minstrel's daughter

by Jennifer Leonhardt

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about

"A master class in mournful music."
-John Hawes, Americana UK

"Well out of the storms, occasionally, a rainbow, a bird singing to ya sweetly from the Tower of Song, the vision rising on weary eyes. My friend Helen Degen Cohen has a book called “On a Good Day, One Discovers Another Poet,” and sometimes it seems like there are not enough good days. But I had a feeling about this recording, even before I heard it, and well, this is something extraordinary. Poetic, forthright, redemptive songs."
-Andrew Calhoun, Waterbug Records

"Minstrel’s Daughter is in such a unique place that I cannot imagine Leonhardt doing another like it, but possibly she already has. I won’t know for awhile. Sometimes an album comes along that you have to listen to until it is time to let go. This is one. I’m listening and I can’t let go yet. Sometime later, maybe."
-Frank Gutch Jr., Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

"Neruda and the equally cello-heavy Dido serve an opening course of minimalist, atmospheric rural chapel folk before Make It The Mountain arrives, shuffling around on a brushed country melody, to be followed by the title track's psych-blues jam, the vocals distant in the mix behind a wailing guitar almost like she's singing to herself. Production values are largely non existent, but it does give the album a similar down-home cabin feel to the likes of Bon Iver and Co as Leonhardt's strength with words and slowly beguiling melodies slowly work their magic."
-Mike Davies, Net Rhythms (UK)

credits

released July 22, 2009

Produced & engineered by Jeff Rady & Jennifer Leonhardt
Recorded in Austin, TX at the kitchen table
Mixed & mastered by Matt Brown
JL: vocals, acoustic guitar
Jeff Rady: acoustic, elec and bass guitars, vocals
James Bullard: acoustic, elec and bass guitars, vocals
Dave Townsend: drums
Dylan Rieck: cello
Sarah Stollak: violin
Robert "Doppler Bob" Schmidt: dobro, pedal steel

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Jennifer Leonhardt Los Angeles, California

A serious girl from Ft Worth contemplates the Uni-verse

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Track Name: neruda
The days are not so long now,
leaf and leaf are down
across our window

and you sleep
like it's forever
and nothing will ever end,

we're caught here
in a fortress
of try and pretend

refrain
wasn't it neruda said
love will take you by surprise?

and you sleep
like it's forever
and nothing will ever die

we're caught here
in a fortress
of arms-length lies

refrain
wasn't it neruda said
love will catch you off guard?
it'll catch you off guard

the days are not so long now
leaf and leaf are down
across our window
Track Name: dido
If you kiss these lips
a kiss has something binding in it, like
hope, and ribbons flying
'round the ramparts of my heart

If you touch these shores
there ain't no returning
all the ships are burning
in the harbor

refrain
Cast about for a way to sing me
that song about surviving
about surviving another live day long
Track Name: make it the mountain
'Cause my body likes the warmth too much
and my heart wants the taste of things to come
and it's too hard to say goodbye to you,
Babe I'm tellin you, go on and

Chorus
Make it the mountain or the city,
take it to sea level or the sky,
anywhere you're livin's where I'm goin
'cause it's too hard to be apart and wonder why

Now my feet have walked me many wide sands
and my heart's always been lookin
Now I find myself standin in a strange land,
Babe I'm tellin you, go on and

Chorus
Make it the mountain or the city
take it to sea level or the sky
anywhere you're livin's where I'm goin
'cause it's too hard to be apart
it's too damn hard to be apart
it's too hard to be apart and wonder why
Track Name: minstrel's daughter (title track)
i have a broken down chair
set out on the porch just for weather
a raging winter storm last year
has taken what was left of the birchwood
and if god has a plan in lovin
then the hills are going to overflow with young

yeah yeah yeah

i am a daughter out of minstrels
even though they may appear not to be
a jagged city sidewalk crook'd flower
is the only living witness to the
snippets of the old songs they sing
to hearten on a lonely 'nother hour, i tell you,

chorus
i don't really care about perfection
o no no no no no no
but i sing because the singing's here to get sung
of a season

in my dreams you visit me like a husband
and i am healed of every little wrong
we already are living private moments
you have caught my eye and though i'm sleepin
every fiber in me recognizes
and i am no longer among the spellbound

chorus

and the skies'll gather in conclusion
day goes into night right back to day
a flower's only purpose is just to flower
and beauty is the 'i' in each beholder
just like it is in my nature to die

chorus
Track Name: more rope
Thought I'd have something saved up
some words of comfort or hope
thought i'd speak em with conviction,
maybe tell em as a joke

but I find that all that's left me
is a language of tears
falls without warning
spilling out the years of

