RAINY DAY SONG

by ED ASKEW

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about

Askew created two interesting folk albums at the close of the 1960s, the first to little acclaim, the second remaining unreleased in wide circulation until De Stijl put out the CD last year. Rainy Day Song, however, is not a reissue. It’s Askew’s first new recorded work (released for public consumption) in almost 40 years. While there are connectives – lyrically, Askew doesn’t change that much – and it’s the same man making the music after all, the intervening four decades have shaped him as a very different artist. Before he fit dependably into the zeitgeist, but Rainy Day Song shows him transfigured. As history never goes away, his earlier self, his earlier art, is still in there, but the dialectical transformations have rendered them hazy and dissolute. Thus in vulgar marketing terms, he can’t simply be re-packaged and easily sold to the neo-folk crowd like Bunyan’s Lookaftering was.

The album itself lies somewhere on a spectrum encompassing Leonard Cohen and David Grubbs. Askew sounds like neither, but inhabits the same basin of attraction the others occupy. In other words, there are certain artistic trajectories that lead one into this basin, the aesthetic of the unheimlich singer-songwriter, playing around with the standard tropes, adding bits of stochastic novelty such as a non-repeating piano melodies. Rainy Day Song achieves within it the fusion, and eventual subsumption, of the folk structure with tactics of modern composition. The storytelling aspects and even the legacy of protest is there (“Climbing to the Top”), but it’s decidedly not folk music or even neo-folk music (whatever that ‘even’ signifies).

By Andrew Beckerman (DUSTED REVIEW excerpt)

credits

released 01 June 2008
released on Spinning Gold Records. posted here with permission.

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about

ED ASKEW New York

Ed Askew is a painter and singer-songwriter who lives in New York City. Born in Stamford Connecticut, he moved to New Haven to study painting at Yale Art School. In 1963 he took up residence there. Around 1987 Ed moved to New York City, where he continues to write and record songs, and occasionally perform.  
Ed has recorded with ESP, DeStijl, Drag City, and Tin Angel.
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Track Name: Rainy Day Song
the rain was coming down
he was walking around
I said kid you better get out of this rain
I'll give you a lift down town
I'll give you a lift down town


he did a lot of talking
I did a lot of laughing too
he opined the door when we arrived
and said i'll see you soon
he said he'd see me pretty soon


I saw him on a rainy day
just hanging around the town
he smiled at me as I drove by
I said " hay kid get out of the rain"
he said I'll see you around

the rain was coming down
he was walking around
I said kid you better get out of this rain
I'll give you a lift down town
I'll give you a lift down town
Track Name: Hey Joe
He came in with the tide
just as the Summer rose
I always wore with pride
began to fade and die.
Hey Joe..
Hey Joe
What will the Winter bring
when Autumn goes?
What will the Winter bring
when Autumn goes?

I walked down windy streets.
The sun was gold.
and Joe was standing there
in the cold.
Hey Joe..
Hey Joe
What will the Spring nights bring
when the cold goes?
What will the Spring nights bring
when the cold goes?


He knocked and came inside.
He came in with the tide.
And I said have a chair.
I handed him a beer.
Hey Joe..
His name is Joe
What will they talk about
when Joe goes?
What will they talk about
when Joe goes?

Hey Joe..
Hey Joe
What will the Winter bring
when Autumn goes?
What will the Winter bring
when Autumn goes?
Track Name: Spinning Tops
we rise on solar winds
we climb the diamond stairs
the music of the spheres
.. guides us to the stars

I walk in a garden with a friend
he holds a butterfly in his hand
it's raining a little bit on the flowers
and the little golden sun has come out

we run among the stars
with music in our ears
our children dance on planets
with diamonds in there hair

tree tops in the sky
a robin on a limb looks around
spinning tops on the ground
a child laughs at them as they spin

the sunrise on the Earth
shines like a shooting star
a scientist sings in church
a child asks a question


we rise on solar winds
we climb the diamond stairs
the music of the spheres
.. guides us to the stars


..guids us to the stars
Track Name: Blue Eyed Baby
Blue eyed baby cries in a cradle.
Mama said to papa, "Look at them eyes".

Over the ocean in a great ship.
The captain said to the bin boy, Look at that water".

