J B and the Phantom Band | Never Too Late

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Blues: Blues-Rock Rock: Roots Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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Never Too Late

by J B and the Phantom Band

No ridiculous, over-the-top description - just no b.s. electric blues and rock with on-pitch vocals, a little "vocal guitar" and a few challenging lyrics that rise to the occasion.
Genre: Blues: Blues-Rock
Release Date: 

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1. No Excuses Blues
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3:53 $0.99
2. Alexander's Ragtime Band (Has a Case of the Dixieland Blues)
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4:10 $0.99
3. Maybe All I Need to Know
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3:57 $0.99
4. The Cookies Song
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3:59 $0.99
5. Enjoy the Noise
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5:16 $0.99
6. Since I've Been Gone
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3:23 $0.99
7. Heaven Is Calling
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3:27 $0.99
8. Out On the Streets
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4:55 $0.99
9. Trouble Will Be Waiting
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2:50 $0.99
10. I Wonder
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3:11 $0.99
11. Takin' My Time Tonight
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3:59 $0.99
12. The Road Doesn't Lead Where It Led Before
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4:25 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Here are my no b.s. CD notes. They contain no self-serving phrases like "he mixes blues and rock in dynamic, creative ways." You'll find no words like "authentic, unique, brilliant, sensitive, insightful and roots music" -- though I hope some of those and other "good" words apply. Louis Armstrong said there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. I think mine is in the former category and I hope you agree. But you'll only find out by listening and I imagine you'll know pretty soon if you find something you like.

I'm not really a performer and I'm certainly not an entertainer. Oh, I was a rock singer and folk singer long ago, but I'm really just a poet and a singer who can write some at least passable songs with some atypical lyrics that occasionally rise above the mundane. I obviously borrow heavily from the great songwriters and musicians who invented the forms I use. There are a lot of blues songs here because that remains my first love in music, which started as a teen when I discovered that The Animals and the Rolling Stones were playing songs written by Muddy Waters and other blues artists. That led me to Paul Butterfield, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Johnson, Skip James, Dave Ray, Memphis Slim, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, John Mayall, J.B. Lenoir, Jimmy Reed and many more. I like rock, too, especially when it's closer to blues, and country, especially when it's closer to rock. I like some of a lot of styles, from Irish and bluegrass to R n B and jazz, and that includes a few "guilty pleasures" from the vast wasteland of modern pop and Nashville (OK, that last bit might be slightly overstated).

Anyway, if you like what you hear, I hope you'll tell others. It would be nice to have a bit of an audience, even nicer to think that some people enjoy -- or at least ponder -- something I've created.

Here are a few notes on the songs, most of which were written in the last five years:

No Excuses Blues -- An uptempo blues with nice slide guitar.

Alexander's Ragtime Band (Has a Case of the Dixieland Blues) -- I wrote this song many years ago and always envisioned it with a New Orleans-type backing with horns. And, yes, I know the final product is not "true" Dixieland.

Maybe All I Need to Know -- The only track without any kind of drums; if I had to hang my hat on one song, this might be it.

The Cookies Song -- As my daughter noted: "Dad, a 4-minute novelty song?" Well, that's what you get when you cross a bit of Sesame Street with the blues and some resonator guitars. And, yes, my late mom did bake all those cookies. I doubt she'd like the song, which she never heard, but she'd be happy about being mentioned in it.

Enjoy the Noise -- Had to have one noisier rocker with some "vocal guitar," some poetic lyrics, and resophonic and thrash guitars dueling with jazzier Rhodes piano riffing. An obvious combination, right?

Since I've Been Gone -- Not exactly autobiographical but this 3/4-time piece (which isn't just for waltzes) represents the notion that we all have regrets, which includes those people who say they don't have any.

Heaven Is Calling -- Probably not what you think it is; check out the video at www.youtube.com/user/jamesbohen or https://vimeo.com/jamesbohen.

Out on the Streets -- Pretty much speaks for itself. If you've listened to any of the songs on the CD before this, I think you've noticed that I don't have a problem with extended endings.

Trouble Will Be Waiting -- Another blues with a New Orleans feel (I've never been there, by the way). The resophonic guitar lead was definitely a bit of serendipity.

