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FALLING UNDER SPELLS

by James Combs

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    FALLING UNDER SPELLS CD with full color cart.

    LIMITED TIME OFFER: Add an additional $3 and I'll add to the package a CD of my solo album TO KNOW YOU IS TO SAVE YOU, which I made with Matt, John, April, Kelly De Martino and a lot of other lovely folks a few years back. It's my other favorite of my solo records. KCRW's Anne Litt once told me "Bathing Suit" was one of her favorite songs. Just sayin'.

    “James Combs makes Americana music for people who think they don’t like Americana Music… Falling Under Spells’ could become the most successful of Combs’s solo albums. To that fertile mix of folk, pop, twang, and psychedelia Combs brings his undoubted songwriting skills and his refusal to be contained musically by any narrow definition of genre… give ‘Falling Under Spells’ a listen, you won’t be disappointed. MARTIN JOHNSON, AMERICANA UK

    Includes unlimited streaming of FALLING UNDER SPELLS via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
How can I erase the shadow from your face Take you back to yesterday when you were laughing playing What about those kids And the cruelty they did Why no punishment How do they get away with it No human can defeat you Only you can reach you How can I explain ruleless games? You ask me dad are people good or bad? Well what can I say to that I think we’re good but broken What about those kids And the evil that they did? Well I remember nine Sometimes it was a jungle No human can defeat you Only you can reach you How can I explain ruleless games? No enemy can find you If he’s not inside you How can I explain ruleless games?
2.
Strange Signs There’s a drone in the canyon sky With one red and one green eye For four hours hear it fly From afternoon right into night 2am – you’re awake in bed all those crazy things he said lit a fire in your head left a belly full of dread Strange signs darling hard to know what’s starting strange signs up ahead So you write your daily song Call to defuse the daily bomb Go downtown with your home made sign Fall right into the rabble line You’re a face in the cheering crowd And you shout it right out loud A stone cold amazing sight: A million voices come to life Strange signs stirring All the lines are blurring Strange times up ahead Home when the day is done Just want to talk or have some fun But he’s out there with his hot-mouth gun Singing the devil’s favorite song Strange signs darling Hard to know what’s starting Strange times up ahead, strange signs up ahead
3.
Remember How We Used to Dance Remember how we used to dance? craze-kid flopping before the band cigarette and beer in hand Remember how we used to dance? Smoky room in cast off bar PA speaker beat and scarred Ha! she laughs then hard guitars shake us til we fall apart Afternoons we used to roll Right down Kirkwood boulevard with our holy hearts Remember how we used to love Face to face touch to touch Closer wasn't close enough Remember how we used to love Remember how we used to dance? Fumble flogging for the band We’ll make it back, Remember how we used to dance? Remember how we used to dance? Remember how we used to dance? Remember how we used to dance?
4.
Until This Wave Rolls By JAMES: This my body he ain’t done yet There’s a few more miles on the Chevrolet These my legs they got a ways to go, Gonna keep on walking while the rodeo blows I’m just gonna stop I just gonna slow ride I’m just gonna watch Until this old wave rolls by APRIL: This my body she ain’t done yet Gonna put on that magic amulet Read a little book, do a little dance – It’s gonna be a long haul precious chance I’m just gonna stop I’m just gonna slow my mind I’m gonna sit and watch Until this old wave rolls by TOGETHER: We’re just gonna stop We’re just gonna slow ride We’re gonna sit and talk Until this old wave rolls by
5.
True Believer Look away look away look away The point is to look away Make amends make amends make amends make amends The point is not to make amends True believer, true believer It's not the story they say It's not the story they say Understand understand understand understand The measure of a man Is not to understand. Heal the wounds heal the wounds heal the wounds heal the wounds Is not a thing that we do. True believer, true believer It's not the story they say True believer It's not the story they say True believer
6.
Circle Days Races running always through you Mirrors facing always to you Move the needle in the groove now But it keeps turning back to you now The finish line is just the starting line When circle days strange the ways of time Every fear that ever slayed you Every pleasure trip that made you Every color of your voice now Every magic terrible choice now Hear them all in corners of your mind When circle days strange the ways of time Talking to her she shows you now Know your head is just one truth now It could be days it could be years now There’s only this, there’s only here now Tomorrow’s yesterday again now Hope and sorrow’s endless spin now But you’ll have to finally face your mind When circle days strange the ways of time Talking to her - she helps you now See your head is just one truth now It could be days it could be years now There’s only this, there’s only here now You’ll have to face your mind When circle days tangle up your lines When circle days strange the ways of time
7.
Joy Is Allowed Sunlight feels unreal Morning on your face and hands Just when you thought its better not to feel Try to remember String on your fingertip Try to remember Joy is allowed Even now Twilight feels too real Just when you’re down and maybe out Hear the redwood owl And you remember You remember how You remember joy is allowed right now Try to remember String on your fingertip Love is the answer And joy is allowed
8.
Cut and Run Let’s cut and run - let’s cut and run Now’s the time to shake him off – let’s cut and run Better days ahead - better days ahead if we make them there will be better days ahead Let’s cut and run Love is our protection, our protection’s not the gun Love is our conviction, our conviction’s not the gun Let’s cut and run Leaving raging dogs to rage In our rearview The dog has had his day - it’s our purview Harvesting the power of the sun Love’s the only war that can be won Let’s cut and run Love is our connection - our connection’s not the gun Love is our position - our position’s not the gun Love is our decision - our decision’s not the gun Love is our dimension - our dimension’s not the gun Let’s cut and run
9.
Spells Your magic eye has got me mesmerized ASMR-ized You spin a tale so sweet I almost didn’t know my mind Voices from the olden days reminding me of older ways Come to me when I’m asleep They talk to me to tell me about spells That I’m falling under spells You play a beat that’s so sweet it’s exactly what I want to be. Sing a song so smart it steals my heart and makes me wish I wrote it too Voices from another time with slower rhymes and clearer signs Voices with a wiser line Rushing up to warn me about spells I’m falling under spells Spells I’m falling under spells
10.
Everybody Inside Everybody inside, everybody inside woke up from a dream to the craziest scene all the trees were ripe with spring but no one to be seen outside, outside Everybody inside Everybody inside I can hear you sing we’ll love through the machines brighter than we are closer than we seem untogether we’ll get by, Everybody inside we can only try Everybody inside Everybody inside who could ever tell how we’d finally break the spell and stop the ride, everybody inside we can only try
11.
Nowhere Fast If yours is the only voice I hear this year So be it, love. So be it, love If yours is the only touch I know we’ll only grow I feel it, love. I feel it, love If we only lie and watch the sky day to night abide, love If we only rest head to head, say whatever we said It’s alright, love. It’s alright, love. Going nowhere fast, holding on Future past, strangest song Nowhere fast, holding on Holding on holding on Let us praise holidays where awake I gaze Upon you, love, aside you love Morning creeps in quiet gray then bright blue day Beside you, love, beside you love Days are only months and months are days Almost haze It’s curious, If we have to stay in this peculiar play, I’m ok But it’s serious, so serious, Going nowhere fast, holding on Future past, strangest song Nowhere fast, holding on Holding on holding on

