Looking Back: “Taking the Blame”

As my catalogue grows, its easy for me to forget about songs I put out in the past.  ‘Looking Back’ will take a look at some of my previous work and talk frankly about the process of making them, things I screwed up and things I feel I got right.  Hopefully this won’t be boring.

“Taking the Blame” from 2008’s Oh No! EP

Originally on: “Oh No!” EP, released January 2008

In Ocotber 2007, I moved from Calgary to Taber, a small town just outside of Lethbridge, Alberta.  I know no one in town and for the first month of me living there, I was unemployed and living in my parents’ basement.  So while half-heartedly looking for work, I started getting deeper into writing and recording music, this time trying to write my own drum tracks as well as everything else.

“Taking the Blame” was born out of a little riff I had been playing with for a few months, but it wasn’t until I discovered The Black Keys’ Magic Potion that I thought I might be able to pull off a blues album.  It was the confidence on those songs that I admired, the riffs were sometimes so powerful that they completely replaced the need for a vocal chorus.  So I gave it a shot.

I had always played around with blues riffs here and there but Oh No! was the first time I actually tried to turn them into full songs.  Over that wonderful month of unemployment, I wrote and recorded the full EP and even now (almost 5 years later) I still love these songs.

“Doomsday #1” Lyrics

Original release: December 18, 2012

1.   Don’t Ever Bet Against a Man on His Way Out
2.   Walking


“Don’t Ever Bet Against a Man on His Way Out”

I’m aching for your touch on my petty heart
When the dealer dealt me a bunch of “where I’d been”
I never wash out when I play that hand

And I say yeah
Never bet against a man on his way out
I said yeah
Never bet against a man on his way out

I never saw a hole like I did in you
I’m anxious to the bone of my very soul
And I ain’t been a man like the one I’m told

And I’m broke
And I’m older

And I say yeah
Never bet against a man on his way out
I said yeah
Never bet against a man on his way out



I see you walking
Why’d you take so long?
I see you walking
Why’d you take so long?

I see you walking
Girl but you never come

I see your man there
Sure looks mean to me
I see your man there
Sure looks mean to me

I see your man there
Ain’t no man to me

I see you walking
Why’d you take so long?
I see you walking
Why’d you take so long?

I see you walking
Girl you never come

Looking Back: “I Took The Hard Way”

As my catalogue grows, its easy for me to forget about songs I put out in the past.  ‘Looking Back’ will take a look at some of my previous work and talk frankly about the process of making them, things I screwed up and things I feel I got right.  Hopefully this won’t be boring.

“I Took The Hard Way” from 2010’s The Truth in the Facts

When I started making The Truth in the Facts, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.  I had put out Miracle of Zero and had realized that making a second record that sounds different from the previous one while being its own thing is a lot harder that I thought.  I mean, I can sit down and write 10 new songs that sounds like Miracle of Zero with no problem.  I know what my habits are (for the most part) and I try my best to circumvent or at least bend them enough so that all of my songs don’t sound the same.

For “I Took The Hard Way”, I wanted to write a bluesy song for the album and record it in a completely new way.  I wrote the lyrics one day while working as a cashier at a grocery store in Taber, AB.  It had been a slow day and I was covering someone’s break so I sat up at the front and started jotting down lyrics about how I always seem to do things the most difficult way possible.  Whether it be working a less-than-great job until I’m motivated to find something better, or forcing myself to learn to play all of the instruments on my records, I have a knack for finding that hardest possible way of doing things.  With the lyrics written during an hour of standing at the front of an empty grocery store, I went home to figure out the rest of the song.

At this point, I was still living with my parents who let me set up my recording gear in their basement.  So when they were out of town visiting family or something, I would have all night writing binges.  I’d brew a pot of coffee and stay up all night writing and recording loose versions of songs.  For “I Took The Hard Way” I moved all of my gear up to the kitchen where the hardwood floor would make for a good place to stomp.  I put a microphone in the middle of the room and recorded every instrument and vocal track in different positions and distances from the mic.  Not being able to afford a stereo mic at the time, I mixed the tracks so that it sounded like you were standing in the middle of a group of people playing the song.  It was the first time I had played around with the idea of creating an atmosphere within the song, not just recording it as it was written.

