Six Stories EP

by Beau Jennings

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released November 8, 2010

In the midst of working on follow up albums to both his 2008 album Holy Tulsa Thunder and Cheyenne’s 2007 album The Whale, Beau Jennings found himself with a collection of songs that didn’t seem to fit either new project. They weren’t aggressive like the latest Cheyenne material in the works, nor were they part of the conceptual framework of the new solo album. They instead seemed to return to some of the sounds and ideas from Cheyenne’s first album I Am Haunted, I Am Alive – in other words they were stories, strummed slowly and sung lowly.

There was Play Like A Champion, with the narrator’s inner voice offering something perhaps recognizable as motivation; Raining Ashes, based on the events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; Start Swingin’, the story of a desperate minor league baseball player; Another Way To Pay, the imagined ending to the Arrow Trucking saga (you can look it up); and A Suit Never Lies and White Whale of The Plains, where the lines between the weather and religion seem to get blurry at best.

Rather than fleshing out each song in the studio with a full band, these songs were instead performed with just vocals and guitar, over an early October weekend at Beau’s Brooklyn apartment, and were left to stand on their own. The result is Beau’s second official solo release, simply titled Six Stories.

All songs written, performed and recorded by Beau Jennings.

Mastered by Zeb Gould.

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Beau Jennings Norman, Oklahoma

After years in Brooklyn fronting americana rock band Cheyenne, singer and songwriter Beau Jennings was in search of a new backing band upon returning to his home in Oklahoma. The Tigers – based out of Norman and a wrecking crew of some of the best musicians in the state – were already known as the go-to backing band for songwriters from the area and were a perfect match for Jennings’ new songs. ... more

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Track Name: Play Like A Champion
I am the sign above your bedroom door
I read 'play like a champion today'
I am the bones running through your hands
I break apart when believers have their way

I am the glass that held your wine
I was dropped for a body with more blood
I am the eyes forever blind
'Cause they still wear the spit and the mud

I am the hook that pulled you up
It’s never been in as deep as it is now
I am the air that you never tasted
'Cause you can’t breathe in if you’re not breathin' out
Track Name: Raining Ashes
It was raining ashes in the evening
It was San Andreas blowin' steam
It was my father and my mother in the front yard
She wore the prettiest dress I'd ever seen

Trains were turned around at the station
"San Francisco needs you more than me"
I was doing my best to hold the camera steady
I wanted my children to believe

'Cause that fire came rushing up the hillside
while we were standing in our Sunday best
In the morning to the east it looked like heaven
In the evening we had to travel west

I'll be on the other side of Califnornia
In a city let go by the bay
I'll be cryin' in the theaters by the evening
I'll be laughin' on the beach by the day

'Cause that fire came rushing up the hillside
while we were standing in our Sunday best
In the morning to the east it looked like heaven
In the evening we had to travel west

Now the wrinkles on a map make me shudder
And I freeze when the elevator shakes
And I'm making plans now for when I cross on over
I got a few deals I gotta make

'Cause that fire came rushing up the hillside
while we were standing in our Sunday best
In the morning to the east it looked like heaven
In the evening we had to travel west
Track Name: Another Way To Pay
I stopped to fill up at the Pilot Store
I was just outside of Butte
But when I tried to settle up at the register
Well my company card was refused
They said “don’t you work for Arrow Truckin'
Well they folded up yesterday
If you're gonna make it all the way to Cheyenne
You’ll have to find some other way to pay”

I walked back outside and I called up the office
But the line was dead
I set the phone down gentle on the passenger seat
A private jet flew overhead
I watched this boy and girl on their way to the coast
That used to be like me and Faye
Back when I was younger back before I had
To find some other way to pay

I guess this is what it’s come to
Me cleaning out my cab
Throwing my wallet in the trashcan
The one that’s burning out back
The one I set on fire
So that they all could say
“don’t never worry about him
He always finds himself a way to pay”

I'd logged enough miles for Arrow Truckin'
Enough to know how it goes
Guess I was getting too close to life I was chasin'
One that'd keep me with Faye and off the road
When you get close enough to feel the heat
You're close enough to feel the flame
You can keep yourself warm on any ol' night
If you just find yourself a way to pay

I guess this is what it’s come to
Me cleaning out my cab
Throwing my wallet in the trashcan
The one that’s burning out back
The one I set on fire
So that they all could say
“don’t never worry about him
He always finds himself a way to pay”

I came walking in on 44
I wouldn’t take any rides
Straight into downtown Tulsa town
I was only taking my time
There outside the company building
I put in one more call to Faye
Then I walked in straight as an arrow
Track Name: Start Swingin'
I got my batting average up I got the scouts out to watch
Tuesday night in Fayetteville and I turn it up a notch
I met her outside on the bus and we went out on the town
I didn’t think to get nervous 'til her and I shut that first bar down

I kept it moving forward we were a few games back
I knew I’d get my break if I kept my mind on track
But she followed us around and I knew I was in trouble then
I thought I’ll just weather this storm until the stormy season ends

But before I knew it she was all that mattered
She brought me up to another league
The lights would down and the crowd would scatter
Then her and I would start playing for keeps

Well when I woke up she’s at the foot of the bed
There’s this guy behind and he wants to make a deal she said
Then he handed me my cap and it was all stuffed with bills
She looked at him and he smiled and my blood just chilled

But before I knew it she was all that mattered
She brought me up to another league
The lights would down and the crowd would scatter
Then her and I would start playing for keeps

It was a Sunday game I’m batting number two
I see ‘em there in the crowd know what they want me to do
But then I saw him take her hand I just took offense…

So I stepped outta the box
I climbed into the stands
They saw me coming
They raised their hands
When opportunity comes
You gotta take your breaks
There’s only so many pitches
That a guy can take…

And I start swinging for the fence
Track Name: A Suit Never Lies
I bought a hundred dollar suit and I bought a tie
I brought the pages back together and I cried
I'd read 'em time and again
I always stopped before the end
Now here I am with a secret
And a plan to save my skin

They had a party for me where I'd worked for 15 years
To say goodbye or laugh at me was never very clear
There's no way to explain
They'll just see the drain
Of the blood from my face
At the first sign of rain

And as I drove away the clouds came together fast
I check the rearview mirror and I pressed down on the gas
Now it's time to look alive
I straighten up my tie
You know the floods never wait
And a suit never lies

If you listen to the sound your tires make
As you do your best to quickly hit the brakes
You'll hear a beautiful hymn
To guide you right in
Track Name: White Whale of The Plains
It was moving fast to the east and we were closing in
And before we knew it it dropped and it started to spin
Made sure the camera was pointed in the right direction
We pulled over to the ditch and we stood there gettin’ religion

We drove past the flattened truck stops and scattered roofs
Reviewed the footage in the backseat makin’ sure that we had proof
Proof that we found the white whale thrashing out on the plains
The tornado’s tail whipping away through the rain

Take a look around wherever you are and find a glass to raise
Take another drink and remember us on our chase
Cause we’re drunk on all the thunder and lightning and hail
And if we don’t come back it’s not because we failed

Well today I can see the thunderheads piling up
I make a few quick phone calls pretty soon we’re all in the truck
The sun is shining to the east but to west it’s black as sin
I start to feel lighter cause we’re closing in

I can’t remember which one of us saw it first
All I know is my whole life I could never satisfy the thirst
I unbuckle the seat belt when I thought that we were close enough
I close my eyes and I let myself be lifted up