Simple Truths and Pleasures

by Michael Holland

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about

“….aptly titled, a disarmingly straightforward collection that delivers often-thorny truths with a smile.Real life characters…all of whom are on the lam in one way or another. But Holland sounds like he’s exactly where he ought to be.” David Menconi, No Depression

“…an American sensation for more than 15 years….this is about as close to hayseed nirvana as one is likely to find……a rare example of truth in advertising, a paean to a time when music was made for back porches and barn raisings instead of beer commercials. - Daryll Smyer, Dallas Observer


“Holland's most traditional disc yet, but it still feels vibrant and fresh, like an accomplished player and writer finally finding his way home. Rooted in North Carolina lore and homestead loneliness, it's a welcome arrival.” – Grayson Currin, Independent Weekly

“…with his beautiful new record he should find more friends not only in the internet.”
- Christoph Dallach, Der Spiegel (Germany)

"...4 1/2 stars (out of 5) Highly recommended for all Maverick readers." - Alan Cackett - editor, Maverick Magazine, UK


This is the third solo release by Michael Holland, from Carrboro, North Carolina. Previous releases include Bootleggers Dream (Big Johns, 2003), and Tomorrows American Treasures (Sit-n-Spin, 2005).
Less an album and more a collection of songs, Simple Truths and Pleasures is once again performed with members of the Big Fat Gap Bluegrass Band from NC – the vast majority of it learned, rehearsed, and recorded live in the studio. More traditional than the previous records, the earthly songs reflect influences by Earl Scruggs, Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, The Carter Family, Doc Watson and especially Hank Williams. The music is a perfect and very melodic mixture of truly timeless Southern musical forms: acoustic country, folk, bluegrass, honky-tonk, old time string band, blues and gospel, led by Michael Holland's warm and haunting voice.

credits

released January 22, 2008

Produced and mixed by Michael Holland
Engineered by Jerry Brown at Rubber Room
Mastered by Travis Leonard at Kitchen Mastering
Executive Producer Jan Szlovak

All songs by Michael Holland copyright 2007 shiny shiny music BMI

Arranged and performed by: Michael Holland, John Garris, Carl Jones, Robert Mitchener, Jon Stickley, Andy Thorn


Photography by Michael Traister
Design by Elke Hartl

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The Holland Brothers Carrboro, North Carolina

This is the official site for North Carolina musicians, and Jennyanykind members Michael and Mark Holland . Here you can listen to and purchase (if you wish) all of the recorded songs in Michael's solo catalogue, Mark's catalogue, Jennyanykind, and their collaboration, the Holland Brothers. ... more

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Track Name: How Long Will She Make Me Wait?
The sun shakes, the moon baits
How long will she make me wait?
I’ll go ask the stars, they know all about her.
The sun shakes, the moon waits.
Oh Lord, what difference does it make?
I won’t lose nothing tonight if I die here.

Down the road we’ll wait and see.
I’ll wait for you, will you wait for me.
The sun shakes, the moon waits.
Oh Lord, what difference does it make?
I won’t lose nothing tonight if I die here.

Take my hand, what it does to me.
I’d follow you, would you follow me?
The sun shakes, the moon baits,
By the roadside patiently she waits.
Oh, on this night I’ll know all about her.
Track Name: Please Please Please
Please, please, please
I’m down on my knees
All I have you’ve taken
All I want you’ve got
So please, please, please

Please, please, please,
I’m down on my knees
You think that I’m a fool
But better a fool than cruel
So please, please, please

When I was young life was a treasure
Good times naturally followed me
Now you’re robbing me of simple pleasures
Please, please, please

Please, please, please
I’m down on my knees
You’re leading me to ruin
But I know what you’re doing
So please, please, please.
Track Name: Bill Payne and Wash Turner
Bill Payne had a twenty dollar bill
For that twenty dollar bill he had to kill
Down the road he's setting his sights
Kissed his ma goodbye as she said goodnight
Bill Payne's headed for the sweet bye and bye
Bill Payne's momma gonna cry, cry, cry

Wash Turner just along for the ride
Carolina breeze passing bye
Never meant to do any harm
Just a wild country boy from the farm
Wash Turner headed for the sweet bye and bye
Gas chamber gas gonna rise, rise, rise

George Penn killed by Bill Payne's gun
Bill Payne and Wash on the run
When they broke the news to
George Penn's wife
She kissed her child goodbye as she said goodnight

