Chris Heers | The Road Ahead Shines

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The Road Ahead Shines

by Chris Heers

"The Road Ahead Shines" features 13 new stories that continue the technicolor road trip that began with Heers' groundbreaking IMA nominated country album "Western Stars". Country - Americana - Folk Rock (release date 1-16-15)
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fannye Katrina
5:15 $0.99
2. Leaning Into Barstow
3:39 $0.99
3. Trailer 19
3:32 $0.99
4. Halfway
6:08 $0.99
5. Drunken Baker
3:15 $0.99
6. Twentynine Palms
3:20 $0.99
7. Road Trip
3:35 $0.99
8. Joe Security
3:38 $0.99
9. Pony Express
4:57 $0.99
10. Shoreline (feat. Vanessa Andrea)
3:48 $0.99
11. Naturally High
3:40 $0.99
12. The Matador
4:44 $0.99
13. The Cactus
4:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes


1. Fannye Katrina
I was puttering around the house, doing dishes or something and in the background there was a news special that
I could hear on CNN. It was the 5-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the man who was being interviewed
on TV was talking about how his restaurant used to be on the water but was completely wiped out and is now
located inland. He said something like, "We'll be back there again though...I know it". I remember pumping my
fist and saying out loud as I was washing the dishes, "Yeah buddy... you will be back!". Later that night or the
next day I was noodling around with my old black Takamine acoustic guitar and that song just came out. I have
no idea where Fannye the Angel or whatever she was came from but I am thankful that she rolled through my
pen. I knew what she looked like as soon as I said her name because there was a real Fannye who I used to help
take care of in the early 90's. She was elderly, late 80's from Georgia via Louisiana, and she used to cook me
things after I went to the grocery store for her; Great things like collard greens "washed in two waters" she would
say, and chicken cooked in real lard baby. "She looked like the woman on the pancake syrup bottle..." There
were two that came to mind, Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima. Fannye looks like AJ but more wrinkled.
Beautiful. The Fannye in the song is luminescent. Her brown face is wise and somewhat younger than the
Fannye I used to take care of. The Fannye in the song swims up to my character with a face that glows with an
energy and love that can't be put into words. She is not from here. That I know.
In my mind the main character, a fisherman, was having breakfast in his boat – pancakes. As he looks out the
window at the grey wall of hurricane coming toward him he sees the bottle of pancake syrup, one of the last things
he sees on the boat before the mast disappears into the sea. As he starts hallucinating three days later he has
this picture in his head – the pancake bottle. Fannye swims up to him and assumes the form of the woman in his
head to make things easier for him.
I know that you can float on a bag of potato chips because it really happened to me when I was in high school.
My buddy Jim and I ditched school with some other kids of questionable intentions and we went to Lake Mead for
the day. Jim's dad, Jim Sr., had a large boat there with a rubber motorized dinghy. It was brand new and very off
limits to us like the boat itself. The dinghy was attached to the back of Jim’s dad's boat. Long story short, this kid
Randy had the engine and rudder of the dinghy and I was on the bow holding a rope like a bronc rider as we
slammed into these huge windy lake waves. Next thing I knew we slammed into a massive wave and we were
both in the water with the dinghy disastrously empty of it's passengers and stuck on full throttle while heading for
Jim Jr. who was on a jet ski in the distance. We were in a dire position but it was strangely hilarious to see Jim’s
dad’s boat heading straight for him unmanned at full throttle. Jim Jr. managed to jump off the Jet Ski onto the
dinghy at high speed and save the boat and his ass that day, a courageous maneuver at that speed. Randy and I
were about a mile off shore surrounded by floating snacks that had fallen overboard with us. I decided to let my
tennis shoes sink in order to stay buoyant with my big yellow bag of Lays which I floated on until rescue. Thank
you Lays!!!
Fannye says, "I could explain it in detail but it would be like talking about outer space with a fish. Child just know
that you don't know and have faith." I don't know if Fannye is an Angel, a mermaid, or a hallucination but she
does save the fisherman in more ways than one. I hope she is an Angel.
Recording trivia ~ Fannye Katrina
One of the coolest surprises that happened in the studio was when Drummer John Gardner broke out the sleigh

John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar
John Mock – Tin Whistles
Chris Heers – Vocals/Background Vocals/Harmonica

