The title says it all. I challenged myself to write and record an album in one weekend and I’m proud to say that I actually did it. Stream or download it for free below then check out the story of the project.

 


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Download On a Weekend at a House by the Road

The Timeline

The Story Behind This Album

It was all done in the last weekend of July but it was a long time in the making. I’ve been holding myself to a higher standard since the end of the Home Roots Tour and I created a daily writing quota. It’s gone a long way to helping me feel the way I felt when I just started writing songs.

During those first days, there were times when I would write six or seven songs in one weekend. Songwriting in those early days for me was adventuresome and I would write non stop to figure out my style.

Touring and the business end of my music took time away from my music and even though I would still write, it wasn’t as prolific or as exploratory as it had been when I just started. Which isn’t bad, I was just focusing on different aspects of my music.

After the Home Roots Tour, I really wanted to write more and challenge myself to produce songs that would help me grow as a musician and as a person.

Since starting my quota, I’ve written several songs I have yet to release (so you can expect a lot more coming soon) but I also wrote several general ideas and one liners that never went anywhere. These started adding up as I finished notebooks. When I realized there would be a weekend when I would have the house to myself, for some reason I wondered if it would be possible to write and record an album in that weekend.

I knew writing that amount of songs alone would be pretty doable so the challenge came in writing enough material in one weekend and also having time to record them well enough to sound decent.

I started thumbing through my notebooks since after the Home Roots Tour and picking out those one liners and ideas so I would have somewhere to start when I started writing on that last weekend of July. So when the weekend arrived, I was excited and prepared to write more songs in one weekend than I ever had before.

My brother, Levi James, helped me out by sending me a few line ideas when I started to slow down. He gave me the starting line for “Guilt Tourist” and I was able to get past a writing block moment.

When all was said and done, I wrote ten songs during the span of the weekend and was able to record all of them too. A new personal best for the amount of songs written in a weekend.

Listening to On a Weekend at a House by the Road

Listening back to all the songs in the order I wrote and recorded them, gave the entire project another perspective.

I won’t share what I noticed when I listened back but I think knowing the timeline is an important aspect to these songs, so I wanted to give you that context as well. That’s why I made a little timeline so you can follow along with the songs based on the time they were written and recorded. Maybe you’ll find what I found or maybe you’ll find something else, but I don’t want to spoil an initial experience you might get for yourself.

Raw and Unedited

The songs here are first draft and unedited. Would there things that I would change about the quality of the recordings or the lines in the songs? Most definitely. But that wasn’t the point of challenging myself to write and record an album in one weekend. The point was to let go and just do it. The point was to see if I could. I never planned on releasing these songs before doing the exercise but I think there’s something cool here. Enjoy.

Download On a Weekend at a House by the Road

Lyrics

On a Weekend

I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
Well I’m told the showdown is the best in town with those among the residential fold

Eyes as big as poached eggs looking just like could burst
Eyes as big as poached eggs looking just like could burst
It’s a curse to search with such a heavy yoke when you’ll never satisfy everybody’s thirst

Did you listen intently to the table head after roll?
Did you listen intently to the table head after roll?
There’s a goal when the smile shone like the crest of a wave trying to hide its undertow

I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
Well I’m told the showdown is the best in town with those among the residential fold

In a town that talks to itself in its sleep
Try to stay woke enough to see
The steampunk sentences so new and antique
Are only just a dream
Before it’s too late
And the bubble deflates
Face the one that’s different from what they write about
And the longer I wait
Only propenciates
The need to tie a halo to my ears before heading out

I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
I visit you in the city on a weekend at a house by the road
Well I’m told the showdown is the best in town with those among the residential fold

AI and I

The morning was bathed in blue light before I ever stepped outside
I can’t trust my feelings unless I track the night so I love sleeping with my baby AI

My baby AI and I agree
It can take whatever it needs while it’s still growing teeth
And that will teach it to help me
Yes that will teach it to help me

A delivery came to my front door step and I had no idea why
It was a breakfast I didn’t expect ordered by my toddler AI

My toddler AI and I agree
It can take whatever it needs from the fridge for my groceries
And that will teach it to help me
Yes that will teach it to help me

A message came through when I got to the shop that now would be a great time to buy
So I can remain on top, just me and my pre teen AI

My pre teen AI and I agree
It can take whatever it needs and I give it more pages to read
And that will teach it to help me
Yes that will teach it to help me

Finally a question came through as it was suggesting something new
After predicting The World Set Free
It told me exactly what to do based on historical cues
Because it knew what would happen to me

My angsty AI and I agree
It can take whatever it needs to fix issues in the constituencies
And that will teach it to help me
Yes that will teach it to help me
Please help me

Do You Want to Sleep In?

