3200 W 22nd Court

by Mike Lawson & Friends

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1.
You talk about mercy Deliver me pain You say that fire coming from the skies and it’s about to rain And I don’t believe it No! I don’t believe it I’m trying hard to be kind And you telling me I’m blind That’s just the way I was designed Cuz I got a reprobate mind You talk about heaven Then you give me hell Will I be flying high up in the sky it’s really hard to tell When I don’t believe it No! I just don’t believe it There’s just so much to unwind At that table where He dined That’s just the way I was designed Cuz I got a reprobate mind Every story that you tell they sound so wonderful and swell I think I’m falling for it in the sweet by and by Start running out of my defenses while I’m coming to my senses You know there ain’t nobody gonna have a mansion in the sky You don’t like black folks the brown or the yellow But you pretend you do in front of me cuz you’re that kind of fellow You say you’re believing When you’re really deceiving You say that I’ll be left behind Well I guess that was assigned That’s just the way I was designed Cuz I got a reprobate mind You talk about Jesus And God and the devil But I seen the way you really are so none of that was on the level You say I receive it! Oh! If I really believe it But I saw your pockets that you lined You should be locked away and fined That’s just the way I was designed Cuz I got a reprobate mind I got a reprobate mind I got a reprobate mind I got a reprobate mind
2.
Seems like whenever I think I'm ahead I'm further behind where I started instead But now I know that problems got to be solved But each one brings me down till it's resolved My problems got problems, I can't explain Pass me the wheat straw, I will try it again (Problems, problems) You can see why it takes most of my time To sort through confusion and uncloud my mind My problems got problems, if you understand It's like being caught in a sea of quick sand My problems got problems, I can't explain Pass me the wheat straw, I will try it again (Problems, problems) (Problems, problems) You can see why it takes most of my time To sort through confusion and uncloud my mind My problems got problems, if you understand It's like being caught in a sea of quick sand My problems got problems, I can't explain Pass me the wheat straw, I will try it again (Problems, problems) Oxtail Music - Used by Permission
3.
In a little while from now If I'm not feeling any less sour I promise myself to treat myself And visit a nearby tower And climbing to the top Will throw myself off In an effort to Make it clear to whoever Wants to know what it's like when you're shattered Left standing in the lurch at a church Were people saying, My God, that's tough She stood him up No point in us remaining We may as well go home As I did on my own Alone again, naturally To think that only yesterday I was cheerful, bright and gay Looking forward to who wouldn't do The role I was about to play But as if to knock me down Reality came around And without so much as a mere touch Cut me into little pieces Leaving me to doubt Talk about, God in His mercy Oh, if he really does exist Why did he desert me In my hour of need I truly am indeed Alone again, naturally It seems to me that There are more hearts broken in the world That can't be mended Left unattended What do we do What do we do Alone again, naturally Looking back over the years And whatever else that appears I remember I cried when my father died Never wishing to hide the tears And at sixty-five years old My mother, God rest her soul Couldn't understand why the only man She had ever loved had been taken Leaving her to start With a heart so badly broken Despite encouragement from me No words were ever spoken And when she passed away I cried and cried all day Alone again, naturally Alone again, naturally Gilbert O'Sullivan Emi Blackwood Music Inc. O / B / O Grand Upright Music Ltd. Used by Permission
4.
I put a whole lot of miles between us And it's a winding road you'll never travel down I'm not a martyr to that same old used to be And I ain't ever gonna wear your thorny crown I remember it well like it was yesterday Though the days are long passed and the years fade away This is your ballad of nothing It's nothing personal I just had nothing to do Nothing to speak of, nothing is missing But your know nothing is sacred when you got nothing to lose I must admit it was a lovely invocation But the price of admission was more than twice the cost Don't bother trying to send me no invitation You know I'll just return it to sender, or say that it got lost Ain't no turning back, I won't look behind I'm gonna leave this old world with a satisfied mind This is your ballad of nothing Nothing to write home about Nothing but pain Nothing to speak of, thanks for nothing You got nothing to venture, I got nothing to gain I forgot to remember what you look like I don't even know your name How could you possibly think that I would play your game? So now I sing you a ballad of nothing 'Cuz nothing is further from my mind Nothing new under the sun, all or nothing It's nothing to laugh about, you've been nothing but kind I wrote a ballad for nothing Nothing left to live for, but noting to die for too Nothing from nothing leaves nothing Nothing left to talk about with me and you Words and Music - Mike Lawson Psychotronic Music - BMI
