Walking Into Brooklyn

by James Tristan Redding

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    A hard copy of the very first solo album by former Union Pulse frontman, James Tristan Redding. Written, performed, recorded, and mixed in Mexico over the winter of 2013, this Limited Edition production run allows the listener to own 1 of only 1,000 shrink-wrapped compact discs, shipped by hand from the artist himself.

    Includes immediate download of 15-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.
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about

This debut album by singer-songwriter James Tristan Redding follows a 5-album career with his former alt-country group, Union Pulse. He hopes you enjoy it very much, and share it with all of your friends.

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released 12 November 2013
All words and music written, performed, and recorded by James Tristan Redding.

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James Tristan Redding Milwaukee, Wisconsin

James Tristan Redding is a singer-songwriter in the tradition of American narrative, putting poignant and sometimes whimsical lyrics to accessible, memorable melodies. Redding was raised in the mid-west by British parents and wrote, recorded, and toured with Alt-Country group Union Pulse (2002-2012). Now in his 30s, James is building a catalog of original material written and recorded on the road. ... more

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Track Name: A Girl Named Elizabeth
A girl named Elizabeth likes her vodka with a lime
And when she says "I love you" it sounds different every time
With a paintbrush full of memories and a look you can't define
She will watch the fading colors as the stars begin to climb

Yes, a girl named Elizabeth needs a little special touch
It's when she doesn't speak at all she's telling you so much
In the morning you can see her at a lighthouse on the beach
In her mind you'll find the kind of dreams that seem just out of reach
There's a crumpled paper airplane in a corner of the room
And her favorite flannel shirt, it kinda' smells like her perfume

Now, a girl named Elizabeth needs to know she has a friend
Or she'll stay in bed forever until she hears her name again
And in the early evening when you try to hold her hand
You can tell she really wants to but she doesn't understand

How to give you something like you never had before
And how to be the woman you were always looking for
So can she drive you to the highway? What's your favorite time of year?
Does she ask too many questions? Do you want to grab a beer?

A girl named Elizabeth has a different kind of heart
She remembers every boy who said "we'll never be apart"
When it's raining in Chicago she is passed out in the aisle
Of a Greyhound back to Springfield with a suitcase and a smile

In a beat up pair of sneakers and that pink and yellow dress
You won't even know it's over until she's gone and you're a mess
So when your heart is in the basement and your eyes can't see a thing
You won't forget a girl named Elizabeth
No, you won't forget a girl named Elizabeth
Track Name: Irony is Not a Type of Metal
So the highway is a string of decisions
You can't always tell at the time
If the hand that you're shaking
will later be making you
Wish you had not been so blind

And tonight there are lights all around me
So I'm not really sure where I am
But I'm flashing and burning
and everything's turning out
Stranger than I ever planned

If we try to see into the future
I suggest we might question our eyes
There are buses and train tracks
that run through the rain
Back to anything that passed us by

My body is like a Toyota
Good mileage and low cost repairs
But my mind needs an oil change
and I'm here to exchange
A favor for paper and prayers

I am sure I belong in a movie
I have yet to discover what kind
But these empty containers
and legal disclaimers
Suggest I won't like what I find

You were not my first choice of distraction
And you won't like my taste in LPs
But it's quarter to midnight
if we play our cards right
Nobody will see when we leave
Track Name: My Dad Is A Bad Ass
He's up before the farmers and by sunset he's in bed
He drives a diesel hatchback and his vote is always red
He writes in Hebrew, French, and Greek, and Latin, pig or not
My dad is a bad ass.

He smoked for thirty years and quit cold turkey like a boss
He eats raw onions every day, and don't forget to floss
He saves more souls than I corrupt and walks faster than I drive
My dad is a bad ass.

In his 30s college basketball was the perfect night at home
With a six pack of Milwaukee's Best and a couple cheese Tombstones
Now he's all about talk radio and brussels sprouts and tea
My dad is a bad ass.

He owns more shoes than Hepburn had, and his jokes are dry as dust
He's a black belt on piano and he'll always have my trust
He rescues kittens, won't wear mittens, collects old copper coins
My dad is a bad ass.
Track Name: One Foot In The Grave
There's a frame out of focus that I still recognize
With deep, dark circles under the eyes
I can hear someone whisper a song I'd never heard
When I call out a question she doesn't say a word

Sometimes after a rainfall when there's not a soul around
I feel your hand on my shoulder and see your footprints on the ground
Now, I may believe in Jesus but the Devil knows my name
So I know my days are numbered as I watch you walk away

Two nights ago I woke and a silent breath I drew
I lifted up the latch though I did not want to
With an atlas in one hand and a chill beneath my skin
I saw myself break the window and I took it for a spin

Sometimes after a rainfall when there's not a soul around
I feel your hand on my shoulder and see your footprints on the ground
Now, I may believe in Jesus but the Devil knows my name
So I gently kill the headlights and coast toward the lake

I remember the moment when I must have struck a nerve
And your eyes told me sweetly I'd get what i deserve
I guess your name's not important nor the city you were from
But around every corner is the last time I'll ever see the sun

Sometimes after a rainfall when there's not a soul around
I feel your hand on my shoulder and see your footprints on the ground
Now, I may believe in Jesus but the Devil knows my name
So I sleep with one eye open and one foot in the grave
Track Name: Song For Leslie
Song for Leslie
* * * * * * * * * * *
(or, "The City That LeBron Forgot")

