Soul Searching

by Ricky Kendall

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A collection of songs spanning Ricky's ten years in Gainesville with a rich collection of local musicians.


released September 11, 2011

Thank you to my friends who made this album happen:
Tony Cordova-electric bass
Jared Groom-drums/percussion
Michael Claytor-banjo/pedal steel/vocals
Sam Moss-vocals
Nicole Miglis-keys/flute/vocals
Jimmy Kinzer-Upright bass
Ryan Baker-keys
David Levek-percussion
Blake Briand-trumpet
Juan Rollan -sax
Nellie Eschelman-Cello
Andrew Cook-Violin
Leigh Ann Douglas-Vocals

Recorded at Medusa Studios in Gainesville, Florida.
Mixed by Dave Melosh and Ricky Kendall
Mastered by Gerry King and Anthony Goodwin at GK Mastering.



all rights reserved


Ricky Kendall Gainesville, Florida

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Track Name: The Thrush
What does it mean to love without the aid of string?
Just like the Thrush and the song that he sings.
He knows it's a giving thing
when no one is listening.
what reason what great exchange
for to sing again through the grateful plain?

Where do I lay all my love and my hate?
Both have a goal one to give one to take.
I think of that flying wing
not with holding a single thing.
requite is a sight that he has yet to see
for all his melody.

Up the coast I'll leave a loving ghost
and a fleeting tune.
racing past a half a summer sun
from a harvest moon.
Songs of struggle for a place to stay
for a humble nest.
I'll sing softer in the sky's quiet violet.

All creation sings like I do.
Even when my heart swears not to. I still do.

When I become like that boarderless bird
I'll fly away and be glory observed.
I know it's a lofty dream
and whether I wake or sleep
I'm still just a wingless being falling down
on this tumbling ground.

Look at the love in my hands on my face
Look at the sky blue and blank as a page.
Track Name: Soul Searching
I can't see the road that I'm traveling on.
Hey that's alright because I'm driving til dawn.
I'm soul searching.
The street lights burned out about fifty miles ago.
Hey, that's alright because you're sharing my load.
We're soul searching.

I've got a quarter tank, honey.
I'm working hard to make money.
If I break down then I'm running,
Show me the way.
You said you never would leave me
you said you would not deceive me
and I believe what you say.

Your love is for hire
your feelings on fire
but the peak of desire
is when your love has grown tired
and you're still burning.
Maybe you'll crash maybe you'll burn
maybe you've got another lesson to learn
while soul searching.

I've got this inclination
I might need more information
about the destination I'm going to.
I burn my reservations down
I have no hesitations now
My destination is you.

There's right and there's wrong
there ain't no in between
I know I've said some things that I didn't mean.
I'm so sorry, would you please forgive me.
Sweet to the heart and it's hard on the pride,
forgiveness is not to be worked out in your mind.
I'm slowly learning
but it's hard turning
when your heart's hurting
that's why I'm soul searching.
Track Name: Old Man Blues
Old man, I saw you at the edge of hell.
You said you've got no more tales to tell.
Your song's gone and the worries are at your heels.
Old man, I know just how it feels.
Old man listen close to me.
You'd drown in my empathy.
You'd sink faster than a stone
so old man, leave that drink alone.

I'll take you from a far side of a firey lake
I'll take you from the let down of a pearly gate.
I will lead you to a place
where you last kicked off your shoes.
til you learn how to love
and lay down those old man blues.

Old man, I will bury you
deep 'neath the sorrow and solitude.
The things you built with your own hands.
they're mine too, for you are my old man.

I'll take you from the memories
that you bow before.
I'll take you from the welcome mat
at the devils door.
I will lead you to a place
where your deepest hope comes true.
Old man, I will make a new man out of you.
Track Name: Life
She's your life.
She'll take your hand.
She'll lead you to a prison cell
and let your troubles lock the door.
But that's alright. She'll be your friend.
She'll lead you to the heights of places
you've never been before.

Oh, there's something about her.
They say she's sweet, they say she's good.
You'd better treat her like you should.

