Free and Clean

from by Jonathan Burks

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These songs were recorded at Howl Street in the fall of 2008, on my thirty-third birthday. I booked a couple of hours to feel out some songs that hadn't yet found homes; a hodge-podge of old stuff, really old stuff, and new songs that stood up, but just barely. Shane set me up with a couple of mics and I played through the set in no particular order, taking a break about halfway through, tracking 19 songs in total.

At the time, I didn't feel it went well. I set the session up for fun, something cool to do on my birthday, a no-pressure-type-thing; still I hoped, in my obsessive heart of hearts, that I would lay down these amazing takes and you know, sing real real good. And be super awesome at guitar. A bit chagrined these talents didn't manifest themselves to an extent of my liking, I forwarded the hopeful songs to the band, workshoped the ones that needed work, shelved the rest and moved on.

After the recording Shane started sending me the occasional text or phone call asking me if it was alright if he played the songs we did for a band or friend that was in the studio, who he thought would be interested. I hadn't listened to the tracks since then, and couldn't understand why anyone else would want to, but who am I to judge? Eventually these interactions started to ebb away at my anti-release-stance (which wasn't so much of a stance, just something I hadn't considered, or considered considering) and I gave it another listen. I respect Shane and his opinion so I took what he said seriously; even if I didn't get it, I could tell his interest was genuine, no smoke. His unwavering, albeit low-key and subtle enthusiasm put me onto a different perspective and I started to dig it. A couple of years and a dozen or so random pep-talkish conversations later, I'm ready to listen to him. Beast or butterfly, warts and all...

lyrics

when this wet rag is rung and dried out
when my soul is spotless clean
I'm gonna shrug off the dirt and dust spots
and fly on off to heaven free

as it stands I'm sitting in a cow pile
steeped in this earthly stink
we all gonna bloom like flowers
when we fly on up to heaven free

I'm walking on my good and my bad foot
I'm crawling on my bended knee
I aint begging I know I'm forgiven
when I fly on up to heaven free

when my grandma when she was dying
these here words she said to me
'my dear grandson know that when I'm gone
I'll be flying up to heaven free'

when this wet rag is rung and dried out
when my soul is spotless clean
I'm going to shrug off the dirt and dust spots
and I'll fly on up to heaven free

credits

from How to Dance, track released February 1, 2011

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Jonathan Burks Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Hi there. You can sign up for my mailing list here: eepurl.com/bcruFT

I post a song once a week on Tuesdays. If I've just finished a song I'll record a rough demo and put it up. Sometimes its live recordings or weird electro collages. I also make a video most weeks using public domain footage. Check it out!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my music!

Jon
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