This was one of the more fun songs to record for this album, as certain life changes during the making of it made it difficult to complete.  There are always things I wish I could change after I finish a project, but “I Took The Hard Way” is one I feel I got just right.

“Just Take It” Lyrics

Original release: October 30, 2012

1.   The Proof
2.   Afraid to Wake Up
3.   Did You See?
4.   Nothing Wrong
5.   The Idiots
6.   John
7.   Get Rid of It
8.   Break
9.   Can’t Go Home
10. Memories Lie


“The Proof”


The rain is coming, carry back us back to

The place I’ve fallen, is nothing more than to go

Erase the martyr, spending the time that you know

Is meant to be wasted, but I can’t waste it in proof


You’re screaming out windows, chastise the kids as we go

Amazingly quartered, made up to order for you

Was never enough to fully satisfy you

I speak for the bleach and I never wanted the proof


“Afraid to Wake Up”

Been thinking about getting rid of my stuff

Just not quite sure if we’ll have enough

Get Charise to call and bring some up for us

Rip the bag with you teeth, cavities be damned

We’ll find a dirty road in your daddy’s van

Do a little more to prove that you’re man enough

Lying around, too afraid to wake up

Acid’s in the water, well we’ll get him to smoke

Test this shit and we’ll see if he chokes

If he stays alive then it’s good for the both of us

Cut me off so I ran him off the road

I pulled him though the window and I broke his nose

As his kids cried out, I prepared to show what happens

Lying around, too afraid to wake up

What are you doing lying around too afraid to wake up?


“Did You See?”

I’ve been dizzy before

Put my head on the floor and where were you?

Sitting in the back of your car

Listening to songs bout the end of the war

I’ve been weary before

Seen inside the door

Of this world to see evil men

They’re capable and they’re inside your friends

Did you see?

Written on the wall

All spelled out in blood

Is our names, is our names

I know you’ve been here before

Got a look in the morgue

But did you hear? There’s no revolution on

Just another wet dream of a protest song

There ain’t no love anymore

Putting faith in a lord that never shows

To take you up on your offer

Is your soul enough?


“Nothing Wrong”

Sorry I was staring at your gun

I’m just aching for another one

And everybody acts like I’m nothing wrong

Their hands in their pocks and they’re playing dumb

I get no sleep

I get no sleep

She was 17 when they left her in park

Just an OD’d girl, no one around to point em out

So when I saw her on my TV screen

Her parents crying out and they’re looking for me

I get no sleep

I’m up all goddamned night

I get no sleep


“The Idiots”

I don’t know what you’ve done to me

But I can’t take it if I can’t figure it out

In the truck I’m a passenger with hands made of rock

And I can’t keep my tongue in my mouth

Eye-e-eye out the passenger side

I throw my head out, headlights are making me blind

Eye-e-eye it’s the end of out lives

Yeah, no one told me but I don’t think that I mind

English driving, I can’t keep it straight

I push on the gas and I reach back to keep her at ease

Jump the curb, in the lake, and the water

Pouring in. Why’s everyone trying to leave?

I don’t know what you’ve done to me

But the door won’t open and I’m still thinking about

In the back is Charise and she’s screaming,





Where you going

With that Girl?


“Can’t Go Home”

They’re gonna come at me again

With everything, with anything

I’m gonna scream out why it hurts so bad

Like everything is caving in

It’s just a joining of a process

The house of which I reside

The enemy of progress

Takes refuge with me beside


Of writing down words about you


And I can’t go home

Sleep until the day breaks

Getting up, listening

Pull the pen from my pocket

Just to put it back inside again

It’s still dividing osmosis

When I can add it up

And if you saw the process

By any means, say enough


Of writing down words about you


And I can’t go home


“Memories Lie”

You call for a little show-and-tell

And yeah babe, my life’s been going swell

But the truth of it is I ain’t feeling so well

Right now

I’ve seen my good friend die

And I’ve my old memories lie

It makes you happy just to be alive

Right now

Oh no

What do I do when I don’t know what to say to you?

