The Players

Jody Blackwell, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals

David Steffanelli, drums

David Buda, bass

Peter Stoltzman, keyboards

Hiroaki Honshuku, flute

Steve Langone, percussion

Paul Kochansky, bass

Steve Mayone, electric guitar

Mathew Dorko, classical guitar

Rob Ignazio, electric guitar

Jonas Kahn, electric guitar


These winter nights

get stuck in my throat

I bite, but I can’t seem to swallow


I dream in vain of

tipping the time

spill out the secrets of tomorrow


This dark draws a crowd

like jugglers in June

The tumbling tricks of my memory


I’ve traveled these rooms

to Asia and back with

no one to say how they missed me


Slow how they melt, these

invisible dreams

All the things I’d have done

under bolder suns

My joy is a lifeless leaf in the ice

Caught by the days,

‘til the thaw reclaims the rivers of my faith


Take from my tongue

this sorrowful soup

the flavor of everything restless

Bring me a cake, carelessly tall

Lace it with long summer kisses


Wound up like a slingshot

ready to be set off

My overheated breath has got

to get some release


Little words will trip you up

Is nothing ever clear-cut

When does the time of trial let up

I need some release


All I push against

Somebody see me through this ignorance

Fit me for a wider soul

Let me feel the whole


Cocked up like a shotgun

I’m pointed at a meltdown

No avenue in this damn town

Gonna lead to release


Living on a live wire

Praying it don’t turn to flame

Send you down to hell and back again

Give me some release

I need some release


Don’t you come around

wearing my welcome like some


from your vagabond load

A broken in and threadbare heart to hold you


Don’t use my open space

to pitch your lonely nights like a caravan,

with no plans to remain

Leaving behind

your fires for me to tend


Slip into my sleep all your sweetness

Stealing keys from a drunk gatekeeper

Too quick to believe the shortcuts

Gonna bring you back to freedom

Don’t come around


Don’t come around until

my love is more to you

than a desert well

Don’t be so self-assured

Scattered showers will not keep a reservoir


Come when you’re whole and sound

A solid soul I can lean my love on

to carry us both, skybent and earthbound

Until then, don’t you dare

come around

Good Again

You’d better go there alone

I’m not in any kind of mood

to tell a circle of shadowy faces

who I am and what I do


Drink a lot of wine

Make a bunch of new friends

Have the time of my life

only to lose it again


No, I’ll stay in this room

keeping watch over the silence

Be the self-appointed guardian

of these uncertain times


You can call it jaded or

holding out for a better end

but I’m saving up my graces for when

things are good again


All the hope in my veins

I use to treat it like water

Squeezing out torrential rains

on anyone who would loiter


Now I’m learning patience

Let the spaces draw me to them

I’m saving up my graces for when

things are good again

Shenandoah Dawn

She knows I’m back again

sure as the morning comes

You hit that first hairpin,

everything turns to sun


I’ve got a fragile load that

broke in another’s hands

Need to round off my jagged soul

down these winding bends


Slow down, now you’re in God’s land

Calling you home

by a way you’d forgotten

Lean into her shoulders

She’ll hold you 'til you’re gone

Shenandoah Dawn


Now I’m not ready for

the city’s prying ways

Stick to this cradle where

my heart can heal and pray


Let the horizon pull,

‘til this world unwinds

I’ll fill these valleys full with

dreams of the driving kind


Soon as that blue ridge sinks

into the mirror, I’ll

keep her a memory’s length

when all I see are miles


And if alone I tread

down some dead-end road

She’ll be a gentle wind

keeping my faith afloat


Maybe I don’t know you

Maybe you don’t get me

This ain’t about acceptance

or sentimentality


But you and I have work to do

some impossible choices

I won’t pretend to understand

but I’m gonna need your voice


Talk to me

Tell me your story

Talk to me

What are we gonna do about it?


I can’t take away your rage

but I’m stronger than you think

If you share your truth with me

I won’t shut my heart away


Maybe we won’t feel a change

We may not live to know the peace

Whatever we now do on faith

The legacy will drop its seeds

Baby Mine

Baby Mine

The days are smiling on you

Baby Mine

I have been waiting

for your sweet mystery

You came like the evening

to wake and revive me

let my joy breathe again


And like an enchanted sky

over an open road

I will follow you

wherever you go


Baby hear me

You’re nothing but welcome news

And all dreams are second tier

next to my love for you




Used to be

when you got a little sting

in that tell-tale place beneath your skin

It was like a ball rolling

down a hill

couldn’t keep from falling

try what you will


He said, “Eloise, I’m only half a man

without you. Eloise,

I’d give two hands and

one heart, for you.”


We could leave

on the Southern Crescent

Wouldn’t even have to

wake up your mum

Just send a telegraph or post card

from our little ever after

‘til death do us part


He said, “Eloise, I’m only half a man

without you. Eloise,

I’d give two hands and

one heart, for you.”

Lately Come  (for Nazifa)

Lately Come

through a savage night

Your broken world

can’t take the light


Sister how

much strength do you harbor

That tidal hell

never pulled you under


God lift our eyes beyond

this scarred existence

Show us the mold that we may

know your intentions

And when we’re called,

fill us with presence


Take my time

for your trust

Take my sight

until your eyes adjust


Will you let these burning

specters slowly fade

Will you give each morning

a little more of your weight


Days of waiting

under wind-starved sails

Her heart had taken to rationing

All that remained of a hope

now capsized

Time was as still as a moonless tide


Sometimes in the breeze would blow

another heart without oars

with a wanderer’s eye

and a pirate’s remorse

and for a while they’d hold

an uneasy course


But she’d grown accustomed to

the quiet nights

No room for reeling in a heartache

Two souls steering through a starless sky

does not a rescue make


Now and again

she’d have visions of light

goading her on toward some promise land

but sometimes drifting is it’s own relief

keeping her distance from invisible reefs