The Kansas Sessions

by Kirsty McGee

supported by
/
  • immediate download of 12-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

     £7.50 GBP  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    12 track album in digipack sleeve with full 16-page lyric book. artwork and design by mat martin.

    also includes immediate download of 12 track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 4 days

     £10 GBP or more

     

1.
02:38
2.
02:48
3.
03:34
4.
03:56
5.
02:28
6.
7.
02:10
8.
02:14
9.
02:00
10.
03:57
11.
12.
04:46

about

‘a stunning musical masterpiece that is up there with the best of eilen jewel, devon sproule and amy lavere’ - maverick

‘the kansas sessions', kirsty's fourth full length album, on her own record label, hobopop records; a company set up to spearhead her own sense of musical fair-trade, is dominated by kirsty's clear, intimate, english diction and phrasing, her dark, sometimes macabre, celebrations of life, and mat martin's inspirational musicianship - it was recorded in the united states and is full of joyously engaging songs, shining with american influences.’ - rough trade

'a fine album, and possibly her best so far' - rock n' reel ****

'kirsty mcgee has the kind of voice that stops you dead in your tracks. she blends styles like a master alchemist and has a way with melody that means the moment you hear her songs it's impossible to get them out of your head.' - ralph mclean, BBC

'a beautiful record by an artist worth keeping an ear on' - dirty linen

‘the kansas sessions is full of beautifully produced, immediately accessible, joyously engaging music that, like a carnival barker, draws you inside to take a closer look at the disturbing, the weird and the wonderful... if it was a film, it would be a coen brothers film.’ - maverick

'the uk’s grittiest folk hobo - the kansas sessions is sheer, banjo-dominated americana from its tom waits-esque washboard blowouts (no less than three musicians are credited with '"junk"').
mcgee can neo-yodel with the best of them (check out opener bonecrusher), yet there's also, in the sensuous, deliberate turn of her phrase and her bare-bulb lyrics, a hint of an anglophone lhasa or even madeleine peyroux, and it's through clarinet-whispering ballads like sandman which she really inhabits her brand of waymarked noir.' - HMV

'striking and deliberately detached from the mainstream, the kansas sessions suggests disturbing depths beneath a beautiful surface' - metro

'a national treasure' - manchester revue

'less a gentle pastoral stroll than a knees-up in a 1920s speakeasy' - metro north east

‘the best thing she’s recorded. which, if you’ve heard her other albums, is really saying something... an automatic free pass to the albums of the year list.’ - netrhythms

credits

released 08 September 2008

Kirsty McGee: Vocal, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Junk
Mat Martin: Banjo, Guitar, Tenor Guitar, Wood Banjo, Banjo Uke, Washboard, Percussion, Junk, Vocal
Katie Euliss: String Bass, Zils, Vocal
Colin Mahoney: Drums, Percussion, Dumbek
Mike West: Mandolin, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Dobro, Jug, Percussion, Junk, Vocal
Larry Maxey: Clarinet
Tom Johnson: Trombone, Vocal

Produced by Mike West
Recorded by Mike West at The Ninth Ward Pickin' Parlour
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Artwork & Graphic Design: Mat Martin
Photography: Graham Smith

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

contact / help

Contact Kirsty McGee

Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem download codes

Track Name: Bonecrusher
you’ve got to eat
if you want to stay strong
you’ve got to fight
if you want to get along
this world is red in tooth and nail,
don’t want to be left at the bottom of the pail
you’ve got to eat if you want to stay strong

don’t just sit
like a fish inside a stone
you can feel it in your bones:
you know it’s time to move on
and that’s just it
now that you’re fully-grown
you know you’ve got to stay strong
and if you’re gonna stay strong...

(ch)

oh it really doesn’t matter if you’re wrong or right:
they’re stronger than you and they’re putting up a fight
oh it really doesn’t matter if you’re big or small
old bonecrusher doesn’t bother at all

words: well they were never quite enough
that old pen just don’t compete with the mighty sword
fire: well you can burn it all up
but watch you don’t get burned
when the flames take hold

(oh it really doesn’t matter etc.)

i’ve done my bit
for peace and goodwill
i know i could do more
i guess i probably will
if you don’t know yet
how to fight and how to kill
just sit tight and eat
you’ve got to eat your fill

(ch)

© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Gunsore
soldiers, soldiers, drinking out the night
bombs that splutter in the road
gets kind of eerie in the pale daylight
when you know you’re far away from home

sand, sand, dollars in your shoes
coats that fasten all wrong
face so pale i thought that i was dead
i died and i was singing this song:

beat heart beat
flow blood flow
gonna cry like a crow
on some dark corner of the road

planes, planes, singing in the sky
falling now like angels in the air
blood on the needle of a fresh tattoo
leaving lines as fine as angel-hair

grown sore, steady in my hand
sandstorm lifting in the noon
gunsore, gunsore, sitting in the shade,
chewing gum and humming this tune:

