Jesus Year

by T Ferrell

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released June 12, 2012

All words by Taylor Ferrell
All music by Taylor Ferrell except "Free State of Jones," "Roll Over Lester" and "Jesus Year" by Taylor Ferrell and TB Ledford
The Arctic Valley Sessions Band:
TB Ledford -- guitars, vocals, banjo, bass, dobro
Matthew Magee -- fiddle, bass
Dave Hutchison -- Drums
Taylor Ferrell -- Guitars, vocals
Guest musicians:
Kenny Hutson -- pedal steel on "Richard Nixon Commemorative Plate," "The Man," "Gitano Creek," and "Bit Players Burn"
Eric Carlton -- piano on "The Man" and "Richard Nixon Commemorative Plate"
Gin Gin Carlton -- vocals on "The Man," Empty Dancefloor," and "Rachel"
Rosamond Posey -- vocals on "The Man," "Empty Dancefloor" and "Roll over Lester"
David Gilmore -- piano on "Gitano Creek" and pedal steel on "Rachel"
Jamie Weems -- mandolin
Julia Weems -- vocals on "Gitano Creek"
Robert Jones -- Guitar on "Bit Players Burn"
Jamison Holister -- fiddle on "Free State of Jones"
Max Williams -- lap steel on "Empty Dancefloor"
Recorded at Blackwings Studio in Water Valley, MS. Additional recording at the Ledford Shack in Jackson, MS
Produced by Ferrell and Ledford
Engineered and Mixed by Winn McElroy at Blackwings Studio
Mastered by Randy LeRoy at Airshow Mastering.
Illustrations Gorjus ( Graphic design by Jackie Losset.



all rights reserved


T Ferrell Washington, D.C.

Mississippi native Taylor Ferrell writes and performs anti-establishment alt-country music. His populist themes and gritty stories channel Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle. On his debut album, Jesus Year, Ferrell weaves whiskey-soaked tales of Mississippi working class heroes doing battle with corrupt preachers, man-eating vultures, and Confederate Generals. ... more

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Track Name: Richard Nixon Commemorative Plate
We was sinners, we was headed for a fall
Until Reverend Jim came to save us all
He wore Italian leather shoes and drove a big Cadillac

Reverend Jim don’t like our neighborhood
Said we gotta leave this old church and build one that’s new
He showed us the architecture plans and passed around the plate again

Reverend Jim built him a big ole house
It’s got a swimming pool and a solarium
20 foot ceilings and granite floors

But I’ve never been invited to that house behind them wrought iron gates
Where on the mantle between two Bibles sits a limited edition Richard Nixon gold commemorative plate

Reverend Jim wakes up and plays 18, he’s got a brand new set of tax-deductible clubs
He hits it pretty straight, and he’s got a good short game I hear
Reverend Jim dabbles in real estate, he’s got a pro bono lawyer and cut interest rate
There’s a new subdivision that’s got his name on it
Reverend says “hey boy, come park my car, it’s too hot out here for me to walk that far,
I got no singles right now, but I’ll catch you around . . . “

Well every month at that Chamber of Commerce, the good Reverend invocates
Casts fire and brimstone on all [us] sinners, gonna make sure of all [our] fates
But I’ve never been invited to the house behind them wrought-iron gates
Where on the mantle between two Bibles sits a limited edition, Richard Nixon gold commemorative plate.
Track Name: The Man
I woke one morning I was feeling a little bit free
Gonna end them days of the man exploiting me
But I made the mistake of misunderestimating the powers that be,
When I pushed the man, the man kicked the sh*t out of me.
I woke one morning I was feeling a little bit free
Said I’m tired of subsidizing that nobility
But I looked up to see we was permanently at the bottom of a pyramid scheme
And when I tried to climb up, it toppled and buried me

And so on and on on the treadmill we run until we find we’ve few breaths left to breathe
And if I have a son, one day on that treadmill he’ll run just like my daddy did before me

I woke one morning, I was feeling a little bit free
Said this system that keeps us down is too arbitrary
But when acted upon, the system reacts and disregards proportionality
And when I questioned the system, the system kicked the sh*t out of me
Yeah I made the mistake of misunderestimating the powers that be,
When I pushed the man, the man kicked the sh*t out of me.
Track Name: Gitano Creek
I was born in this county, sixteen years ago
Red clay stained the soles of my feet
There once was a time when we left our shoes behind
Now we ain’t got no shoes to leave
Pa used to work down at the sawmill
Mill’s been closed two years to the day
Now the only dust caked on Pa’s boots
Is the dust that falls where they lay