Chorus
Constant sorrow, unending pain
joyful moments in the pouring rain
impossible futures, terrible hope
and things about myself that now I
tell the truth about
instead of handing you more rope

So this is life without you?
What a dullness, what an anarchy.
Where's all the color? All of the fullness?
There's a black hole in the sky
where the sun used to be

And the language keeps falling,
falling like rain: it's the language of concession
in a book of intercessions
for a girl who finds herself
in a world of

Chorus
Constant sorrow, unending pain
joyful moments in the pouring rain
Impossible future, terrible hope
and things about herself
now she tells the truth about
instead of handing you more rope

a promise and a plan between a woman and a man
ain't worth the paper it's written on, not if it's

Chorus
Constant sorrow, unending pain
joyful moments in the pouring rain
Impossible future, terrible hope
and things about ourselves that now we
tell the truth about instead of
handing each other more rope
Track Name: me & abigail
Abigail rides her bike around me,
like a storm
dizzying me

she sticks her tongue out all
taunting and mean-like
and it's blue (grape bubbleyum)

and sometimes
the stars
are shining for the both of us
at the same time

Abigail rides her bike around me
like a tornado
round and round and round

showing off new streamers
she chews the last piece of Big Red
and she rides off pigtails flying

and sometimes
the dandelions
are growing in even numbers
for the both of us
at the same time
Track Name: line of fire
I dont want to be there when the lightening hits
I dont want to be the way you get your daily fix
I will not throw down for this funeral pyre
standing around while the flames rise higher

oh and I
I will not be standing in in your line of fire

I dont want be there just to watch you fall
I dont wanna wait for you till after last call and
I will not go down on your ship of fools
play the game while you change all the rules

oh and I
I will not be standing in in your line of fire
I will not be standing in your line of fire
your line of fire

I dont want to be there when the lightening hits
Track Name: black madonna
black madonna in your carousel of careful
you got four children in your surround
all little hands all reachin for ya
your kindness to them is a healing on this train

chorus
black madonna hurtling through this endless night
black madonna you are sweeping into uptown
a prayer you'll find you waiting when you get there
an angel in your man's arms

cuz why take chances if you dont really have to
the world has showed its face to you
set the carriage in the middle like a mirror
and turn the hateful back from where they came from

chorus

i want a man who really loves me
if that's too much i dont give a damn
it's 9 parts sorrow 1 part hopeful for the loving
that's what it feels like at the end of a black madonna day

chorus
Track Name: let the wretched come home
Every day you gotta remake life
build it up, tear it down
man it's like a knife to the head
lay down in it after you make that bed

and if I don't like it could be it's a test
to see if I'll fall or fly
give me half a chance to prove myself
you know at least I'm bound to try

chorus
Let the wretched come home
let the wretched come home
I've seen about enough to turn
my heart to stone

Alice was a blue-gown, Aaron was a lord
and I was just a juniper-tree
ever since the day I walked out of my father's house
love's been the death of me

Try to work it out try to leave it alone
try not to think about it all the time
standing on the corner of another careless town
all of these days stretched out in a line

chorus
Track Name: kerbey lane jubilee
Cumulus clouds cross the sky
and they don't tell the truth

added up all the numbers
and they still equal two

and tomorrow's another day
to carry it all away
and it'll still remind me of you

Sometimes you say
nothing at all

and your hands come to rest
in your lap

and the fuel prices are down
on the outskirts of town
someone's sure to be crying

Jack-o-lantern
on the top step

the curtains are packed
and all un-hung

and the breakfast dishes are done
water boiling for tea
and i'm as far as i'll ever be