I Wonder -- A CD with a lot of blues songs without an uptempo number with some harp and electric guitar leads? Not gonna happen.

Takin' My Time Tonight -- Another song I wrote decades ago. It took just a "touch" of reverb and some punch-ins to make my whistling tolerable.

The Road Doesn't Lead Where It Led Before -- It ends the CD perfectly in my opinion. Maybe I missed my calling long ago -- if I'd studied music composition as a youth, I just might have been a choral composer.

As to the Phantom Band, all I can say is . . . thanks for giving me the chance to craft songs I might not otherwise have written and for the opportunity to sing backed by real pros.

That's it. I hope you enjoy the songs -- and pass the word about them if you do.

J B



SONG LYRICS

NO EXCUSES BLUES

Ridin' with no place for hope to ride — invitin' in the blues.
No road headin' home. No excuse.

Chorus:
Done with marchin' to the beat that others want me to.
No holy trails lead where I'm goin' to.
I take comfort in the wind that's always blowin' by
And from the road and all its miles.
No excuses blues. No excuses blues.

Repeat Chorus

Only fools throw something good away, invitin' in the blues.
But when they do no goin back. No excuse.
There's no excuse.

And they try to take comfort in the wind that's always blowin' by
And from the road and all its miles.
No excuses blues.

© James E. Bohen



ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND
(Has a Case of the Dixieland Blues)

Come on along, come on along,
You know it's Alexander's Ragtime Band that's on the stand.
Come on along and dig the band,
It's caught something so old that it's new.
Alexander's Ragtime Band has come down with the Dixieland Blues

Come on along, come on along,
You know for sure whatever ails you, Alexander's got the cure.
Come on along and get your shot
Of something that's long overdue.
Alexander's Ragtime Band has a case of the Dixieland blues.

You hear the trumpet and the trombone and the clarinet blow.
You'll find your feet are movin' around.
Whatever way you felt before, you'll go with the flow
Of that old-time, new-time sound
Of Alexander's Ragtime Band with the Dixieland blues.

Come on along, come on along,
The fever flows down from your nose right on down to your toes.
You catch this bug and you will tap
Your feet right on out of your shoes.
Alexander's Ragtime Band has a case of the Dixieland blues.

The band pumps up your fever till you're almost on fire
You think your feet are burnin' the ground.
Alexander's cure is simple: just turn it up higher
With that old-time, new-time sound
Of Alexander's Ragtime band with the Dixieland blues.

Come on along, come on along,
You know it's Alexander's Ragtime band

© James E. Bohen



MAYBE ALL I NEED TO KNOW

I have come to love and I am here to learn.
Have I come to hope or am I here to burn?
Am I here to laugh or just to sing the blues?
Maybe all I need to know is I love you.

Chorus:
We don't know the answers.
We just try some on for size.
Are we being tested?
Or is the reason found in someone else's smile,
Found deep inside another's eyes?

Am I here to plead? I know I'm here to cry.
Do I concede and file away my dreams before I die?
I'm there for revelation. I'm here without a clue.
But maybe all I need to know is I love you.

Repeat Chorus

I am here to race and I am here to bleed.
I am here to have my say or maybe just to read my lines.
Will I know despair or just admire the view?
Maybe all I need to know is I love you.
Maybe all I need to know is I love you.

© James E. Bohen



THE COOKIES SONG

Chorus:
I love cookies, all kinds of cookies.
With butter and sugar, mm, mm, cookies are king.
I love cookies, all kinds of cookies
But they can't be store-bought cookies,
They got to be the real thing.

It all got started with my Mom bakin' cookies.
She baked oatmeal with raisins,
Chocolate chip and peanut butter, too.
So I sure thank Mom for bakin' all those cookies.
I ate 'em by the bunch with a big glass of milk or two.

Repeat Chorus with last 3 lines:
I love cookies, fresh-baked cookies
But I don't want store-bought cookies,
I got to have the real thing.

Christmas means sugar cookies with lots of frosting.
Russian tea cakes, Danish strips and English toffee.
And don't forget shortbread or thumbprint cookies
And macadamia cookies can fill up a stomach just awfully
Full, that is,

Repeat Chorus with last 3 lines:
I love cookies, straight-from-the-oven cookies
But they can't be store-bought cookies,
They got to be the real thing.