5.
Just when he's congratulated himself For being a person on whom to depend Along comes a trusting soul and Benedict rides again When he's managed to convince himself That he's an original flower child Greed knocks on the garden gate And Benedict rides again Once he thinks he's got it all together Learnt ten days about rice and studying zen Some head gives him a brown hit And Benedict rides again After he's marched in a demonstration To protest war and peace for all men Then he joins the ROTC And Benedict rides again Ride Benedict rides again Ride Benedict rides again Ride Benedict rides again Ride Benedict rides again
6.
You've got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend When I was down you just stood there grinnin' You've got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend You just want to be on the side that's winnin' You say I let you down, ya know its not like that If you're so hurt, why then don't you show it? You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at You have no faith to lose, and ya know it I know the reason, that you talked behind my back I used to be among the crowd you're in with Do you take me for such a fool, to think I'd make contact With the one who tries to hide what he don't know to begin with? You see me on the street, you always act surprised You say "how are you?", "good luck", but ya don't mean it When you know as well as me, you'd rather see me paralyzed Why don't you just come out once and scream it No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them And tho I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place Don't you understand, its not my problem? I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes And just for that one moment I could be you Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes You'd know what a drag it is to see you Words and Music by Bob Dylan © Universal Music Publishing Group Used by Permission
7.
The System 04:21
Who will you murder For democracy Who's next to be slain People wait to be Sucked up By your genocide campaign Murdered for Technology Natural resources too While earth faces extinction You say prayers on the moon I'm talkin', talkin' about the system (system) Said I'm talkin', talkin' about the system (system) I said the funky, funky system (system) I said the funky, funky system(system) Promote sociology Equality of life We'll only save ourselves By lessening human strife Still the system Stalks the land And with death goes Hand in hand Talking 'bout the system The funky, funky system (system) The funky, funky system (system) The funky, funky system (system)
8.
You can’t go back home to your family You can’t go back home to your friends You can’t go back to dreams of glory, fame or love that just pretends You can keep your eyes in front of you, and always look ahead The moment that you turn around remember what was said You can’t run away to exile you will always find you there Ain’t no ivory tower waiting, ain’t no mansion in the air You can keep your eyes wide open, keep your options near and dear When you look behind you, you will find your answer clear So many paths to take, so many roads So many lessons so heavy loads It’s easy to forget but oh so hard to learn Once you leave home you can never return Once you leave home you can never return Walk away from conflict trying to move in on your Run away from people who will cause you grief and strife Take along there with you folks who need a helping hand Never look behind you didn’t leave no promised land You can’t find someone to save you, ease your burden take your pain Ain’t no one but you can make the choice to come in from the rain It once seemed everlasting but is changing all the time Keep your eyes upon the hills and mountains you have left to climb So many paths to take, so many roads So many lessons and so heavy loads It’s easy to forget but oh so hard to learn Once you leave home you can never return Once you leave home you can never return Once you leave home you can never return Words and Music – Mike Lawson Psychotronic Music – BMI Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved

