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Honeysuckle Summer

by Charles Ellsworth

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    I'm so dang stoked to FINALLY be releasing Honeysuckle Summer! I'm even more stoked that I was able to press it on this dope transparent blue vinyl and it is packaged in a beautiful Gatefold LP with the lyrics printed inside. I'm not trying to brag, but this record is guaranteed to be a gem in any collection, no matter how grandiose or modest.

    Produced by Joe Reinhart at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia and featuring Jared Schapker on Bass, Blake Suben on Drums, Mike Brennan on Pedal/Lap Steel, Nate Vaeth on Piano and Organ, Lucy Stone on Backing Vocals. Artwork by J. Alan Kelley and Re Mcbride.

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    It's my new record, and it's on Compact Disk for your vehicle or your walkman! Get it!

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 9 Charles Ellsworth releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Chuck Goes Acoustic Vol. 1, Honeysuckle Summer, Laundromat, Max & Geraldine, Paranoia (A Nü Start), Cesaréa, Wildcat Chuck Charles, Charles Ellsworth & The Dirty Thirty, and 1 more. , and , .

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1.
Empty glass arguments and Little League games, Are all I can remember from my Father’s days. Don’t let him see the tears when you’re thrown out at 3rd because boys don’t cry, they get angry first. Was it fear or was it love that shook me down to my core? When My Father said “Son, you know it hurts me more.” A child of a child trying to raise a man Build emotional walls, rule with an iron hand. I guess somewhere we learn that life is suffering. Surprised after all this time he’s still playing the games. Praying in the evening Trying to lower the cost Feels like gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. We’re just gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. I come down from my hills when I got laid off, They sold the mill off for parts and the whole town lost. To men who line their pockets with the dreams they kill Undertaker’s making millions off of fentanyl. I found myself some work on a factory floor Building overpriced garbage for the marketing wars. Nothing meant to last only to get broken down, But we drink beer at lunch when the boss is out of town. I guess somewhere we learn that work is suffering. Surprised after all this time that we’re still clocking in. Drinking on the weekends Trying to deal with it all Feels like gripping onto water, grabbing at what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. We’re just gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. I could tell that she weren’t from around here, she smells like rain. Every time she comes to town, I swear it’s pouring again. She’s a child of the sea and she’s seen some rough waters, her momma’s only daughter, always talking on the phone. I loved her like some truth I had stumbled on. I tried to squeeze it like the moisture from a desert stone. That monolithic beauty formed in prehistoric times, Immune to my affections and my clever rhymes. I guess somewhere we learn that Love is suffering. Surprised after all this time that I’m still playing her games. Pacing in the evening, wondering if she’ll ever call Feels like gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. Gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost. We’re just gripping onto water, grabbing what’s been lost.
2.
About twelve hours west on 1-70, There’s a dark haired woman I’d give anything to see. Somewhere within the limits of South Cincinnati She’s my Queen of the Ohio River Valley. Listening to ‘Champagne Supernova’ In my Jeep Cherokee. The first time that I saw her, I went shaky in the knees. It was all over when she touched my arm. Melted like a stick of butter In the Mississippi sun. She’s got a voice Like a cool steady breeze On a warm summer night When it’s dancing with the leaves. And I don’t know why She likes spending her time With me. I come from an old family out of Youngstown, Until thirty years ago, they shut the foundry down. Grandpa cooked the books; they tried to take him away And my grandpa weren’t the only man who died that day. I did four years when I was eighteen I was two months free When I met Geraldine “If i’m gonna have a man, he’s gonna be around, you get arrested again, and I’ll plant you in the ground. She’s got a bite Like a little wolf pup If you ain’t careful, She’s gonna draw blood. And I don’t know why She’s still putting up With my bad attitude And those days I’m a grump She just smiles and Pays it all back with love. Geraldine got sick About six months ago. When the money run out She moved in with her folks. Twenty-three years Yeah, we made it this far And there’s always been something That’s making life hard. Now, she’s in Ohio and I’m on the coast And I spend my lunch breaks On Insurance calls. Monday through Thursday, I sleep in my car But I spend my weekends in Geraldine’s arms. Pushing the motor at seventy-eight Dodging and dipping down the interstate. Hoping and praying we’ll do this for years Soaking each moment while holding back tears. She’s got fight like the world’s never seen When the bell sounds, she’ll leave it all in the ring. And I don’t know why she likes spending her time… With me.
3.
Blessed 04:05