2. Leaning Into Barstow
I half thought about calling this album "Barstow" because that town seems to have influenced a bunch of the
songs. I was extremely tired on the I-15 on the way to a show in southern California. I had come from a show in
Sedona and decided to drive right on through. I was pulling myself up on the steering wheel; slapping myself hard
"Leaning in" it seemed while I saw the Barstow 68 miles sign pass. I ended up pulling over and sleeping for a bit.
I sing "Six Days on the Road" and "Willin" with my band. I Love truck driver songs. I wanted to write one that
could hang with the greats. Those guys were taking little white pills. My guy is relying on the desert air, the radio,
and a gallon of “Joe” to pull him through. On second thought, maybe I should have called this album "Joe".
I recently did an acoustic songs and stories show in Hollywood with Justin Furstenfeld from Blue October. I
noticed that when he plays his ballady love songs he has all these beautiful women coming apart at his show. It
reminded me of a show I did at the Gold Strike out near Stateline, NV except instead of beautiful women in the
front row it was all professional truck drivers coming apart. Maybe I should start writing more ballady love songs.

Recording notes ~ Leaning into Barstow
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar
Steve Hinson – Steel Guitar
Chris Heers – Vocals/Background Vocals
3. Trailer 19
I never intended to record this song myself but I just like playing it. So shoot me. Maybe Taylor Swift will still do
it. I could use a new house. I digress though. I was working at a day job at the time where we would have to
make copies of people’s driver's licenses for credit checks. One customer had T-16 or something like that as the
address on her license. I stupidly asked her what that meant and she said Trailer 16. She wasn't embarrassed
though. I thought about how some people could be embarrassed saying they lived in a trailer park. I wouldn't be
though. Trailers rule. I live in my Sprinter van half the time when I am in LA. I wrote the song around a girl who
turned one trailer into another one.
Trivia: I wrote most of this song in a modular trailer structure at that day job that same night that I met the T-16
girl on this old cheap Yamaha guitar that was lying around. The strings were dead but it sounded nice.
Recording notes ~ 29 Palms
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Mandolin
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers - Lead Vocal/Background Vocals
4. Halfway
You won’t find any women in this album who are standing on tailgates pouring ice-cold beer on their tank tops and
shaking their “moneymakers”. There are plenty of those girls on the radio. Wait just a minute, is that how you get
on the radio? Hmmm. Maybe I’ll sell out on the next album. For now though here is the story behind the song
I used to play this solo acoustic show in Sedona, Arizona at a bar called The Full Moon Saloon. The Full Moon
was the only place open until 2:30am in that part of Sedona, near Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek. It was
great because I could crash at my grandma's place two blocks away. The Moon is a great place full of European
tourists and local industry people who like to sing along.
There was this girl at one of my day jobs who was an extreme rock climber. She was really nice to me until she
found out that I was friends with some people she had a prior disagreement with. Then she kind of gave me the
cold shoulder. It had nothing to do with me but I am one of those people who can have a thousand friends but
feels the jab of the one who isn't. So this girl was on my mind jabbing me. I was thinking about how to win her
over while I was driving to Sedona and also multi thinking about some rock hiking I was going to do near the
Sedona vortexes. Those patterns of thinking merged and I started humming this song about a female rock
climber in Sedona. I am sure that there is some psychoanalyst who could explain how this girl not liking me and
this character being ostensibly suicidal fit in with each other. The girl in the story is my hero though. She is as
much of a badass as Joe Security. "Some people when they lose their dreams they put a bottle in their hand.
Some people find a giant sheet of rock in the middle of the sand.”

Trivia ~ Halfway
I do this song in some live settings with her using some profanity. On the studio album though, I borrowed a page
from Cee Lo Green and made it PG. I’ll attach a live version as well. Spoiler alert – skip if you haven’t heard this
song. It seems she is going to commit suicide but she has no intention of that. She’s only come halfway. The
road ahead shines.

