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by Pickin' Pear

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about

Rehearsals began for this album on December 27th, 2018 with bassist Matt Wolff in the basement of his childhood home in Northern Kentucky. The same basement Matt, Leon, & Rob rehearsed with their high school pop punk band Good By March in 2001. On 12/29 we had rehearsals with drummer Rob Jennings at New Dawn Studios in Alexandria, KY.

Rob had already listened to and practiced Crazy Ray’s and we just nailed it right away. So we threw 21st Century Blues at him and he picked it up quick. The magic was real that day! We recorded those two songs the following afternoon at The Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH with Sam Taylor.

We celebrated the New Year in Chicago and then went to Lafayette, IN for a week of rehearsals while Matt worked his day job around our rehearsal schedule. We played a few shows along the way and made it to Lane Gibson Studios in Charlotte, VT to start recording on 1/7/2019. We recorded for 3 days and mixed for 2 more. We listened to it for a while and did another round of mixes in March. Mastering was completed by March 30th, 2019.

We recorded the Canyon Collected album In The Woods with Lane in 2015 and we wanted to come back and recreate the extremely satisfying recording experience that we had last time. Lane helped us dial in exactly what we wanted. He added vocals we love. He felt like an equal member of the band. Same as Matt. Same as Rob. These guys helped shape the sounds you hear on this album. These songs felt like they grew from what we play each night as a duo into a full-on rockin’ folk ‘n’ roll uke grass band! We hope Matt joins us on Life Tour someday soon. We absolutely love the sound his 5-string electric bass playing adds to our songs. Until then, please check out his political ska-punk band Dissonance & Dissent.

Thank you for listening to our songs. We would like to thank everyone. Seriously, there are so many of you! Please know that we love you and we know we couldn’t do this without you. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you!

All the love and may we meet again along the way!

Love,

Leon & Tia

credits

released May 3, 2019

Pickin’ Pear:
Leon Elam - Banjo & Vocals
Tia Martini - Ukulele & Vocals

Also Featuring:
Matt Wolff - Bass & Vocals
Robert Jennings - Drums
Lane Gibson - Vocals

21st Century Blues and Crazy Ray's recorded by Sam Taylor at The Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH

All other tracks recorded by Lane Gibson at Lane Gibson Studios in Charlotte, VT

All songs engineered, mixed and mastered by Lane Gibson at
Lane Gibson Studios

Artwork by Lizzy Farley

Booklets printed by Forest Printing Co. in Forest Park, IL

CDs manufactured & packaged by QCA, Inc in Cincinnati, OH

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Pickin' Pear

Tia Martini and Leon Elam - The Pickin’ Pear - branch out from Canyon Collected to create a new folk 'n' roll band. They combine their non-traditional stylings to their traditional instruments and create an original mix of modern American music.

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Track Name: Fresh Start
Fresh Start (Elam)

I see a fresh start in the cards.
I need a hand, my fractured life's in shards.
Burned all the bridges down, flipped the bird, said"Fuck this town.”
I'm headed west for a new beginning.
Twisted up in the wind – new town, new friends & women.
I'm headed west for a new beginning.

See the same tired faces in this old bar.
Weathered men broke but drinking.
Eyeballing women retired from thinking.
Their starry eyes burn low – they hardly twinkle anymore.

I wanna see the sun go down behind the mountains
before it sets on every chance I have to make.
A dream come true despite every mistake along the way.
Just gotta go. Never know what kind of life I can create.

I'd rather sleep in my tiny two-door car
than go to bed with some greedy company.
To lie and buy my way through the ranks of their
self-proclaimed, so-called high society.

I wanna see the sun go down behind the mountains
before it sets on every chance I have to make.
A dream come true despite every mistake along the way.
Just gotta go. Never know what kind of life I can create.
Track Name: Let It All Go
Let It All Go (Martini)

We made it to our cheap motel.
Yea, it feels like home besides the smell.
In a new bed almost every day.
Still beats the hell outta havin’ rent to pay.

Wheels roll to the next gig.
Slinging back whiskey Cokes and smoking cigs.
Hold on to your sanity.
Roll one up. It’s midnight and they just called amnesty.

We may not be the best
but you can’t compare so I digress...
At the end of the day,
all we wanna do is play.

Let the melody flow from your fingertips.
Let the words fall from your lips.
Let the music take over your soul.
Let your body free and let it all go.

