Blame The Miles Between

by Drew Michael Blake

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about

I don’t make perfect records.

In the winter of 2002, when I was 14 years old, I begged my parents to get me a 4-track recorder. Two years before, I started a band with my friends Sam and Brendan. Practicing in bedrooms and outbuildings, we had finally come up with a handful of songs. A three piece pop-punk band a few grades ahead of us had put out a record, and we didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t do the same. That Christmas, at my grandparents house, I unwrapped a silver Tascam PortaStudio 4-Track cassette recorder. In Brendan’s shed behind his mom’s house, we threw a single Shure SM57 microphone over the rafters and carefully placed our amps and drums around it. That day we recorded what became the first record I ever wrote, recorded, and produced. I called it “Nothing’s Perfect,” printed it, labeled it, and sold copies for three dollars each to my classmates.

In the summer of 2014 I started recording demos in my home studio. Some songs I had crafted for years, others had only just been written. My guitar player, Adam Meisterhans, knew a guy who could get us into a professional recording studio on Nashville’s Music Row after hours. The plan was to demo the songs, rehearse them with the band, and come in a few evenings, late at night on a weekend, to record a four or five song EP. About a week before we were scheduled to record it all fell through. I got a call from our studio connection telling me that the studio was booked for the time we had planned and we had to call it off. All of my bandmates were in other touring bands, and this was the only weekend that everyone was in town. I was screwed.

I still had a home studio. I still had songs. I had made my own record before. With no budget, and no other choice, I started refining my demos into real studio recordings. When my drummer, Matt Scibilia, was in town, I’d have him over to lay down some drum trucks on songs that I had mapped out using only a drum machine. My organ player, Jason Thompson, would come over after he got off work. Adam came over to throw down some mind blowing guitar solos, with everything he had left after spending months on the road, followed by days in the studio working on other artist’s albums. After months and months of recording and revising, mixing and mastering, and many other contributions from my friends, it was done. Ten tracks later, and every expense out of my own pocket, I have my first full-length record. It’s called “Blame The Miles Between."

I am extremely proud of this record, and it feels so closely connected to that record I made in that backyard shed with my friends, years ago. Over those years I have become a much better musician, a much better songwriter, and much better at making records. Still, one thing remains: nothing’s perfect. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, producer John Congleton explained that there’s a tendency in today’s record industry to remove any offensive element, to try to massage and condition a record so that every edge is smooth and every line is straight. Yet, in doing so, he says, "in the long run what you do is make a record that isn’t memorable.” I don’t make perfect records, and I never want to. I want to make records that are good, and that are memorable.

Take a listen. You just might have found a companion. A record that you will still like on the third listen, and that you will still like in thirty years.

Special thanks to all of my Kickstarter backers who made the physical release of this record possible. You've contributed so much more than money can buy.
-------------------------------------
Drew Michael Blake

credits

released September 9, 2016

Who Stole The Light?: Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Harmony Vocals - Drew Michael Blake

Companion: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Piano, Auxiliary Percussion, Vocals - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocal - Charlie Murphey, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Cut and File: Electric Lead Guitar, Electric Rhythm Guitar, Electric Bass, Auxiliary Percussion, Keyboard, Vocal, Harmony Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Slide Guitar - Adam Meisterhans, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Double Crossed: Electric Lead Guitar, Electric Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Guitar Solo - Adam Meisterhans, Drums - Matt Scibilia.

Did You Make The Most?: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitars, Electric Bass, Vocals - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocals - Charlie Murphey, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Pedal Steel - Jesse Thompson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Summer Grass: Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass, Organ, Electric Guitar, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Half-Hearted Lover: Electric Guitars, Electric Bass, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocal - Charlie Murphey, Electric Piano - Zach Vinson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

O! Serenity: Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocals - Hannah Leigh Lusk and Abigail Dempsey of Forlorn Strangers, Electric Bass - Taylor Thompson, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Sunshine and Rain: Electric Guitars, Electric Bass, Harmony Vocal, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocal - Charlie Murphey, Electric Piano - Zach Vinson, Hammond Organ - Jason Thompson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Cold World: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals - Drew Michael Blake

I Won't Worry: Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Harmony Vocal, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Electric Piano - Zach Vinson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Sing Something Beautiful - Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Vocal - Drew Michael Blake, Harmony Vocal - Hannah Leigh Lusk and Abigail Dempsey of Forlorn Strangers, Electric Piano - Zach Vinson, Drums - Matt Scibilia

Recorded, Engineered, and Produced by Drew Michael Blake at Color Animal studio

Mixed by Evan Redwine at The Wine Box. Mastered by Kim Rosen at Knack Mastering.

