by Joseph Houck

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Folk-rock centered on a theme of travel.


released November 10, 2015

All songs written by Joseph Houck, except “Roam” and “Level-Headed Blues” by Joseph Houck and Jeff Martin.

Recorded 2015 in Clemmons, North Carolina.

Photography by Laura Lee Rash.

Graphic Design Supervision by Mikey Bard.

Mixed, Mastered, and Co-Produced by Jon Huxtable of smallfishrecordings in Dunbar Scotland.


Steph Casey vocals on #8.
Bryan Ciliberto drums on #1, 3, and 6.
Marty Lucas electric piano on #1 and piano on 11.
Anna Martin backing vocals on #1,2,3,6,7, and 9.
Jeff Martin bass on #1,3,4, and 6 and backing vocals on #1 and 4.
Dick Vestdijk violins on #11.
Matt Wilson pedal steel on #4.

All other performances by Joseph Houck
For lyrics/contact/booking, visit

© 2015 Joseph Houck, All Rights Reserved.
© 2015 Joseph Houck and Jeff Martin, “Roam” and “Level-Headed Blues,” All Rights Reserved.



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Joseph Houck Boone, North Carolina

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Track Name: Roam
From the driveway
Her gaze afar
To the highway
Beneath the Morning Star

She folds the paper
And turns the key
And baby you were made to roam

A weary traveller
A fume-lit dream
The lonely highway
The open sea

To gain your freedom
You take some liberties
But baby you were made to roam

The wallet empties
As the spirit climbs
New towns and people
But only fives and dimes

She’s going to make to make it
She’s found her home
For baby you were made to roam
Track Name: The Reason
And oh that we could be free
To find the way to
Peace and Harmony
To find the reason


So I wondered ‘til I found that far somewhere
Watched an apple rolling down the village square
Past the laundries on the streets of stone and clay
I drank coffee in a dusty street cafe

And when I heard the shipyard’s horns in seaside caves
I brushed the honey orange to the berry waves
And when the shadow o’er the easel finally set
I started over and I haven’t finished yet

And oh that we could be free
To find the way to
Peace and harmony
To find the reason
Track Name: See It Coming
A little story about the way things used to be
How I was dreaming on a four-leaf clover
And when I plucked it from among the hungry thieves
I didn’t even think it over
How all at once I felt a storm form around my heart
I felt the thunder from the bass drum drumming
As wolves and buzzards came to pick me part from part
And I didn’t even see it coming
I withered as the fourth leaf up and left
And drained in crimson ‘round the headless clover
Delusion’s cleaver clipped me bare, blind, and bereft
But I didn’t have to bleed all over
Guess I didn’t even think it over

Sometimes it’s only when the lights go out
That you can look around and really see things clearly
Beyond the shadow of a vampire doubt
I never needed my former dreams so dearly
Just merely…

And I was awoken by the glow of a burning light
I fluttered swiftly to the flicker humming
For the brilliance of a plan lit up the night
And I didn’t even see it coming
Track Name: Level Headed Blues
If you're starting down the road
Or even if you're down the road a-ways
Count your lucky stars, honey
Not the number of your days
We were half-way down the homestretch
When the motor started into flames
I guess the previous owner
Thought it was just fun and games
She's my level-headed woman
Lord, she does the best she can
She's my level-headed woman
I'm her topsy-turvy man
We got a pocket full of problems
Mama, won't you hear me out?
We got a pocket full of problems
And a barrel full of doubt
I know it's one side or the other
But darling, can't we find some common ground?
When we can look beyond our differences,
You know that hope and confidence abound
The times they are a-changing
And a hard rain's a-gonna fall
It's blowin' in the wind
Like a rolling stonewall
Track Name: Through the Window
Through the window
Four riders in the falling snow
And I wonder
Where the night will go
Grab a poncho
And an apple for Geronimo
Does he wonder where the night will go?
And we ride hard
Chasing the fresh trod tracks of snow
Over hills and frozen plains
I’m seeking more than what I know
I’m never staying home again
Frost’s ghost--
He’s with me when I need him most
To turn the pellet sleet to downy flake
The tracks end
They ambush from a hidden den
And I’m tied up, the victim of the raid
And they ride on
I’m frozen in my tracks of snow
They’re over hills and frozen plains
I’m seeking more than what I know
But I’m never leaving home again
Track Name: Penelope Goes to Sea
Open water, open skies
When you gonna open up your eyes?
Though your journey’s long and vast
Nothing easy ever lasts
You say all you do is wait
But don’t wait ‘til it’s too late
The sea is in a constant spin
But don’t let it pull you in
(CHORUS) Row, my sister, row
Keep rowing to the sound of the ocean
No, my sister, no
Heaven’s just a-waiting on
Heaven’s just a-waiting on you
In her lonesome bedroom throes
The City Sacker’s mistress sews
Verona youth write poems in blood
I guess they never understood
Certain forces take their toll
But they’re out of our control