John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach – Keyboards/Synth
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers - Background Vocals

5. Drunken baker
In another life I was a Hotel Management major. I even studied in Europe although I don't remember much
because we never spit out the wine. My favorite professor, Dr. Don Bell at UNLV said something that always
stuck with me. He said, "All great bakers drink, just roll with it." Not in those exact words probably but that was
the gist of it. I never forgot that piece of trivia. This story is told from the point of view of the owner of the famous
(famous by way of it's spectacularly successful bakery) Hotel Brown. I am not sure where this hotel is but it feels
like the mid-west so I put it in Indiana circa 1942 at the beginning of the song when the young baker who would
rather bake than play football gets his first job at 10 years old. He is in his 40’s when he hits the height of his
fame, and the height of his drinking problem, just about the time that the first Atkins Diet book was published.
People would line up around that bakery just to have a croissant. The owner of the hotel wants the baker to stop
drinking but she also wants the money to keep rolling in. Everybody really wants him to keep drinking. It’s his
trademark. When he sobers up his concoctions fall apart. Oh the irony. I see this baker as a symbol of the
myriad of artists, writers, painters, actors of all kinds who created under the influence and didn’t believe that they
could create as well sober. The people surrounding them want the cash coming in (celebrity enablers). Who
wants to watch so and so sober? I didn’t put this on my first album because I thought it was too silly but the damn
story wouldn't go away so bon appétit.
Recording notes ~ Drunken Baker
We spent a lot of time on the placement and dictation of the words "Bake It". I did it. Tammy, my background
singer did it. I did it slower. Tammy did it funkier. I said, "Bake it" then Tammy said "Yeah.. Bake it!". In the end
we just kept the original. "Bake it" that I sang on the rough track. If you are singing along take a deep breath.
This song is like Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues…hard to sing all those words on stage without suffocating
but I have figured it out. Bake away!

Andrea Zonn - Fiddle
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Banjo/Backgrond Vocals
Steve Hinson – Dobro
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers - Vocals/Background Vocals

6. Twentynine Palms
Many of my songs start while I am driving, especially so on this album. I had always envisioned Twentynine
Palms as this magical 1950’s resort place near sand dunes where Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra would sip
martinis with Elvis and beautiful Technicolor women with 50’s polkadot bathing suits would jump off tall diving
boards. I was driving past the Twentynine Palms Marine Air Base on I-15 and while thinking about that and this
song and character started to form. The character is 60'ish and remembering his first wedding and how wonderful
that time of his life was before they let it slip away years later. He says, "It's funny how time slips away. Man that
line is so cliché, but it is what it is 'cause it's true. And when that sun is floating high, sometimes the road ahead
shines and I see you." I took the album title from this song. It has a triple meaning; Shines as in optimism,
Shines as in a mirage, Shines in sadness / reflection. In this song his eyes tear up as he sees his first wife in the
mirage on the road ahead. I think this could be the best country song I’ve written.
Recording notes ~ 29 Palms
I wanted a Jimmy Webb Wichita Lineman feel combined with some vintage George Strait so Pat borrowed an old
Jerry Jones Baritone Electric Guitar with rusted out strings and played it through a Fulltone Supa-Trem.

John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach – Grand Piano
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Baritone Electric Guitar/Background Vocals
Steve Hinson - Steel Guitar
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers – Vocals/Background Vocals

7. Road Trip
I was working on songs for a friend's album, Sammy Steele. We had written a bunch of songs between 07 and 09
for it all of which ended up with us drunk at the 24 hour Mexican food joint down the street from my ranch. One of
the ideas we came up with was "Road Trip" about a guy who drives across country and all of the things he sees. I
pulled out some paper and we just brainstormed this whole page of shit he would see, do, and eat. What do you
eat on sporadic road trips? Slim Jims and Pork Rinds of course. Any red blooded American man knows this. We
gave the guy a Washington start point since Sammy lived in Tacoma at the time and off he went. The two things
that were going through my head were Forest Gump when he said... "I just felt like running" and the wonderful
liberating terrifying freedom and faith of not really knowing where you are going. "I don't know where I'm going but
the sun is shining." This later became life imitating art for me (as did Twentynine Palms I guess). At the time of
writing this song I had also just come back from Omaha, Nebraska for a funeral of one of the best friends I ever
had, my buddy Rhett. I stayed there in Omaha for a while and when I got to know Rhett and Linda’s friends I was
shocked and stupefied at the level of insanity that Cornhuskers fans aspire to in their passion for their team. I
learned the words "Go Big Red" there. I wanted to put a little of Nebraska into this song as a tribute to my friends.
I ended up saving this song for my album in the end.
Trivia ~ Road Trip
The banjo played on this track is an '84 Gibson Earl Scruggs Signature model that somehow actually smelled like
Earl Scruggs. Not sure how they engineered that feature into it. Pat and I kept smelling it during the session.
Yes… Earl for sure. Unmistakable. Beautiful maple back and retro Gibson headstock. I can't play a lick on it but
Pat drove it like an F-150.

