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FIND YOURSELF IN LOS ANGELES

by GREAT WILLOW

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    Featuring emotional, intricate harmony singing from James Combs and Erin Hawkins, Great Willow’s debut album “Find Yourself In Los Angeles” is inspired by the classic Laurel Canyon Cosmic American Music tradition, with some mariachi horns and psychedelic guitar freakouts thrown in for good measure. Poetic lyrics, cinematic landscapes. An LA story.

    The songs on “Find Yourself in Los Angeles” are personal and full of imagery – margaritas and bees, dirty palm trees, dry river beds, taco stands and too much sunshine. This is “Beautiful Twang”, inspired in part by artists like Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, They Byrds and the solo work of Gene Clark. The sole cover song on the record is Great Willow’s masterful re-working of Dillard and Clark’s beautiful “With Care From Someone”.

    “Find Yourself In Los Angeles”, produced by John Would (Fiona Apple), Nik Freitas (Maria Taylor) and James Combs, is a California song cycle detailing snapshots of a relationship that gets broken and sets off a move from Petaluma to Los Angeles … endless, dusty, washed out, beautiful LA - where you go to start all over again….

    Lyrics from the first song on the album (and the first released single), “Many Things” set the tone:

    “Without you – I’m a crooked tree
    a crippled crow, a broken stone
    the most wondrous thing I’ll ever see
    is you,
    you taught me many things…”

    James Combs and Erin Hawkins of Great Willow have shared stages with the likes of Jackson Browne and Van Dyke Parks, and have had their songs featured in HBO’s “True Blood” and Showtime’s “Shameless."

    Great Willow also curates and co-hosts the Secret Bowl Music Series - house concert/picnic events featuring Country, Americana and Indie Folk under the trees in LA’s Beachwood Canyon. Guest artists have included Louise Goffin, Maria Taylor, Eleni Mandell, Blake Hazard, and Miranda Lee Richards.

