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The Downtowner

by Joseph Huber

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Katillac
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Katillac There is no one who captures so genuinely the highs and lows, losses and wins, hurts and triumphs of love and living like Joseph Huber. Peek into this album like an agate. Beneath earthy grit and hard truths you’ll spy glittering possibility — of healing, forgiveness, love, change. Huber’s meticulous wordsmithing and haunting voice will stay with me like the best bourbon’s warm, bittersweet afterglow.
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1.
As you gaze in from the sea's green rim Upon the city's grinding wheels Churning father's words that fathers told them-- "What does it matter how you feel?" Beats the rended heart 'pon the widowed earth. Is it too beaten to be healed? While the warring word its fire-brood births In the orchards of fear.
2.
Bold lies, thin disguises paint the days, Slowly expectation fades, And sunken ones soon sang along With screaming teeth how they were wronged-- No measured word could change. The well-fed caught up in their upper hand-- What scraps fell by the way? As disarray feigned commonplace, Contorted rage waned straight-faced, And here we are today. Here we are today... Here we stand in liberty's mourning, Screaming, "I would change if I was to blame!" And so we'll wade in liberty's mourning And complain that there's not another way. So beats the rended heart upon the widowed earth Wounded, once held so dear, But greed that seeds the lowest fruit Turned littered rinds had taken root In the orchards of fear. Oh, what the hell can make a man believe Short of dancing on the waves? But fools will praise where power fills And well-fed will get fatter still And dance on their savior's grave Here we are today... Here we stand in liberty's mourning, Screaming, "I would change if I was to blame!" And so we'll wade in liberty's mourning And complain that there's not another way.
3.
The casks were poured and empty From the many years gone by. We couldn't bear to give our love another try. Where once were hearts of plenty, Soon poor in all but pain, Slowly learning to call each other by another name. Though the years with tears were stained, I couldn't let you die. Had the memories we made Really all run dry? Well, I went down to the banks and tossed them Right into the sea, But awoke to find them washing over me, So I went down the the well and lost them in the spirit of Tennessee But not even that old ghost could shake my belief That you mean that much to me. Now bleary-eyed and sobered, Frost blinds the windshield, How the thoughts of starting over will bind your heels. Oh, love will lift your spirit Just to leave you cold and bare, And seek out another ever unaware. Will hearts, to darkness chased, Ever see the light? Will the truth that we've embraced Become another lie? If I'd have known just what the cost is To pretend to be free, I wouldn't be soaked in the spirit of Tennessee. I'd be holding you and lost in sweet scent of a dream Instead of floating through these fading memories Of when you gave your love to me. Yeah, I'd be holding you and washed in your cool waters, ever clean, Instead of holding this bottle that bleeds The Spirit Of Tennessee.
4.
Dog Days 04:25
Where the shadow stops, I can see each rock, Each gravel piece and leaf down the driveway. And the way they gleam, those light beams. From the windshield the green fields look like sand. Noon again, already five when I realize it's nine and nothing yet has changed. Maybe made a meal or went down to the corner store. My mind is blank, but I thank its just that way. Dog days Sweat dripping down my face, See you at your place at sundown. Backyard, riding in your car, Can't seem to get far from this side of town 'Til the evening comes around. Through the window there's a red tail, And the way it sails high still above the hills like a mirage. Blister on a chain link, burnt rust and a blush of pink, From the lawn chair your hair rides the breeze. Dog days Sweat dripping down my face, See you at your place at sundown. Backyard, riding in your car, Can't seem to get far from this side of town 'Til the evening comes around. So take a victory lap, hear those can tabs snap. It's my first one--the suns on the treeline. And the silence steals the wind of the harvest fields Replaced with the bright sun, the lights so loudly say... Dog days Sweat dripping down my face, See you at your place at sundown. Backyard, riding in your car, Can't seem to get far from this side of town 'Til the evening comes around.
5.