The grey-eyed goddess on your side
But Poseidon’s fit to be tide
Sinbad’s faced his wrath before
And now he’s heading back for more
Open water, open skies
The salty mist has glazed your eyes
It’s all so strange; it’s all so vast
Change and nothing ever last
Keep your mind’s eye on the shore
Remember what you’re rowing for
And since I’m in this boat with you
Rowing is all I care to do
Track Name: Rollercoaster
She rides a rollercoaster through the winter sunny weather and the rain.
She lifts her arms and, with closed eyes, she tells herself, "This pleasure will kill pain.”
And ‘round the bend she feels the wind ignite the flame of her head aglow,
For love’s a rollercoaster it keeps rolling through the rain and snow.

She remembers when she stood in line and waved her ticket proudly like a flag.
After such exhilaration, exhalation from a cigarette drag.
Yes, what a thrill to scale the hill then plummet in a rush of ecstasy,
For love’s a rollercoaster when it’s young you feel so wild and free.

And though it’s sometimes curvy, topsy-turvy and it has its ups and downs,
She prefers the wild sensation to the desolation of the icy ground.
It winds and winds forever, but the test will be kinetic energy.
She says, “Let Love the rollercoaster keep on rolling just not over me.”
Track Name: Horse to Water
I’m gonna love you a little bit harder
I’m gonna lead this horse to water…

Cold and empty the lonely sink
Spill over when you don’t drink

But I’ll hold you till the ceiling drowns
And the walls come tumbling down

I’m gonna train this beast of labor
I’m gonna lash it with my sabre
Though you say that it needs a fix
This old dog still has his tricks

And I’ll track you
Till the scent is gone
And I’m lost
In the eyes of a fawn

I’m gonna love you a little bit harder
I’m gonna lead this horse to water…

And make it drink
And make it drink
And make it drink
And make it drink
Track Name: Soul Burning
Soul burning to the rhythm of this song of yearning
Love brimming as it’s flowing to our hearts a-learning
Still it’s burning, always turning, we’re discerning
The feeling of the volume of the soul
Track Name: Flight
I’m heading back to Carolina
I’m leaving here today
To let that wind through the pines
Blow my blues away
And I don’t need a reservation
‘Cause I’m travelling there to stay
No more cold winter mornings
Only Carolina days

I got off track in East Virginia
Spotting patterns in the clay
Must have lost my way in the fog
And I knelt to pray
With all these voyages I’m ending
That home ain’t leaving me behind
Guess the only place not changing
Is this worried state of mind
Track Name: If I Ever Left This Train
Caught a freight train out of Memphis
Found my way into San Anton
I ramble ‘round this here wide country
Just to keep on travelling on
Town after town keeps passing by
Like a song with no refrain
I would ride that Northern Railroad
If I ever left this train

Feel the wheels a moving under
Watch the sky keep rolling on
In the distance there is thunder
But the lightning from our past is gone
Sometimes letting go is harder
So you try and outrun the pain

And I would ride that Northern Railroad
If I ever left this train

Sit and think about it all
As we roll on down
Maybe searching for something
That was already found
A thousand miles down this track
With nothing more to gain

I would ride that Northern Railroad
If I ever left this train