about

“Falling Under Spells”is the new solo album from Great Willow’s James Combs. It’s fun and sad. It’s sweet and angry. It sounds old and new. It’s from the heart.

Fresh from a year of solo singles, a Great Willow single, a micro-documentary, and an acclaimed collaboration with Americana legends I See Hawks In LA, GW’s JAMES COMBS covers a wide breadth of stylistic territory on Falling Under Spells - from fuzzed out desert rock to gorgeous Laurel-Canyon-world songwriting to vintage soul horn grooves to driving indie folk - James’ songs are a clear-eyed snapshot of strange times with a microdose of west coast hippie optimism sprinkled throughout. Things may be weird but we still have each other. And we can still rock. Joy is allowed. Did we mention those horns?

James: “Faced with untold lockdown days, I found myself in my studio with a head full of melodies, sounds, and lyric ideas. The songs came fast and furious. Songs about protest marches and true believers and going nowhere fast and wild dance parties in safer times. Songs for my wife and son. Songs for my friends. Songs for my achin’ head.

“Then I thought ‘While we’re all stuck, maybe I can get the best musicians I know to help me decorate these songs.’ So I asked and they stepped up, big time. Friends like Grammy-winner John Would (Fiona Apple), guitar virtuoso Paul Lacques (I See Hawks In LA), magic singers April Mann and Kelly Atkins, drum ace Matt Hergert, badass professors Wendy Kline (violin) and Joe Hellerstein (horns) all brought the spark.

“Each time a new bass or horn or harmony vocal part rolled in, it was like adding another drawer or window to this fancy cabin I was building. Somehow this band of stellar players from around the country had perfect group radar for the kind of music I wanted to make - personal, poetic songs rooted in classic American songwriting but with adventurous tendrils. A desert folk dobro part here, a Chet-Baker trumpet solo there, a distorted bass line here, a rich group choral arrangement there. These speed-written songs, sprung from folk bones but orchestrated with many colors, burst to life piece by piece.”

“Now the result of all this devotion, love and labor is here before you. It’s real and true. I think it is the best record I have made. I hope you feel it, too.”

FALLING UNDER SPELLS. We’re all a little hypnotized.

ABOUT JAMES COMBS: James’ musical ride includes a BBC Peel Session, a Lollapalooza, a co-written True Blood end title sung by Iggy Pop/Best Coast, four solo albums and four group albums (Great Willow, Arson Garden), live performances from Berlin to London to New York to New Orleans to San Francisco to The Laurel Canyon Country Store, stages shared with Jackson Browne, Van Dyke Parks, Tom Verlaine, Marianne Faithfull, John C. Reilly, Michelle Phillips, and John Densmore/Robby Krieger. James is songwriter for the band Great Willow, presents a concert series in Beachwood Canyon, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Inquiries: LaurelCanonLA at gmail . com

credits

released May 27, 2022

James Combs - vocal, guitar, keys, bass, producer
Matt Hergert - drums
April Mann - vocal
Kelly Atkins - vocal
Joe Hellerstein - horns
John Would - bass, guitar, piano, mixer, producer
Paul Lacques - guitar
Wendy Kline - violin
Wayne Whittaker - bass
Matia Wagabaza - cover design
Karen Combs - photos

copyright 2022 High Pine Steeple Recordings

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Great Willow / James Combs Los Angeles, California

GREAT WILLOW: think close knit harmony singing inspired by the best of the classic Laurel Canyon cosmic-American-music tradition. It’s its own thing but finds some inspiration in the music of folks like Gene Clark and Gram Parsons. “Beautiful Twang” we call it. But the songs are also contemporary and highly personal - like a box of sun-bleached family photos.

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