Tumblers & Grit

by Chris Richards



Chris's critically acclaimed 2nd album:

"Best Off-Music-Row Albums of 2004" ~ THE TENNESSEAN

"3 1/2 Stars" ~ L.A. DAILY NEWS

"4 Stars" ~ MAVERICK

"Ok, folks - Here's the rundown. Here's how you make a great country music record in this day and age. [Richards has] assembled a brilliant cast of players, written some downright amazing songs, and delivered them all in a rich, smooth, silky baritone voice that ranks among one of the finest ever recorded in Nashville. The fact of the matter is that Tumblers & Grit is one of the finest country albums to be made since the 1960's golden age of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos And Merle, Johnny, and Willie. And it is a REAL country album. And no one seems to have the guts to make one of those very often anymore. You've got my word on it." ~ Embo Blake, HYBRID MAGAZINE

"...sounds less like a "Honkytonk Graveyard" - to borrow a song title - and more like honky-tonk heaven. A vital contribution to the genre." ~ Nick Cristiano, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER


released July 28, 2004


Chris Richards ~ vocals, acoustic guitar
Lloyd Green ~ pedal steel, Dobro
Kenny Vaughan ~ acoustic & electric guitars
Steve Conn ~ keyboards, accordion
Chris Carmichael ~ strings, mandolin
Jared Reynolds ~ bass, vocals
Shawn McWilliams ~ drums, percussion
Dawn McCoy ~ duet vocal on "Hearts Like These"
Manfred Jerome ~ percussion
Rusty McFarland ~ vocals
Ketch Secor ~ fiddle on "Nashville Gas", appears courtesy of Nettwork America, LLC.

Produced by R.S. Field
Recorded and mixed by Richard McLaurin at House of David, Nashville, TN
Assisted by Adam Bednarik
Additional recording by Rusty McFarland at Hum Depot, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Jim Demain at Yes Master, Nashville, TN
Photography by Jim Herrington
Art direction and illustration by Mark Dancey

©&℗ 2004 Lake Effect Records, LLC


all rights reserved



Chris Richards Nashville, Tennessee

Chris Richards is a critically acclaimed songwriter and recording artist from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He lives in East Nashville, Tennessee.

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Track Name: To Sing The Blues

Do you remember
When our love was new?
Brown-eyed and broken
And just out of school
And I was a singer
Just paying my dues

You made me play you
Those happy songs
Where love’s unending
And nothing goes wrong
And those were the only kind
That I knew
Till you taught me how
To sing the blues

Now I sing about
The wicked ways of lovers
I tell of all the cheating
And the lies
And the pain that comes
Once you have discovered
Just how hard it is
To bury love that dies

Now I play these dark songs
I learned ‘em well
Not from Blind Lemon
Or from Willie McTell
I guess all I needed
Was someone like you
You taught me how
To sing the blues

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Hard Livin'

It’s 11:37 on a Saturday night
If the clock on the
Microwave oven is right
There’s six more hours
Till the dawn’s early light
And these are the ones that can
Put up a fight and
I’ve been lookin’ for a fight

It’s twelve-hour shifts in the
Foundry heat, then I’m done
With the easiest part of my week
‘Cause when I’m not there
I’m here at home
Doin’ the things that you don’t
Do alone and
I’ve done all of them alone

It’s hard livin’
Hard livin’ without you now
Whiskey on my breath
Sweat upon my brow
Everybody says
I’ll get over you – but how?
It’s hard livin’
Without you now

Don’t the tough get goin’
When the goin’ gets tough?
I been goin’ all night and
It’s still not enough so I
Sit up straight, roll up my sleeves
Try to forget what you’re doin’ to me and
All that I have done to me
You see...

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Bells Of Odilia

The bells of Odilia
Are ringing once more
Now I’ve missed you again
Like I’ve missed you before

Out on the town
Is where I wanted to be
But this morning I swear
The town’s sitting on me
From there it must look
Like I’m letting you down
But I’m comin’ ‘round, Lord
I’m comin’ ‘round

The devil once whispered
Through his devil grin
Said "You can’t know you’re pure
Until you stand next to sin"
Lord, show your mercy
On my poison past
I have all these rough edges
So I don’t slip your grasp
We all tangle up
But I’ll get unwound
I’m comin’ ‘round, Lord
I’m comin’ ‘round

Well, it happens to me
All of the time
Temptation finds
The stool next to mine

Sometimes I hear you
At the end of the night
When the liquor’s set in
Through the smoke and the lights

But I’ll lay that all down, Lord
I won’t miss them that much
I may go out tonight
I’ll just look, I won’t touch

And the bells will ring
And I’ll follow the sound
I’m comin’ ‘round, Lord
I’m comin’ ‘round

©1999 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Jam The Breeze

Well, I just got in this morning
But I can’t stay long
Somethin’ in the road
It pulls me on
As soon as I sit still
I miss the windin’ hills
And crave the speed
I gotta jam the breeze

I tried that other life
And it killed me some
I bought a set of tires
And made ‘em hum
I blew that honest pay
In traps along the way
But now I’m free
I gotta jam the breeze

It don’t look like nothin’
But it’s everything I need
I got me the highway
And I got a set of keys

I used to trade my heart
But I learned since then
You’re better off to give it
To the wind
I don’t know when or how
I’ll be comin’ back, but now
I have to leave
Baby, I gotta jam the breeze

©2000 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Crazy Too

Back before this trouble came to find me
A quiet life was rollin’ down the tracks
Those peaceful days are far behind me
Can’t find a way to get ‘em back

You say it’s all the miles I’ve traveled
You tell me it’s the devil in the drink
But when you left, that’s when it all unraveled
So let me tell you what I think

You’d be crazy too
You’d be runnin’ this town from dusk to dawn
With a heart that’s broken through
If you knew the night the way that I do
Darlin’, you’d be crazy too

Now I’m not pointin’ any fingers
It’s just not as simple as you claim
You don’t know the way it lingers
How sometimes it takes two to go insane

So here’s to a woman’s intuition
And all that 101 psychology
Just take a look at me and listen
Here’s all the proof you’ll ever need

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Hang On To The Moon
Tell me, where are you tonight?
Bunkered down and out of sight?
Holdin’ up the ceiling with a broom?

