chewin gum
beating on his favorite drum
i'll be ready when the callin comes to me

under that baoboab tree
under that baoboab tree
baby and me, we'll have some fun
baby and the buddha and me'll make one
under that baoboab tree

charming snakes will come to dance
put my pants ants in a trance
birdies in the branches chant for me
under that baoboab tree

i'll come runnin to the gate
kiss the smiling hands of fate
all my friends will shout how great to be!

under that baoboab tree
under that baoboab tree
you'll find me discovering
the end of all this suffering
under that baoboab tree

copyright jpjones, 1997
newport

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Fancy Guy

i'm not a fancy guy
i like it plain and true
i'm not all hearts and flowers
when it comes to tellin you

i play a part
but i wear my heart
on my sleeve
talk a lot
but i tell it a lot
like it is

i open up my eyes
and face the day like new
i still think it's a gift
to wake up next to you
i'm not that jaded
i don't say i seen it all
i get afraid some times
but i don't mind at all
i know what i'm not
and i know what i got to give
talk a lot
but i tell it a lot
like it is

the past is just
a painted history
i know you so well now
you're even more a mystery

you know how people are
we like to play it cool
the way they tell it baby
it's clever to be cruel
i'm not at all like that
some times i play the fool
my heart's an open page
and all ya gotta do
is open the book and
take a good look in my eyes
all it takes is a beautiful
naked disguise
i play a part but i
wear my heart on my sleeve
talk a lot but i
tell it a lot
like it is

copyright jp jones, Mitchell Krohn, 2005

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