The Kansas Sessions

by Kirsty McGee

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

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Diamond Days EP, Those Old Demons, Sandman [Single], Contraband, No. 5, Hobopop E.P., The Kansas Sessions, Live Downloads, and 1 more. , and , .

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

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 September 8, 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

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Kirsty McGee Manchester

A wandering maverick and spellbinding live performer with a voice that has been described as having the texture of smoke & velvet, McGee defies categorisation, to make 'hobopop' –“music of no fixed genre”. Her continuously evolving musical personality is proof that a freedom from artistic restraints can sometimes produce a unique, enthralling and original voice with a rare honesty. ... more

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