John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Banjo
Steve Hinson - Steel Guitar
Chris Heers - Vocals/Background Vocals

8. Joe Security
I knew I had something with this song when I found myself in a room full of Harley riding war veterans at the
Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, NV. It was just past noon and I was just getting started with an unplugged duo
show. The drinks hadn't started flowing that heavy yet and it was very mellow so I asked them if they wanted to
hear one that I was thinking about putting on my next album. At the end of the song it was dead quiet and one of
the leather vested Marine Corps veterans got up and gave me a one hundred dollar bill.
How the song came about:
I was working a night job where all the security officers provided by the security company seemed 80'ish. None
had guns (as far as I knew). I also noticed that nobody gave these old timers the time of day. They were in the
background. They were mostly of pot bellied jovial characters who were happy to be out of the house. I was
many times bored to tears at night so I got the chance to know all of them. Holy hell the stories. One thing I
realized quickly was that I was in no danger. Some of these guys were ex Navy SEALS (although they weren't
called SEALS back then). Some were ex FBI, ex Swat. D-Day vets, Viet Nam vets, Korea.
The character in the song is a compilation of all these guys. My guy Joe was at D-Day. He was on a riverboat in
Saigon. He was saving the world. I love the contrast but also the parallels of the latter day Joe working at
Disneyland. I came up with Disneyland because Disneyland is American freedom. In the first draft I had Joe
Security carrying a gun "I've got a badge and a gun and I walk around" but then I went back to Disneyland and
realized Disneyland security officers don’t carry guns. At least they didn't back then. But this guy does have a
smile, he loves what he does, so I illuminated that instead. He has a completeness and pride that he and his
boys bought the ride that we enjoy every day. The American Ride as the fella says. Their greatest generation
bought it for us. Bought and paid for. "I wish the boys could only be here now. We bought this ride when we
wouldn’t back down.”

Trivia ~ Joe Security
Disneyland Security officer Michael Dougherty was kind enough to give me the tour and pose for some shots one
of which appears in the album insert in the physical album. Even though he has white hair and moustache,
Michael is not quite old enough to be Joe but I found a shot that fit.

Andrea Zonn - Fiddle
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitars
Chris Heers - Lead Vocal/Background Vocals

9. Pony Express
I was driving on a side road through the Coconino Forest into Flagstaff, Arizona. As the trees were rushing by I
had this nudging that I should write a song about what it is like to be alone inside of those tree lined dirt trails on a
horse with no freeway noise; nothing but stars and hoofs on trail. I had this vision of a song that was so sparse
you could feel the space and the silence around you. True and clean. I thought of a Pony Express rider and what
it would have been like back then at full gallop at night alone with the stars. When I went to write it a few months
later some of that happened but this side story unfolded which was filled with a lot more action. The amazing
thing is that after I wrote it I checked the places and dates and I was spot on in place and time. I Googled the
history of the Pony Express in Northern Nevada after writing it because I didn't want to misrepresent the period or
the Native Americans in the area. I certainly didn’t want to misrepresent the Paiute’s especially since I play some
of those casinos LOL. But, that really happened - not the exact story, but the Pony Express riders being waylaid
by the Paiutes did actually happen and in that place too. I am planning a mountain bike ride on the same route.
Here is the way that the main character came about. I have been involved with a charity called Spirit Therapies
for the last five years. My band plays their annual fundraiser at the South Point Casino every year. Spirit
Therapies takes handicapped kids and give them the opportunity to ride horses. They are now working with
wounded warriors as well. It is really an amazing organization. That is where the boy in
the story came from. He is not a full paraplegic but his legs don't work. Everything else does though and he is
able to pull himself up onto a pony and fulfill the impossible dream of serving his country like his brothers who are
off at war. "My legs don't work but on a horse I'm as fast as any man..." This song takes me there every time I
play it. Especially when the wagon wheel size tumbleweeds are rolling across trail past the high blue cactus. I
can feel the wind in my face blowing the brim of my hat up. Maybe this really happened. Somewhere in history
some kid who couldn't walk did something heroic on a horse.