Now I ain't no Elvis Presley
but I can write a song for Leslie
'cuz all the things she does and says-ly,
Make me wanna' sing for Leslie
And I'm a man who likes his Nestle
Too bad it's not as sweet as Leslie
I love her so, but I digress-ly
That little sugar-plum named Leslie

When I'm in Cleveland, I don't wanna' leave-land
There's just one single reason why
It's not the beer, or all the awesome people here
It's 'cuz I'd miss that girl Les-lye

I'm from a few miles up the block-y
Sometimes the water's kinda' chalky
So every night by ten-o'clock-y,
I'm full of Pabst and Old Milwaukee.
But my second home is in Ohio,
Because the well is never dry-o
So before I say goodbye-o,
Cheers to Leslie! (me-o-my-o)

When I'm in Cleveland, I don't wanna' leave-land
There's just one single reason why
It's not the beer, or all the awesome people here
It's 'cuz I'd miss that girl Les-lye
Track Name: Incredible
The distance from my heart to yours
Across the fields, between the stars
Might be the same, as the difference
Between the truth and fairy tales
Of wedding rings and pretty things
The architecture of your heart

And if you could just come back to me
I swear I would give you all you need
It could be incredible, it would be incredible
And if we could both just take the time
I think that our souls might start to rhyme,
It could be incredible, it would be incredible

The letters underneath the lines
In passing words from hearts resigned
To venti chais and discount lies
A month of sundays passed me by
Engaging looks and trading hooks
The modern marvel of your smile

If I could write the sweetest words
And sing a song you've never heard
I hope your hands would reach for mine
So if I might be yours tonight
Together we could shine a light
And raise a glass to lips divine
Track Name: This Is Not Rock And Roll
It's the man that you love as he falls to his knees
And the girl that you trust who just wants to please
It's the nights you lay silent and the days you just stared at the sky
It's the sound of a gunshot on a dark city street
And the dreams you remember between empty sheets
But it's something much sadder, and somehow much worse for your soul
This is not rock and roll

It's the big stained glass window at an old fashioned church
And the brick that flew threw it in your own faithless search
It's the bad news for you that you already knew in your heart
It's the time that you spend getting over yourself
And the last longneck bottle alone on the shelf
But it's always behind us and it waits to unwind both our souls
This is not rock and roll

Oh, days gone by
Oh, tender lies
Those tears we cry
Our sacred eyes

It's the moment you asked what don't want to know
And the feeling of emptiness after the show
Every second that passes before you remember to breathe
It's the final farewell to a part of your past
Or the same old mistakes with a half-hearted laugh
But it's something much sadder, and certainly worse for your soul
This is not rock and roll
Track Name: If You're Happy And You Know It, Something's Wrong
Walk into the winter wonderland
To tell me all the things nobody knows
I'm waiting for the sunrise to disclose
The dirty little secret, of a love beneath the snow

But you're not gonna' be the only one, you're not gonna' be my setting sun
I needed a reason to give up your treason without a fight
The only distraction from all your infractions: I didn't sleep alone last night

So don't you look at me, as if you've ever seen my hopes and dreams
And don't you think that we, should know by now that nothing's as it seems

A whiskey rainbow in the east
Without a second thought my heart was yours
The pressure was brilliant but now it's gone (long gone)
And the thunder has left me with a bittersweet love no more

Well don't you disbelieve, your broken heart is bursting at the seems
So nurse your self esteem, and take your shipwreck back to new orleans

I still wear the shoes you bought me with the black Sharpie heart inside
I still wear your ring around my neck
Though the bite marks have all faded and my ankle has mostly healed
I hate to say, I'll always love you

This city is empty since you're gone
The lyrics have a strange, new, darker feel
Apology's long past due, so don't (you know I won't)
I'll never forgive you for the love you let me steal
Track Name: A Bird Can Only Sing
They say it's gonna' rain but it ain't raining yet
They say it's gonna' rain but it ain't raining yet
She told me she was leaving but she came back with cigarettes

A man cannot outrun what's always on his mind
A man cannot outrun what's always on his mind
Drove it to the border on a quarter tank of wine

A bird can only sing until it's in the ground
A bird can only sing until it's in the ground
I made it to the ocean but that woman tracked me down

It only costs a couple to catch a little buzz
It only costs a couple to catch a little buzz
Forget my lungs and liver, that woman's in my blood

A heart is made for breaking but laws are made to bend
A heart is made for breaking but laws are made to bend
She told me it was over but I'm under her again
Track Name: 3,000 Miles
Lately I'm lonely, Baby I'm blue
Honey I'm hoping, you're hoping too
Baby we're broken, lately we lie
Honey it's hopeless, baby goodbye

Sugar I shiver
Darling you dream
Sweetheart the saddle
Loosen the chain

Sugar you shouldn't
Darling you don't
Sweetheart the sawdust
Lay down alone

Been driving in circles for 3,000 miles
Maybe I better go dry out for awhile
The engine is cryin', the wheels are a blur
But first thing tomorrow, I'll be 3,000 miles from her

Sugar my shoulders
Darling your dress
Sweetheart the seasons
Leave me a mess

Sugar the shot gun
Darling the dirt
Sweetheart your secrets
Light up a smoke

Been driving in circles for 3,000 miles
Maybe I better go dry out for awhile
The engine is cryin', the wheels are a blur
But first thing tomorrow, I'll be 3,000 miles from her