Shes free and wild, but she won't stay with you.
There's a reputation that precedes that little girl.
She'll run for miles. She'll run away from you.
She's got a strange addiction to
the wonders of the world.

No, don't try to save her.
They say she's kind they say she's mean
and there's no room for in between.
No, don't try to keep her.
You've got to cut away your pride.
You've got to let her leave your side.

When she's out of sight
your heart stops beating,
you stop your breathing.
She'll run until the dawn
and all through the evening

because life comes and goes in time
and everybody knows
she'll make you lose your mind
if you're holding her too close.
So let her go to fall in love
and love will bring you back to life.

She's full of strife. She's funny still.
You'd better give her up
cause she will treat you bad until
you lose your life and let her run
and find her in the morning shining with
the sun.
Track Name: Peace With God
My daddy said 'Make your peace with God
or lie down with the devil. If you choose the latter
you reject the first.'
He said, 'Son you ain't no God and son
you ain't no devil. So choose this day
who are you gonna serve.'

In the morning, I wake to find I'm just a man
in the middle of a war
flesh and blood hanging on to something
deeper down.
I'm making peace with the Lord.

My momma said, 'Get off of the throne of your own heart
or stay king. If you choose the latter,
you'll be overthrown.'
She said, 'Son you'd better listen
or you'll lose everything
and your heart won't have a place to call a home.'

In the morning, I wake to find a broken kingdom
in the middle of the floor
bowing down to a better king
than ever I was
and the kingdom is restored inside of me.
I'm making peace with the Lord.

Won't somebody turn the light on
cause it's too dark to see
we've been scared so long that fear planted a seed.
and that fear became a fruit
that fell the foot of my tree.
Where the perfect love is fear can never be.

In the morning I wake to find a bitter pain
I've felt this feeling once before
Fear has taught me not to trust a single soul
but I don't need fear anymore
because a kingdom has been restored inside of me
I'm making peace with the Lord.
Track Name: Ozark Country Blues
I've been around a long, long time.
The ol flint hills are a friend of mine.
Listen to me people, hear me speak.
You know I'm all plateaus if you take a peak...
I've got the Ozark Mountain blues.

My frustration is my reputation.
all these allegations across this great nation.
I'm still am mountain but listen to me.
I'd say anything to cover insecurities.
I've got the Ozarlk Country blues.
Track Name: Speak To Me
Here with my hand on my heart
swearing up and down
'Oh, no, I will never leave.'
Winds come to court and they woo
me out of my vow.
There I go and you wait for me.

Oh, me and my patterns.
Oh, say it doesn't matter.

Deep in the heart of the sea is a voice I know
an the same one in the hands of hell.
Out in the reaches of space and the space inside
comes a feeling and I know it well.

It seems as though I cannot escape you.
But Oh, why would I want to.

For without you I am blind,
oblivious to love and its demonstration.
Unaware upon a wire
is a bird upon the lines of communication.

Here in the center of your heart
in the talons of your word
in the saftety of your wings I am
miles over land and over sea
over you and over me
Love has taken everything I am.
Here in the morning I will sing
with the people that I love
and the hearts that you have made your own.
Rush through the rustle of my leaves.
I am rooted. I'm a tree.
I am planted. I am river grown.

So won't you speak to me?
Track Name: Sunshine
My heart is still within my chest
as I see that old sun setting in the west.
I feel it burn, I feel it beat.
I see the new sun rising in the east.

I see a man out on the street.
He's got no home, no shoes upon his feet.
The people give him food.
The people give him change
but he shoots their money up into his veins.
The people turn their face away.

They say that everything's alright
as long as I'm ok.
and nothing's going on as long as I am blind.
But I don't worry about those people because
the sun's going to shine
on the homeless kind.

I see a girl down on her knees.
She's got two children and the oldest
one is three.
She's got no man. She's underclass.
So she sells her body for a little cash.
I see her walking the grocery store.
all the people say everybody knows
that girls a no good whore
and everything is fine as long as I'm not poor.
But I say girl you're going to find
just what you're looking for.
and I say, girl the sun is shining,
what are you waiting for?
It's your open door.