about

collection of songs ultimately honoring my late mentor Merl Saunders, some favorites to cover, some new original songs, with a look back at why you can’t go home again. But there is more to it…

The title is the address of my childhood home in Florida. It was directly across the fence from the sewage treatment plant. Yes, my dad decided his family should live next door to the shit yard. I didn’t give that much thought as a little kid, but as I got older, it was a source of ridicule, and as I became a father myself, a source of disbelief that it might have been the option my father found best for his family. Don’t take that as bitterness, take it more as marveling.

It is the place I got my first guitar, which is a great memory, but it is also the house I learned to fear going home to, causing me to seek refuge with friends at church where I felt a bit safer, could actually play music occasionally, but then saw it start to get really weird as some bizarre prosperity gospel concept started spreading like a cancer, schisms happening in it, the youth minister leaving his very pregnant wife for the married mom of two who was the church secretary, and this adaptation of some rightwing principles that just seemed to me, even as a teenager, to be the antithesis of the red letters.

I dug the helping the poor (I was poor), the sick, the widows, the prisoners, the downtrodden and meek parts… what was emerging was not that. I wanted out. I got out. That fan club was weird, man.

This album opens with my rebuke of it is all. I had been warned that I was giving myself over to a reprobate mind. What an awful thing to put on a teenager. Reprobates are irredeemable. Watching hypocrites call me a reprobate well, that was kind of the final straw for me. These people believe some crazy things, like demons could live inside record jackets and attach themselves to the people who opened them. I’m not kidding…

Then my folks split up, and it was pretty ugly. Soon, 3200 W 22nd Court was a memory as my mother and I had to move out. Life was not great in that house, at all, but post my parent’s divorce, I was compelled to soon get my GED and leave home, at 16 years old. And I did.

My problems had problems. We were alone, even together. I was a mess. My mother was a mess. However, at that address is where I discovered some great music, doo-wop and rock-a-billy, bluegrass, Beatles, Bowie, The Kinks, Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and so much more. In that town I discovered the music of Grateful Dead, in particular, and a couple of year later, the music of Saunders and Garcia. Never could have dreamed of meeting let alone playing music with anyone all the way out in California. It may as well have been another planet.

I had the full on teen angst and anger at the world to channel back then, but no practical resources to do so other than my guitar and determination to leave. Benedict Rides, Positively 4th Street, The System… all perfectly analogous to my mindset and experiences, cumulating decades later with the 50-something year old me able to look back at it now in Once You Leave Home, and put it all in more perspective.

It all started here with my earliest memories, my formative years, but for all the good I dragged out of the place, it was not ever a home that was safe, nurturing, or kind. The house, and the three or four next to it, have all been leveled to make for a larger shit yard. I’m ok with that.

The good part of that town, though not the home, was the chance to play music, often, with a huge choice of venues always having live music on the beach. I got to play with a lot of folks much older than I, especially since I was playing underage the first five years.

But, the, house, that was a place where many powerful and wonderful things in my life started. It was also a horrible place where I went through a lot of well, shit, man. Maybe the location was a sign that I was going to constantly deal it?

Did I end up where I am not because of the trials by fire, or in spite of them? Who’s to say. Not me.

This album kind of tells my story but it is very much “inside baseball” if you will, and in my head at that. I just hope you enjoy the music.

The bottom line is, once you leave home, you can never return.

Credits

released December 21, 2021

Featuring:
Joe Montague- Drums
Scott Guberman – Hammond, Clav, Rhodes
Philip Madeira – Piano/Hammond
Mark Pfaff – Mouth Harp
Tyra Juliette – BG Vocals
Noah Wall- BG Vocals
Denise S Bates – BG Vocals
Melisa Dopazo – Bass
Fred Bogert – Piano
Jeff Fogerty – Guitar
Mark Shenkel – Sax
Donota Greco – Flute
Michael A Grant – Flute
Jeff Marley – Bass (on Benedict Rides/The System)
Travis Collinsworth – Bass (My Problems Got Problems)
Mike Lawson – Guitars/Bass/Vocals/Keys

credits

released December 21, 2021

Featuring:
Joe Montague- Drums
Scott Guberman – Hammond, Clav, Rhodes
Philip Madeira – Piano/Hammond
Mark Pfaff – Mouth Harp
Tyra Juliette – BG Vocals
Noah Wall- BG Vocals
Denise S Bates – BG Vocals
Melisa Dopazo – Bass
Fred Bogert – Piano
Jeff Fogerty – Guitar
Mark Shenkel – Sax
Donota Greco – Flute
Michael A Grant – Flute
Jeff Marley – Bass (on Benedict Rides/The System)
Travis Collinsworth – Bass (My Problems Got Problems)
Mike Lawson – Guitars/Bass/Vocals/Keys

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Mike Lawson & Friends Nashville, Tennessee

Mike Lawson has, over 30 years, recorded and/or performed together with Merl Saunders, Vince Welnick, Vassar Clements, Pete Sears, Gary Talley, John McEuen, Bob Welch, Dennis Robbins, Joe Louis Walker, Jorma Kaukonen, Phil Keaggy, Jack Casady, Scott Guberman, Dianne Davidson, Noah Wall, Tyra Juliette, Bill Vitt, Rob Wasserman, Michael Cleveland, Phil Madeira, and a host of other amazing friends. ... more

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