All songs by Drew Michael Blake, except track 7, written by Drew Michael Blake and Adam Agin.

All songs copyright Patched Knee Publishing (BMI), except track 7, copyright Patched Knee Publishing (BMI) and Honest Bear Music (ASCAP)

Released by Huzoo Records.

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Track Name: Who Stole The Light? (A Prelude)
Who stole the light from your eyes, my child?
Where comes this sadness in your quiet hour?
I see your lashes fall, I hear your sighs.
Tell me who has made you cry.

How can I speak of the churning inside?
What tongue can tell without telling lies?
My soul is restless, my hands are on fire
since she stole the stars from my eyes.
Yes, she stole the stars from my eyes.

Does she appear to scrape the sky, my child:
the heavens gathered up like fireflies.
She is no goddess. She has no power
over you.
She's just a passing cloud in the night.

I see the truth, but I feel the sorrow.
Speak no more
until the morrow comes.

We will come through.
Track Name: Companion
You get tired when you travel alone,
so you find someone who can share your load
and you hope to God that you found a companion.

Well, the time you spend together will show
if it's gonna ease or increase your load;
if the laughter outweighs the sorrow.

Where are you headed?
Where do you think you're gonna go?
Can we get there together,
and how are we supposed to know?

Is it mystical or fate,
or a decision that you make?
What makes this love the one
for the rest of your life?
If you need someone to say
or a sign to show the way
you might be traveling alone for a long, long while.

Oh, so let me ride down your road
and shoulder up underneath of your load
I've been praying to God to let me be your companion.

'Cause the time I've spent with you has shown
that I can depend on you to hold me up.
You lift me up when I'm feeling low,
and our laughter fills me up inside.
You're my cherry wine.

Don't know where I'm headed,
but I think I know which way to go.
I've made up my mind, I want you by my side.

Is it mystical or fate,
or a decision that you make?
What makes this love the one
for the rest of your life?
If you need someone to say
or a sign to show the way
you might be traveling alone for a long, long while.

So, let me ride down your road
when you get tired of traveling alone.
Track Name: Cut and File
I spent a while
trying to cut and file
myself into something you'd want to see,
but all that ever did was make me bleed:
and calloused underneath.

Don't you do me wrong.
Don't you string my heart a long.
Won't you do, do right,
right by me.

Well, I got wise
to all those lies
that always made me feel so incomplete.
I found out just what I need:
someone who can build on what I bring.

No, she don't do me wrong.
She don't string my heart along,
no, she do, do right
right by me.

Don't you do me wrong.
Don't you string my heart a long.
Won't you do, do right,
right by me.
Track Name: Double Crossed
I have never seen the face of a word on a page,
I've never held the hand of a glowing screen.
But, I have fallen in love over and over again
with words I've read from people I never see.

"The distance," said a friend of mine, "is really what you love,
and knowing it won't work out is what you need."
That I'm afraid to face the day to day
with someone who's not far enough away
to blame the miles between.

But, I've been blinded
I've been double-crossed.
I've been hardened
by the hurt.

How far away is the nearest broken heart
that might align with the way that mine's been fractured?
I'll start with my voice and spare the written word
before my life becomes a silent film
and I the only actor.

I've been blinded
I've been double-crossed.
I've been hardened
by the hurt.
Track Name: Did You Make The Most?
Some live high and some just try
to make it out alive
I just tried to get it right

The time you waste playing it safe
becomes a memory,
and it’s as painful as can be.

Did you make the most?
Did you make the most of it, honey?
Or did you give it up for free.

Did you make the most?
Did you make the most of it, honey?
‘Cause once it’s gone it will never be
that way again.

I’ve been looking back on me
in such a curious way.
Why did I leave so many things undone?
Many’s the chance I did not take
afraid it might be some mistake.
Now, those chances no longer come.

Did you make the most?
Did you make the most of it, honey?
Or did you give it up for free.

Did you make the most?
Did you make the most of it, honey?
‘Cause once it’s gone it will never be
that way again.

You feel it now or you feel it then,
there’s no way to go back again
and do or undo what was or wasn’t done.