Cause where was I when you were out and in pain?

All I know is if you let me

I’ll stay

I spent a lot of my time

A sadness I’m not proud to define

But having you here takes it off of my mind

For now

Cause I’ve found that all good things die

And it’s not rare to have memories lie

It’s just enough to make you want to be alive

Right now

“My Love is True (Hey Hey Hey​!​)” Lyrics

Original release: July 10, 2012

1.  My Love is True (Hey Hey Hey​!​)


“My Love is True (Hey Hey Hey​!​)”

Won’t you come along 
To see where we went wrong 
Maybe its not our fault 

Please just speak to me 
Don’t let the last time be 
The one that brings an end 

Hey hey hey 
Hey hey hey 
I gotta say 
My love is true 

Sara wont you come home 
I’ve been lonely enough 
For one life, for one life 

Buried under black sea 
My love it lives on computer screens 
I want you in my house 

Hey hey hey 
Hey hey hey 
I gotta say 
My love is you 

Won’t you come along 
There’s nothing here that could be wrong 
I love you, ain’t that enough?


“The Truth in the Facts” Lyrics

Original Release: April 27, 2010

1.  Small Time
2.  Blue
3.  Happy Birthday
4.  I Took The Hard Way
5.  Maria
6.  Not Concerned
7.  When The Song is Over
8.  Understand?
9.  Who’s That?
10. Nikkie
11. You’re Not Coming Back

Small Time

I’m standing in line, nothing crossing my mind
I got dirt stains on my clothes
She’s got long brown hair and a painful stare
That rests itself on my nose

I hold my own and when I get back home
I’ll play until my strings break
They’ll call the cops, they can’t stand to watch
Another songwriter fake

Down at my job I work for a slob
Who never heard a toilet flush
but the girls are good and knock on wood
I can always make em blush

I write too much, don’t talk enough
Except when I’m telling lies
There ain’t no doubt, they’ll figure it out
But I’m never gonna tell them why

Small time living got a sickening feeling
Gotta pretend
Gotta depend
Gotta get outta here



I don’t wanna know what you’ve been doing

I don’t wanna know what you’re saying to him.

I don’t wanna know why I’m no good

I don’t wanna know, I don’t wanna know.

I don’t wanna see you hanging around,

I don’t wanna hear your feet on the ground.

I don’t wanna lie about being blue

Cause I don’t wanna give that pleasure to you.


Happy Birthday

Come closer my love
I don’t want you to see
What I did to our home
While you were out ignoring me

I’m sorry I broke your mirror
Threw our pictures in the trash
But if I remember accurately
This ain’t the first time its been this bad
Happy birthday baby
Don’t wanna get up and walk out on me?

You’re packing up your shit
Turned my dresser upside down
I know you’ve got another man
When asked you didn’t make a sound

So expect to hear from me
Drunk and calling you at 3 am
I hope it rains to embellish my point
That I could love you better than him


I Took The Hard Way

Dug a hole with a hammer, drove in nails with a spade
When I get a little warm I search the desert for the shade
If there’s one thing I ain’t learned from no pile of books
Is that you take what you want and what I wanted I took

I took the hard way right back to the start.

Wrote a song in the shower but never brought a pen
Been counting every hour till inspiration comes again
But you gotta keep your head up, that’s what they say
Deprivation is the key desperation is the way

I took the hard way right back to the start

In the background of my head I can see it all there
50 girls throwing money, shaking champagne from their hair
Yeah, we all take the hard way right back to the start



Oh Maria
You hold me like no one else

When I come home drunk, you never put me down
Just hold me closer so I don’t hit the ground

Don’t you ever let me go
For if you do I’d be the last to know

Oh Maria
hold me up to the phone
I got a job to quit and I force to be reckoned with

Don’t you see how I’m bleeding?
Don’t you see how my pain keeps me from loving you like I should?

