The Wayward Times

by Overman

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Keith Kasyan
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Keith Kasyan Overman's rollicking americana-rock has always been appealing. This new album displays a maturation of their skills. Most of these songs are about a period in the life of the band when a lot went right for them, but a lot more things went wrong. A series of minor tragedies, ranging from the loss of their home to the closing of their favorite bar, and even a rained-out yard party, became songwriting fodder for this album. This is folk music storytelling for the new millennium. Favorite track: Stuck in Traffic.
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released January 1, 2014

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Overman Plainfield, Illinois

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Track Name: Stay Around
Lately it's been a struggle

Just to say your name

Without getting excited

My friends think I'm strange



I'm just an orphan in trouble

When I get my kicks

I keep hoeing the same dirt

But nothing ever sticks



It's a long road to travel

All by yourself

But it's like walking on water

When you're with someone else



Stay around

And lay me down

I'll be there when the morning

Comes around

I been keeping all my secrets

With the ground



Lately it's such a hassle

Just to see your face

Without breaking my big plans

You’re testing all my self-restraint



I've never known me no trouble

I been an honest man

Until I told Michael Sumrak that

I never held your hand



I drove straight to the station

To turn myself in

For running all those red lights

And driving drunk on you again



So stay around

And lay me down

I'll be there when the morning

Rolls around

I'm keeping all my secrets

With you now



She don't even mind all my singing

She tell me when the line don't fit

She sounds better than me on a country harmony

I'll be the first to admit



Our fire burns the bridge at Paloma

My Spanish boots are breathing steam

Can’t you come on over this evening

I need to show you how I mean



I don't want a band-aide companion

I don't want no two-night stand

I just wanna be your discretely cheap

But always working for your loving man



Stay around

And lay me down

I'll be here when the morning

Shakes the ground

I even keep my dirty secret

With you now


I never was one for secrets

Anyhow
Track Name: Days Full of Rain
On the west end of town
The flagpoles are bending
The rain is coming down sideways
People are scared
There's no Noah here
They're sleeping on boats in their driveways

In the hills of the heartland
The children are dead
Tired from puddles a-splashing
But inside their homes
The parents have learned
The time it is less easy passing

Grandma remembers the day of the storm
She feels it again in her bones
The days full of rain
That blanket the Plains
From Tulsa
Up north to Chicago

Now I have grown
Too used to this joke
The calm is still all too frightening
The cellar is dank
And it gives off a feel
Of some place a bit more inviting

The waters to the bridge
On the river I live
The day to the night is binding
Don't take my home
Lord, don't leave me alone
A man does deserve but a reason

Tomorrow on the dawn
I'll be through them hills and gone
Never again to be returning
My towns been washed away
Rain like spit on my face
Watered down my hope into nothin'

Occasionally I look to the sky
And think on the ones I'll remember
The Earth will be dry
My family and I
Will be on higher ground
Come November
We'll be on higher ground
Come November
We'll be on higher ground
Track Name: Slow Your Engine Down
Train derailed just south of town
Sixteen dead and a hard road down
East side's buzzing cuz the boys in blue
Took another brother down, an unarmed youth
The hooker's ain't even getting laid these days
Sucking on a hambone looking for a new trade
Mom's a little stressed out, smoking at a truck stop
Bummin' six bucks so she can buy a little bigger rock
Slow your engine down

Jane's divorce is on the second floor
Two whole feet above a liquor store
With an apathetic habit and a case of kids
A tattooed ring on a son of a bitch
And no one's doing no one any favors these days
You can scratch my back, but then I'll probably walk away
Talking to a hit man, gonna get rid of him
Move to Mississippi with the bread from his insurance plan
Slow your engine down

We wanna connect and we wanna find peace
Long as we can hide behind a 20-inch screen
Teaching Generation Sex how to strike a pose
I guess we need a weather app to know which way the wind blows
My nephew isn't ever going to win no debate
He's sucking on a French fry, staring into deep space
World at our fingertips, don't know what to do with it
Like a thousand pages, you ain't ever read a single book
Slow your engine down

There's a train to board just south of town
Glory, glory, hallelujah, Valhalla bound
With an old time feeling and a jug of red wine
Everybody's singing "Irene Goodnight"
And I'ma put a dog on my every last breath
Me and all my friends gonna live ourselves to death
So burn the fucking robot, have another whiskey shot
Roll another number and talk about eachother's thoughts
Slow your engine down
Track Name: I Think I'm Going Crazy
I been thinking real bad about myself this week
Everything I say seems tongue-in-cheek
Every word I write, a little less like me
So I'd rather not bother
Even trying to speak

I been looking like a fool in my bathroom mirror
My eyes just lie, my thoughts aren't clear
I can smile real good, but it's not sincere
So I close my eyes
And I disappear

And I think I'm going crazy, Mama
Take me to the farm
Circle all the wagons
Sound all the alarms
I think I'm going crazy, Pa
You would be so proud
The voices in my head, you said
Someday would be this loud