It’s 10 am by the time we wake.
Already on the hunt for chicken fried steak.
Yea, it looks like we’d just been to war.
Still wearin’ them dirty clothes from the night before.

It’s showtime, let’s do this thing.
Gonna pick them strings and dance and sing.
As the lights rise, it’s getting hot.
Come on now, it’s time to give it everything we got.

Well god damn, it feels so good.
To beat the hell outta this here piece of wood.
Calloused, tight, and sore.
Well, we’re not ready to stop so here have some more...

As lights dim, it’s bittersweet.
For our time spent together has been a treat.
Look now to your neighbor and say,
“All the love and may we meet again along the way.”
Track Name: 21st Century Blues
21st Century Blues (Elam)

Left my own old home, just a banjo on my back.
Looking forward – God knows I ain’t looking back.
Debt, lies, and sorrow. I left it all behind.
The open road my friend with freedom on my mind.

Gave my best shot at that corporate city life.
Big wigs and know-it-alls together in strife.
I make my living now pickin’ for your spare dimes.
Singing old show tunes in off-key broken rhymes.

In these modern times, what matters most
is this war between the have-mores and have-nots.
Elections bought and sold, lies in place of news,
money buys the truth – twenty-first-century blues.

We are remnants of our country’s next great war.
We pray the end is near in fear of what’s in store.
Smarter men than me will have to join this fight,
fix this class war, and stand up for what’s right.

Some say I walked away, say he’s begging on the street.
I’m just a testimony that this system can be beat.
Depending only on my faith in humanity,
I sing these songs with hope and sleep happily.
Track Name: What Have You Done?
What Have You Done? (Elam)

Life ain't gonna be, whatever it once was.
We're moving too fast, all of us because
To make an honest living and provide for those you love
You work your fingers to the bone, then you die – what have you done?Live your life without regret, then you die – what have you done?

He lived his life an honest man, kind to everyone.
A man who loved his country, his guns, and God's son.
35 years in the same steel mill but not much else to show.
A loyal wife, 2 grown sons, and a lawn he likes to mow.

His boys left home for the hustling city life.
Cancer got the best of his dear darling wife.
Loneliness and boredom plagued his final years.
Memories have blurred through a final curtain of tears.

As he lay near death in his bed he asked God, “What have You done?”

A self-proclaimed straight arrow shooter, crooked tie to match his smile. Started out in the great Northwest, heading east mile by mile.
Aside from drink, smoke and women, it was gambling his only crutch.
Got himself into trouble a lot, but got himself out as much

He traveled the world wide, never found a place called home.
Almost fell in love one time but good thing, cause that bird flown.
He lived a life of selfishness, never married, had no kids.
His family was an afterthought the only heart he had was his.

As he thinks back on his life alone he asks himself, “What have you done?”
Track Name: Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley (Martini)

Haven't slept and I haven't ate.
Doin’ nothing but driving straight.
Those eastbound headlights twinkle in our eyes.

Town from town, pass tree by tree.
Refreshing it resides in me.
Farewell to the sea as she waves goodbye.

Here this valley of Paradise,
easily our strongest vice,
we'd do the time if it were a crime.

When it comes time for bed,
the dirt is where we'll lie our heads
because the skies they'd never cheat you for a dime.

Better get there by the time we see the shadow of the hill
take away a perfect day.
Gotta drive fast on this crooked road to feel a vacant thrill
make delay of our way.

The sun it sets like a ton of bricks.
When you got no lights on the '86,
chasing daylight, race to make the show.

Broke on down in Kennewick.
Time was slow but now she ticks.
Flatline Tow make that Dream Machine go!

Wildflour, river runs.
Meet Mr. Johnson and three sons,
Chopper, Bull and his mando too.

Pick your weapon of sound delight.
The limit here there is no height.
Pickaxe, paddleboard – which do you choose?

Montana... now you give me peace and you give me hope
for a brighter view through these eyes.
Now you’ve given me more than I could know:
The wind, the water, sun, sand, and snow.
Track Name: Whiskey Brain
Whiskey Brain (Martini)

That whiskey brain driving me insane. Desperate for that ride you'll hop on any train.
That whiskey brain driving me insane. A little splash to the belly and a sting on the lip.
Hold on boy, you're gonna lose your grip!

Down, down they go. Six shots below the belt. One for health, two for show, five to thrive, and six to get it all wrong.