I don't see it ending — my love for cookies.
Not with gingerbread and lemon drops
And all kinds of bars and all kinds of toppings
Oh, I love cookies.
But they can't be store-bought cookies,
They got to be the real thing.

I love cookies, all kinds of cookies.
With butter and sugar, mm, mm, cookies are king.
I love cookies, fresh-baked cookies
But they can't be store-bought cookies,
They got to be the real thing.
I don't want store-bought cookies,
I got to have the real thing.
They can't be store-bought cookies,
They got to be the real thing.

© James E. Bohen



ENJOY THE NOISE

Who drinks up the wonder and sells it to the nations?
Should we cooperate and pay up for the ride?
What would be required for a different destination?
The ones behind the messengers have chosen our side.

Chorus:
Enjoy the noise.
Enjoy tumbling in atmospheres.
Don't worry — someone almost always inspects.
Enjoy the ravings of the official gazetteers.
You will learn that you can ignore the side effects.

Paint the picture. Write the poem.
Is it important? We must be going.
Chisel the sculpture. Create the novel.
Are people coming? What if they are rebels
dressed in multi-media rags?
I know how you feel — change can be such a drag.

Repeat Chorus twice

© 2011 James E. Bohen



SINCE I'VE BEEN GONE

Whenever I happen to think of you, I get sad.
So I try to picture you doing well and it makes me glad.
I try so hard not to take too much blame so I can go on.
I need to believe that it's mostly been good
Since I've been gone.

Sad days far outnumber the good on the roads I roam.
Troubles attach like sticker weed. Where is home?
Sometimes I cry out in my dreams: Why has God forsaken me?
Then I remember — I was there, too,
And I stare at my memories.

Walking the byways and crossing the streams,
I have left behind every hope, every dream.
Riding the highways without a goodbye,
I must be a ghost who's forgotten to die.

I try so hard not to take too much blame so I can go on.
I need to believe that it's mostly been good
Since I've been gone,
Since I've been gone.

© James E. Bohen



HEAVEN IS CALLING

Heaven is calling.
The celestial orchestra is performing the prelude.
The devil isn't finished falling.
He's already making plans to continue the feud.
Angels have taken sides. Doubt intrudes
On the tired-and truest, deep sky bluest certitudes.

The gates have opened, the climate's changed,
The landscape is evolving.
The place is getting re-arranged,
The problems aren't resolving.
The lines are so long; staff is so slow.
Service has gone to hell up above and even down below.
Take what you can is the mantra, the holy grail, so to speak.
There's a new way to tell the tale of sorry,
A new way to turn the other cheek.

You need to get your head on straight; dismiss all the magic potions.
It's all too large, it's all too much to get marooned on a limited ocean.
Moanin' for a savior, hopin' for a rapture is a dead-weight waste of time.
You're better off getting' on with life; we don't need another shrine.
You may hold off fallin' —
If you hold off callin' for the bottom to rise at a specially appointed time.

Rivers will flood, wars mean blood will flow.
You can blame it on the lord of creation — he produced the show.
Winds will shriek, the dead bones will creak —
The pointing of so many bony fingers will only continue to grow.
Synapses choose to hide so we can enjoy at least some of the ride.
Take it from me, no one will ever see the end of the run of the vertigo.

Cool waters; may I see your ticket, please?
The view is very good today; cry, if you feel the need.
You may hold off fallin' — if you climb —
But all you do is play peek-a-boo and slightly alter the time.

© James E. Bohen



OUT ON THE STREETS

A multitude is in the streets — it's revolution time again.
Lookin' to send the old bosses on their way.
Euphoria and fear colliding with smoke and clubs and guns
As desperation hopes that a better day will come.
Ducking in and out; dealing with death and doubt,
Desperation does astonishing things.

Chorus:
Night is falling.
The powers that be are stalling.
Out on the streets will some kind of freedom reign
Or is it just more of the same?