Mama says we’ll be alright
But there’s a crack in her voice and a tear in her eye
Things go crash in the middle of the night
Like them storm clouds rolling in
Storm clouds rolling in

Old Mr. Jeffords from the General Store, used to come by and drink Pa’s moonshine
Old Mr. Jeffords don’t come round no more, since he cut off Pa’s credit line
Pa walks five miles to the county seat in town, takes his place a the back of the bread line
Where Pa hangs his head, and holds out his hand, whispers please let this be the last time

I woke early one morning to a chill in the air, and the pines singing sorrowful tunes
The door was wise open, but no one was there, and I stepped out in the light of the moon
I followed the sounds of them baying hounds to the banks of Gitano Creek
Where Pa lay dead with a hole in his head, and a .12 gauge by his feet
Track Name: The Buzzards!
Well my truck broke down about three miles from my home and I reckon it’s done this time
So I laced up my boots and put my gin in my pocket and I walked my old bones down the line
Bout a mile In I was looking up at the sky when I feel an awful pain in my leg
And when I looked underfoot there was a big ole cottonmouth, fangs sharp and white and eyes mean and red

Well that serpent had locked in its fangs pretty good, I felt the poison down to my core
And by the time I done taken off my boot, my foot’d swole up big like a gourd
I studied on sucking that poison out, but these bones they’re old and tired
And I ain’t touched my toes in twenty-something years, so I just laid my head down to die

When I woke them buzzards had made me out for carrion, they pecked my eyeball out of my head
I put my eyeball back in, took another pull of gin
Goddamn you buzzards, I ain’t quite dead, Goddamn you buzzards I ain’t quite dead

I got a no good woman I can’t shake free, she drinks all night and sleeps all day
She spends all my money and screws my best friend, and kicks my dog when I look the other way
Well I gotta get back my home sweet home to keep that woman from messing around
From selling off my farm and marrying my friend and taking my dog out back and putting him down

So I reached in my pocket and took out my knife I guess one foot ain’t much of a loss
I bit down hard and looked the other way and took to sawing that rotten foot right off
Now I got one bloody stump wrapped in a tourniquet, I left the other [part] lying on the road
And that rotten foot’ll just have to make do for them birds, cause I’m a hopping the rest of me on home
Track Name: Jesus Year
Thirty-three and counting, the walls are closing in
End of the beginning, beginning of the end
Wake up every morning, ends’ a little nearer
Never saw it coming until my Jesus year

Decades’ worth of plans, illegible from the stain
Of bootprints and spilled whiskey
Bleeding like an open vein
Was always looking forward, still arrived too late
Now I’m searching for some means to compensate

Won’t you hold me tight, won’t you ease my fears?
Help me through the night of my Jesus year
Track Name: Bit Players Burn
This scene is familiar; I think we’ve both been here before
These streets, they led us here again
It’s a place from which we ran, never to return but then
The devil we know is the one that gets us in the end

The story’s been written, we’ll just play our parts tonight
Bit players, we’ll both take our turn,
Won’t be no encore, anonymity is the best we can hope for
Raise your glass to the night and watch us burn.

Pretty darling won’t you drink with me tonight,
I know a place on the wrong side of town
And when we wake tomorrow, please shut out the light
Spotlight’s no friend of ours, so mama, pull them shades low down

I hear an old love song coming from an empty bar,
Yeah, I think it’s one we used to know
But I promise not to say nothing about yesterday
If we had a time, it was a long time ago
Track Name: Empty Dance Floor
Rainy Tuesday on the last leg of the tour
Pull the van out back, walk through the rusty door
We used to play a bigger venue, but we can’t fill it up no more

Familiar greeting from the man behind the bar
Says “welcome back boys, it’s good to see you, but I’m awful sorry,
We took a hit last time you played here, so we can’t comp your drinks no more”

An empty dancefloor reflects the tired, flickering lights
Regulars keep their backs turned and bellies up all through the night
I guess we never played nothing that anybody would want to hear twice
Let’s let ‘em close out boys and we’ll call it a night