    Includes unlimited streaming of FIND YOURSELF IN LOS ANGELES via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Many Things 03:14
MANY THINGS you taught me how to sit on dynamite and watch it tick you made sure the fuse was lit and you taught me to get over it you said “unfurl your talk and learn to love with blinders off” you taught me how to drink you taught me many things you told me go for broke that everything goes up in smoke “don’t wait for morning, don’t wait for spring” you taught me many things without you – I’m a crooked tree a crippled crow, a broken stone the most wondrous thing I’ll ever see is you, you taught me many things
2.
Petaluma 03:00
PETALUMA Petaluma Petaluma I came for the sunshine gotta get my head together Gotta step back into time Petaluma Petaluma we were on some kind of ride never looking for a landing Always thought i’d be alright 99 99 99 was a hole in time Its really true you can’t change people Its all animal I think You can’t ask for an attraction You can’t pull back from the brink And I thought I knew you too well And I guess its probably true Its half-committed, one foot out - that magic that you do 99 99 99 was a hole in time Through a washed out grassy hillside Rode my bike out to the farm But everything out there was rusted All the boards were dry as bone Petaluma Petaluma I came for the sunshine And I never thought I’d say it But it shines far too long and bright 99 99 99 was a hole in time 99 99 99 was a waste of time
3.
REAR VIEW MIRROR (Combs) I found a drink called a Rear View Mirror Erased every thought from there to here Made fresh wounds fade Then disappear for a golden hour My head got clear You were passing through You were never there I took a train called The Rear View Mirror A bullet train shot me out of here there was coal black stack And canyon oak And when i looked out back All I saw was smoke I was passing through I was never there I was never there I was never there Must be a town called Rear View Mirror A red clay town On a baked frontier They never bore you with stories you don’t want to hear Never soak your shoulder with wet warm tears You were passing through you were never there You were passing through You were never there You were never there You were never there You were never there You were never there You were never there
4.
And here you find yourself in Los Angeles How do you make your way here in Los Angeles Looking up at dirty palm trees A cactus in the yard In a neighborhood that you have never heard of And can you make your name out On the little mailbox? You’ve staked quite a claim out In Los Angeles You’ve staked quite a claim out In Los Angeles Heady, deft explorer of the new world Pizarro or Magellan in the new world Sizing up the landscape from a taco stand downtown You and margaritas and the inevitable sound Of bees around the courtyard trying to hunt the syrup down We are all the same here in Los Angeles You will do just fine here in Los Angeles You will be just fine here in Los Angeles
5.
I woke up with a start at the start of the new day To my new way of living I was asleep in the seat of a truck Out on the highway And it was no way to be living But I guess I gotta get used to the new normal The new normal, the new normal Well she has a way she can be, she can know you Understand you, she can show you She has a way she can be, it can throw you To be seen but not be loved too I guess I gotta get used to the new normal The new normal, the new normal I sat in the bed of a dead river from long ago To see if its old flow could show what I don’t know And I hoped with the hope of the slow Until I came around, an insane sound said you gotta go I guess I gotta get used to the new normal The new normal, the new normal I was down for the count in the first round of the first play On the first punch of the first day I was down for the count and I found I could not stay But It took me four years to understand the game Now I guess I gotta get used to the new normal The new normal the new normal
6.
WITH CARE FROM SOMEONE You stood not near Yet here so clear Your story had to start The jingle sun Has really run Into my aching heart And now we shall see What the future will bring As we swing freely as one And now we shall know What love will show us has begun So here's to you With care from someone This evening came But not the same As yesterday had been Today had come You're with someone To hold now deep within And maybe we'll find This time is designed For finding the meaning of one And now we will know What love will show us has begun So here's to you With care from someoneAnd now we shall see What the future will bring As we swing freely as one And now we shall know What love will show us has begun So here's to you With care from someone
7.
Time Bombs 03:40
TIME BOMBS You lie in bed and listen to the rain Morning coming slowly like a distant crawling haze It's almost light you drive down Riverside Watch the muddy water roll forever right on by All these time bombs, all these time bombs You order eggs and coffee black and strong Sit back in the booth and look at everybody talk You hide your head but you can’t shake the chill If nicotine won’t get you then the worry surely will All these time bombs, all these time bombs She loved you it was plain for all to see You know you had it better than you ever could believe Was it just about a year or two ago That she started looking past you, Now who knows where her mind goes? All these time bombs, all these time bombs
8.
SECRETLY HAPPY Well you’re faced with displacement And every single trace Of you will have to move from the apartment You’re looking low in a truck Everything is all packed up It's sorted out - your home is now storage compartment She is wise, she has found A face appropriately down But you both know that’s not the whole of the picture…. In a weird way it's ok it's like you know just what to say It's like you’re both reciting some strange verse of scripture She’s happy, secretly happy Your black humor gets you through You do what you have to do But there’s no glint of an emotional suture For the wound you incurred all public crying is deferred You can’t change the past Maybe you own the future You can’t change the past Maybe you own the future You’re on the road once again And you’re not your only friend But it feels that way sometimes it's hard to miss it You’re on the road once again And it's got open open ends And it feels kind of good to hit it It feels kind of good You must admit it It feels kind of good You can admit it She's happy, scecretly happy
9.
NO CITY CAN CURE ME Looks like a good time, a good time to start all over again Here comes that old familiar, familiar feeling again It’s a habit of mine, it’s a habit of mine, Wore the floor boards out just walking about from doubt to doubt to doubt to doubt Must be a city for me Wore the brake pads down just movin around from city to town to town to town There’s no city for me No city can cure me Looks like a good time, a good time to start all over again If you’re looking hard at the beginning it always shows you the end It’s a habit of mine, it’s a habit of mine, One more round on the merry go down Got a brand new friend in a brand new town Must be a city for me You’re getting’ good when it comes to making the start Now you’re finding you’re feeling lost where you are There’s no city for me No city can cure me Looks like a good time, a good time to start all over again Here comes that old familiar, familiar feeling again Familiar feeling again
10.
LOVE WILL FINALLY FIND YOU You might have your patience tried and tried You might have a cloud across your eye but love will finally find you by and by By and by, by and by You might be a statue in the sand You might feel the time slip through your hands but love will finally find you by and by By and by, by and by You might have to lose before you win To understand the value of the prize but love will finally find you by and by By and by by and by You might have to learn to wait and wait And it will be your curse but not your fate cause love will finally find you by and by By and by by and by
11.
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about

