Only Just a Man – Pre-release

Cover painting by Evan Moring (4’x4′ mixed media on plywood)

This is the pre-release page for JT Moring’s 2021 album Only Just a Man, for folks who might need to check it out before it’s released. Here you can learn about the project, listen to the songs, and download the whole ball of wax (100MB, zipped 256 kbps mp3s) or the WAV files on Dropbox. There’s a description of the album on the public album page and I’ll be adding material (lyrics, video, …) as time goes on, so check over there also.

As of September, CDs are in manufacturing; the release will be scheduled for October or November, with availability on all major streaming platforms. Accepting that CD sales are not filling anyone’s bank accounts these days, I will offer the discs for free, with the request that recipients drop $10 in the next musician tip jar they see.

Only Just a Man is the title, theme, and approximate credits list for the album. I’ve written some “liner notes” and a “review” of the album until someone else gets around to doing that.

All songs written, performed, and recorded by JT Moring. Ramona Aunt (of the Prairie Sky band) arranged and performed the female vocals that appear throughout. There are 19 tracks; 13 songs and 6 instrumentals.

Instruments: 6-string guitar, 12-string guitar, nylon string guitar, electric bass guitar, mandolin, 5-string banjo, long neck banjo, mandolin banjo, electric lap steel guitar, Greek bouzouki, penny whistle, harmonicas, acoustic piano, electric organ, autoharp, various percussion. Full Album (51:44)

1 Roxy (instr.) Download WAV file.

2 Run Baby Run. Sets the tone and theme for the album. “I think we done pretty good if you don’t mind the blood.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.

3 Low Tide. Bouncy number with fun multi-part vocals, reminiscent of Jimmy Buffet. “Stuck in the mud, the boat won’t go!” Download WAV file. Lyrics.

4 Guerrero Negro. A Baja-inspired waltz that asks “What do they do if you die down in Mexico?” Download WAV file. Lyrics.

5 Kerfuffle Shuffle (instr.) Download WAV file.
6 Down on the Farm. A rollicking tall tale. I like to think John Prine fans would enjoy this.”There’s a whole lot of trouble brewin’.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
7 Harvest Time in Humboldt. Spoken-word cautionary tale. This falls into the category of story songs where James McMurtry and Todd Snider prevail. “That’s cannabis country, doncha know?” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
8 Welcome to the Neighborhood. A true-life catalog of bizarre behaviors in the suburbs, where the “grass is green and life is good.” Donald and Lydia moved out and the yuppies have moved in. Download WAV file. Lyrics.
9 Better Off Dead (instr.) Download WAV file.
10 Eyes Wide Open. An uptempo 3 minute version of those old gunfighter movies. I was listening to Steve Earle when I wrote this. “Bullets and broken glass filled the smokey air.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
11 Forty Acres and a Mule. One man’s story in the postbellum South, with banjo and slide guitar. “They said he could work on the railroad, but that never came to be.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
12 The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. A pirate song invoking sea chanteys. “It’s wind and waves and sharpened steel, booty and blood for me.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
13 Prelude to a Storm (instr.) Download WAV file.
14 Six Feet High and Rising. First part of a folk flood medley, with finger style guitar and organ. I was inspired by the way The Band took old time events and made them seem alive. “Go get your grandma down off the roof.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.

15 Business as Usual. Second part of the folk flood medley, with finger style guitar, organ, and sweet harmonies. “The strong ones shall protect the weak ones; the weak ones just do the best they can.” This one maybe has more Neil Young and Nicolette Larson than The Band. Download WAV file. Lyrics.

16 Higher Ground (instr.) Download WAV file.
17 Good Old Boy. An anthem of appreciation for the old folks. “That old man was a child once too, he played ball just like you do.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.

18 Hole in the Sky/Reprise. Carter-family inspired folk song, and a return to the opening statement. “We only get one ticket, so let’s enjoy the ride.” Download WAV file. Lyrics.
19 Over and Out (instr.) Download WAV file.

Disc photo by Paul Moeller, outside Joshua Tree