Light Years

by Jonathan J. Bower

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    Gatefold case features stunning photographs of Alaska in every season, by AK photographer, Brian Adams. CD orders come with 3 limited edition postcards featuring album art photos.

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Half Full 04:03
Half-Full And then Friday rolls around And baby wants out On the downtown But when the bands and fans And those waves of sound… Well, I…I might gotta sit down I might need to lie down But my heart is still always Half full An open, cracked Flaming begging bowl A cracked, flaming begging bowl And when summer’s veins Run cold again and I Can’t stop shivering And I can’t find my friend And my chest Won’t quit quivering In that weeping wind Chorus I’ll be your friend I’ll be your fool I’ll be the super glue I’ll be your new tattoo But I might need you To take me to school I never learned love’s rules And I forget to get cool I never learned to be cool When I can’t Say what I mean, baby And I Didn’t mean what I’m sorry I said Chorus rafflemyheart music, 2017
Song for Bill Cunningham (for Matt) He’s a boy – a dear boy A daydreaming, A creekside-walking boy And he can barely hold it together Given trees, given stones Given the clouds, the moon, The sunlight filling his room Twisting and dancing And bending and falling Try as you might You can fight But you never will hold it together When you’re waking up alive To a new morning Into the living dream You’re a boy You’re a girl You’re waking up To the wonder that’s this world And you can barely hold it together Be wide-eyed, slow-moving Be a friend to the lonely In all of your restless wandering And ain’t there so much world to see? Chorus Bring your pencil Your camera Your notebook Your piano We’ll lay our burdens down I’ll never understand it You have to show up empty-handed And seek what can’t be found I’m a boy – I’m a man I’m fighting the tears Writing about Bill Cunningham And I can barely hold it together He rides On his bike Through the streets of a city Filled with so much light (And color) And he could barely hold it together Chorus Are you waking up alive? Baby be waking up alive… rafflemyheart music, 2017
Who Are You 03:57
Who Are You Sun’s beating down So the city’s staying in It’s a dried-out snake skin But still full of venom Trusted you as a child Trusts his mama’s hands You were my homeland Now I wander round in exile Who are you now Who was I talkin’ to Into tomorrow Through the moon and the sun And your army of one The evening breeze Brings a rumor of relief But it’s such a tease There’s no escaping this heat I could tell you I’m sorry But I won’t pay for my sins again They were my only way in The way into redemption Chorus We could take One of our drives tonight Windows rolled down Breeze blowin’ in your eyes Cross the Walt Whitman bridge Sleep on a Jersey beach Ocean lulling us to sleep God, I wish that I could sleep Ain’t no devil on my heels, babe No lover in my bed I’m just as good as dead As any man in every instant No matter what you say No matter what you do Ain’t gettin’ over you And baby don’t I know it Chorus rafflemyheart music, 2017
Eraser (Song for Trace) Settle up and stumble home Unlock the door by the light of your phone Through the dark to your empty room By the light of your phone Caffeinate for the endless race Are you pursued or giving chase? A pit stop to melt your face And numb the ache inside Faithfully faithless Try to write on the surface Believing in more Than time’s great eraser The money’s tight and staying thin And it goes funny now and then So funny that you almost cry A laughing fool with pooling eyes Never sure where to call your home The place you’re living or where you’re from That place you once saw in a dream A picture on your desktop screen Chorus It’s a long climb beyond your sleeping aid It’s a long climb alone through the concrete maze Ain’t found no whiskey yet No wine or Facebook friend To offer you a space to rest Steal away the restlessness A dead-end stare through the screen Searching for a different scene Towards a distant flickering dream The story you need to read Chorus I think you can make it Gotta push towards the traces Believing in more Than time’s great eraser rafflemyheart music, 2017
Need Someone 04:09
Need Someone Day’s winding down - nights are getting long Are you blue and cold and all alone? The dark won’t tell how to make it through And the light can’t hold you the way I do You’re gonna need someone You’re gonna need someone On your own – in the great unknown Through the midnight sun Through winter’s glow In a world gone wrong You’re gonna need someone They called you out – you ran and hid But we still don’t know what they think you did Baby, please come home – I’d never turn you in Send me some kind of sign – I’ll put an end to this Chorus Bridge: Oh baby when the shadows splinter And the sunlight tumbles through my yard The spirit moves with a wild hunger And I pray you’ll darken my back door Let ‘em talk, let the rumors fly We don’t need no one to understand Meet me down in the grove tonight And you and I will atone for all our sins Think you’re taking off - cuttin’ outta town? You’ll never make it far – baby, you laugh too loud Wanna flip me off? I’ll reign fire down I’ll never give you up - baby, I’m too damn proud You’re gonna need someone… rafflemyheart music, 2017
Brave 04:56
Brave I was a newcomer And I was not in my dreams anymore And I was not better Just a heap of ash and rubble On your floor When the earth spun left I fell to the right When they lit their bulbs I blew out the lights And huddled in my corner And waited for you But today is like no other Today is like no other Today I feel brave Where do these days come from? So brave Do not try and shake me Today I’m brave Now there’s a mighty trouble coming But she somehow lives Unafraid Still nights I trace a map across her back And memorize our impending Getaway Though she knows she will never cave When all hell here starts to rain I can’t help it I’m still staring down Someday She is like no other She is like no other …Where’d she come from? And where’s she get off being so brave?... I was not centered I was adrift at sea In a leaky and burning boat And I lived unfettered Till that summer afternoon Your heart spoke Your mama knew what I couldn’t know And now you’re everything We needed to grow And there’s a timeless song In your heart and your throat You are like no other You shine like no other So brave Where’d you come from? So brave Where you get off livin’ so brave? So brave Where do these days come from? So brave Do not try and change me I dare you to upend me You’d better not try and shake me Today I’m brave rafflemyheart music, 2017
John Prine 02:27
John Prine Under a bone white sky Big nothin’ pourin’ down And the word from on high Says trouble’s comin’ ‘round And you can’t run And there’s nowhere left to hide Better find John Prine I gotta find John Prine I did my time At the stations of the double-crossed Put up a helluva fight Suffered a bitter loss Now I’m so tired No tears left to cry Better find John Prine I gotta find John Prine When the devil’s nearer, Nearer than the everlasting arms And all God’s children are just Prayin’ for the end of the world We’ll crawl away We’ll bring our broken hearts to the stereo Let that sweet, good music wash over all our wounds Lord knows I tried To make a home in this town But I can’t buy What they’re sellin’ now And I’m so tired And I need a smile I’d better find John Prine I gotta find John Prine I’d better find John Prine I gotta find John Prine rafflemyheart music, 2017
The Light Years There’s still no camera To capture what my eyes can see Mornings on waking And finding you knotted All around me Shipwrecked body The boy’s still asleep The tangle of you And nowhere to be And the light, the light, the light, the light Bending and falling I might I might I might Never stop drowning Don’t let me stop falling Through our sea The market this morning It’s still early – but God – What were we thinking? The clatter, the chaos, the maddening crowd Let’s grab a coffee And then ditch this scene Drive towards those mountains Free in our leaving Chorus The midnight sun Our broken sleep So many skies a day So many doors through an evening Your voice in the hallway Lulling and singing our dear boy Into his dreamscape The sound of his breathing As he drifts away The tree shadows swaying I can’t understand Such peace in a moment In the touch of your hand Chorus Don’t let me stop falling down I’ll never stop falling There’s only this falling Through our sea rafflemyheart music, 2017
Eyes of Love 04:00
Eyes of Love Was keeping house for an angel That I’d never see And I’ve yet to see Said my prayers each night My angel would visit me She never visit me Searching for a home for all of my lonely Grasping at something always out of reach For the eyes of love looking back at me Tired and not sleeping I’d rise In the shaky night Stare out my cold, cold window At the wounded world Racing by …Searching for a little shred of peace… But now when I look back On those darker moments Wasn’t there a path Leading me through? Just when you’d swear A broken heart was permanent Love’s gonna go and play you For some lucky fool By the light of the fumes Of the French press In the room Where the sun hits her books And her dog sleeps Her dog sleeps I found a home for all of my lonely I stumbled into the deepest peace Found the eyes of love Got the eyes of love Found the eyes of love Looking back at me Got the eyes of love Looking back at me rafflemyheart music, 2017
4:30 03:40
4:30 In your three-day sweater Down on Old 4th street Clutching a letter Your eyes all tear-streamed You stand Van Gogh-iris-blue Under autumn leaves The flaming reds and the curling browns, The yellows dropping at your feet …yeah, yeah… You belong in a Spanish novel – An Almadovar movie The way the almond blossoms follow you And rest on top of the breeze Your butterflies circle ‘round my head As I watch you in your grief But you aren’t looking for open arms You aren’t looking for anything …No No… An isolated moment A major minor scene I tripped and stumbled here Into your story but You cannot see me I want to give you Pablo Neruda’s house And all his secret poems Want to give you a Japanese maple Caught in the 4:30 sun The 4:30 sun That 4:30 sun Wanna get caught Let’s get caught In that 4:30 sun Let’s get caught In that 4:30 sun In my four-day sweater This morning I stepped out Almond blossoms Strewn on my doorstep In a trail That leads Downtown Downtown rafflemyheart music, 2017