Most of us fly the flags we saluted when we were young.
That's what the family wants; it's easier to go along.
Those who take a step outside may find cold and dark
And wonder if leaving the fold is worth the pain.
Weaving in and out; dealing with loss and doubt,
Leaving has its very own style of rain.

Repeat Chorus (with “calling” instead of “falling”)

Sunset. Moonrise.
Darkness makes its own rules
When daylight is out of sight.
Put a cap on desires; make things taboo.
Desperation flashes into view.

Repeat Chorus, plus:
Will some kind of freedom reign or is it just more of the same?
Some kind of freedom or just more of the same?

© James E. Bohen



TROUBLE WILL BE WAITING

I find myself by the side of the road.
How I got here I don't rightly know.
I hope a good samaritan, one who hasn't lost his phone,
will stop and help me try to get a tow.
I hope I'm not so lost that I wait here till there's a frost
And I won't have to worry anymore.

Chorus:
My mission to survive was partially accomplished
But I wish I hadn't heard about that card game.
I must have been mad; I was no diplomat.
I will not lay this one off; I only have myself to blame.
Trouble will be waiting when you choose to go insane.

It all started early last night;
I was quickly in way over my head.
The cards began to blur, the line I tread was thin,
As if I tried to balance on the thinnest sewing thread.
I downed too many shots and didn't stop at more.
I think the table overturned as I scrambled out the door.

I might be better off to stay right here
And wait until the spring arrives.
Someone nasty is after me.
Maybe spring is long enough for him to cool his jets a bit,
Giving me some hope that I'll survive.

Repeat Chorus

© James E. Bohen



I WONDER

I wonder why we win or lose.
And I wonder who's behind the rules.
And I wonder why I sing the blues.

I wonder why the stars go 'round.
And I wonder why things tumble down.
And I wonder where everything is bound.

I wonder why, I wonder how,
I wonder who gets to bend the rules.
And I wonder why someone has to play the fool.
And I wonder why I'm still in love with you.

I wonder, lord, lord, I do.
Yes, I wonder why some must live the blues.
And I wonder why I wish I knew.

I wonder why we win or lose.
And I wonder who's behind the rules.
And I wonder why I sing the blues.

© James E. Bohen



TAKIN' MY TIME TONIGHT

I'm just strollin' aimlessly,
There's nowhere special to go.
There's nothin' to tempt me
From movin' so slow.
It would take a whole lot to convince me
That I'm not all right.
I'm just movin' real slow
And takin' my time tonight.

It's a beautiful sunset,
Don't nature make 'em right.
The clouds reflect the splendor
Of the glorious fading light.
So what's my hurry?
Where do I need to rush so fast?
I'm just movin' real slow
And makin' my time to last.

Repeat first verse

© James E. Bohen



THE ROAD DOESN'T LEAD WHERE IT LED BEFORE

I might want to ride the rails
Or hitch a ride on the hellhound's trail
But that is not an option anymore.
I might wish for a longer stay,
Hope the sands don't just drip away,
But thinking too much never opened any doors.
I might wonder why you don't love me anymore,
But that is a closed book.

If we dare pause from care
And take, take another look.
We might see that the road doesn't lead where it led before.

I might think about goin' home
But there's no way to ever go home again.
I still wish that come what may
Is not the only response today
To all the world's unkind incidents.
We might wonder what hides behind some doors,
Why we always bite the hook.

If we dare pause from prayer
And take, take another look.
We might see that the road doesn't lead where it led before.

The road doesn't lead where it led before.

If we dare pause from care
And take, take another look.
We might see that the road doesn't lead where it led before.

The road doesn't lead where it led before.

© James E. Bohen



Reviews


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Greg McElroy

Solid First Effort
Music is a lot like cooking. You have to get the best possible ingredients, proportion them correctly, and blend them to bring out their best traits. J B has cooked up fine menu of songs that range from the rockin "I Wonder" to the vocal adventures in "Heaven Is Calling". All selections feature strong vocals that ride the range with solid backup by the Phantom Band. There is something for everyone here; a taste of blues, country, rock, all to satisfy your musical tastes. There is even the humorous "The Cookies Song" for desert.
My only question is J B why has it taken this long? Don't keep us waiting so long for the next one.