The Katie Sermon

by Sam Russell & the Harborrats

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Jon Rooney Sam Russell is a force of nature. Essential listening. Favorite track: Blue Eyeshadow.
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about

“The Katie Sermon” is the first release of Sam Russell's Blue Moon Bible project, an ongoing series of 8 albums with 8 songs apiece inspired by "The Odyssey" and James Joyce's "Ulysses." With styles ranging all over the Americana map from rock n’ roll, soul, country and gospel to doo-wop, punk and funk, he albums together tell one big story of love stumbled upon then lost and found over and over again, with different characters “portrayed” by Sam and his fellow Harborrat singers.

”The Katie Sermon” was released in August 2006 and became a regional hit in the Pacific Northwest, featured in heavy rotation at Seattle’s 90.3 KEXP.

For more about The Blue Moon Bible project, visit www.thebluemoonbible.com

credits

released August 25, 2006

Sam Russell-lead vocals, guitars
Michael Spaly-vocals, guitar, violin, mandolin
Kjell Anderson-violin
Ken Nottingham-upright & electric bass, vocals
Dave Forrester-drums, percussion
Kate Noson-lead and backing vocals
Scott Andrew-backing and lead vocals
Micah Hulscher-keyboards
"City Girls" lead vox (in order of appearance)-
Nathan Wade, Allison Tulloss, Sam Russell , James Apollo, Michael Spaly, Scott Andrew

produced by Sam Russell
recorded and mixed by Conrad Uno at Egg Studios, Seattle, WA with assistance from Johnny Sangster
mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI, Seattle, WA

all songs by Sam Russell
except “Tender Years” by Darrell Edwards
and “Train Wreck” by Sean Lambrecht
Photography by Catherine Michalski

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about

Sam Russell & the Harborrats Seattle, Washington

Sam Russell preaches the gospel of heartbreak and decadence via The Blue Moon Bible, a series of 8 albums showcasing a wide variety of 1950's & 60's-inspired rock n' roll. Doo-wop, garage-rock, folk, soul and everything inbetween soundtrack the search to find divinity in love, as sung by a failed Christian and his fellow heathens. ... more

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Track Name: Blue Eyeshadow
I always wanted Ferris wheels turning
when Jackie stood in front of me
against backdrop of a summer sun setting
and roller coaster by whizzing

up to her daddy’s office in highrise we’d ride
the men at their desks smiled as she walked by
with the blue eyeshadow that might have been applied

a door swung shut when I looked up
from van to porch where she waited from
got bored with me unlocking break
gunning motor, wheels spinning in place

we rode the train back and forth and went into her room
no one else in the house but I couldn’t make a move
and a couple years later, I got caught in a lie
about her though it felt so right at the time

Jenni stopped when she saw it was me standing there
she stammered and nervously reached to her hair
she said, ”my God Josh you’re all grown up”
but I turned back around to deal with something else
forgetting blue eyeshadow while listening
taking part in conversation debating
why a life was taken, why a rope was tied
and why sometimes we don’t get to say goodbye

and she tapped my shoulder and asked me if
I’d received that card she’d sent way back when
after she’d broke my heart and I looked up at you
and saw blue eyeshadow in plain view
Track Name: Elevator Mirror
take a loo around, what do you see inside of here
are you looking for an answer in the elevator mirror

do you keeping saying
"I don't know what's happening to myself?"
did I grow old overnight, I'm too scared now to tell

you go home every night not knowing what you want again
all the while feeling uniform over your skin

let it fall to fill the floor that's clean and empty now
let the carpet rise to greet what gravity will now bring down

and I will take you through the hallway, right on past the stairs
take you through the opening to the revelation there
in the elevator mirror, holding the truth to see
the child vanishing at the sight of the beauty

you're not sure if you're ready but no more can you wait
you have to open up and let out every single drop you've saved

and if you can make that leap, if you can make that cross
through the layers in-between, you'll have all that you want

and step by step solution will create a ballet
to glide through all the criseses, a way will be conveyed
in the elevator mirror, reflecting back the proof
the healing power to be shared and flooding out the youth

by now you should know better then to wait for fantasy
but each day yet another may mock all you believe
so you close your eyes at night and dream of blood that's dark and blue
but red and thin when fuse is lit and burning within you

and the walls that wait will provide the motion on to feast
to coax explosion out of you that the dead will feel
and the elevator mirror will shatter on the floor
if we get all that we need and what we go there for
Track Name: The Auctioneer
young bag of bones in an old man’s mode
wearing tux out of luck on downward slope
working holiday parties and auctions
passing out drinks, picking up glasses
meanwhile my first true love gives me a call
tells me that she knows she was wrong about it all
I go to my girlfriend and tell her the truth
but then I see her cry, I don’t want to lose her too
so I go through December being honest with both
going back and forth trying to suppose
that I’m the auctioneer auctioning myself off
moving through the crowd as the flashbacks taunt

and I think of the girl who I wanted to teach me
to be as cool as I dreamed that I could be
me and Chris went to Warped Tour to give to Dicky Barrett
a sign that said “Jen Rocks” to take a picture of him holding it
to grocery store we go to develop right away
waiting on the curb Chris told me that day
he might have gotten his girl pregnant and might go to Austin
I pretended in predicament I had once been
the pictures came out just a blur not good enough for her
and anyway this other guy was about to say first
what she wanted to here, she was the auctioneer
we was bidding I was missing I heard her thoughts saying

bidder #1 thank you very much
bidder number two thank you very much
bidder #1 yelled a high number
but bidder #2 yells out another
to win focus that could be so significant
both claiming to be the only one to understand
I’m switching and comparing I can’t consider love
the last time I did I came out fucked up
I’m stalling so not to make a choice
it’s true that only one will lead me to rejoice
I’m the auctioneer taking two lover’s bid
tapping on container opening the lid