released January 26, 2018

Produced by Evan Phillips & Jonathan J Bower, 2/16 - 7/17

Recorded & Engineered by Evan Phillips at The Snow Cave & The Wolverine Den, Anchorage, AK

Mixed by James Glaves, Anchorage, AK

Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice

All songs written & performed by Jonathan J Bower @2017 Rafflemyheart Music

Photography: Brian Adams, 2017

Design: Bradley Wakefield

Jonathan J Bower: Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Lyrics
Evan Phillips: Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Tambourine, Keys, & Vocals
James Glaves: Electric Guitars
Silas Hoffman: Electric & Upright Bass
Cameron Cartland: Drums & Percussion
Alex Cruver: Upright Piano & Keyboards
Bryan Daste: Pedal Steel & Banjo
Beth Chrisman – Fiddle & Vocals

Light Years is for the boys – Sam & Matt, of course

Thank You: Evan, Brian, James, Cameron, Silas, Alex, Bryan, Beth, Bradley, Sam & Matt, Mom & Dad, Kelsey Vrem, Aaron Benolkin, JR, Mandy Sutton, Sol, Molly Towner, Marty Severin, Tom Bargelski, Matt Eley, Dan Elise & Harvey(!), the Whorley family, the Vile family, Jerry Carothers, Monty Worthington, Steve & Margaret Phillips, the BGs, Susannah Numme, Linford Detweiler, Loren Dixon & KNBA, Susy Buchanan, The Anchorage Press, KONR, Winterberry, DFS, Spenard Farmer’s Market, & The Blue Fox, & in memory, Suzi Worthington…
by Pelagic Design


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Jonathan J. Bower Anchorage, Alaska

On the release of his 2012 EP, But So Beautiful, The Anchorage Press wrote, “[This is] masterful storytelling. These songs weave beautiful, forlorn tales in a matter of minutes, but with a defiant note of hope.” The songs on 2018's Light Years album play like postcards & snapshots written during an endless road trip around Alaska - or along every other dreamy, scenic stretch of highway anywhere... ... more

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