I keep working like a dog at a dead end job
Staring at a door with a busted knob
I'm too dumb to push, I'm too scared to knock
So I waste my time
Just glaring at the clock

I want to fly until my wings give out
Somewhere high above some no name town
When my busted feathers hit the ground
I won't get up
I won't make a sound

And I think I'm going crazy, Mama
Take me to the farm
Circle all the wagons
Sound all the alarms
I think I'm going crazy, Pa
You would be so proud
The voices in my head, you said
Someday would be this loud
I'm clinging to a memory
Deep inside my mind
I think I'm going crazy
But I'm sure I'll be just fine

I been thinking real good about myself this week
Everything I say sounds just like me
Every word I write seems so unique
So I float like a barfly
And sing like I believe
Track Name: I Feel Bad When I See the Man
I feel bad when I see the man
Walking down the street
With no hope, no dope
No way to cope
No shoes on his feet
Where he gonna go
What he gonna do
I feel bad when I see the man

I get mad when I see the man
Living beyond his means
Taking out a hundred loans to buy
A two hundred foot TV
Three SUVs
Seven MPGs
I get mad when I see the man

I feel had when I see the man
Lying through his polished teeth
Presidential masturbation
Talking 'bout what they gonna do for me
Bullshits thick
And it’s hit the fan
I feel had when I see the man

There ain't never been another man
Walking 'round like me
Don't stretch your imagination
I'm every little thing you'll need
From Jesus Christ
To the Son of Sam
There ain't never been another man
Track Name: Lawrence Welk
I got dumped by another drummer
A little bitty boy in a suit
I’m surprised he made it thru the summer
He acted so strange, he thought that it was cute to do

He wore fancy shoes and girls blue jeans
And you can hear him coming up the street
Rumbling and a-tumbling, stumbling and a-mumbling
Falling off his throne, putting powder on his little feet

He sent me a message at three a.m.
From the bottom of his vodka heart
It said “I am done, it’s over, man
I can’t keep it together, so I guess I’ll just fall apart”

And I am going to miss him
I’ve already cried
These tears before me
Tell the story
Find the moral
It’s there to find

I got dumped by another lover
A pretty big girl from Dubuque
She spoke of love like a birthday card
“Don’t hold on too long or it’s bound to break your little heart”

She was six foot six and she wore me out
Like a saddle too loose to ride
She liked shucking corn to Lawrence Welk
And I can’t put into words the way that makes me feel inside

She left me a letter in my notebook
Like a song I forgot to write
With the best damn line I’ll never have written
“So long, Honey, but I’m a fish that doesn’t bite”

And I am going to miss her
I've already cried
These tears before me
Tell the story
Find the moral
It's there to find

I settled up with that little bitty drummer
He went back to Pennsylvania today
Standing in the rain, waiting for a train
With a big black eye, from messing with a hurricane

So I got drunk and then I thunk, thunk, thunk
About that lover loving someone new
And crossed the Mississippi, wishing it were whiskey
So I could jump in, and swim about a week or two

So friends I guess the message is
You gotta talk before you start to run
Because whether its a drummer or an 7-foot lover
There's good to be found, hope inside of everyone

And I am going to miss you
I've already cried
There tears of glory
Pool before me
Find the moral
It's there to find
Track Name: Stuck in Traffic
I wish I could buy me a river
I wish I could buy me a river
I wish I could buy me a river
A river that runs down to New Orleans

I would float on a raft made of timber
I would float on a raft made of timber
I would float on a raft made of timber
I would float myself down and never leave

Say goodbye to all the women I’ll remember
Say goodbye to Allison and Betty Lee
Say goodbye to all the women I’ll remember
And say hello to the ladies of the evening

I would practice all morning on my strumming
I would sing every song in a major key
I would practice all morning on my strumming
Singing you are my sunshine, New Orleans

I would busk all day on the Bourbon
I would busk all day on the Bourbon
I would busk all day on the Bourbon
And spend all my coin at Maple Leaf

Oh, I wish I could buy me a river
A river that runs down to New Orleans
I would busk all day on the Bourbon
And spend all my coin at Maple Leaf
Singing you are my sunshine, New Orleans
You are my sunshine, New Orleans
Track Name: I Can't Sing the Blues
I was singing sad songs
Sad as the sky is blue
Crying in the shower
Sobbing on my shoes

Looking for a rainbow
Past the driving rain
Come to me, no, run to me
And like a dream she came

But I can’t sing the blues
As I fall in love with you
Nothing is so easy or so cruel
Because when you go away
I’m counting down the days
Until you’re back in my arms
Where you belong

So now I sing a love song
Number 3,000,000,033
But none of them can hold a candle to
The one of you and me

Where the singer sings the secret
And the girl don’t get away
I heard it on your radio
I listen everyday

But I can’t sing the blues
When I’m so in love with you
Nothing is so easy or so true
And when you go away
I still count down the lonley days
Until you’re back in my arms
Where you belong