“The perfectly combined voices of James Combs and Erin Hawkins is the stuff legends are made of. An incredible addition to any Americana library.” No Depression

“Perfect harmony. Excellent… the new sound of the West Coast.” Americana UK

“James Combs is one of Los Angeles’ best songwriters.” Gary Calamar, KCSN

"They're the antidote to the madness of modern times. In a world of perpetual division and dissonance, they bring the primal and poignant power of ripe, heartfelt melody enriched by human harmony. In these days of chaos and endless distractions, they bring the substance of timeless, finely crafted, tuneful songs. James Combs is a musical force of nature who injects every song with genuine joy. Erin Hawkins paints these poignant melodies with luminous harmonies, creating a sound of hope that's good for the soul. When they sing “Love will finally find you, by and by,” you believe it, because it’s real. Long live Great Willow, song champions." Paul Zollo, Author, Songwriters On Songwriting

GREAT WILLOW: think close harmony singing and songwriting inspired by the best of the Laurel Canyon tradition. Mariachi horns here. Psychedelic guitar freakout there. Mandolins and resonators. Timbales and accordion. Poetic lyrics, cinematic landscapes.

Great Willow is a modern take on the "Cosmic American Music" sound championed by folks like Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, and the Byrds in another era. But their perspective/approach is decidedly contemporary - somewhere in the musical neighborhood of Jenny Lewis or Dawes or Sam Outlaw. The songs are highly personal - like a box of sun-bleached photos.

“Beautiful Twang” we call it.

Our debut album “Find Yourself In Los Angeles”, produced by John Would (Fiona Apple) and Nik Freitas (Maria Taylor), is a song cycle detailing snapshots of a relationship that gets broken and sets off a move to Los Angeles - endless, dusty, washed out, beautiful LA - where you go to start all over again. The title track snaps an image of life on arrival:

“Here you find yourself in Los Angeles
How do you make your way here in Los Angeles?
Looking up at dirty palm trees and cactus in the yard
In a neighborhood that you have never heard of
Can you make your name out on the little mailbox?
You’ve staked quite a claim out in Los Angeles”

GW’s James Combs and Erin Shawn Hawkins have shared stages with the likes of Jackson Browne, Van Dyke Parks, Robby Krieger and John Densmore from the Doors, Arthur Lee’s Love, Michelle Phillips, Micky Dolenz, Maria Taylor (Azure Ray) and Inara George and have had music featured in Showtime’s “Shameless".

James is co-creator/host of the Secret Bowl Music Series - house concert events featuring country, Americana and indie folk under the trees in LA’s Beachwood Canyon. Among other songwriting accomplishments, James co-wrote the True Blood (HBO) end credit song “Let’s Boot and Rally,” a punk duet performed by the great Iggy Pop with Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. The song was named one of Iggy’s “20 Greatest Collaborations” by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Erin is a stellar singer, harmony arranger, cellist, and badass whistler (not to mention a striking visual artist.)

Drummer Ed Barguiarena composes film soundtracks and designs music programs at Disney Hall for the LA Philharmonic.

Bassist Jimi Hawes is a painter and has played bass with many luminaries, including The Doors.

ED BARGUIARENA/ percussion

JAMES COMBS/ vocal, guitar

ERIN HAWKINS/ vocal, cello, organ, whistling

JIMI HAWES/ bass

credits

released September 17, 2017

Produced by John Would, Nik Freitas, James Combs

Mixed by John Would, Nik Freitas, Steve Kaye

Cover art by Natalie Wright (nataliejowright.com)

Great Willow:

Ed Barguiarena - drums
James Combs - vocals, guitar, organ, bass
Erin Hawkins - vocals, cello
Rich McCulley - guitar, mandolin

with help from John Would, Nik Freitas, Kelly Atkins, Amy Wood, Max Beck, Probyn Gregory, Kevin Fischer, and Emily Weber.

All songs by James Combs except "With Care From Someone" by Gene Clark, Bernard Leadon, Douglas Dillard

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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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