Better Man or Ghost

by Logan Vath

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about

In early 2012 I inquired about a Craigslist ad selling recording gear. While emailing back and forth about the item, the owner decided to check out my Soundcloud page which was displayed in my email signature. Thats' the beginning.

I decide that while I'm this far from home, I should be playing music and start playing an open mic at a bar in Chesapeake. I hike my guitar up higher than most people - folks laugh at that. I meet Mark who tells me he's "not a great talker, but a good engineer." I listen to his work and call him. Still the beginning.

Fast forward a few months, it's now May of 2012 and spring both looks and smells mighty fine within the state of Virginia (it's no Nebraska but it will do). A local songwriter's gathering is in search of a final writer to complete their songwriter showcase; a small group putting on house shows. I am on a plane home from The Good Life when the owner of the recording gear I mentioned in the first paragraph tells me he dropped my name to the songwriter's group. I get invited to play. I accept. We're slowly transitioning out of the beginning.

At the show I meet such a concentration of talent that I think I may be in a dream world of sorts. I meet drummers, bassists, vocalists, and other songwriters. I had lived in Virginia for years and had never stumbled upon a group of writers so well-developed in their craft. I tell a few of them I'm trying to put out a record and they say they can help if I need it. I need it.

*skip*

Many of the people I met on that evening are on this album; they play drums, guitars, bass, and sing. They are wonderful people with more talent than I can comprehend most days. They made these songs sound how I always thought they could - more than just me and my guitar.

I know this seems like a long, drawn-out explanation of one small time in my life, but the random occurrences that came from one Craigslist ad still make me smile even now that I consider everyone mentioned in this section a good friend.

This album is every bit as much theirs as it is mine. It represents an incredible time of growth in my life and I cannot thank Virginia enough for the friends, the memories, and all the things I am still very much looking forward to accomplishing. Establishing a musical identity in this age is tough, but I do think that these people are helping me establish mine.

credits

released 08 March 2013

Mixed by Mark Padgett
Produced by Mark Padgett and Logan Vath

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Track Name: Still Be Me
i don't mean to string you along
no, i don't mean to do you wrong
i don't mean to complain when you ain't done no harm
i'm better off doing me alone
and i know i say one thing but i don't do the same
i'm like a garden left for change in rain.
so i'll slow it down, pump my brakes, try and find myself some grace
anything to ease your pain.

i could right my wrongs, i could dot my i's, i'll even get up in the sky
the simple things that say goodbye.
i could hold your hand, i could change my plans, try and be a better man
but i'll still just be me in the end.

it's been a long time comin' to find ourselves here
i've spent years trying to disappear.
now things have slowed down and i got out of town
i can't tell you i'll be back around.

there's a bus stop, baby, at the edge of the road.
and it'll push me off to gettin' older.
and if you see me again don't stare in my eyes
i have a feeling they'll be looking colder.

i could right my wrongs, i could dot my i's, i'll even get up in the sky
the simple things that say goodbye.
i could hold your hand, i could change my plans, try and be a better man
but i'll still just be me in the end.

i don't mean to string you along
no, i don't mean to do you wrong
Track Name: Luxury Plot
danger, danger, you don't know my name
but i followed you here through heaven's gates,
and I love the way you smile when you cause me pain.
vulture, vulture, I can see you spy
from your spot up above, you watch the withered die
and I love the way you smile when you take to the sky.

so when i die bury my body in a three-piece suit.
so while i lie, I can cry and push up some class with my roots.

pistol, pistol, calling out the land
from the city streets to the desert sand
and i love the way you bring power to a coward's hand.
child, child, i can feel your pain
as you wonder if they'll ever touch again
and i love the way we'll both grow up the same.

so when i die bury my body in a three-piece suit.
so while i lie, I can cry and push up some class with my roots.

hideaway.

so when i die bury my body in a three-piece suit.
so while i lie, I can cry and push up some class with my roots.
Track Name: Better Man or Ghost
Don't you combat your coast, it's already got you to
be the better man or ghost, that you've always wanted to
to be like the beeline
to rise like the shore line

Don't you curse your momma's name, She's already loved you more
than you've ever loved the same, don't come knocking' at my door
to hold you, console you
to lie to you, and fight for you

and there's a ringin' in my ear
and there's a crawling on my skin
and there's a bottle breaking in the old church tonight
and it spreads like fire

So it seems you've let me go, my drinkin' has moved you on down
on further down the road, where my friend's don't treat you wrong
and the weather, is better
no mailbox for my letters