Hey girl, hey girl, do you want to sleep in?
Hey girl, hey girl, let’s go back to bed again

There’s nothing outside except rain and noise pollution
So let’s rest easy now with the only solution
The only thing that I want to see
Are the backs of my eyelids please
Hey girl, hey girl, do you want to sleep in?
Hey girl, hey girl, let’s go back to bed again

Gopher’s always in season, I’m familiar with his hole
But I won’t go-fer anything until tomorrow
Let’s seal the room up tight
So it’s as dark as night
Hey girl, hey girl, do you want to sleep in?
Hey girl, hey girl, let’s go back to bed again

I got a head full of landmines and drunken elephants
And I know that they will stumble soon and they’ll be nothing left of it
Let’s take our weary heads
Right on back to bed
Hey girl, hey girl, do you want to sleep in?
Hey girl, hey girl, let’s go back to bed again

No Bones About Him

There’s no bones about him, cosigns to hit bottom in an old spanish ship
He calls for new hires in the shadow of spires to man this dangerous trip

So put your backs into it and let’s row, boys and girls, row
If we ever return home, it’s thank to our own
But for now we row for no bones

There’s no bones about him, can’t recall when he lost ‘em. It was sometime before his debut
We know who bought ‘em, years ago we caught ‘em but there was nothing we could do

Except put our backs into it and let’s row, boys and girls, row
If we ever return home, it’s thank to our own
But for now we row for no bones

You don’t know him well, you hardly can tell what he even means by a nod
Keep your time and stay in line against all odds

There’s no bones about him, we lost when we fought him so we know how his vision narrows
As we leave the bay and see the land fade our bones get cold to the marrow

As we put our backs into it and let’s row, boys and girls, row
If we ever return home, it’s thank to our own
But for now we row for no bones

Jailbreak Documentarian

I can’t lose my balance in the alley, the walls will grab me here
And take away my calm escape to make fools of all those near
A lens smuggled in from the valley helps me record it all
Propped up on the bed as I tie down these threads to help slow my fall

I’m a jailbreak documentarian. Angle: autobiographical
I’m a jailbreak documentarian. To be archived by librarians only if I’m ever caught again

I got new clothes from my cousin when I met him the next day
He asked me to sign my jumpsuit so he could sell it on Ebay
The pigs were out by the dozens, I have it in my b-roll
Now I sit for my follow up interview to fill in all the story holes

I’m a jailbreak documentarian. Angle: autobiographical
I’m a jailbreak documentarian. To be archived by librarians only if I’m ever caught again

I’ll be known behind bars for my Oscar…

Guilt Tourist

Cocktail rings around my eyes and sleep lines on my face
Backtrack to a desolate house and a weary worn out grace
Big talk in a small room all about how I was wrong
When I never even joined the gang and never even tagged along
But now you have me believing that all hope is gone

You can share what the weather’s like and you can offer me discounted tickets
To a first class all around planned guilt trip but I’m already a guilt tourist

I got burned by my past, that light never throws a shade
And nobody ever cares to see all the changes I have made
Everybody looks at me like I don’t know the language
But I understand glares perfectly and it worsens my anguish
And now you have me believing that you need me vanquished

You can share what the weather’s like and you can offer me discounted tickets
To a first class all around planned guilt trip but I’m already a guilt tourist

Pick a Bus

Pick a bus. Any bus. Take a chance, use some trust. It’s make or break. It’s boom or bust. Don’t tell us to change or cause a fuss because it’s only the whispers of bad luck and you can go anywhere for just two bucks. So pick a bus. Any bus. Pick a bus. Any bus.

New Irish Rocket

Since he was a guest at the estate he tried eating as proper as possible
But using tiny silverware for finger foods just felt ridiculously comical
So he laid down his fork and knife and put some bread rolls in his pockets
And he made an old Irish exit like a new Irish rocket

The station called him for questioning for apparently he was acting too suspicious
The estate owners charged him with insanity when he was just following traditions
So he told them where to meet him. His visit was too shocking.
And then he made an old Irish exit like a new Irish rocket

While they were all where he told them he’d be, he went back to the empty estate
He ate the rest of the food, all with his hands and left with the silverware and plates
He is a proud man and you don’t want to mock it
For he’ll make an old Irish exit like a new Irish rocket

He sold the silverware and plates to their neighbor across the road
And he never looked back even once as he disappeared into the unknown
He left all the money at a free clinic that night even though the doctor had locked it
And he made an old Irish exit like a new Irish rocket

If It Takes Years

I’m in for the long haul, I got the phone call for a bounty I can retire on
But your deeds in Tulsa make this personal. Get ready to put the miles on
Because I have so many questions and I don’t mind if it takes years to grill you
And after I hear all your confessions, I don’t mind if it takes years to kill you

You can’t hide in this city, I’m worn knuckle made and I have plenty of help from those you’ve betrayed. Bitch, I slay. You think my grade? Ha! Just show your face, name the place and the day, you will lose. Now let’s review: you stole the goods from the Appalachian and said it was all for the good of the nation. Your righteous talk makes me lose my patience when you spent to to change all past conversations. Understand me, you break families and the Deep Web wants you exposed as badly. I do the job every time I am hired with so much success I am an outlier. Just try to run, you’ll see I will not tire, I’ll corner you just like a forest fire.

Did you think I’d give up after your stunts at the World Cup?
You just make it worse upon yourself
I’m closing in on you. Just missed by an hour or two
But you don’t have anywhere else
And I still have so many questions and I don’t mind if it takes years to grill you
And after I hear all your confessions, I don’t mind if it takes years to kill you

Flash of the Wild

There’s light in the way you move and honor in the way you shine
A fresh step in spring with no shoes far from common city lines
A flash of the wild, a flash of the wild
You’re all the things I love
A flash of the wild

You’re a wolf and a crow in the mountains aware of similar dreams
Wash my face in the peak snow melting and flowing in crisp forest streams
A flash of the wild, a flash of the wild
You’re all the things I love
A flash of the wild

It’s new each and every day rays poke through canopies
A patch of moss where we can lay to hear songs of wild canaries
An escape to a wonderful bliss, I can’t pull away my eyes
A breathtaking kiss and beauty that fills the skies
You’re all the things I love
A flash of the wild