8.13.11 was the recording release performance and party for "Backyards." It was a great Saturday night in Hollywood at the Hotel Cafe. Summertime. Full moon. Set list:

RADIO LITE / GOOD TIMES / DAYLIGHT SAVING / LOSING STREAK / I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND / OVER A YEAR / CASSIUS CLAY / THE AMERICAN WEST / OUTLAW / PISSIN' ON PLANTS IN THE SUBURBS

The people who played music on this recording:

John Elliott : singing, acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar, orchestra bells, glockenspiel, phone-o-phone, field recordings

Mike Schadel : drums, tambourine, shaker, singing

Colin Warling : bass, mandolin

Mike Wendland : electric guitar

 

Andy Featherston : various aux percussion

Ryan Zwahlen : oboe, english horn

David Moss : cello

Trevor Smith : banjo

Rebecca Cunningham : french horn

Jennifer K. Stevenson : clarinet, bass clarinet

Catherine Barrett : harp

Mike Wells : wurly

Kevin Costner : spoken word

Bill Davis, Anthony da Costa, Jack Wilson & Jason Weems : singing on “cassius clay”

Grace Park : singing on “i think i found a new friend” and “empty in the heartland”

Eli Bolin : singing on “good times” and “over a year”

1996 Wayzata High School Concert Choir : singing on “so this is when it comes”

 

“Backyards” was recorded at Beer City Studios in Los Angeles, CA (San Fernando Valley) and at Elizabeth’s house in Austin, TX. It was mixed by John Holmes, Aaron Glas and John Elliott (in various combinations at various times). All songs by John Elliott (BMI 2011).

 

Here's a review from Norway translated via the Google Translator from Norwegian to English:

John Elliott's "Backyards" places so elegantly in the sound that was perfected by Simon & Garfunkel, and of course a number of folk musicians before themThere are references to both the former folk music, but also more recent Britishfolk-pop. Here you will find both the Beach Boys backing vocals and the occasional banjo and mandolinThe songs are acoustic in the expressionbut he has brought a band that knows how to punch to where it is needed.

Elliott has a very nice and pleasant voice, and writes spruce texts about daily challenges and love. This is a wonderful autumn album which like the sort of music when you crawl under the blanket with a cup of cocoa and a good bookI think evocative and melancholy are the two key words I hunt hereSo are you looking for something evocative and melancholy of the musical autumn cosinessyou could do a lot worse than buying this disc.

http://www.musikkbloggen.no/2011/10/smaplukk-fra-platebunken-10/

Here's a video about the making of the album:

BACKYARDS WORDS

 

THE AMERICAN WEST

TREVOR’S STARTING A LIST, MY FORTUNE’S A FIST

WHATEVER IT WAS, IT’S GONE NOW

COLORADO WAS DUMB, THE LOCALS WERE WEALTHY

THE MOUNTAINS WERE WHITE, THE PEOPLE WERE WHITE

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

 

WE HAD TO PROVE IT, WE HAD TO BEAT BRITAIN AGAIN

MAYBE TAKE CANADA TOO, THE INDIANS SIDED WITH THEM

WE WON AND THEY LEFT

NO APOLOGIES YET

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

 

THE COUNTRY OF TEXAS IS TRICKY, THE NATION OF TEXAS IS TOUGH

EL PASO TO AUSTIN, DALLAS TO DENTON, LUBBOCK TO HOUSTON

NEW MEXICO ISN’T THAT NEW, CALIFORNIA WAS MEXICO TOO

NO APOLOGIES YET

ARIZONA IS SOMETHING TO SEE, PHOENIX IS SOMETHING TO SKIP

THERE ARE GUNS IN THE NIGHT

CALIFORNIA, YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU, YOU KNOW THAT I ALWAYS WILL

YOU TAUGHT ME TO SING, YOU TAUGHT ME TO LOVE

YOU TAUGHT ME TO LOSE

BUT YOU KICKED ME AROUND, CALIFORNIA

YOU TOLD ME WHAT I HAD TO HEAR

AND IT’S HARD TO BE CLEAR

AND IT’S HARD TO CONNECT

SUNGLASSES AND CHESS

NO APOLOGIES YET

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

YOU’RE LUCKY

 

GOOD TIMES 

GOOD TIMES ARE HERE AGAIN, I DON’T WANT ‘EM TO END

BUT I KNOW THEY ALWAYS DO

17, 22

BROKEN UP AND RAGING

ALL THE MONEY’S GONE, I KNEW IT WOULDN’T LAST

SO I KEPT MY CASH, BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH

NOW THE MONSTER’S TALKING TOUGH

WHISPERING AND WAITING

 