Just as winter’s chill had gone
You hear the furnace kicking on
It’s supposed to be spring
But there’s nothing in bloom

They tell everyone
You shouldn’t look at the sun
But you do
And it sets
And darker and darker it gets
But the light is coming soon
So hang on to the moon

Let this ol’ Earth do its spinning around
Don’t watch the stars burst
And fall to the ground

Now there she glows, as good as new
Just a sliver, that’ll do
Somewhere I know that
You’re watching it too

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Nashville Gas

It trickled down
From high up in the mountains
Settled in the heart of Tennessee
And there it spread
From antenna to antenna
Rode the waves across the seven seas
One day that sound came into town
And it found me
And I’ve been runnin’ on it constantly

Gimme some of that Nashville gas
Nothin’ better than Nashville gas
A Telecaster and a Fender amp
A pedal steel fillin’ up the gaps
It’s gonna get a little lost sometimes
Gonna feel like the well’s gone dry
All you gotta do is follow it back
They never run out of that Nashville gas

Now it comes in
From every last direction
Places no one’s ever heard before
They bring it back
C’mon, now play it like you feel it
It’s fillin’ up the well of country soul
Now some will say it’s gone the way
Of rock ‘n’ roll
But I still hear it bubblin’ below

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Hearts Like These

They always stop to say
How good we look together
We smile and thank ‘em for the compliment
But every now and then
Someone says the word "forever"
And it just hangs there dying in the wind

You’re everything I wanted
And some I didn’t know
I swore I’d never let you slip away
But today I held you tighter
Than I ever did before
I know it’s only time my strength’ll fade

With heart like these
There’s no point in trying
Torn apart and barely on the mind
Fooling ourselves, trying to pretend
That these hearts will be together in the end

I can’t love you
I can’t love you
I can’t love you any more than I do

©2003 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: One Foot

I would be a starving man
If I could feel it through the cold
This might be the way to Hell
But I was put upon this road

I guess I seen you first
But no one’s got the drop on no one
We could do like we been told
Or both of us could keep on goin’
I don’t want your scraps of food
I don’t want to shoot you, brother
Let me keep upon my way
Put one foot in front of the other

All the pictures in your head
Did they think you had it in ya?
I’d offer you my hand
But I ain’t seen it since Virginia
Your blood is of no use to me
There’s enough of it behind me
I only want to see my home
Where none of this will ever find me
You could be distracted by a sound
And I could slip into the cover
Turn your eyes back to the ground
Put one foot in front of the other

©2001 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Honkytonk Graveyard

Bury me in the honkytonk graveyard
Where all the old carousers go to sleep
And there’s a thousand steel guitars and fiddles
Lying somewhere underneath your feet
Filled with all the no-good, lazy sinners
Who ever walked in through a swingin’ door
And every single, free good-timin’ woman
Who ever danced a sawdust-covered floor

My last request shouldn’t be too hard
I don’t need no one to pray for me
Bury me in the honkytonk graveyard
That’s as close to heaven as I want to be

Put sequins on the inside of my coffin
So it sparkles like the desert sky
Maybe I won’t miss ‘em quite as often
If they’re shining right before my eyes
Nestle in a half a pint of bourbon
Just so that I won’t forget the smell
And I know there’ll be a jukebox where I’m goin’
So throw a roll of quarters in as well

Bury me in the honkytonk graveyard
The last spot in the last remaining row
Fashion me a tombstone out of neon
So everyone can see it from the road
And if some night you’re walkin’ out this way and
You think you’re hearing something in the wind
It might be this old guitar a-playin’
And all the singing cowboys joining in

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: The Ballad Of The Analog Kid

Burst from the dirt
Like a lottery ball
Last one to talk
First one to crawl
And as soon as someone left the door unlatched
Just wandered out and he never
Looked back

Minnesota high
Louisiana low
But all the maps that he’d been given
Weren’t working anymore
One day he bent to put an ear down to the ground
The world blew by him
And it made a lonesome sound

One day everything changes
And you have to live with it
Time is running out on the analog kid
He got lost in the wires
Twisted and tired
And it’s beginning to feel like
The end of the line

Belly full of fire
And dyin’ of thirst
Troublin’ the night
Before the night can hit him first
And they left him in pieces
Lying scattered on the floor
Missing parts that they’re not making anymore
One day everything changes
And you have to live with it
Time is running out on the analog kid
They have broken his stride
Swept him aside
And it’s beginning to feel like
The end of the line

There’s a letter on the desk
From a far and distant land
No return address
But written in an old, familiar hand
It says "You better get it now
There isn’t time to think
It’s all been written down
In disappearing ink"

One day everything changes
And you have to live with it
Time is running out on the analog kid
They have left him behind
He can’t lay down and die
‘Cause it’s beginning to feel like
The end of the line

©2002 Lake Court Music (ASCAP)

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