(ch)

and there are things i would not wish for you
not wish for you, not wish for you
to see those things i would not wish for you to see...

blindfold, blindfold, hanging from a tree
rape grows yellow in the fields
standing in the porchlight with your hair like flames,
i stood out by the trailers and wept

girls, girls, crying in their clothes
spiders in the holes beneath my feet
felt so cold i thought that i was dead;
i died and i was singing this song:

(ch)

angel ray almost seventeen
swallowing up the bullets like sweets
lay out in the sand like god’s sweet dream
(lying like a drunk out in the street)

smile on his face but his neck torn clean
nothing in his pockets but a comb
tell my mum i’m gonna marry justine
just as soon as i can get home

© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Sandman
right before the you close your eyes
whispering your prayers
when the sandman blows your eyes
i’ll be there

when you wake up in the night
sounds the second stair
that creaks under the careless foot
i’ll be there

gather roses while you may
while the bloom is full
for the blossom soon will fade
and the bloom grow dull

right before the morning light
creeps soft upon the sill
when the shadows chase the night
i never will

when your voice is softly heard
singing in the morning light
but the note does not ring true
i’ll be there

(ch)

right before you sleep at night
closing up the blind
in the window’s black embrace
if you find

the face of a lover long-forgot
forgotten eyes, forgotten hair
forgotten words that stretch like salt
i’ll be there

© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Sparks
both your feet
and all your money
she must be good
she must be funny
she must be something
to turn your head this way

soft as ash, you’ve been slipping through my fingers
gone like smoke, what i always thought would linger
well she must be good, to turn your head this way

we’re brought up to believe
that what we have is what we keep
what we have and what we wish for
can just vanish in our sleep
and i don’t know what to say

all my hopes
and all of my endeavours
she must be smart
she must be clever
to turn your head
to take you away from me

i’m sorry now, but it’s too late for it
how long have you been gone, and how come i never saw it?
well, i only saw the sparks had left your eyes
when you turned your head away

we’re brought up to believe
in what we have and what we hold
but you can go to sleep in someone’s arms
and wake up in the cold
and i don’t know what to say
i just don’t know what to say



© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Alibi Blues
i lost the right to pity on some dark city street
though when i spoke your name the words were mighty sweet
well you can trust this city to mould you into its own
when it’s had the best of you you’ll find the rest of you gone

oh find me the place where i belong
for i have travelled in between
the tall skyscrapers and the sea
but home is where i’ve never been

give me a train ticket and a few days to myself
i’m on that train else i’m fearing for my health
well you can trust that train to take you anyplace new
but when you’re there what the hell are you supposed to do?

i found love in unexpected places
i found fear where i expected change
i found in you six million graces
i found my meaning in your name

i lost my map i followed the road so what do i care?
i don’t need more than food and clothes and air
give me a train ticket and a few days out of town
but just don’t mention settling down

(until you’ve found me the place....)

i keep thinking there’s a place that’s really rare
the trees are taller and the grass is greener there
oh won’t you lay me down so that i can see the sky
give me a few square feet where i don’t need no alibi


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: No Way To Treat A Friend
poor, poor angela, what’s become of you?
he’s standing by the screen door, saying that you’re through,
and all this heartbreak - will it ever end?
that’s no way to treat a friend

oh adriana, full of tears and woe
your gold turned into silver and your silver into stones:
they left when there was nothing more to spend
that’s no way to treat a friend

there’s ice out in the parlour three feet deep
the snow just keeps on falling, but the company you keep
will it get you thorugh the winter in the end?
that’s no way to treat a friend

peter, poor peter, where will you go now?
stuck out in a small town where the road runs out
and did he drop you with your bags out on the bend?
that’s no way to treat a friend

you build up all your trusting three miles high
you build it up so solid you no longer see the sky
so when it falls, there is so much more to mend
that’s no way to treat a friend

mary, mary, mary, don’t it make you blue
and as empty as the promises in the letters that he sends you,
it’s a shame how he will borrow
every little thing you lend
that’s no way to treat a friend

there’s ice out in the parlour three feet deep
the snow just keeps on falling, but the company you keep
will it get you through the winter in the end?
that’s no way to treat a friend