Could someone else bless the U.S. of A? Because the God I was taught is a scapegoat for hate. The heroes I’ve known were just box office gold. Been fighting the same wars since I was thirteen years old. Watched the bottom fall out when the top crushed the middle. We bailed out the banks, but the workers still struggle Tired and angry can’t agree on what for except Buildings don’t last with foundations this flawed. Could someone come save this stolen land that I love? From men who just see dollar signs under dust? Whose pockets run deep but whose children can’t breathe. Trading all of their tomorrows for his eternity. Will the fires rage on once the rains they stop coming? Will the locust precede or follow the famine? Will these children of god just keep putting on a show? Will they watch the world burn before their companies fold? We’ll all be ancient history When the rockies crumble to the seas. Walking down that razor’s edge. The only right is towards the rest. Don’t tell me you’re free. Don’t tell me you're free. When they got their boot on your neighbor’s neck And you’re kissing their feet. You’re not free. Can something come save this land of the free? A timeless idea to unite you and me? Find the power in love, and strength in our numbers. Not prey upon the weak, or demonize the other.
4.
Laundromat 04:45
You were walking to the Laundromat, I was coming home from work. You said “I got a pocket full of quarters, Would you like to shoot some pool? I’ve been in town about a year now And I ain’t got too many friends, And I’m just trying to find somebody kind To spend the afternoon with. Do you mind?” “Hope you don’t mind.” MaryAnn said goodbye about a week and a half back. And I’d been spending all my time wandering the pages of my past. Last thing that I wanted was to catch a woman’s gaze, But there was a kindness in your laughter. I could see it written on your face. So I said, “Alright,..’ ‘No, I don’t mind.” Sometimes the motion of the spinning earth, it drives me insane. And I just Want to cut and run, but I can’t get away from it all, ‘cause where you go, there you are. That thing behind your thoughts, observing it’s wretched... Suicide sweet mornings and the smell of tangerines. You and all the alcohol were engraved upon my dreams. Eternity. A Highway. Thoughts of you and myself. Projections on a girl to decorate a bedroom self. and I was mystified........ Oh, darling I could see the future and it was smiling at you. Laying over worlds apart scratching short of the truth. The jealous subtleties of an insecure boy. Addicted to the comfort of an out of reach love. While the motion of the spinning Earth, it drove you insane. And I just Watched you cut and run, now I can’t get away from it all, ‘cause where I go, there you are. That thing behind my thoughts observing it’s lovely self. I drove from Utah to Chicago and all of hell in between, Oh, the sweet, soft pull of icy tombs off Highway 23. In it to whatever end. Stoned and deaf and blind. My Honda like a missile, Just flying through the night. I watched the future and the truth collide. Now, I’m just sitting in this motel with you humming through my mind. The spinning of the earth, I think it’s starting to say. That you can try to cut and run, but you won’t get away from it all. Learn how to love who you are. Embrace the thing behind your thoughts and let yourself ride on. Ride on. Ride on. Right on.
5.
Miami, AZ 04:01
She’s no longer the girl that I knew back then. She’d ditch her idiot friends and we’d dance in the bed Of the truck her Father bought her When she turned 16. Never heard ‘no’ it seemed. She was so different than me. That curfew her Mother gave To try and keep her safe From the Boys up the road And the darkness they know. Talking about honor While she’s on her way gone. Mixing Old Testament Father With the Blood of the Son. Honeysuckle Summer That Arizona Moon. She was riding shotgun When her courage found the truth. “Get Jesus off the wheel, And I’ll lead us out of town. Cross that county line, I think we’ll be just fine.” Truth or Consequences of The choices we made, When we lived by the sword And felt the cool of the blade. In the back of the romance That we’d been counting on. Two kids playing at love, But so afraid to grow up. Yeah, we were California dreamin’ In a small mining town. Where a mountain once stood, Now just a hole in the ground. Throw the Bible at the children And then they release the wolves. Blaming all the women For the sins of the world. Honeysuckle Summer That Arizona Moon. She was riding shotgun When her courage found the truth. “Get Jesus off the wheel, And I’ll lead us out of town. We cross that county line…” I don’t want to sit around And watch this Copper Mine dry. While they suck away my life one paycheck at a time. She lit a cigarette and said, “They’ll never catch us alive, Let’s put Miami in the mirror And go find that Horizon line.” That Horizon line… Honeysuckle Summer That Arizona Moon. She was riding shotgun When her courage found the truth. “Get Jesus off the wheel, And I’ll lead us out of town. We cross that county line.” Yeah, it was Honeysuckle Summer That Arizona Moon. She was riding shotgun When her courage found the truth. “Get Jesus off the wheel, And I’ll lead us out of town. Cross that county line, I think we’ll be just fine.”
6.
