Ravine Road

by Ben Smith

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1.
03:50
At 17--I saw you and you saw me I felt it all at once and it knocked me to my knees At 22--I took to calling you I thought I'd take you far from the life you knew What's mine is yours and yours is mine leave those other boys behind Come with me careening down Ravine Road At 28--I had only landscapes I drove out every night right until daybreak At 29--I found you walking 'long the treeline And now the right place finally meets the right time What's mine is yours and yours is mine leave those other boys behind Come with me careening down Ravine Road Hold on tight and don't look back They'll stare at us and we'll stare right back Come with me careening down Ravine Road Now, at 40--we've got a perfect cover story We'll take off in the middle of the night without saying a word Then 71--after all is said and done we'll take Ravine Road and drive into the sun What's mine is yours and yours is mine leave those other boys behind Come with me careening down Ravine Road Hold on tight and don't look back They'll stare at us and we'll stare right back Come with me careening down Ravine Road
2.
03:20
Have you seen this film before? they don't make 'em anymore, not in years Hope we're in the opening credits hoping that they just might let us walk through a scene and we'll walk slow, slow right through the frame First scene and he looks in trouble they don't even have a body double standing off screen Scene two and she looks like you the kind of face you wanna zoom into and hold for a while and take it slow, slow and let it play out We could suffer through a rewrite we could say we're cast against type The plot is rushing to the end But maybe we can suspend this moment for a while and take it slow, slow right away
3.
04:08
Watch me fall out of grace I won't make a sound Bring the car round the front keep the motor on I won't be here for long The time has come to get far away from here I tied the sheets together like a rope out the window all I see is smoke and the driveway looks like a moat so I slip outside with the rest of the ghosts Plot a course, a steady force and it's carrying me away but you read my mind and between the lines and you're right behind me I feel it coming the wind is humming through the straight and narrow, a poison arrow for my heart I lose the car and it's after dark and the stars won't protect me And the cops won't help, there's no one to tell it's too late for retreat I know you're on me the clouds are forming round this straight and narrow, a poison arrow for my heart Then I'm climbing through the vines ignoring every warning sign You zero in, I'm wearing thin and the trees start to spin all around me Now I'm underground but word gets round and there's nowhere left to hide There's no sign of life there's no shining light nothing can survive Now this is it it's like a whip though the straight and narrow, a poison arrow for my heart Watch me fall fall from grace when you hit your mark So it's you you went straight through, a poison arrow through my heart
4.
03:55
There's a statue of the Fonz where all Milwaukee's Johns are waiting for a girl who'll hear their "Heyys." The line wraps round the block and the girls rock round the clock They know there's just some things they'll never pay But don't get down We're all waiting Waiting on Happier Days Somewhere across town there's moonshine underground and now it's coming down with the rain And we'll watch it hit the lake and the ripples that it makes but the wind is more than you can face But don't get down We're all waiting Waiting on Happier Days You've tried to find your thrill Looked up on Blueberry Hill but the clouds were hanging low that day You won't find it on TV but you'll find it right with me cause Misery loves some company But don't get down We're all waiting Waiting on Happier Days
5.
I want for nothing when you're here with me Like a push of a button as simple as can be Any time, any place When I see your face I'm immune to disaster even when we're ship to shore My heart never beat faster Gotta pick it up off the floor Even danger is fun Like you shot me out a gun I've stopped posing questions cause every answer comes back you I've quit every faction that doesn't share our point of view I don't easily fright now that you're in sight I don't think about tomorrow Today is all I care to know Could be heaven or it could be nothing Could be consigned to flames of woe Just as long as you're with me I'm prepared to go.

about

All songs written by Ben Smith, 2013.
Written, recorded, mixed, and produced by Ben Smith at Franklin Pointe, West Chester, PA.
Mastered by Joel Metzler
Album art Kristen Solecki

Thanks and love to Jess for listening to the same chords over and over again; Aimee Mann for personal encouragement-tweets; the estate of Josiah HIbberd; the Women's Exchange in West Chester, for the cheap nylon-string guitar; master Joel Metzler; and Steve Hanna for being such a great friend and encourager.

I'm pleased to present to you a new collection of songs, a 5-song EP called Ravine Road—named for a steep and twisting wooded road I used to drive back in high school. It’s not quite a mile but driving it was always an event. The woods and turns obscured any reminder that you were just going from your friend’s house to the movies. Half way through, there was a sign by an old single-lane overpass tunnel that warned you to honk your horn so the opposing traffic could hear you coming. It was an excuse to honk obnoxiously and so we did. It made a terrific echo against the walls of the tunnel. It was fun.

I hope you find these new songs on “Ravine Road” fun. They’re a bit looser this time around—which is a nice way of saying I recorded all the parts by myself this time, in my home studio, without obsessing over every little detail. There was still a lot of obsession but I was more interested in capturing little live moments rather than fussed over ones. And so, armed with that approach, a somewhat limited understanding of proper recording technique, and some recently acquired vintage instruments—some from the auction of the estate of Josiah Hibberd, my late seventh-grade Social Studies teacher—come these five songs.

In addition to the title track, there’s a sort of Broadway Danny Rose-premised song about climbing into the action of an old movie; a chase song (if that’s a thing) about someone trying to shoot me with a poison arrow; an Aimee Mann-tweet-inspired song about Milwaukee, its statue of the Fonz and history of moonshine; and finally, a ukulele love song about death.

Stream the album here and please purchase a download if you like what you hear.


Cheers!

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released September 5, 2013

All songs by Ben Smith, 2013.

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Ben Smith West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester, PA songwriter Ben Smith's songs sound good in both your front parlor and your back barroom---all Tin Pan Alley piano and a fading choirboy voice.

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