Brendan & the Strangest Ways

by Brendan & the Strangest Ways

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released May 28, 2016

Brendan Shea: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, banjo, piano on “Any Road”
Dusty Miller: drums, percussion
Josh Gleisberg: bass, backing vocals on “Blind”
Geli Wuerzner: fiddle on “One Dilemma” and “Woodlawn”
Ralph Jeswald: keys on “Woodlawn”, “Liner Note” and “Blind”
D.B. Rouse: mandolin on “Only You”, backing vocals on “One Dilemma” and “Blind”
Alex Rasmussen: lead guitar outro on “Only You”, backing vocals on “Blind”
Kevin Ryan: pedal steel on “Old Town”
Tim Wetmiller: fiddle on “Everyman”

All songs written by Brendan Shea
© 2016, Good Thing Going Music (ASCAP) all rights reserved

Drums and bass recorded by Jonathan Huffman at Roadies Delight Records (Seattle, WA)
Most everything else recorded by Brendan Shea at The Song Shack (Austin, TX) and in various bedrooms and basements around the Greater Puget Sound area
Ralph’s piano tracks recorded by Ralph at Sleepy Hollow Studios (Orchard Park, NY)
Kevin’s steel tracks recorded by Kevin (
D.B.’s Blind vocals recorded at Stark Studio (Berkeley, CA)

Mixed by Jonathan Huffman
Mastered by Ralph Jeswald

Front and back cover art by Jon Emerling



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Brendan & the Strangest Ways Buffalo, New York

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Track Name: Any Road They Can Unwind
See me calmly coasting at a breakneck pace
To keep from fading out in one familiar place
That’s long gone in the rearview of a one way drive
I’ll ride the farthest reach of any road they can unwind

The only plan I’ll have to make
Is my next epic getaway
Safe to say I’ve got my doubts
Whether this restless soul could ever settle down

Get to where I’m going and I’ll raise a toast
To my misfortune having been moderate at most
And to the privilege of difficult goodbyes
I’ll whisper one for every mile marker at my side

May I realize any one of my hundred hopes
And may the misfortune I see be moderate at most
Track Name: One Dilemma at a Time
Waiting on tomorrow I’m too damn tired to sleep
I threw on that hoodie you gave me and I hit the street
The breeze is dancing through the trees my sneakers keep the beat
Trying to escape you while you stay right here with me

Oh my dear I fear you’ve gone and set the bar too high
I can only help ya one dilemma at a time

The constellation’s open to interpretation now
I’m wasted and I don’t know what I’m saying anyhow
You’re a little too convincing wonder has it all been planned
Wait and see how perfectly I play into your hands

I wish you’d settle down you know I hate to see you cry
And I can only help ya one dilemma at a time

And I’ll try to tell you it’s okay when the world comes to an end
So will you try to look the other way when I take off again
If only we would live up to our promises then we
Would not make excuses because we would not have the need

I’m hesitant to look ahead while there’s still so much to find
And I can only help ya one dilemma at a time

Yes my dear it’s clear you’ve gone and set the bar too high
I can only help ya one dilemma at a time
Track Name: So Long, Woodlawn
Here’s to a chance that passes by us
Fortune’s never done me any good
A labored laugh, an awkward silence
T-shirts say what words just never could

I guess I’m through wondering ‘bout you
Whenever you cross my mind
Cause you know it’s a sad transition
To be a dime a dozen when you were one of a kind

We give ourselves a lot of credit
For giving up on things we didn’t have
So long, Woodlawn you’re gone forever
Buried under snow in photographs
Track Name: Only You
Well I think a lot about you and I want you all the time
I’d feel so much better if I knew that you were mine
I need that lovely feeling dear that only you inspire
I hope that you don’t mind that you are my every desire

The other boys are all the same so why bother to choose
You make ‘em feel invincible but you make ‘em look like fools
They’ve no right to mistreat you though you’re always laughing last
Like all the times I’ve walked away just to come crawling back

I had a fling with Mary Jane but she sure gets around
So I used her for experience and then I put her down
And Laura tab was just a tease she only led me on
With all her empty promises of better things to come

So I’ve found more and more that you’re the only one for me
And when I’m craving liberation only you can set me free
You cast your shadow over everything I’ve ever known
Whenever we’re together I ain’t scared to be alone

