St Paul de Vence

by St. Paul de Vence

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about

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From incidental and unplanned beginnings, St. Paul de Vence has emerged out of one genuine step after another into the band they are today. Indeed, they bring forth a sound that grows so directly out of who they are, weaving together their multi-instrumental and vocal-harmony talents with a natural ease and joy reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. When band member Benjamin Doerr began to write songs about his grandfather’s early life fighting with the Free French Forces in WWII, it was uncertain, as well as unplanned, how quickly they would be received. From first listen, friends were raving about how the demos of these nostalgic songs were some of Doerr’s finest and truest work so far. Soon after, long-time collaborators joined the journey to expand the work into something ever grander. Upon a story of youth, war, love and life that sits so close to Doerr – and, indeed, most of humanity – was built an artistic structure that continues to drive this group to new creative places.

Formed in June of 2011, a wave of good omens and overwhelming responses continues to follow the band’s steady and sincere work. Only four months after their formation they gathered in the studio to record their debut, self-titled album, with a live approach and minimal overdubs. The album proved a success with seven straight weeks in the Top 10 of KEXP’s Americana and Pacific Northwest Charts following its release. One good thing lead to another, and the record was selected as one of KEXP’s Top Albums of 2012. Don Yates of KEXP says of St. Paul de Vence, “The band’s dynamic, acoustic-oriented sound includes guitars, accordion, ukulele, autoharp, banjo, mandolin, assorted percussion and more, fleshing out well-crafted songs with warm, soulful harmonies and occasional anthemic choruses.”

The band continues to evolve its sound by adapting to various performance configurations. From the streets to restaurants, living room concerts to club venues, no matter how you experience St. Paul de Vence one thing is for certain – they love the music they’re making.
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credits

released 29 January 2012

all songs written & produced by St. Paul de Vence © ℗ 2011
recorded at Brickyard Studio, Bainbridge Island
engineered by Johnny Bregar
mixed & assistant engineered by Justin Froese
mastered by John McCaig at Panic Studios, Seattle

performance credits:
Benjamin Doerr - vocals, guitar, ukulele, concertina, percussion
Mike Sievers - vocals, accordion, concertina
Alex Malloy - vocals, autoharp, ukulele, guitar
Justin Froese - vocals, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, percussion

and Johnny Bregar - Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, slide guitar, strings, percussion

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Track Name: Saints
They were all so tired and hungry
And weighed down by what they had seen
But when they dragged the dust of their boots into my town
they were like the saints marching in

I said sign me up for your battle for my youth is no longer mine
I was far too young, but of my age I had lied

And they handed me uniform and weapon and sent me to the line
They said son this is for your mother and your sisters
don’t you dare be afraid to die

But won’t someone somewhere sing a song for me
And won’t you please save one for my enemies…

*
’cause we’ve all done our share of wartime dying
from the women at home to the men on the lines
the lucky ones are those who lost their lives
the rest of us are here just losing our minds
Track Name: Pink Wine
I was born in the dim glow of autumn light
with the tune of an accordion and the taste for pink wine

as a young man my legs they learn to dance
my lips at any chance would steal a little innocence

But my cloths were hand sown, some of my food was stolen
That was how we learned to live then, what did you expect from the occupation

Vous n’aurez jamais ma chanson
Vous marcherez un long chemin de silence
Mon pays ma donne cette chanson
Toujours je chanterai, vous salauds!

We kept the radio low and the curtains drawn close
It could be your friend, you never knew in the end what was what and for sure

But we would ride our bikes to the countryside
Where an old tin band put fire in the night
With a song so deep you could see it in our eyes
It was the way we’d chosen to fight

Vous n’aurez jamais ma chanson
Vous marcherez un long chemin de silence
Mon pays ma donne cette chanson
Toujours je chanterai, vous salauds
Track Name: Eventually
You know how this goes still you ask her the name of her man
Said with such ease it burns you as nothing else can
How safe will you be when you point with your trembling hand?
To the truth that you found too late and you can’t understand

That she’ll go eventually
If she’s yours then it’s time you can’t ever defeat
She’ll be carried a great distance on this rising sea
And you’ll be alone in the cold and the dark as I too one day will be