Honey, you’re back in my arms
Where you belong
Track Name: From the Banks of This Old River
From the banks of that old river
To the lightning in the sky
From the snow-capped hills
To the daffodils
In the meadow of your eyes

I've loved you there completely
I've lived enough to know
That friends are worth
Their weight in gold
And if I've never told you so

Thank you for your loving
Thank you for the truth
It's good to know
A guy like me
Can have a friend like you

Tomorrow you may curse me
And I wouldn’t blame you none
My head is hard
My ways are odd
But my heart is made of love

So if there’s someone that you think on
When you hear this song
A wound that’s healed
A home-cooked meal
Don’t make them wait too long

From the banks of this old river
To the flower in your eye
From a dear old friend
Come back again
To tell you one more time
That I love you
Track Name: 33
The house is crumbling all around me
I don’t know what to do
It walks and talks and stalks the night
Like I do
The railroad underground and slaves were
Found here one day they say
If we live here, I can’t stay here
The walls will surely tumble down

Cats cannot stay on my porch
I just can’t take their love anymore

This town is crazy, when we leave here
We will surely be the same
I was born here, left aware
And came back just the other day
The old neighborhood is just so good
They know not what to make of me
They switched to five digit addresses
No more old thirty-three

Cats should not eat from my hand
I don’t know why they keep coming back

We used to have a pool
And a pet raccoon
And a chimney for the chilly nights
But the pool ran dry
And the coon done died
When the chimney came crashing down
The news was all over town
I don't know what we're gonna do now

The front yard racetrack slowly grows back
Quiet are Sunday mornings now
We fixed the awkward social black hole
I don’t know why or even how
Everybody sings our praises
Now they’re singing our songs too
The house is crumbling all around me
I don’t care, why should you

Now we need a cat for our mouse
Crawling through the walls of this house
Track Name: Talking Lockport Street Blues
I think it was June, on the cusp of July
And Sonia and I had just gotten high
Upstairs from the store where they sell the cheese
And the wine to the people so hard to please
This is a 13-year with a mighty kick
I said it tastes pretty good, how much for a brick
…That's real Wisconsin cheddar, north woods dairy, from Brett Favre's udders…

But we were just passing thru to the bar to play
A couple a songs with the Finnegan's gang
On a Thursday night with an open door
And a microphone, maybe three drinks more
I think Matt was playing, it was "Book of Love"
When I saw the first of a dozen fuzz
…Plainfield's finest, with their guns drawn, like they had found Stacy Peterson shacked up with Machine Gun Kelly…

There were 7 squads, and a chopper, too
The chief of police with a TV crew
I ditched my stash by the ATM
The clock hit midnight and them boys came in
They said "Your liquor license just ran out
So put down your whiskey, drop your stout
…And put all those guitars and banjos where we can see 'em"…

They shut down my favorite bar
And towed away my car
Blew down my chimney
Tore out my heart

And when you're singing your favorite song
And something stops the sing-a-long
Does it come back around
Or just tear you apart
Does it rip out your heart
Well that was just the start

The Manor was built the year Nietzsche was born
So it's a little bit haggard, a little bit worn
But it's a holy place for wayward souls
Who grow up fast, but don't get old
To write on walls and hoot n haller
And supplement the furnace with an indoor fire

Where were you when the chimney fell
When the poets cried and the neighbors yelled
"If we'd a-been out back, we'd be cut in half"
It's a heart attack living next to people like that
Friends, grab a brick, but tell your kids the truth
If it hadn't been the chimney it a-been the roof
…or a boot-stomping-love-having-whiskey-drinking-good-'ol time…

You'll never see the ocean if you cling to the shore
So I said my Hail Manors and I walked out the door
Thank you, Friends, for the time we spent
Let's figure out a way to do it all again
There's a hole in the bucket, and a map to the well
And everybody leaves with a story to tell
…Last Call for Finnegan's and The Overmanor, 3 at 33, picking up bricks by the chimney, and love, love, love…
Track Name: I Miss Them, Too
I wrote all of my best traits down

It took about twenty-five

Seconds and a couple of half-written sentences

About how I’m a pretty good guy

At least I try

At least I try



So I sunk straight into a dismal daze

And tried to parlay it to song

The second verse didn’t match the first verse hurt

The timbre of the bridge was all wrong

It’s no sing a-long

But I sing along





I wrote all of my best friends back

You know I’m bad at keeping in-touch

They all told me “Buddy, we love you like a brother

But we all miss you so dang much”

I miss them, too

I miss them, too



It's just that I cook all of my meat with fat

When I write I like to chew on the grit

I even make some money, so who’s getting hungry

I’m taking what you’ll pay me for it

I’d pay you, too

I’d pay you to



I cut my grass and I pay my tax
I stumble but I walk the line

Its hard to quantify the amount of time

And bread it takes to make words rhyme

I keep on trying
Bless us for trying



I wrote all of my best traits down

It took about forty-five

Seconds and a couple of half-written sentences

About how I’m a pretty good guy

At least I try

At least I try



I won't let my baby down

I won't let my baby down

I won't let my baby down

I won't let my baby down