I met Sean back in February
one night out drinking he said do you trust me?
we went to Club 94, a gay bar on the I
I grilled him about the how and the why
because Sean was a fag and I was a virgin
we both had labels of outcast perversion
a friendship formed to last beyond
all the blue collar bullshit that cut his rest off
it got me wondering why my cherry was unpopped
maybe I was in the closet afraid to come out
a weight lifted when I asked the question out loud
even though I was straight, it felt so good to doubt

when I finally got lucky and tricked someone
I got her into bed but I couldn’t get it up
so I put my clothes on and again undressed
and fooled her that it was spontaneous
I was in her for a minute, she got right up and called
Planned Parenthood to get a pill to flush me out
then a car crash happened because I stayed
in my hometown after the sign to leave came
because I almost died I had to mark the time
change my name and make summer into a borderline
make everyone in the middle an auctioneer
trying to find the real me, if they really care to say

bidder #1 thank you very much
bidder number #2 thank you very much
bidder #1 the old guard stands
but bidder #2 drains it out again
you gotta ask yourself now if you’ll yearn
to have years and years of life away to burn
justified by wisdom that you might gain
from digging deep down to accept change
consequences should be treasured and embraced
if you’re different than you thought don’t be ashamed
just once from the wreck now you’ll survive
as across ocean another same way dies

I asked Liz the nurse why my heart did stall
was it nicotine, cocaine, E maybe it all
she said it might be just a little murmur
and when I had to know I asked the doctor
at the same time my dad was in the hospital
while my heart was beating slow his almost stopped beating at all
I found out I went out and bought liquor
for a wild redhead Irish teeanger
we got drunk and high and went for a drive
she got an underage ticket I dodged the DUI
Liz my sister told me”don’t stay too long” my brother
after working side by side with me all summer

when I came back in town for Mike’s funeral
enough time had passed that I could ride still
with Katie and Kelly in the backseat
coming back from Mt.Prospect
to mourn in peace
me and my sister always used to laugh
about the guys Katie dated on the restaurant staff
one after other in those couple of years
I heard back, kept track of all of the tears
that taught her how to be an auctioneer
whether right left or down middle to steer
or to listen for those bids
offering no pain as the difference

saying bidder number 1 thank you very much
bidder number 2 thank you very much
at the feet now of the auctioneer
the highest bidder will make the past disappear
what you love about one you’ll find in another
in the next one it might be stronger
it won’t be same one you’ll keeping having
each one will help you find the final strength
you’ll look back in old age and see the link
who will ride through harbor and who will sink
there won’t be a reason not to love all
choice won’t matter and the auctioneer will fall
Track Name: Tender Years
you keep saying that you love her
and I believe that it's true
and it just doesn't matter
how much I love you

but in time you'll understand dear
as you shed a tear
and you'll know you were living
in your tender years

in your eyes there are lovelights
that shine for her
but what you see through those lovelights
I see as a blur

you could just see the happiness
you can't see the tears
and it's true, you've been living
in your tender years

so if I can't be your first love
I'll wait and be your last
I'll be somewhere in your future
to help you forget the past

and you'll know that I love you
with a love that's sincere
yes I'll wait til you're through living
in your tender years

yes you'll know that I love you
with a love that's sincere
yes I'll wait til you're through living
in your tender years

yes I'll wait til you're through living
in your tender years
Track Name: The City Girls & The County Girls (featuring Nathan Wade, Allison Tulloss, James Apollo, Michael Spaly & Scott Andrew)
the city girls and the county girls
stand on either side of the line
both of them I guess know what’s best
for the little boy watching inside

looking each way for help from a sign
on the side of the road that the rest pass by
squinting to read all the fine print
to see that there’s no way they’ll ever win

the city girls and the county girls
you’re gonna have to choose your side
the city girls and the county girls
are going into battle tonight

all of the kids still watching TV
will learn like I did how to believe
think that the county girls all live on farms
and the city girls always make you try so hard

so I’ll go out just to find some clues
if I should settle down and if so with who
is it the city girls or the county girls
that will finally make me choose

the city girls and the county girls
I’ll keep going back and forth
the city girls and the county girls
which one do you see from your front porch?