OH, THERE’S NOWHERE ELSE TO GO

THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO FIGHT

IT’S BETTER IN THE NIGHT

AND IT’S AWFUL IN THE MORNING

TIME, SHE’S NOT A FRIEND OF MINE

SHE’S ALWAYS KEEPING TRACK

SHE KNOWS WHEN TO ATTACK

WHISPERING AND WASTED

DON’T LET ME FORGET WHEN I FORGET AGAIN

 

I AM NOT AFRAID

 

DAYLIGHT SAVING

I CAN’T AFFORD DESIGNER SHIT SO I DON’T WEAR IT

WE CANNOT GET TO MARS, I GUESS I’LL NEVER SEE IT

I’M RACING LIKE AN IDIOT, I CHASED AWAY MY DEMONS

I AM JUST IN TIME AGAIN FOR DAYLIGHT SAVING

 

I DOVE INTO THE DARKNESS, I WAS SCARED AND ANXIOUS

PULLING OUT MY HAIR WHEN THERE WAS SHOUTING IN THE SILENCE

I COULDN’T TALK TO ANYONE, I COULDN’T SEE THE BEAUTY

I THOUGHT ABOUT MY FUNERAL, MY MOTHER WEEPING

 

I PLAYED THE GAME OF RISK LIKE I WAS HITLER AND I LOST EARLY

I TRIED TO TALK TO JESUS, BUT JESUS JUST DIDN’T MAKE SENSE

RUNNING FROM THE WILDERNESS

HIDING FROM THE SUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

SOMETHING SIMPLE IN A GUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

SOMETHING PEACEFUL IN A FUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

 

I’M COMING BACK AROUND, MY FRIEND, I DO BELIEVE IT

LOOK STRAIGHT INTO MY EYES AT NIGHT AND YOU WILL SEE IT

I WANT TO BE SURPRISED AGAIN, I’M READY TO BE TRUTHFUL

I AM JUST IN TIME AGAIN FOR DAYLIGHT SAVING

 

AND WHEN THE BEAST RETURNS I’M GONNA STAND AND FIGHT IT

I’LL STARE IT DOWN WITH ALL I’VE GOT, ONE OF US WON’T MAKE IT

I AM READY TO BE RUTHLESS

I WANT JUSTICE

I WANT VIOLENCE

EVERYONE MUST MURDER, ALL THAT MATTERS IS THE REASON

 

I’VE GOTTA:

QUIT COLD TURKEY

MAKE A PLAN

AVOID TEMPTATION

GET SUPPORT

MAKE A LIST

LIVE HEALTHY

GIVE MYSELF A GIFT

BREATHE DEEP

GET HELP

LOSING STREAK

I COULD NOT SEE THE MOUNTAIN WHEN I LOOKED THROUGH THE AIR

I KEPT CRAWLING FOR SOMETHING THAT NO LONGER WAS THERE

ONLY PORCELIN PICTURES, ONLY BEAUTIFUL PASSED

ONLY DELICATE QUESTIONS OF WHAT LEAVES AND WHAT LASTS

 

ALL THE PEOPLE ARE FROZEN AT HOME

THEY’LL GET NOTHING BEFORE THEY CAN GO

I’M ON A LOSING STREAK

AND IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID AT ALL

I’LL BE BEATEN BEFORE I WILL FALL

I’M ON A LOSING STREAK

 

WE DROVE THROUGH THE DESERT, WE STARTED AT THE SKY

SHE HELPED ME REMEMBER WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE

ONLY SILOUETTE CANDLES, ONLY TEARS FROM ABOVE

ONLY INNOCENT ANSWERS FROM EXPLOSIONS OF LOVE

 

SO IT’S EMPTY AND ACHING AND OPEN TONIGHT

I GOTTA GET ANGRY AND LEARN HOW TO FIGHT

I NEVER GOT OFFERED ENOUGH TO DENY

I NEVER GOT OFFERED ENOUGH TO DENY

IT’S NOT HARD NOT TO SEE THAT IT’S NEVER ON TIME

IT’S ALL MUDDLED IN MEMORY AND DISTANT DESIGN

IT WAS NOTHING AT ALL BUT A CASUAL LIE

 