"You can stay safe by staying free,"
Lord knows I tried it and come to believe
wisdom only comes on the heels of suffering.
Track Name: Summer Grass
Shades of green
hues of violet
frame the banks
of a wooden streamlet
an architects' parade
of sun-dappled shade

beneath a coat of swinging arms

Summer grass
lines the pathway
wild wheat, flowing gently
stirred by a breeze
your hand glides with ease

through an ocean of flaxen grain

Kaleidoscope
at sunset
violets
form a carpet
even tulips blush
when our two lips touch

before a crested Monet sky

Side by side
in a hammock
my right arm
beneath your neck
you close your eyes
mine open wide

beneath a canopy of stars
Track Name: Half-Hearted Lover
You had me
but you didn't want me
you just wanted to keep me
from loving anybody else

The look on your face said everything
so I said nothing at all.
There was a time you swore you'd be mine,
now we don't even talk.

And you can't lie, can't look behind.
Now you've blown your cover.

You had me
but you didn't want me
you just wanted to keep me
from loving anybody else

So, I won't
keep living with the false hope
that I'll ever see your heart show.
Half-hearted lover.

So, I'll take anybody else
I'll take anybody else
I'll take anybody else.
Half-hearted lover

The time that I wait for the silence to break
I could be halfway to Harlem,
or taking a plane to learn the name
of a girl who lives in L.A.

And I won't lie, won't look behind.
There's nothing to keep under cover.

You had me
but you didn't want me
you just wanted to keep me
from loving anybody else

So, I won't
keep living with the false hope
that I'll ever see your heart show.
Half-hearted lover.

So, I'll take anybody else
I'll take anybody else
I'll take anybody else.
Half-hearted lover
Track Name: O! Serenity
Tell me of that secret place
you carry deep inside;
when your cares are pressing hard
and you need a little peace of mind
–tell me where you hide.

Is it a refuge made of stone
on a mountain high,
or a cabin in the woods
of your heart and mind
that no one else can enter or can find.

That secret place
is where I want to go.
Lead me there, or else leave me alone.
O! Serenity.

With a look of quiet ease
resting on your face,
you take your troubles one by one,
you take them down to the riverside
and there you mill them fine.

That secret place
is where I want to go.
Lead me there, or else leave me alone.
O! Serenity.

While others drift like autumn leaves,
aimless on the breeze,
easy as a falling stone
finds the bottom of the stream
you find whatever you seek.
Track Name: Sunshine and Rain
Sunshine and rain.
Pleasure and pain.
How can it be?
How can it be?

You caught me at a good time:
just when my dreams were coming true.
So, excuse me if I seem a little dazed
and rightly confused.

'Cause there's pain under the pleasure
and pleasure under the pain
like sunshine and rain
on a sun-cloudy day
I can't get used to the two
and I'm trying to believe what's true.

See, most of my life
I've had to struggle
just to be seen by someone like you.

But, I called your name
and you answered right away.
See, now I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
My mind's telling me it can't be true.
I know what I'm feeling
might be deceiving
still I want to believe that it's you.

But there's pain under the pleasure
and pleasure under the pain
like sunshine and rain
on a sun-cloudy day
I can't get used to the two
and I'm trying to perceive what's true.

And there's pain under the pleasure
and pleasure under the pain
like sunshine and rain
on a sun-cloudy day
it's neither good, no no
nor bad.

It's just true.

Sunshine and rain.
Pleasure and pain.
How can it be?
Track Name: Cold World
I left work about six o'clock
drove to the café down the street.
Jumped in line and struggled with the crowd
just trying to get a seat.

Well, the waiter took my order down
and when I cracked a joke
he didn't even smile.
So, I ate by myself
and realized after a while.

It's a cold world without you, girl.
Places I go, people I know:
they all change from red to blue.
It's a cold world without you.

So, I paid the check and put on my coat
stepped outside and it dropped fifteen degrees.
The car was cold when I got in
so, I shivered down and turned up the heat.

But, by the time that I got home, you know
that needle barely moved above "C"
So, with fingers locked and frozen
I was fumbling in the dark for my house key
when it came to me.

It's a cold world without you, girl.
Places I go, people I know:
they all change from red to blue.
It's a cold world without you.

It's your face at the end of the day;
It's your warm hand in mine
that keeps me from turning old
and turning cold
as the months and years blow by.

It's a cold world without you, girl.
Places I go, people I know:
they all change from red to blue.
It's a cold world without you.
It's a cold world without you.
It's a cold world without you.