“Margaret” by Jason Webley

There aren’t a ton of artists I’d do this for, but I wanted to take a minute to direct you to Jason Webley’s Kickstarter project for a collaborative project called Margaret. He’s already blown past his funding goal, so this is really just a recommendation that you pitch in now in order to pre-order the album.

Jason Webley is one of my favorite musicians, and has been for a very long time. Many, many years ago, a friend of mine put Jason’s Against the Night CD in my hand and said “You have to listen to this. I saw this guy last night, and he played accordion, screamed, stomped on a board, told stories, and led big sing-alongs with everybody there. It was amazing.” I listened, and was hooked. A few years after that, when my first child was about to be born, I brought Jason’s album Only Just Beginning with us to the hospital, and it became one of the first sounds my son ever heard in this world. 

I’ve met Jason a couple of times at shows and had occasion to swap an email with him here and there, and he is a good dude, with a tremendous heart that powers his music. As you probably know, I’m a big fan of concept albums, having made one, and Jason’s new project is an astounding concept based on a real-life person, chance encounters, and the universe reaching down to somebody and saying “You will make this so.” He tells the story much better than I can

So do yourselves a favor and pre-order this record, which is going to be lovely and a unique celebration of life and memory. Here’s a sample of it, from when the collaborating musicians performed it in Everett, Washington. 

 

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John Henry, Part 1

This will be the death of me
And what will I, what will I leave behind?
Will they sing my name
After they lay me in the sand?

There won’t be no victory
For this heart that beats and hands that bleed
What more can they take
Than I gave with this hammer in my hand?

‘Cause maybe I was born
For such a time as this
Yeah, maybe I was born
So this moment could be written

You’re wrapped in chains
And told you’re free by men with force and men with pay
But I’m through selling me
And if I fall, then at least I made a stand

‘Cause maybe I was born
For such a time as this
Yeah, maybe I was born
So this moment could be written

I will rise, I will rise

‘Cause maybe I was born
For such a time as this
Yeah, maybe I was born
So this moment could be written

We Used to Sing

We used to sing of glories yet to come
How the troubles of this life would soon be done
We’d raise our eyes up to darkened skies
And pray for angel wings to bring us home

But I can’t sing those songs the way I used to
The words just feel so empty on my tongue
No, I can’t sing those songs the way I used to do
The way I did before I was in love

We used to sing the songs of the open road
Saying where we lay our head we call our home
Always blind to what we left behind
And never sure what we were running from

But I can’t sing those songs the way I used to
The words just feel so empty on my tongue
No, I can’t sing those songs the way I used to do
The way I did before I was in love

I used to sing a sad, sad lullaby
Alone beneath the distant stars at night
How no fallen world could ever make us whole
And happiness was meant to pass some by

But I can’t sing those songs the way I used to
The words just feel so empty on my tongue
No, I can’t sing those songs the way I used to do
The way I did before I was in love
Not the way I did before I was in love