Momma's headed for the sweet bye and bye
Momma's little baby gonna cry, cry, cry
Momma's headed for the sweet bye and bye
Momma's little baby gonna cry, cry, cry
Track Name: Starry Nights
I was thinking that I’d never live without you
I was thinking how we both gonna pass away
But it doesn’t get me down, all the good times abound
I see them each and every day

Now I’m headed out for a drive into the country,
To the country, with no one else in site
Starry Nights, oh those starry nights,
A good friend to have, a starry night

Now we’re headed out for a drive into the country,
To the country, with no one else in site
And I’m sitting here with you,
On a blanket made for two, a good thing
To have on a starry night
Starry Nights, oh those starry nights,
A good friend to have, a starry night
Track Name: Let Me Change Your Mind Tonight
I know you’re probably thinking of me
In a different kind of light.
You should thank the stars above me.
What would make you so uptight?
Don’t you give up on me darling,
‘cause two wrongs make a right.
If you think I’m nothing for you,
Let me change your mind tonight.

I know you’re probably thinking of me
In another kind of way.
While we sit here in the bar light.
You don’t have a thing to say.
Don’t you give up on me darling,
‘cause two wrongs make a right.
If you think I’m nothing for you,
Let me change your mind tonight.

You’ll be surely thinking of me,
While you lie awake at night.
You should pray to God above you,
What would make you see the light.
Don’t you give up on us darling,
‘cause two wrongs make a right.
If you think I’m nothing for you,
Let me change your mind tonight.
Let me change your mind tonight.
Track Name: Bring Back That Blue Eyed Joy
It’s true that trouble has no end
It comes like an unwelcome friend.
Ingratiate itself to you, then leave
You tired, alone, and blue.

Bring back that blue eyed joy to me.
Bring back that blue eyed joy to me.
Bring it from the heavens up above.
Bring back something I can be sure of.

They say that every word is true,
But pray, what really can you do?
Go out and drink until you drown,
And hope your body will rebound.

Bring back that blue eyed joy to me.
Bring back that blue eyed joy to me.
Bring it from the heavens up above.
Bring back something I can be sure of.

It’s true that conflict has no end,
Between a lover and a friend.
But what you reap is what you sow.
What you want is what you just let go.

Bring back that blue eyed joy to me.
Bring back that joy for all to see.
Bring it from the heavens up above.
Bring back something I can be sure of.
Track Name: Lesley Riddle
I remember Lesley Riddle,
Though I never heard him play
His voice calls out from the Rock of Ages.
I remember his story like it was yesterday
His ghost cries out from golden pages.


With my family gathered around me
Singing songs so soothing
Exalting the blanket of His care.
When my maker comes to meet me
Takes my hand and leads me
I will climb that bright and beautiful stair.
I will climb
I will climb
I will climb that bright and beautiful stair.

When I cry out in a sad and lonely desperation
And the music playing lifts me up from within.
And no matter how sad and bleak my situation
The clouds start breaking up and the sun comes
Shining in.
Yes it calls, yes it calls me.
Yes it calls, yes it calls me.
Yes it calls, yes it calls me, that bright and beautiful stair.
Track Name: Ballad of Eric Rudolph
Sheriff says to Eric Rudolph,
“We’ll put the hound dogs on your trail
Bring back your teeth for your brother’s right hand
Bring you in to jail.”

Rudolph says to the sheriff,
“For five long years you’ve tried.
And you can search as long as you like,
you can try with all your might,
but I’ll see you in the sweet bye and bye.
I’ll see you in the sweet bye and bye.”
Sheriff says to Eric Rudolph,
“Through caves and abandoned mines,
We’ll search through scraps and the old feed sacks.
In every old place you could hide.”

Judge says to Eric Rudolph,
“Pack your bags for Birmingham. There’s
A room with a view, and it’s waiting for you.
Emily Lyon is on the stand.”

Rudolph says to the judge,
“Man ain’t nothing but his word,
And if I had a dollar for every broken promise,
Then I’d be the richest man in the world,
Be the richest man in the world.”

Judge says to Eric Rudolph,
“Man ain’t nothing but a man.
And even the mighty must perish, like a
Broom sweeping dust in a pan.”

Rudolph says to the judge,
“These things I’ll never deny.
But it bereaves me to see my mother so sweet,
Left to sorrow and to die.”