La la la la la…

So sow me a sting of tales and I’ll trade you for lies
There’s nothing that’s so uncertain as the look in her eyes
You say what you’ll say but you know that you’d do just the same
If you wore my shoes and you were to shoulder the blame

And she’ll go eventually
If she’s yours then it’s time you can’t ever defeat
She’ll be carried a great distance on this rising sea
And you’ll be alone in the cold and the dark as I too one day will be

La la la la la…

she’ll go eventually
If she’s yours then it’s time you can’t ever defeat
She’ll be carried a great distance on this rising sea
And you’ll be alone in the cold and the dark as I too one day will be
Track Name: For Hummingbird Heron & Honeybee
Fly over me
Fly over me
Fly over me
Fly over me

Take away my breath
Take away my breath
Steal the heart out of my chest
And fly over me

Fly over me

I hear your call in the early morning
I take a step and I can’t stop running
You move in ways I long to understand
I know the things that will keep me going
A melody and a hand to hold
And if you’re there I know I’d like to grow old

So fly over me…
Track Name: Way Down
I can feel this heat that’s been rising so
you take what you’ve learned and then act like you know
that the pain in my heart will just grow and grow
until it rips us open with nothing to show

Ooh….
Ooh….

You bring me way down.

And I can see your eyes, as they light on my face
And then moved on to something with a little more grace
But you say what you say, I know what I know
And you can take it or leave it, I’ve got nothin’ to show

Ooh…
Ooh…
Ooh…

You bring me way down…
Track Name: Leaving
You don’t have to leave
Just be the one to break me
I’ve burned your trust again
And I can hardly breathe
I could pull you down
And show you my shame
Or you could lift me up
And have someone to blame
You’re gonna bend me till I break…
Track Name: War Love
All the youth out on the wire
Such a cold future with a past on fire
Just like the old that choose to hide
We all hope this resistance lasts through the night

Like when the sky lit up each time we touched
Scared as hell and not want for shame
The next one to fall might take us all
And I’ll be glad I never knew your name

You dance inside my chest…
I blame myself for all the rest…

After all I’ve seen in these long miles
They tell me you’re the enemy, but all I see is a smile
And we all hoped for so much more
They leave us with no choice but to make love of war

Like when the sky lit up each time we touched
Scared as hell in one last embrace
The next one to fall could take us all
And I’ll be wishing that I knew your name

I can see you’ve cried all these nights
Because we’re lost and on our way,
but walk with me in a new direction
And I know you’re right to loose patience tonight
There’s a heavy cost if they’re gonna stay
And see us through to a new temptation

You dance inside my chest…
I blame myself for all the rest

The sky lit up each time we touched…
The sky lit up for all the rest
Track Name: When Our Boys Have Been Buried
March with me, march boys, it’s the tenth day of June and it’s over
Dance with me, dance girls, it’s the tenth day of June and it’s over
What can you hear for the morning at last is quiet?
They’ve laid down their weapons and gone home,
but our pain fills this silence

‘Cause our boys have been buried and our girls left alone
but our mothers have suffered the most
while enemies were sworn and lives were torn
they wandered their homes like a ghost

March with me, march boys, it’s the tenth day of June
we’re going home
Dance with me, dance girls, to the bittersweet tune of home
Can a home be again be made a home when for so long left empty
And can a soul be restored a soul when weighed down so heavy

‘Cause our boys have been buried and our girls left alone
but our mothers have suffered the most
while enemies were sworn and lives were torn
they wandered their homes like a ghost
and now they uncork the wine and press linens so fine
so for a moment you won’t see them crying

March with me, march boys, it’s the tenth day of June,
we’re going home
Track Name: Go
Take what you can carry and leave tomorrow
Let go of your sorrows you’ll surely find others
And make what you can from your work with the land
And search for a light that you’ll find in a lover

And
go go go to where you’ll find her
go go go be by her side
oh oh oh if you keep her laughing gently
she will shine through the rest of your life

When you step off from Coney and take a southbound train
And every move feels like rain ‘till your standing in her sight
From across the room you gaze at your chance
You want to take her in your hands and hold on for dear life

go go go to where you’ll find her
go go go be by her side
oh oh oh if you keep her laughing gently
she will shine through the rest of your life

She will shine through your life far beyond the day you say goodbye
So go go go be by her side