I slept it off in Reno and now I’m Driving through Cheyenne. This frozen road to Chicago Might take me home, but I can’t say when. A decade out here on the road and I ain’t Got a goddamned thing to show, but the bent and broken hearts of friends And lovers I’ve turned cold. Oh, this highway’s like a graveyard For the lives I could have lived. And I’m wrestling with the thought of never Holding her again. Oh heaven, don’t you take my baby away. Oh darling, don’t you change your mind about me. Don’t you change. Cuz I’ve scared away anyone Who’s ever given a damn. And along the way, I learned you can’t hold The Highway, but The Highway can sure hold you down. There’s cows and corn and not much else Except plenty of time to think to myself of every little thing that I ever fucked up I should have been nicer When she scratched the truck. I got an old friend in Omaha and he thinks I should probably stay the night. Says there’s a storm rolling in and I’m looking worn thin. He’d love to catch up if I can find the time, but the sooner I can get to that bootlegger city, the sooner I can make it back home, look her in the eye, Say she’s the only thing that I want. And If she wants me to, I could give up the road. Oh, heaven, don’t you take my baby away. Oh, darling, don’t you change your mind about me. ‘Cause I’ve scared away anyone who’s ever given a damn. And along the way, I learned you can’t hold The Highway, But The Highway can sure hold you down. I don’t want to be a white cross decorating Highway 55. I don’t want to be an old man crying in his beer, Because he forgot to live while he could still feel alive. I want to know her better than these towns I’ve never lived. If she ain’t moved on, I’ll give her all I’ve got to hold her in my arms again. Oh Heaven, don’t you take my baby away. Oh darling, don’t you change your mind about me. Cause I’ve scared away anyone who’s ever given a damn. And along the way, I learned you can’t hold The Highway, but The Highway can sure hold you down.
7.
That Blood in the halls Turns to ink on a page. The Gun is the God of the U.S. of A. No light in the darkness No moths to the flame Just victims of failure Mathematic clichés. Blood in the halls Blood in the halls Blood In the halls Puts the seeds in the soil. The spectacle, the money Fill the belly of it all. Those tiny explosions Push an unholy engine, Whose soul’s been compromised Ever since the beginning. And there's nothing we can do. They say there’s nothing we can do. What you gonna do? What you gonna do? When your neighbor’s idiot kid Shoots up your granddaughter’s school? What you gonna do? What you gonna do? When that funeral march is dedicated To something that you loved and that you’ll never hold? What you gonna do when the bullets hit home? Why don’t we always talk about? Why aren’t we in the streets about? Why’s nothing being done about? That blood in the halls. Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls Like a warm Apple Pie. As American as Baseball Or Native Genocide. No Light in the darkness No moth to the flame. Just victims of failure Mathematic clichés. And there’s nothing we can... What you gonna do? What you gonna do? When your neighbor’s idiot kid Shoots up your granddaughter’s school? What you gonna do? What you gonna do? When that funeral march is dedicated To something that you loved and you’ll never hold? What you gonna do when the bullets hit home? Why’s nothing being done about? Blood in the halls Turns to ink on a page. Violence is the God of the U.S. of A. No light in the darkness No moths to the flame Just those victims of failure Mathematic clichés Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls. Blood in the halls.
8.
Trouble 04:47
Ancient love in liquor stores, Highway drives through desert storms. Down red rock roads to romance rendezvous. Smoking rooms and soggy skies Muscle cars, her hazel eyes Up all night with one bottle of Gin. And just like a goddamned brick to the face, I got morning coming through my window. And I ain’t fit to face another day of this Living in the past and worried about the future. I’ve got trouble on my mind. Nothing seems to last and I’m only getting older With this trouble on my mind. Trouble. On my mind. My shrink, she says, “boy you gotta take it easy on yourself, ‘cause there’s no one else who’s gonna see it so upside down. Pick you on up when you’re spiraling out and say you’ve done nothing wrong. Nothing wrong.” And just like a goddamned brick to the face I got morning coming through my window. I ain’t fit to face another day of this Living in the past and worried about the future. I’ve got trouble on my mind. Nothing seems to last and I’m only getting older With this trouble on my mind. Trouble on my mind. I’ve got trouble on my mind. I’ve been feeling so much lighter Since I lost it all when I hit the ground. I ain’t afraid no more. I want to soak up the spring And run through the summer again. I’ve been seeing so much clearer Since I ditched my mask And my brain dried out. Searching for the wonder in every little moment. Humbly returning the love that I’ve been given. Saying yes to what is and simply not forgetting to Be right here, right now And remember to breathe. Yeah, I’ve just gotta be right here, right now. Remember to breathe. I’ve just gotta Be. Right here. Right now. Remember To Breathe. Remember To Breathe.

credits

released March 5, 2021

All songs written by Charles Ellsworth

Produced by Joe Reinhart at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia and featuring Jared Schapker on Bass, Blake Suben on Drums, Mike Brennan on Pedal/Lap Steel, Nate Vaeth on Piano and Organ, Lucy Stone on Backing Vocals. Artwork by J. Alan Kelley and Re Mcbride.

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Charles Ellsworth Brooklyn, New York

Born and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona, Charles Ellsworth first gained an appreciation for a simple, not so distant past. His vivid lyrics and near-familiar melodies weave to tell stories of heartbreak and loneliness while shining a light on the perseverance of the human spirit. ... more

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