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Lamb
when the lamb cries on the mountain
sometimes the mother, sometimes the wolf
life’s a pure and bitter fountain
help me to learn the ways of love

of all the times we’ve spent together
of all the times we’ve spent apart
there’s been foul and fairer weather
joy and anger in each heart

sweet sunlight i trace your fingers
on my skin, lord, on my skin
in my tears and in my sorrow
should i forget you, won’t you please come in

for your wings are soft as twilight
and your hands speak gentle words
take my soul and fling it skywards
fly me high amongst the birds


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Killer Wasps
i hear them scratching in the middle of the night
i hear the voices in the walls
there’s a bird trapped in the chimney
i hear him when the lights turn low

i run the water and it splutters in the bowl
irises and yellow flag and crimson daisies grow
beyond the wall there lies a dusty bed of stones
i see them when the lights turn low

i am the sole recipient of autumn’s vivid dream
i see things where there are not things
i see things you’ve never seen
i see rats around the edges
of the crevices and holes
i am the final great believer
in the twisting of the human soul

i taste the water but i do not swallow down
angels and promises have run me out of town
there’s a bird trapped in the chimney
i hear him when the lights turn low

i am the sole beneficiary of winter’s broken scheme
there are stones around my ankles
they are tied to me with string
sixteen hives of killer wasps
and seventeen of bees
i hear them when the lights turn low


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Shame
the birds are flying backwards in the wind
it’s a day for it
it tears around this house like it would break it
it’s a day for it

and it’s a shame how nothing could prevent it
from the minute you hung up
from the minute you sent it

and rain is running rivers through the hall
it’s a day for it
there’s not enough cups to catch it all
there’s no end to it

it’s a shame how nothing could prevent it
from the minute you came
to the minute you meant it

they’re wringing out their feathers in the rain
and when they fly they won’t be back again

the trees bend down their backs to shelter from
the west wind
that rips out in the starling humming air
my best friend

it’s a shame


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Dust Devils
i’ve got you over my skin
can’t tell you what a state we’re in
i chase you here chase you there
in the corners and under the stairs

i’ve got you under my nails
everything i do seems to fail
like the god of falling apart
everything tastes of you

i’ve got you inside my shoes
as thick as blue suede
i’ve got a coat made from you
you are my lampshade

i’ve seen you outside in the sun
your hair is grey like the moon
you leave your hair in my room
everything sounds of you

dust devil in pale blue
shaking hands with the tiles
and it’s one of your smiles
that i see in my mirror ball

dust devil and moonshine
neither your fault nor mine
but it’s the curve of your spinning smile
that returns in the dead of night

dust devil in pale blue
the fur of yesteryear
everything smells of you
you’re spent like a magazine

i’ve got you over my skin
god’s arms, what a state we’re in
i chase you here chase you there
in the corners and under the stairs


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: The Profit Song
first was rain
then there was snow
there was a wind
see how it blows
if you can see
then you will see:
there’s profit where my finger is

sun, deep in the sky
burning the ground
steady and high
here is the sun
burning the sky:
there’s profit where my finger lies

i’ll make this world a better place

here is a war
they fight about me
they fight about bombs
they’re crossing the sea
the sea is a toy
the land is all gone:
there’s profit where my finger is

see, if you can see
where the world shakes
it’s shaking for me
you do it yourselves
and nearly as well
to make this world a better place

and if you doubt
reason it out
famine and flames
hunger and drought
if you can see
then you will see:
there’s profit where my finger is

lord, if you could allow
one month or two for now
without your fatal blow
we’ll make this world a better place
oil under the sea
coal in the pits, profits for free
over the rise, up in the skies:
we’ll fly from where your profit is

there’s profit where your finger is


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs
Track Name: Faith
easy, i say, easy
you don’t want to miss the spring
there are things you do and things you don’t consider
like settling down before you ever saw a thing

there were birds inside the supermarket
i saw the dawn forget its pride
i saw angels on the water
and on the waterside

easy, i say, easy
see her curve around the buildings in her shift of yellow silk
you wouldn’t ride that train unless
you knew that train was headed for the city
with its honey and its milk

and you say you’ll go and then you go
you can trust a lying man to tell the truth
even these days
you say you will and you never do
i can trust no one like i trusted you
and i lost my faith in so many ways

easy, i say, easy
will they take from you the spring?
if i’m to lose you like i lost you before
am i to lose everything?

there were birds inside the supermarket
i saw the dawn forget its pride
i saw angels on the water
and on the waterside
and you say you’ll go and then you go
you can trust a lying man to tell the truth
even these days
you say you will and you never do
i can trust no one like i trusted you
and i lost my faith in so many ways


© 2008 kirsty mcgee / big oak songs