if I discover they’re all the same
and city girls too sing of wide open spaces
and county girls will travel far
away from domain just to find the right bar

then I’ll go in just to ask of them
to help me figure out and decide at last
between the city girls and the county girls
before my time has passed

and so the city girls and the county girls
you’re gonna have to choose your side
the city girls and the county girls
are going into battle tonight
Track Name: Train Wreck (featuring Kate Noson)
twilight had fallen as we reached the end of our tracks
we started off as heroes now we can’t get off of our backs
nothing was something that our trip it never lack
adventure boredom stardom lonesome go but never turn back

I’m not going anywhere and you won’t stay
my head split open, I’ve never hit the ground before in a dream
it’s hard to see all that you don’t want to believe
that’s why you won’t admit and see that we’re the same

you were the best friend that I had never had:
what’s mine was yours and I was yours I swore I gave all I could give
but then you promised and I said I couldn’t wait
but you didn’t say if I should jump or hesitate
you pushed me off yeah you just might have set me straight

I’m not going anywhere and you won’t stay
my head split open, I’ve never hit the ground before in a dream
it’s hard to see all that you don’t want to believe
that’s why you won’t admit and see that we’re the same

two bodies and one train of thought we ride
two directions on a one-track mind we’re bound to collide
Track Name: The Replicant
in a apartment late at night, after bar time getting high
science fiction on the screen into the morning will proceed
a rain through dark future runs, I’ll hold the remote like a gun
and as the grip slides right off I’ll finally come to terms again with

facts of replication and how we are all like replicants
scaling back the ambition that we all must learn to forget
that fades with everyday gone by, to recognize each stage I’ll try
tp fight the saturation of the sweat dripping from the replication

I ignored the danger of a house on the border
where you with all the others stayed up late all summer
and I looked at you in wonder after our comrade went under
and you asked what I was doing back when I took hold of your hand

and saw more than a replicant that had to have emotion lent
like everyone that I had left and everybody I just let

become another replicant waiting on a lover sent
from beyond borders closing in even as the land expands
and I’ll say in that letter that I could be the one that’s meant
for you if I could just admit I’ll always only be a replicant

and it’s not a matter of having to escape
repetition will insist that all these ditches stay

where you’ll lie as weather signals your defeat
your memory returning back to each one you had to meet
turning out to me a replicant, the inner texture torn and bent
never seeking improvement and only quoting ancient text
that observation will see through if the lessons are burned in you
combined captors will always win if you keep giving in

so Katie, will you be the replicant that might flown but never loved
and never got to see difference between the heart and head
and Katie I can’t be the replicant, I know that you could see it then
when I was lost and spinning around, searching trying to figure out
but I tried more than you could know, I saved it all to one day show
that it’s possible to break free and leave behind those teenage dreams
and I’ll keep coming back for you, I’ll be the voice inside of you
from the edge I’ll pull you back and you’ll hear the question asked
Katie, will you be the replicant, always in your maker’s debt
walking in the deep footprints, Katie will you be the replicant
Track Name: Mt.Prospect
early in the morning I’ll come to you
I’ll be up all night thinking only of you
at the funeral home you’ll be waiting there
standing by casket letting out tears
but while you’re breaking down, I’ll get off train
I’ll start walking around but get lost on the way
I’ll be lost in Mt. Prospect all night tryin’ to make it to you

I’ll be walking through the snow ‘round town I will go
talking to myself and the listening ghost
he’ll point the direction but I’ll circle ‘round
stranded in same place I’m standing now

I’ll be going up hills of Mt. Prospect
trying to get to the top of Mt.Prospect
over and around Mt. Prospect
trying to make it to you

and at the Starbucks now I’m standing outside
I broke down, went in and called for a ride
I’m watching all the cars pass right on by
if they don’t stop park right under the sign
a clerk comes out, smokes a cigarette
puffs on it a bit then he goes back in
5 minutes 10 minutes 4 more people go in
without saying a word, what kind of town is this

Mr. Prospect, they’re not going to ask you
“Why ya dressed in black are ya going to a funeral?”
“No, just a wake tonight, just a wake
just a wake but a party’s in the morning!”

I’ll be back in Mt.Prospect at a drugstore
waiting on a cab to get me to the funeral home
back in Mt.Prospect for that ceremony
on my way to see little Katie
I’ll make it there, however I don’t care
back to Mt.Prospect

all the boys sing,"we're in the mood," all the boys sing,"we're in the mood"
all the boys sing,"we're in the mood," all the boys sing,"we're in the mood"
all the boys sing,"we're in the mood," all the boys sing,"we're in the mood"

I’m gonna sit right down and write a little letter,
explain why for the worse or better yet the better
why I ain’t been back, back at all
to see my friends or give ‘em a call
I said when I left, won’t be back anymore
I ain’t gonna go back down the Mt. anymore

I’m gonna stay up here til weather gets hot
stay up here and be a big shot
only go back down to brag about my fame
then get back on the train the very same day
get drunk, get stoned, make my getaway
wave goodbye Katie, I’m going away

back to Mt. Prospect whadda know
back to Mt. Prospect, whew here we go
you say it’s all just a worthless scheme
but it’s all that’s left of my teenage dreams
to escape one fact, to learn and know
it’s back to Mt.Prospect we gotta go