Recording notes ~ Pony Express. The wind is played by Jeff as Bobby's boy skirts the ridge.
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ/Synth Wind
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar
Steve Hinson - Steel Guitar
Chris Heers – Vocals / Background Vocals

10. Shoreline
This isn't my first song about a couple on opposite shorelines. "True Love” On my first album is about two people
who have never met and is set in present day. This song is set in 18th century France where the woman is and
out on the front of sea battle where the man is shipped off to. Somewhere cold. I think I may be the first guy to
inject the words “ma chérie” into a country song. I originally wrote this for a Céline Dion pitch but I don’t think she
ever got to hear it. This is my first duet that I have recorded on a studio album. Listen for the Irish Bouzouki.
Recording notes ~ Shoreline
This song really held up the whole album from completion. I had everything done but this song. I just couldn't
find the right girl to sing the female part. There are so many amazing vocalists but I wanted someone foreign and
exotic for this song; French in a perfect world. I ended up casting a friend who used to sit in at my old full band
jam in Vegas. Vanessa Andrea. She was made for it. We recorded her vocal at Odds On Studio in Vegas so it
really was two people on opposite ends of the earth since I recorded my part in Nashville.

Andrea Zonn - Fiddle
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach – Grand Piano
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Irish Bouzouki
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers - Lead Vocal/Background Vocals
Vanessa Andrea - Lead Vocal/Background Vocals

11. Naturally High
I woke up early once and strapped on my running shoes. I said to myself as I ran, "This is better than the best
beer." It was that runner’s high that you get. It really is amazing! Everything looks so bright and new like you
are looking at the trees for the first time. I wasn’t in the greatest shape and had gone two or three miles but I felt
so damn good that I kept running. I wrote that song that same day and made the character an Oklahoma College
Student – kind of a fraternity house kid who decides for once not to party with his buddies that particular Saturday
night. He hits the sack early and reads a few short stories by Mark Twain before waking up at 5am, stepping over
the people passed out on the couch, and hitting the countryside. I think I was reading Mark Twain’s "Roughing it"
at the time. "The Oklahoma sky is big and blue and bright... I forgot how beautiful life is." I used to be one of
those drunken college kids. I wish I would have realized then that life is so much better without the booze. Then
again I would probably be some attorney or power broker instead of a broke mangy transient songwriter.

Recording notes ~ Naturally High.
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards/Organ
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar/Mandolin/Banjo
Chris Heers - Harmonica/Background Vocals

Trivia: This is the favorite song of some of my earliest supporters who would come see me rain or shine when I
was playing solo, my long distance dirty runner girls who think nothing of waking up at 5am and hitting the open
desert for a brisk twenty mile run. These are the types of hard-core strong women who inspired the characters in
this album. They are strong like bull. I keep threatening to run with them.

12. The Matador
This song came out of a riff on an old Spanish flamenco guitar I was dinking around with. Out of nothing but a
blank piece of paper. The Matador is one of my oldest songs never recorded on a studio album, just about ten
years old. I was a finalist in the Dallas Song Contest with it in 2005. I was reading a lot of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
at the time and some of his magic realism style rubbed off into this story. I was reading his “One Hundred Years
of Solitude”. I was also concurrently re-reading “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway which led me to
study some of the great Matadors referenced in the story. One of the most famous of that tradition took his own
life when told by his doctor that he would certainly die if he continued to do all the things he loved; namely, booze,
cigars, women, bullfighting, riding his horse etc. He ended up, as the popular story goes, going to his villa and
partying like a rock star for a while with all of the above before shooting himself. *
I thought about how cool it would have been for that Matador to have gone back in the ring one more time; letting
the bull win on purpose. Better karma and a hell of a show! The Matador in this song, mid 60's and riddled with
the ailments his lifestyle has brought upon him. His “blindness” is his alcoholism combined with the loss of his
ability to create his art (Hemingway’s shock treatments which made him lose his memory and led him to suicide
came to mind). Still this Matador knows that even in his “blind” state he can make one more go of a bull that
wants to kill him and he does just that while the fans erupt. "The crowd they never love you more than when you
say goodbye.”
I am not saying it is right or wrong what this Matador did. Only the “Angels in sombreros” know. I would have
chosen the booze, cigars, and hookers but that’s just me. Like Al Pacino says in Scent of a Woman, “Now I have
come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never
took it. You know why? It was too damn hard”
Trivia: The great bullfights of Spain started with Trumpet. I called Trumpet ace Steve Patrick, one of the best in
the world who happened to be in the neighborhood. You have to love Nashville. With no notice he rolled into my
session with a few trumpets and took us all into the bullring.
I painted the Toro on the album cover early 2014. I paint fast until I feel something then I stop. Like the other
characters in the song it all ends up working out for the Toro in the end. He has this expression like Robert
Redford had at the end of the movie “The Candidate” when he shockingly wins the presidential election. “What
now?” You will notice that on page 10 in the insert, the Toro meeting The Cactus is now free of the banderillas
that he was injured with on the cover. The Road Ahead Shines.