I KNEW I COULD NEVER SURVIVE IN LOVE

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

ALL THESE PEOPLE WITH HOUSES, WALKING INSIDE OF A RIDDLE

LOSING THEIR EYE TEETH, FIGHTING FOR A LOSING CAUSE

SHE ONLY CAME AROUND HERE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BIT OF SILENCE

SHE NEVER GOT IT

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

AND I WON’T GET BETTER WHEN I SEE HER

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

 

SHE IS WILLING AND WASTED, WALKING WITH REASONED RHYME

LOVELY IN THE FIRELIGHT, EASY LAUGHING MOST OF THE TIME

IT’S ONLY WHEN IT’S EARLY, MAGICAL, OR UNDERGROUND

WE WERE ONE OR THE OTHER, SLEEPING THE CLOCK AROUND

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

 

WHEN WINTER CAME, I GOT SO STRANGE

ANOTHER TRIP, ANOTHER BAD IDEA

I’LL LET YOU KNOW

 

(IN THE WINTER HAZE

FORTUNATE, FAR AWAY

THERE WERE GONNA BE BETTER DAYS)

 

OVER A YEAR

I’M TIRED ALONE

AFRAID OF THE PHONE

AND ALL PEOPLE I’VE KNOWN

ALL THESE CIGARETTE SCARS

AND BROKEN CARS

IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR

I WAS BARELY AROUND

I WAS NEVER AT HOME

YOU WOULD SLEEP ON THE COUCH

IF IT WAS SOMEHOW AGAIN

I WOULD KISS YOU, MY FRIEND

I WOULD KISS YOU

 

I’M NOT SORRY I LEFT

I’M NOT SORRY I RAN

I’M NOT SORRY I’M GONE

AND I CAN’T GO BACK

IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR

 

NOW IT’S CEILING FANS

AND SHAKING HANDS

AND PLAYING CARDS

AND BACKYARDS

 

CASSIUS CLAY 

THE SHIT I HAVE READ AND THE BULLSHIT I’VE SAID HAVE GOT NOTHING ON TRUTH OR ON JOHN WILKES BOOTH OR MUHAMMAD ALI WHO KILLED CASSIUS CLAY ON A COLD AFTERNOON IN A MOTEL ROOM.

DON’T SMELL THE SHEETS DON’T GET CURIOUS CHANGE HAS COME AGAIN AND AGAIN IT CAME AND IT WENT AND IT’LL BE BACK AND PROBABLY BLACK.

APRIL IS DANGEROUS

MAY CAN BE MURDEROUS

JUNE CAN BE COOL

JULY CAN BE SLOW

SO IN AUGUST YOU GO

COME BACK FOR THE FALL

WHERE YOU PAY FOR IT ALL

SO BE STRAIGHT AND BE CLEAR YOU HEARD IT ALL HERE IT’S THE WRONG TIME TO LOOK IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FIND SO STAY OUT OF YOUR MIND KEEP YOUR EAR TO THE SKY KEEP YOUR EYE TO THE GROUP KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSE KEEP YOUR FRIENDS ON A LEASH KEEP YOUR PETS IN THEIR PLACE KEEP YOUR PARENTS IN PRISON

APRIL IS DANGEROUS

MAY CAN BE MURDEROUS

JUNE CAN BE COOL

JULY CAN BE SLOW

SO IN AUGUST YOU GO

COME BACK FOR THE FALL

WHERE YOU PAY FOR IT ALL

 

RADIO LITE

THERE’S A LOT THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND

I HAD FIFTY BUCKS TO MAKE IT AND A DAY IN SPOKANE

I WAS KNOCKED UP, LOOKING FOR LOVE, FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

WE SAW THE COUNTRY IN A COUNTRY VAN

SHE HAD VELCRO SNEAKERS AND TEXAS TAN

OH MAN, GET ME OUT OF THIS

GET ME OVER IT

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET UNSTOPPABLE

LET’S GET LOST

 

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

ANOTHER HIT AND I’M ALL RIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

 

SHE WAS YOUNG RIGHT BEFORE I MET HER

SHE WAS OLDER WHEN I KNEW HERE AND YOUNGER AFTER

IT’S MY FAULT, I KNOW IT, I’M SO BAD

BUT ONCE WE WENT SKIPPING STONES IN THE AFTERNOON

I GOT A LITTLE TOO EXCITED JUST A LITTLE TOO SOON

OH MAN, GET ME OUT OF THIS

GET ME OVER IT

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET FABULOUSLY WEALTHY

LET’S GET LOST

 

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

ANOTHER HIT AND I’M ALL RIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

 