Tell me what it means when that crashing sound is just your dreams and you
look to see there’s no one to hear them fall
I’ll tell you about how, it’s so goddamn lonely now
When you realize they didn’t make a sound at all

After the show, we’ll drive all night to get back home
Only mail is a notice they’ve cut off my lights and phone
There used to be a girl here waiting, she says she can’t wait no more
Track Name: Roll Over, Lester
Roll over Lester, Austin’s back on the scene
He’s flying first class down to Tennessee
To see the Kings and get down on his knees
Spin over Lester, Austin will have himself a time
He’ll smoke their regal bud and drink their fancy wine
They’ll all agree that the new sound is fine

Lester wasn’t impressed by all the groupies and private jets
Free records was enough for him
Now Austin’s got the cover with a hack piece about them brothers
And Lester rolls over again

Spin over Lester, there’s not much else that you can do,
You know that Austin never cared about your rules
Just so long as the band thinks he’s cool

Roll over Lester, Austin will help them build their lore
If Lester was around, he’d say it’s all a f*cking bore
With every word RollingStone dies some more
Track Name: Newton Knight Part I (Free State of Jones)
Tell you a tale if I might, about my Captain Newton Knight
Humble farmer of the clay, he’d tell you he don’t know no other way
Down here in the Piney Woods, owning slaves don’t do much good
We ain’t got much land to grow, a couple acres for our corn

When President Lincoln was sworn in, they passed the Secession Ordinance
Conscription man knocked on the door, said “come on Newt, fight for your home”
Newt said “this ain’t no war of mine, I think Honest Abe will do just fine”
But conscription man wouldn’t let him be, so he signed up as an orderly

He marched due North with the 7th, and saw the blood at Corinth
Word came about a drought at home, he deserted ranks and went back to Jones

Cotton ain’t no king around here, we is free men to the bone
And we ain’t gonna fight your rich man’s war in the free state of Jones

Life was hard on the run, move all night and avoid the sun
Can’t use the road, can’t use the rail, can’t shake the hellhound on his trail
Newt made it home all right, but he was right mad when he saw the sight
Rebels had taken all his stores, Newt said they won’t take no more
Captain rounded up some kin, deserters and wanted men
With ragged shoes and clothes all torn, they took up arms to fight for the North

General Maury had best think twice before he sends in that Calvary,
Them yeoman farmers fight like hell in Jones County
Track Name: Newton Knight Part II (Rachel)
After Lee laid down his sword
And the Rebel flag came down
Newton Knight came out of the swamps
Head high as he walked through town

He went on back to his homestead and his wife
Seven kids, some of them now grown
He settled back in that easy rocking chair
But the place just didn’t feel like home

There was a girl, Rachel was her name
Part black and part Cherokee
All her life a slave and a concubine
Now for the first time, she was free

Newt built a cabin made of logs
From his house right across the way
And since Rachel had no place else to go
Newt said “here is where you’ll stay”
And he crossed a bridge between two worlds
And he crossed a bridge

Years went on, Newt gave Rachel a gift, Never given by no white man,
He handed her the deed to her house, And he gave her some land

Every day, Newt would come calling, Rachel had five more kids along the way
And when Newt looked, deep in their green eyes, It’s the best part of Rachel’s day

And he crossed a bridge between two worlds, he’ll disregard what they’ll say
And his life was a bridge between two worlds, and on the other side he’d stay
Track Name: The Sting at the Jackson Country Club, 1966
It was a sting at the country club in Jackson, jaws hit the floor when the Sheriff rolled right in
It’ll be a cold day in Hell, before they send them rich folks to jail
And on Monday whiskey will flow again, yeah, on Monday sweet whiskey will flow again

Twenty-three years after Amendment 21, Mississippi kept prohibition on the books
Working man like me can’t get no law changed, but for rich folks one night was all it took.
For rich folks one night was all it took

It was a Junior League party at the Jxn Country Club, was wall to wall with French wine and champagne
Sheriff busted in amidst those blue bloods, and he poured their spirits down the drain
He poured their spirits down the drain

It wasn’t too long after that wine hit the ground, that the first Senator got his first call,
The very next time that legislature met they repealed that prohibition law
Now I ain’t a man used to seeking out permission, I took my drink, and I never thought to ask
But I won’t shed a tear for that godforsaken law, so to the Country Club folks I’ll raise my glass