Recording notes ~ The Matador
John Gardner - Drums/Percussion
David Francis - Bass
Jeff Roach - Keyboards
Rob McNelley - Electric Guitars/Background Vocals
Pat McGrath – Flamenco Guitar
Steve Patrick - Trumpet
Tammy Pierce - Background Vocals
Chris Heers – Vocals
Sara Emily Parish – Background Vocals

13. The Cactus
This song would not be on the album if it had not been for "Sarah the Butterfly" on my last album. The only song
that could possibly be weirder than Sarah the Butterfly is this song. Butterfly turns into baby... yeah but what
about a man turning into a friggin cactus? Both songs were not intended to be released but they kept nagging
me. Both songs were also originally written in a stream of councoiousness. "Then an angel with a Rolex took his
hand and said Joe you're a busy man...” I did this song in one take changing things slightly. My original lyric had
a lizard in it as well as a snake. Not sure what happened to the lizard. It is purposely sparse with simply acoustic
guitar and accordion. I thought about going into the Sonoran Desert with a field recorder to capture the sounds of
the night but there just aren’t many unless it is raining.

Trivia about The Cactus:
I was drinking when I wrote it.

Jeff Roach - Accordian
Pat McGrath - Acoustic Guitar
Chris Heers - Vocal

For complete lyrics visit Chris Heers' official website

"Western Stars" (Debut Indie Studio Album)
"Dirt Rich" (Single - USA MusicRow CountryBreakout)
"Dirt Rich" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Cow or Cowboy" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Beyond" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Happy Thought" (Single - USA MusicRow CountryBreakout)
"Nowhere Train" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Sarah the Butterfly" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"The Road Ahead Shines" (Studio Album release date 1-16-15)
“Chris Heers Songs an Stories Live volume 1” (TBA)

*Best Country Album Nominee 9th annual Independent Music Awards
*Winner Robert K. Oermann Music Row Magazine Discovery award
*USA Songwriting Competition “Your Son” best country song finalist
*Dallas Songwriting Competition “The Matador” finalist
*Music Row Power Chart Debut winner for “Dirt Rich”
*#1 song in Europe/Australia for “Cow or Cowboy” (Hotdisc)
*#3 song In Europe/Australia for “Beyond” (Hotdisc)
*#12 song in Europe/Australia for “Dirt Rich” (Hotdisc)
#2 Country Album Internet airplay (Top 50 Internet Roots Report 2010)
*Top 100 Single USA for “Dirt Rich” (CountryBreakout Chart)

#2 position Roots Music Airplay Report (Western Stars Album)
*Top 100 Single USA for “Happy Thought” (Country Breakout)
#12 song in Europe/Australia for Sarah The Butterfly (Hotdisc) 10/2011
Writer/Co-Producer - Sammy Steele - Songs From the Third Cactus 2012 Indie Release
"Dirt Rich" included on Country Dance 2 for Wii (Holidays 2011)
"Dirt Rich" included on Country Dance All-Stars for the XBOX KInect 3/2012
4 Songs from "Western Stars" included in the Motion Picture "Be Strong Be Naked"
Writer/Co-Producer – Hunter Sealy – Debut EP (3/2015 release)