Rudolph says to the jury,
“A man’s word is his life.
And if tomorrow may be my burying day,
Then I’ll see you in the sweet bye and bye.
I’ll see you in the sweet bye and bye.”
Track Name: Trouble
When I’m in trouble
And I’m closing down
Looking for a good friend
But they can’t be found.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

The sun is shining
But it feels like rain
Never see no policemen
But they know my name.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

All of my good friends
Fell by the wayside.
Now I’ve nowhere to run to
No place to hide.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.


Oh I find trouble
Every place I go
Some people can smell it
Me I just don’t know.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.


There’s a ringing
In my ear.
I’ve seen the bad things
And I know they’re near.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

When I feel trouble
I cut and run
I leave the good times
And the work undone.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

When I feel trouble
I draw the curtains tight
Keep tossing and turning
I lie awake all night.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

When it’s early in the morning
And the birds can sing
I hear the church bells calling
You can hear them ring
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.

When I’m in trouble
And I’m closing down
Looking for a good friend
But they can’t be found.
I know trouble is gonna get me
When trouble ain’t even around.
Track Name: I Was Born to Love Her
Every time she smiles at me
it’s Christmas time.
Never I get one minute of sleep
She rarely escapes my mind.
I’m deep with her disease and
I feel fine.
Something in the breeze is saying
I was born to love her, she was born to
Make a fool of me.

I go search my clothes for any
Strain of hair.
Rushing around every corner
Hoping she’ll be there.
Wondering “what’d she mean?”
And “does she care?”
Any old thing she pleases.
I was born to lover her, she was born to
Make a fool of me.

She shuts me up with a simple
Wave of her hand.
She waits for me in the
Promised Land.

I know many of you
Would never understand.
I see her in stars above and every
Grain of sand.
She’ll wait for me in the
Promised Land.

I was born to lover her, she was born to
Make a fool of me.
I was born to lover her, she was born to
Make a fool of me.
I was born to lover her, she was born to
Make a fool of me.
Track Name: The Bright Side of Life
Hoopin’ and a holler
Crying about a dollar
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Work a job
It don’t pay
Borrow ‘til another day
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Has shown me
Has shown me
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Up at dawn
Late to bed
Tryin’ to keep
My children fed
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Hoopin’ and a holler
Worryin’ about tomorrow
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Has shown me
Has shown me
Has shown me
The bright side of life

Ask the preacher
He don’t know
“Look it up in the Bible”
He told me.

Spent the weekend
fooling around
Smoking up and having fun
It told me.

Time is passing
Hear the toll
Wind up old and cynical
Or as happy as a clam.
Track Name: San Souci Women
All the simple pleasures
That life can offer
Shall be coming to you
Every noon and night
All the little questions
That need an answer
See the simple truth
And you see the light.

All the guilty pleasures
That life can offer
I go ahead and I take them
And keep my business right.
Excessive wanders, oh
They’ll take me where they want to.
Where I see the truth,
And I see the light.

San Souci Women
Have a lot to offer
And they’re coming by
In sweet radiant light.
But I’m just sitting here,
Picking on my guitar.
Sing a simple truth
Take it into the night.


But I may sing a different song
I may have changed my ways
If we meet again
Some sunny day.
Track Name: Dreams Beyond Compare
Ah, the memories still remain at the
cross-town central station
In the ruins a feeling in the air.
Just the echoes that betray the pain
and frustration of dreams....
dreams beyond compare.

But the flicker of the flame of the burnt
out wishful feelings
that rich folk ain't never had.
And all the sad times touched by changed,
but I won't shed no tears for them dreams
...dreams beyond compare.

Ah the ripples, and the axles, and the moonbeams.
And if another mornings dawning, and the day comes,
what would it bring?

But the flicker of the flame of the
last and lonely vigil for
dreams...dreams beyond compare.
For dreams...dreams beyond compare.
Track Name: Life of Ease
How I love the simple life
A banjo on my knee
Oh to live a life of ease

Going where and when I want
Doing what I please
Oh to live a life of ease

Living in simple ways
Like the birds and bees
Oh to live a life of ease

Rolling like a river
Flowing like a breeze
Oh to live a life of ease

Late at night a fat old cat
Perched upon my knee
Oh to live a life of ease
Oh to live a life of ease