I saw you out with another man. I was livid--Lord, I was livid To think that another could give you love how I could give it, Oh, I could give it. I went cursing up and down all around this town And I passed out down in the long weeds By the river and dreamed of days long gone When I was you and you were me. Oh the fiddle did play and the crowd did sway, they took all it was givin, Oh, it was so long ago but I still see your face just as vivid, just as vivid. You were dancing all around with your long hair down And you slipped and fell onto your knees, And you took my hand, oh, that's how it all began When I was you and you were me. Oh, I wish you well and you just can't ever tell what a new day will be bringing, But I know quite well its about our days I'll be singing--oh, I'll be singing, And I hope that you rise like a red-tail flying, Hugging up high on a warm breeze, And I'll bury those promises that I could never keep When I was you and you were me. Yeah, I'll bury those days in the dirt so deep... When I was you and you were me.
6.
Was I wrong to let your light come through my window? Have a grown too tired for a love brand new? Was I wrong or right in letting you know? Is it too late for us now 'cause I spoke too soon? Well, I passed out cold and I woke up dreaming, And mistook your face for the light of day. I lost everything that I'd saved, But what does love care about it anyway. No, it just couldn't wait.... Was I wrong to let your light come through my window? Have a grown too tired for a love brand new? Was I wrong or right in letting you know? Is it too late for us now 'cause I spoke too soon? Don't you leave me here just reeling. Won't you stay just for the night. Don't leave forever just tingling in my hands. 'Cause I knew what you were feeling. Will it still be here when the light comes pouring down On you and I tomorrow. Oh, tomorrow be damned. Was I wrong to let your light come through my window? Have a grown too tired for a love brand new? Was I wrong or right in letting you know? Is it too late for us now 'cause I spoke too soon?
7.
Don't act so sad Like it ain't always been this way Where breaking even is winning and losing is the flag you wave. Don't act so surprised No need to get bent out of shape. She said, "I was wrong about you when I took you for a heavyweight." Well, I'm a heavy weight alright. Just not the kind you had in mind. Now, how much can we take before we step out of the cage And choose to lose this heavy weight? How'd it get so bad?-- You in your corner; me in mine. Two can play that game but together it's a lonely life. Now the silence stings a little less than taking swings. You knocked me out and when I came to, you'd already up and left the ring. So I too will leave the ring right here by the kitchen sink. And I thought I would break, But when you lightly fly away You know I'll fly away too and find nothing left to lose, But to lose this heavy weight.
8.
Thankful 05:19
I came to you with a rose in my hand, You smiled and said you didn't understand. I said, "It's for you," and then turned and ran. I was thankful. I dreamed of you on an old park bench, Like a ghost from a time that came and went. A little bird came to inspect my laments. I was thankful. When food hits my lips and I start dancing. When the itching and the scratching go away. Last night I dreamed of you and I. I wish I could choose my dreams. I would try To live there even if it was a lie And be thankful. When I hear a song that's sad, I forget all the things that I've never had, And remember the love that I have And am thankful. When a smile from another makes life easier, The sun will outrun the clouds today. I came to you with a rose in my hand, You smiled and said you didn't understand.
9.
There was time you were almost mine. There was a time you said we should run away. Oh, what wounds I've made in so many hearts. How many wounds can one heart stand to take? I built a dream in the back of my mind. I'd always find you waiting there. Oh, will that dream within me ever die? For now it's just for me to bear. Will you still know?-- Just like the days when I told you so. Now I just cant' say. We talked beneath an open starry sky There in a world without walls or shame. Now, here withing the walls of a man's life, I find only myself to blame. And within pictures of fields and sunlight-- Are you there wandering now? Will you think that I've just forgotten Without the words to show you somehow? Will you still know?-- Just like the days when I told you so. Now I just can't say. Will you still know?

about

Huber's 6th solo album featuring 9 new tracks

credits

released May 12, 2022

Joseph Huber: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, drums and percussion, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano and keys
Eston Bennett; bass on track 2-8
Kenny Leiser: fiddle and strings on tracks 2,3,8
Ryan Knudson: Pedal steel on track 3

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Joseph Huber Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After 7 years of hard touring and playing banjo with the influential streetgrass group, .357 String Band, Joseph Huber has found an individual voice that covers a vast range of influence. Playing all the instruments, from fiddle to harmonica to banjo to tambourine (and as many as he can at once) he amazes and entertains, but also reveals substance. His songs are lyrical, but he knows a good hook. ... more

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