I see a man up on the cross.
His body's broken and his heart's about to stop.
And when it's still within his chest
he sees that old sun setting in the west.
I feel it burn. I feel it beat.
I see that dead man walking up to me.
He says that everything's alright because
I'm your sunshine.
Track Name: Who Is That Man?
Silent when angry
quick to rejoice
often he tarries
and seldom he hurries.
Wide is the low road
and wicked that freeway.
He'll choose the narrow
and keep his hope for tomorrow.
Who is that man?

If he got famous
for any a reason.
He'd stay just as blameless
as he was when he was nameless.
He's got a solution
if ever came a problem.
He loves restitution
because it confounds confusion.
Who is that man?

Is God up in heaven?
Is man down below?
or is God so much closer than any man can know?
Sometimes, I can feel you coming closer.

Is man just an image?
Is God in his heaven
far from his creation,
distant from his reflection?
Or is God so majestic
he set that man free for freedom?
and is God so poetic
he made mans life a love song?
Who is that man?
Track Name: The Year
The year came through like a winter storm
My heart was so cold but my hands were warm
so I thought of a way I could get everyone's attention
My pen was a gun
It was full of rounds so I shot off my mouth
til the sun went down
and I took out my passion on anyone who'd listen.

On my own, I just get it wrong.
With empty threats
empty singing songs.

The year sank deep and it took me down with it.
All of my songs at the time were counterfeit,
void of a love that I once called my salvation.
My heart was a lock and I had no key
I deserted my lover and ran to me
so releasing my passion
was nothing but condemnation.

On my own I'm a sorry thing.
I was writing songs that would never sing.
Once I spoke of a harvest day.
Now I can't think of words to say.

Tear me away from these songs.
Show me where I've been going wrong.
Tear me away from myself.
Give me some truth that I can tell.
Give me truth to make me well.

The year has loosened it's grip on me.
I'm taking in air that I've never breathed.
You've lifted my burden and taken me from my tension.
My passion is clean and my heart is pure,
the people are turning their hearts to yours
and I'm filling my lungs with the
songs of my redemption.
Redemption song.

Seeds I've sown are growing into trees.
They're sowing wisdom back into me.
Friend and foe, I have been the two.
But friend, alone, is the word for you.
Track Name: Vapors
We float around the atmosphere
and freedom feels so far from here.
Everybody'e looking for a cloud to hold on to.
Some of us will hide our tears
pretending we are happy here.
Some of us will fight until we die to find the truth.

The skylines of our cities and
the lifelines in our gritty hands
now earthen from the terror of the unsafe skies.
If you should land an empty space,
ensure that you don't lose your place.
Look busy, lock the door, lay down
and live a lie.

It's the sedition of a bitter beast,
Emotion chained for years and then released.
In the tradition of a million men.
We vote in motion to be chained again
but we can't break the chains.

We're still scouring the universe.
It's just a vain attempt to break the curse
in which the lives we live are slowly streaming in reverse.
We really are a tragedy.
We're aching for a remedy.
So take our broken hearts for better or for worse.
Track Name: Welcome
Take off your shoes
and make yourselves more comfortable.
It's hard to stay that way in here for long.
I just heard the news,
someone who's life was wonderful
been crying cause somebody's
done him wrong.

Jesus, can you straighten out the crooked?
Can you love the living hell out of the wicked?
and Jesus, won't you stay
and have some dinner
even though you're eating with a sinner?

Take off your coat.
Come sit with me,
take off a load
so you can try my burden on instead.
What do you know,
my burden fits you perfectly,
and here's a crown of pain
I hope it fits your precious head.

Jesus, won't you come and be our shepherd?
Destroy the city gates
and cleanse the lepers.
and Jesus, while you're here,
would you please save me?
I've torn apart the gift of life
you gave me.

Where did you go?
You left your shoes,
you left your coat.
I hope you're coming back someday for me.
I see your load,
your burden sitting by your chair.
I try it on, it fits me perfectly.
Jesus, since you came I feel much better.
Jesus, I'm a friend of yours forever.
Jesus I'd just like to stop the music
To tell you that I love you,
I'd live and die to prove it just like you did.