And I still can follow you, if I decide I want to change
to be a better man or ghost, it's all just further down range
and the poison, it sinks in
so I take to the seas again

and there's a ringin' in my ear
and there's a crawling on my skin
and there's a bottle breaking in the old church tonight
and it spreads like fire
Track Name: Forever Your Curse
i'm forever your curse
you're the heretic, I'm your bible verse
and as you walk away the congregation will prey
and then pull a new church from their purse
you're keeping' me alive
you're rain and I'm prairie on the rise
and I know you won't stop till' I'm high in the sky tonight

you know love is alright, don't fight

and your'e keeping me sane.
i'm chemically imbalanced,you're the pills to my brain
and I take you twice a day.
home is so far
my porch is the ground and we're staring from stars
but on three our race will start
one, two, three, and our race did start

don't stop now there's too much ground to
cover your head as bombs are rainin'
down the road is a house where we can sit for awhile

and you love like a child.
you know it's okay to smile.
Track Name: The Sidewalk
Let the time stop
and set your clocks
for a new way out of here.
'Cause the mountain's dancing,
the trees are growing tall
this time of year.

And the rain don't fall
on the sidewalk like it used to at all.
And the ants don't crawl
up the sidewalk like they once did before.

So braid your hair tight,
pull it back
to disguise your way of life.
Call your old friends,
tell them that you're moving on again
and again.

And your bikes won't ride,
up the sidewalk like they used to at night.
And your sparklers won't light,
up the sidewalk on the fourth of July.

Our father's would be proud
to see lights covering town
on a blank night.
But without a single cloud,
who else can hear us shout
from a dark sky?

So without making a sound,
show me that you're really loud.
So without making a sound,
show me that your'e really loud.

This fall it's different;
so let it go.
I'm free from regret and chemicals.
Shade the walk -
the talk is on the back and forth
and I'm free from regret and chemicals.
Track Name: Kentucky
let's get lost in Kentucky
one-way bridge connects the river like a switch
one that i could just flip and drain the whole thing down.
you asleep in the passenger seat
prettiest thing that i've ever seen
it's just you and me and the cold tonight
just you and me and the snow on the road alright.
ain't it funny how this town's still tonight?
like we're intruders and its got something to hide
well it's okay, Kentucky, you've got nothing for me to take.
we're just two lost explorers making light of the wait.

so we'll wait it off in truck stop towns and we'll have a couple shots and sleep them off.
so you must admit, traveling together we're the perfect compliment
to one another; we saw both my mother and your brother
rinse it off
your father got to see his pretty daughters for awhile
with four families where's the time for you and i?
well it's all on the road, and in Kentucky i know you're the one.
Track Name: Top Shelf
Look in the air, it's a bird it's a plane
it's my heart falling down like rain on a cold tin roof
and I feel calm for the first time tonight.
I'm thinking about missing another summer and the thunder
that rolls while mind sails steady - lists and floats
on the sea with the calm breeze accompanying me.
Don't you ever think that I've forgotten
cause' my care's still caught in everything you've got to give
and all the things I haven't seen quite yet

And I can hear my father say,
"Gotta' prove em' wrong to win the game."

So I'm taking some time for myself
and drinking off the top shelf.
A little reckless, but how else can I test this all out?
And even the sharpest knife still bends,
when it's pushed in from the edge.
You can't abuse it, but ya' can't always use it as planned.

And sometimes I find myself in binds.
And I've gotta' use what I can find.

I've got a sister I don't see so much of
I see the sea so much, I can only think up
the words best said to her in long letters.
If we could sit down over a glass of wine
I'd say, "it'll be fine, you've just gotta' wait your turn
there's more beauty in your house than the pages of a magazine."
Prayer, it ain't just for the faithful - it's for the broken down people
that we see and be in the streets and all the times that are happening in between.

But I can hear our mother say, "when you hit your knees - it'll come your way."

So I'm taking some time for myself
and drinking off the top shelf.
A bit expensive, but how else can I test this all out?
And even the sharpest knife still bends,
when it's pushed in from the edge.
You can't abuse it, but ya' can't always use it as planned.
Track Name: This Far From Home
I left home - after obligation
but I stayed gone for my imagination.
and i'm dreaming big, but i'm drinking bigger
and i wonder which will kill me quicker.

oh lord, don't let me die this far from home.
I never intended to stay this long.

i miss the sea - with her rolling water
but i turn my back to all it has to offer
and i'm dreaming big - but i'm sailing deeper
and i wonder which will pull me under

oh lord, don't let me sink this far from home
i never intended to stay this long.

fly around in my head
'cause chasing the sky is the only thing that i'm good at.
but it's a long shot i'll make it up.

i'll never burn a bridge - that i'll be crossing later
i can't swim through regretful waters
and i'm dreaming big, but i'm yelling louder
and i wonder which, has more power.

oh lord, don't let me burn this far from home
no i never intended to sing this song.