In high places in the Rockies
I said to Carl, "Look at that valley".

o yes o yes o yes

The gardener is gracious. His son is so kind.
The lips are his that i kiss
on the wheel of time.

Blue eyed baby cries in a cradle.
Mama said to papa, "Look at them eyes".

Over the ocean in a great ship.
The captain said to the bin boy, Look at that water".

o yes o yes o yes

The gardener is gracious. His son is so kind.
The lips are his that i kiss
on the wheel of time

Blue eyed baby cries in a cradle.
Mama said to papa, "Look at them eyes".

o yes o yes o yes o yes o yes
Track Name: a Waltz in The Dark
A walk in the park
A waltz in the dark
I love the way you

smile when you talk
you laugh when I cry
at the movies
(harp)

We walked on the sand
as night turned to day
and I love the way

You smile when I speak
We laughed at the waves
that danced on the beach

Robert..

When I hear you speak..

the words that you say
Your serious face
as night turns to day

but I like the way
we danced in the park
a waltz in the dark

Robert..


Robert

when I hear you speak..
Track Name: a Child Rides
in the morning spring will come
the green grass grows under the sun
and a starling sings a song
in the willow by the pond

in the night under the stars
the children sing around a fire
and in the vault of the night sky
a child rides a shooting star

What is a man?
What is the child of a man?
And when a women sings a lullaby
to a child

will a man and women smile?
And will the planets in the sky
smile on a child who rides?

in the morning spring will come
the green grass grows under the sun
and a starling sings a song
in the willow by the pond
Track Name: Climbing to the Top
hay Jack what's happening
did you see old John
walking on the bottom
of a pond

and the waters rising
we better head for the hills
too many people are dying
in this world

too many people are running
they can't seem to stop
John and Jack are climbing
to the top


Richard was a miner
he dug a hole in the ground
he went down to find
another sound

Jack was making circles
he ran round and round
John was trying to get up from
the ground

too many people are running
they can't seem to stop
John and Jack are climbing
to the top
Track Name: Morning Comes Again
morning comes again
the sun is in the sky
I drink my coffee black
and children play outside

summer comes again
the children ride there bikes
out to the lake, and I drive
to the city on the highway

the morning sky is blue
the cars are green and gray
sunshine is yellow too
and kids swim in the lake

morning comes again
the sun is in the sky
I drink my coffee black
and children play outside

the yellow sunshine smiles
on gray streets where I drive
and kids not far away
run and jump in the blue lake

the morning sky is blue
the cars are green and gray
sunshine is yellow too
and kids swim in the lake
Track Name: A New Song
Boy , what are we doing here,
in this lonely place?
Lets take the road to town.
We'll join the women and men
as they gather around
to pass the cup.

Boy, why are we waiting here,
in this place
of old hopes and new fears?
.. Take my hand and we'll walk
under starry skies.
We'll watch the sun rise.

Wings, beat on a broken door.
An old king
is crying in great the hall.
.. Your mother and dad
are lost at the mall.
Make a new song, boy.

Life, what are we waiting for?
Take this time
to open the golden door.
We'll join the women and men
as they gather in town.
Sing a new song, boy.

Boy , what are we doing here
in this lonely place?
Lets take the road to town.
We'll join the women and men
as they gather around
to pass the cup .. boy.
Track Name: the Good Shephard
blue river
under the sky
a barge floats by

tree tops are swaying
under the golden sun
we are waiting

I hear you laughing
under the smashed up sky
gun ships are falling

we celebrate the
blessings of divinity
under the bloody moon
and we are dancing

cracks in the mind
and holes in the ground
the lake is on fire
we drink ourselves deaf

dance with me
dance with me
dance with me
dance

the tiger will smile
the blessings of armies


blue river
under the bloody sky
a barge floats by

tree tops are swaying
under the golden dome

we are fucking waiting
Track Name: For the World
I knew a boy
who wore an old hat
he worked at the paper
he drove an old Chrysler
he liked to sing

a song in the morning
and after work he'd sing
a song before supper
for the word

I saw this boy
once in a while
his name was Alfred
I gave him a dollar
to sing a song

he sang in the morning
and after work he'd sing
a song before supper
for the word

he sang in the morning
and after work he'd sing
a song before supper
for the word