Maria’s the only thing I got in this world
And she drinks more than I do and we never make love
Just laugh at the bruises and the lives that we ruin
Stay up all night screaming through the paper walls

Oh Maria
Don’t you see I’ve been bleeding for you?
Oh Maria
Don’t you understand what we’ve been through?

I’ll live a poor life, make it up as I go
Move from town to town to keep you on your toes

Oh Maria
I hate everything about you
Oh Maria
What the hell am I gonna do?
Let life take us where we oughta be
I’ll close my eyes and hopefully fall asleep


Not Concerned

All the words would have to sum up to this

But they can’t hold a candle to your kiss.

Not concerned with morning and what it brings

Cause we’ll dance all night to the sound of the mattress



When The Song Is Over

I wanted to tell you that I’m
Not capable of writing songs about you
Words escape their meaning and I can’t seem
To get a sentence through

Coming to terms with the fact that I
Could never pretend to be this for very long
I wonder if I’ve had the words inside my head
Or where they’ve gone

Gotta resort to the back hand, gotta resort to the bottle
An old source of inspiration
I don’t know if I can outlast this cold
I don’t know if I have the patience

I’m on the edge of something but I don’t know what it is
Or what I have to offer
But if the songs never come, will you hold my hand
When the dream is over



Don’t understand the little things
That make your heart so mean
Try to get a little pity but
That probably ain’t my scene

Don’t wanna spend my life with
Another absent one
And if you understand a little bit
Then nothing’s over and don’t

Do you understand?

If you just get it together
I’m spinning plates on your bedroom floor
And my chance is getting better
That I’m gonna be adding more

Saboteurs are in the middle
Ripping out wires by their hand
Break everything its just that simple
And pray they they’ll understand

Do they understand?


Who’s That?

I’m a stray dog baby with three legs out
I’ve been crawling through town just spreading my doubts.
I’ve got a seed-soaked mama sitting back at the house I’ve got a half-hearted feeling I’m about to find
Who’s that?

I’ve been crying to women stationed all over town
About the one who knows how to put a man down
I gave her my heart, I gave her my ring
But when she seen my scars she said “it don’t mean a thing.”
Who’s that?

I kept my home on the road for 20 odd nights,
I avoided the bars and kept her in my sights
But when I finally got there I knew what’s been,
She’d opened her bed to all kinds of men.
Who’s that?

She’s a black heart, a thief, she’s got pain to spare.
She’s got big green eyes and long blonde hair.
If you see her train riding on your tracks,
You better head the other way and never look back.



Oh Nikkie
You’re just another punk
Too high to notice
That that ship’s sunk

Oh Nikkie
Your heart ain’t your brain
But you make it look too easy
Cause they both think the same

Oh Nikkie
Your heart shouts a plea
To be taken care of

What’s in a name that makes you act this way?
Take off your clothes and you got me, yeah, you know
When does it end and how will we be
When you scream that you never loved me?

Oh Nikkie
You finally got away
From those who meant to hurt you
And tried to make you stay

Oh Nikkie
The last thing that you said
Was baby I don’t wanna
See you again

Oh Nikkie
Says she likes the pain
And she’ll make you hurt like
You’ll never hurt again


You’re Not Coming Back

I wanna say an honest word for once
But I don’t know how, I’ve never said one
But I loved you even if you didn’t know
You had your reasons and those reasons made you go

I just wanna live in a great big house
Walk around by myself
Talk to the walls like they ain’t cold
Trick myself, thinking I’m not getting old

And the truth in the facts
Is you’re not coming back

I just wanna sell my guitars and such
Get enough to buy a car, not too much
Get out of town, leave my home for a while
Wish you were with me
To make me smile