(Selected press, radio, and listener quotes pasted from – Music – Press/Reviews)

"When I hear the words Dirt, Wheat, and NFR in the same album I figger the songwriter once
worked for a living!"
Baxter Black - cowboy poet and recovering songwriter (Arizona)

"Fabulous, we need more like him"
Marie Crichton, BBC Radio (UK)

“He’s a farmer who is thankful for what little he has.”
“Dirt Rich” is such a clever concept it’s amazing that nobody has written this before.
Robert K. Oermann - Music Row Magazine (Nashville)

—Chris goes two for two. I loved his “Dirt Rich” single, and this one is even catchier. Over an acoustic track and a steady tempo, he lends his sturdy, soulful voice to a lyric about facing hard times by gazing at the family who loves him. Very tender and winning.
Robert K. Oermann - Music Row News 4-28-2010 (Nashville)

"People are calling in about "Sarah the Butterfly". It's truly one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
It has so many different meanings."
John Burrows, Radio Port Phillip 3RPP (Australia)

"Sarah the Butterfly makes me cry everytime. EVERYTIME! Damn you butterfly."
Kyl Myers (Utah)

“I listened to your whole CD on my way to interruptions..and when It got to Sarah the Butterfly... I cried (its a girl thing) When I heard your CD the first time , I did not give it the credit it was due...AWESOME...I am so glad I bought those extra CDs for my friends and family I know they will love it as much as I do...Thanks keep them coming.
Sandra Dee Skill (Las Vegas)

“Damn it’s good. Really like your music.”
Jim Jenkins (WAGS Radio South Carolina)

"Hell this is too much I have to give Chris a 10 - really like his work"
Al Watts, Collingwood Radio, (Australia)

One word "Great"
Paddy McArdle, WOW FM Radio, (Australia)

"Brilliant piece of work"
Lucien Knapen, Radio Ariane, (Belgium)

"If Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard wrote songs, this is what they would sound like.
Chris Heers writes in Technicolor."
Don Resh - Screenwriter (Las Vegas)

"Western Stars garnered Chris a DISCovery Award from Nashville music critic Robert K. Oermann, and
that, my friends, is huge. The album is die-hard country, and Chris went about it in all the right ways."
Tyge O'Donnell - The Opening Acts Music Blog (Nashville - Las Vegas)

…A throwback country singer with shaggy blonde hair who mixes the earthy Americana of Steve Earle with a contemporary Nashville sheen and a touch of bluegrass and folk rock
Jason Bracelin, Las Vegas Review Journal

"What a debut! Fantastic"
Roddy Bayne, Linedance DJ, (UK)

"Good blue collar country. Heers pitches his music somewhere in between Alan Jackson and the
late Chris LeDoux as he gets to the core of the deal."
Maurice Hope, RocknReel Magazine, (UK)

"He is one to watch for the future"
Colin Thorpe, Erewash Radio, (UK)

"Great powerful country"
Per Rodal, Radio Midt-Norge, (Norway)

Jean-Claude Michelon, Radio Grogne, (France)

"Super Lyrics"
Peter Anderl, ORF Radio, (Austria)

"Very impressive debut – I hope to hear more from Chris in the future"
Michael Schroeter, Radio Herford, (Germany)

"If this is Chris Heers first album, I really can't wait to see what’s next!! This is pure,
honest country. It’s not often I hear an album once and find myself singing a song from it."
Great stuff.” N. Bennett (Nevada)

"Quite like this, well done"
John Brookfield, Pathfinder Magazine, (UK)

"Chris really does make you sit up and take notice."
Stuart Cameron, Radio Borders, (UK)

“I have to tell you that the song “Sarah the Butterfly” on this sampler is one of the songs that will remain with me forever. When I listened to the sampler there were a stack of tracks to listen to and review with my comments as you can imagine; it’s not the only sampler that I get sent to me.
A question. What led you to creating that song? What was the inspiration, and where the heck have you been?”

Big Al Watts Presenter of Big Al's Thythm Roundup on PBS 106.7 fm radio Australia

Itunes listener press quote
“Your voice is like… a warm blanket you just want to wrap yourself in… that was my very first unedited feeling/thought! Wow!

Chris’ solo show is like a cross between Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Ray Lamontagne
Justin Furstenfeld – Blue October



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