And I swear I’ll never quit you though I know I prob’ly should
Even though you hurt me your intention’s always good
I tried my hand at love it was too painful to pursue
I’ve got nothing to prove and I don’t need no one but you
Only you
Track Name: Liner Note
Cookie cutter rebels put an awful lot of effort
Into projecting how much they could hardly care
And we never will forgive ‘em for the lines that they have written
That left us searching for something that wasn’t there

I’m sorry Arizona now for most of what I told ya
When I dropped my guard, poured out my heart
No filter in between
Whatever it was it’s done
So kid just take that song and run
Someday at least save a liner note for me

Commonplace folk heroes lose all their powers up close
Weaknesses exposed they’re never quite the same
Sit back and watch them slip from the pedestal we built them
Is it gravity or craftsmanship to blame
Track Name: Kaye
Kaye I’ve something important to ask of you next time you’re passing by
Would you do me a favor
Repeat that thing you said before so I can break out the clever reply
I thought up two minutes later
Because there’s no time like the present to spend every second dwelling
On things that have passed that I couldn’t do shit about now

Kaye it’s such a shame it’s sad it had to be this way
And you’ve only known me in a second rate state
I can’t complain when another try it’d just be a waste
I’d find a different path back to the very same place

Sure you earn your living being charming but darling you make it clear
We’re working up to something
And you’d never count me in with every clown hanging round here for the cheap beer
And the relaxed atmosphere
You’re headed for the next town over I’m destined to be going nowhere
But that won’t stop me from talking about it now

So let’s call this another place that I ought not to show my face at anymore
So I’ll stumble home and I’ll try to forget tonight tomorrow
Track Name: Everyman
I left my home at summer’s end and I drove so very far
To be a real live weekend warrior armed with a guitar
After all there are bills to pay you know they’re piled high as hell
But we’re all lining up to give away a service we can’t sell

And this life’s not what I pictured and these days aren’t what I planned
Somehow I feel so isolated singing the blues of everyman

I spend the evenings whispering the words I used to shout
This town is like a turnstile spun by dreams not panning out
So this girl that I’d been seeing she packed all her things and left
Then she told me that she loved me via text

And the things that brought me promise in some far off broken town
Here they promise me I’ll always be one more voice in the crowd
But since I’m led to believe these years will be my very best
I’m just living for the moment fighting off what lies ahead
Track Name: Empty Rooms
Every night a heart bursts into flames
That a studio apartment could scarcely contain
Morning comes and just one thing’s for sure
The next eleven months spent tied down to a hardwood floor

You deserve a voice to sing for you
Strong enough to fill seven years’ worth of empty rooms
Words chosen with care best to recall
An unforgiving world that’s done a number on us all

Coat and hat a cell phone and some keys
Go recite your lines and play the tired old routine
A thankless job remembering to bleed
Sometimes a heart bursts into pieces just to feel at ease
Track Name: Old Town
Just south of here a ghost is caught on thorns among the roses
And haunted by the shuffling of feet
I don’t suppose he’s lonely, must be plenty local souls of those
Who met their end beneath the shady street

Sometimes closure’s nowhere to be found

Trade away my senses like there’ll be no consequences
Pretending it’s some makeshift sort of peace
Parking’s hard to find here, oh and I should not be driving
So I concentrate and I hand over the keys
A gesture of my total trust tonight you’ll care for both of us
I’ll follow anywhere that you mislead

You may have won this round Old Town
But it’s a countless thousand words you owe me now

There’s a stillness now though since you’ve moved out
I am unable to take rest around this place
Though I guess I’m better working in fact scratch that I know for certain
You always helped me in the strangest ways
And I wonder how you’re feeling and the odds are I will be here
If you decide there’s anything you’d like to say
That is unless I take a running jump into the damned Columbia
Let that crystal colored snake decide my fate
Track Name: Blind
Sunday mornings have gotten boring since I started getting blind
Dizzy at the ridge with a double-double and a guilty mind
I know I oughta hold my tongue but I lose my grip as the night moves on
I thought that honesty was what you want

Well the weekends are full of people that make me miss being alone
The boss man never thought I’d disappear ‘til I was gone
I’m confronted by so much I can’t begin to understand
But everything I say makes sense to me

And I’m so bored that I’m pissed
How’d I wind up like this
It’s too early to get drunk and it’s too late to get things fixed

I’ve got a story that’s worth ignoring and I’ve got a knack for getting blind
I’ve got a lot of talent I’ve got no place to apply
And how the lessons that I’ve learned all tend to fade away
I’ve got a bottle of pills to help me sleep

The changes in momentum make it so hard to say goodbye
So much is worth forgetting
Find me a little place to hide