Onward and Upward

by Jake Stein

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released July 4, 2015




Jake Stein Durham, North Carolina

An eclectic multi-instrumentalist, Jake plays a bit of everything - guitar, piano, drums, bass, djembe, and more. Born in Durham, NC, his music draws from the rich traditions of folk, bluegrass, and blues, but blends in tastes of classic rock, jazz, and groove. Now in residency in Seattle, music remains an essential part of his life, an outlet for expression and a continual source of joy. ... more

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Track Name: The Fight
i been swimming for a year and a day,
sinking, drowning, and splashing away,
the light shines down, every now and again
and it blinds me, when it breaks on in

they say i'm dying, but i'm alright
they tell me to quit, but i'm loving the fight

keep on, fightin the good one,
you wont, last that long
its done, until you start again
keep on, keepin on.

this carousel just keeps spinning along,
bright lights shine, with some forgotten song,
but the crowds pass by, blind to the scene,
if they just tried to find what it all means

aint but two ways to get off and go,
ones to finish, or else you dont want to know
Track Name: Constellation
rain keeps fallin and
midnight is crawlin
towards daybreak and i
cant close my eyes

the thunder has faded and
i aint jaded
no more with you
but why would i

the road is a mystery, and itll
hide all your history from you,
but its bringin you home

months or years,
i cant think clearly
but now youll
be all my own

stars wink at us
from a velvet sky
what does forever mean
will you look me in the eye

my fatal flaws trace
on the lines on your face
and i cant know
if theyll ever grow

time takes reality
turns it to memory
and onward
to the dust in your mind

but youre in front of me
glowing brighter than i ever seen
and i want more

it seems like fantasy
but its all ill ever see
of you, my dearest
Track Name: Next One
light as a feather, and smooth as a stone
we might be mining for gold, we might be digging for bones
there there, just bleed til youre dry
theyre comin to get you, just dont ask why

on to the next one

10 years spent watching her go
Half a morning to let go
She smiles as she's wheeled toward the grave,
She says you've done enough now son, just be brave

The hum of machines to keep him alive
Daughter is six, but mama feels five,
Holding hands, but there's no way to know,
"I'm sorry ma'am, it's time you have to go,"

on to the next one

Tired as ever, but still no time to go home,
Went mining for gold, but kept on finding these bones,
"Please doc, keep on, I ain't ready to die,"
Ill stay through the night, but can't say why.
Track Name: Let Go
well i know, it's comin to find me,
i guess so, cuz the feeling grows,
i keep on, keep wanderin blindly,
ill just go til the path is exposed;

and you ask me to stay for a moment,
ease off that ramblin road,
the wind blows but the words are stolen,
so ill stay til the feeling goes.

everyone is runnin from something,
to or from a life they know,
just keep on running,
unless you can let go.

Sunrise, but your bed is empty
Should I try following through?
I find you staring off blankly
At the edge of town, but is it me, or is it you?

Summer comes, and the road is calling,
You won't talk, while I load the car,
Was it your dream or mine to see the ocean?
Guess we won't get that far.

Track Name: Beyond the Yonder
Well I've seen
Cracks in this mainstream
And I've dreamed
Of a path between the seams

Don't you want to wander
Cut it loose for a spell
Drift off beyond the yonder
Until, well...

Well I've been
Floating slowly upstream
Do you mean
To push us through to the green?


The shadows meet the dream
We careen
To a vision still so clean
Track Name: Onward and Upward
When the western shores do call,
How can I deny?
The eastern winds have blown again,
I'll finally catch one towards the sky.

And when I decide, who am I?

The ancestors call out to me,
How can you comply?
Ancient roots beneath,
Behind, below, beyond, and besides.

The questions follow me along the ride.

I cannot think to escape
The tangled web that lies behind.
I carry forth these buried wonders,
As I stumble towards the sky.
Track Name: The Breeze
First day of autumn and the lights are fading
First day of autumn and the rest of our little lives,
Don't let it fade like sunrise

The wind is blowing, tossing free the dying leaves,
They crumple softly underneath our barefoot toes,
Don't you wish that somebody knows

Ill be waiting by the oak tree
Hoping praying that you'll find me
Can't let go but we can get free
If we turn to the open breeze

Fall is fading and the frost sets in,
Close the gate then the shutters, now were locked in,
When do we begin?

The snows fall and it covers the stone
The rough and reedy is now as clean as bone
And you are all my own