You know this wrong we'll blame on misguided memories. Need a taste to feel alive – just one more sip and one more line.

Where could you be? Those same ol' shifty eyes survey the scene. Looking left but leaning right. Those empty eyes are always missing me.
Missing me...

Here, here we go. The moon becomes the sun. It's 10 pm with eyes ablaze and you're staring down the barrel of a Bulleit Rye.

It's déjà vu with you and another bottle or two. I can tell you now when you kick it down, irrational fears only taunt your wits.

Dig down deep, a little deeper now to the mayhem of his mind. Watching you gaze at me, it's not you I see staring back at me. Back at me...

You're reckless but addicting – fearless and constricting.
You can blow that whiskey kiss even though you're bound to miss.
Track Name: Farther Than The Moon
Farther Than The Moon (Elam)

“How can you expect me to forgive you?”
You swore one day years ago.
I only know what I know and I know what to do.
Get as far, as far away, get farther than the moon from you.

Divided between the moonlit sky,
a million miles away.
It seemed so easy at the time
but I can't have you this way.

Shattered dreams imprinted in my mind like a play but off-Broadway.
Uninspired actors embrace their fate.
Take our final bow any day.

I gave you everything I could.
I couldn't love you anymore.
You took it all like I knew you would. I don't want to love you anymore.

Broken strings evade harmony.
We broke too many in our day.
Our only choice now is to play it safe.
What kind of life is that anyway?

Weathered storms but none quite like this. Capsized twice when you left.
Washed ashore confused and weak.
All I have is what’s left.
Track Name: She's The Queen
She's The Queen (Martini)

She’s the Queen of Almost.
She’s the Queen of Not Enough.
Now did you give it your all or did you not?
Only you could know if you gave it all you got.

Fear can drive you.
Fear can drive you out your mind.
We’re losing control, we can’t decide.
Who’s making calls here your conscience or your pride?

Rage can depict the truth
of the change you refuse to be.
The anger it builds with judgment not too keen.
Envisioned as a deity, here she comes your mighty...

Queen of almost, more than capable of any crest.
She’s modest in the utmost with an innate will to detest. Ambiguity seems to be her craft where every choice becomes a rough draft.
Don’t go buying doubt. You got enough of your own.
It’s when you’re penniless, you realize you should have known.

Perfection is unattainable
but persistence is invaluable.
The pressure it digs – with ignorant strife.
You place the pity upon the shoulders of this golden life.

Out of touch and out of line.
Thinking a bottle can cure the mind.
Hope for the best, it seems to be the theme.
Envisioned as a deity, here she comes your mighty...

Realize you need to know
some behavior is uncontrolled.
Sometimes you gotta leave it to your gut to make the call.
It may go wrong and it may go right.
Why not take a chance at being a light?
This dimming world needs you to shine bight.

Realize you need to see
most truths are not for free.
You gotta flee from the power of dismissive desire.
Let’s not see it as a red or green.
It’s all about how you perceive a scene.
Believe in yourself, you don’t need to be the...

Queen of Almost,
She’s the Queen of Not Enough.
Now did you give it your all or did you not?
Only you could know if you gave it all you got.
Track Name: Crazy Ray's Outrageous Gravy Parade
Crazy Ray's Outrageous Gravy Parade (Martini)

Instrumental
Track Name: Burnt Toast
Burnt Toast (Martini)

Woke up real late, slept past my alarm.
My eggs are cold and the OJ is gone.
Hey, it snowed and I got no heat
and you know this day – it just got me beat.

The loaf is down to one last slice
and the butter is on its last little sliver.
Pop up from the toaster, what do I see?
It’s a piece of toast that's too burnt for me.

Well, there ain't no sense in crying over spilled milk.
There ain't no use in bitchin' over burnt toast.
Within these bad days, we become engrossed.
But you know that life could be worse than worrying about burnt toast.

My dog got sick on the brand new rug
and it sits right next to the red wine stain.
My car won't start – doesn't matter got a flat.
It’s another mishap. Well, would you look at that?

Now, I dropped my food all over my sweater
and it may be crude but it made it look better.
Just get me home ‘cause that's all I wanna do.
But this city traffic just won't let me through.

When you feel your value up at stake,
see it through – I know you're harder to shake.
When your worth is down a penny to none,
the trick's to see that you've already won.

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