I’M RADIO LITE

I’M LOOKING FOR FUN

IT’S ALREADY DONE

I’M ANGRY AT YOU

YOU’RE NOT WHAT YOU SAID

YOU’RE NOT WHO YOU WERE

YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR HEAD

I AM OUT OF MY HEAD

IT’S OVER INSTEAD

 

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET EVERYTHING WE WANTED

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

WHEN WINTER COMES TO THESE TOWNS THEY HUDDLE UP INSIDE

THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE, TERMINATED AND SURPRISED

NOW SHE’S IN SYNDICATION AND I AM ON MY OWN

STILL LOOKING FOR A HOME I WON’T BE LEAVING

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

SO THIS IS WHEN IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME

 

NOW EVERYONE IS ANGRY AND TALKING IN THE PAST

LOOKING AT ME SIDEWAYS, THINKING THINGS THEY’LL NEVER ASK

IT’S LIKE SLEEPING IN THE BACKYARD

IT’S LIKE WALKING THROUGH A GRAVEYARD

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

SO THIS IS WHEN IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME

 

IT’S LIKE WALKING THROUGH A GRAVEYARD

OUT IN THE BRANCHES

I WANNA GO FIRST SO I WON’T HAVE TO FACE IT

THERE WAS LOVE AND I ERASED IT

A HOLIDAY DISPLAY, EVERYONE WAS WASTED

I GOT IT CAUSE I CHASED IT

 

MY FORTUNES ARE BURNING BRIGHT

IT’S LATER, BUT IT’S ALL RIGHT

OUT IN THE BRANCES I’M TAKING MY CHANCES TONIGHT

WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN SURE OF OURSELVES

I WANT IT, I’M ASKING FOR HELP

OUT IN THE BRANCES I’M TAKING MY CHANCES TONIGHT

 

I KNEW IT FROM THE START

SHE COVERED UP MY HEART

WE MADE IT THIS FAR

IT’S A BRAND NEW YEAR

IN THE OPEN AIR

IT WAS OVER ME LIKE A ROSESARY

ALL THE PEOPLE SAY THEY’RE GETTING OUT TODAY

EVERYBODY KNOWS IT’S GETTING BETTER

 

I WANNA GO FIRST SO I WON’T HAVE TO FACE IT

THERE WAS LOVE AND I ERASED IT

A HOLIDAY DISPLAY, EVERYONE WAS WASTED

I GOT IT CAUSE I CHASED IT

 

EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND 

I TRY TO BE HONEST, I TRY TO BE GOOD

MY WORD WAS MY HONOR, I GAVE WHAT I COULD

I SAVED WHAT I WANTED, I MADE WHAT I PROMISED

 

I’M LOSING SOME MONEY, I’M TAKING SOME TIME

I’M TAKING SOME CHANCES, I’M FACING BEHIND

IT’S ALREADY ENDLESS, IT’S EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND

 

IT’S EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND

 

I’M WATCHING THE WOMEN SO DESPERATELY

I’M THINKING OF WOMEN I NEVER WILL SEE

I THINK OF THE WOMAN I SAW AND DESERTED

 

I SLEPT IN HER MOUNTAINS, I WEPT IN HER TREES

I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT, I WANTED TO BELIEVE

SHE KEPT ME BREATHLESS, SHE LEFT ME IN THE HEARTLAND

 

IT’LL ALL BE BETTER NEXT YEAR

OUTLAW 

I LEFT BECAUSE I WANTED TO, I LEFT BECAUSE I COULD

I’VE NEVER GOTTEN OVER IT

I WAS ALWAYS GENEROUS, I WAS NEVER KIND

NEW YEAR’S DAY AND CHRISTMASTIME

I’M NOT SURE WHAT YOU WANTED, I’M NOT SURE WHAT WE HAD

I’M NOT SURE IF I’M HAPPY, I KNOW THAT I’M NOT MAD

I’M YOUNG ENOUGH TO STILL BELIEVE

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

I NEED A NEW HEART, A NEW HOME

I NEED TO KNOW

I AM AN OUTCAST

I AM AN OUTLAW

TIME IS NEVER GOOD TO ME, TIME IS ALWAYS FAIR

I CAME BACK AND YOU WERE STANDING THERE

THOSE EYES WILL NEVER LOOK THE SAME

THOSE EYES WILL ALWAYS KNOW I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

RUNNING AROUND ON THE STREET THAT NIGHT

NO ONE WAS LOOKING FOR ME

I’D ALREADY GONE

I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

BACKYARDS