john r. williamson and the c'est la vies | maybe in a shade you don't know

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Bob Dylan Johnny Cash Late! Mississippi John Hurt

Album Links
MySpace Nexhit Tradebit PayPlay Apple iTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic GroupieTunes

More Artists From
United States - California - LA

Other Genres You Will Love
World: World Fusion Blues: Acoustic Blues Moods: Type: Sonic
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

maybe in a shade you don't know

by john r. williamson and the c'est la vies

john r. williamson and the c’est la vies, who perform original toe-tapping salt-of-the-earth roots music, call to mind the soul-stirring stuff of Mississippi John Hurt, Bob Dylan, and the late great Johnny Cash.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 30% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. On and On and On
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
4:26 $0.99
2. Could Be Both
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
3:25 $0.99
3. Maybe in a Shade You Don’t Know
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
1:59 $0.99
4. What’s It Like to Spend Your Life Like That?
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
2:04 $0.99
5. Winter Creek
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
3:16 $0.99
6. For You, For Me, For Time
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
2:02 $0.99
7. Coming Loose
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
2:51 $0.99
8. Thirsty Grass
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
2:57 $0.99
9. Maybe Now
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
2:56 $0.99
10. There Where Our Hearts Are So…
John R. Williamson & the c'est la vies
7:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
the new cd is great. special thanks to daniel s. mccoy and ron
polito for making it happen. it's really positive and meditative.
i think it is the perfect album for these troubled times. it brings
you into the zone. kind of like club med, but available more often.

here are some thoughts about the tender songs on the new album:

first, i would like to say that upon relistening to these songs, i
realize that it is a deeply intimate album. many of the songs seem to be conjured exclusively to be sung for my wife and what you are hearing is my heart and my soul and the longings for completeness that existed in my life.

i sought and found great comfort in another. i am still myself. i am still weak and imperfect and fragile, but now i am enjoying the peace of knowing that my heart need never beat so loudly anymore.


on and on and on - this is the beginning of wisdom. recognize who and where people are and commit yourself to meeting them there. it is the bravest thing we can do. it is the most terrifying. it is the most comforting. and the beauty is the diversity of humanity.


could be both - this country was established on principles of
thievery. we stole the land because we didn't accept the principles of those already on it--that the land was bigger than us and that we were all squatters. when we approach relationships in the same way, we are setting ourselves up for the ill effects of possessiveness.


maybe in a shade you don't know - at times, we operate on the
assumption that what is impossible to know is that which separates us from the beasts. we build our common knowledge in a land of lures and bad nutrition. what if our saving thought was a new thought that we had never had? what if love were more imploring than we had thought? what if we had strayed from the two greatest commandments?


what's it like to spend your life like that? - a criticism that i
am aware of is that i ask too many questions in my songs. i can
live with that. what would worry me more would be that i am
becoming too smug. the questions help us focus and reset our
perspective. they are much more satisfying than the answers. i
was in the airport a few months ago and cnn was on. for 30 minutes, there was no concrete news. only shallow speculations. what's dangerous is that we start to accept those 30 minutes and let them turn into 24-7.


winter creek - this song was written in wrightwood, ca, while on a men's retreat with st. john's episcopal church. it was one of those retreats that allowed for lots of time to reflect and draw and play the guitar and so on. i was off by myself much of the time, which is sometimes very satisfying. i was sitting in an abandoned campsite and looking at all of the evidence that winter had come. i walked in a dry creek bed. still, i could see other things that pointed to life and the saving stuff of the birds and squirrels. life was continuing, through another season. it was not death, but something beyond that.


for you, for me, for time – who am i kidding, many of these songs
were written with my wife, ikuko, in mind. but that doesn't make these notes very interesting to you, does it. i like the me-you relationship songs. the immediacy of singing a song directly for her. and you can hear the song and feel that it is the ultimate secret or confession and all of this is intended for human ears. it is good to be heard. it is good to speak the truth in love and to live a life full of promise and hope. the great apex of the human experience is in sharing ourselves with the one we love.


coming loose – forget what you've been told. we'd all like to do that and break the rules and defy gravity. the more we conform, the more we long for another form, another vehicle, a new height. this song is not about a looseness that defies sensibility, but more of a freedom to enjoy simple things in ways that defy monotony. of course, you may have your own ideas and part of the beauty of this is that you can interpret freely.


thirsty grass – look down at the water and your sorrow will direct you to the heavens. the clouds will open and suddenly there is an epiphany. you realize that the needs of nature are in harmony with your own needs. you see the truth of it all. are you sad? i've been sad, too. we are all sad


maybe now – the possible is the end of the impossible. when we start to see what might happen, we begin to lose the tension born of focusing on what isn't happening. this song is about encouraging the exploration of what might be the beginning of a great future. i wrote this song, while housesitting for the troxels, wishing my life were different. waiting for my girlfriend of 4 years (who was in another continent), hoping we would have a future together. the story has a happy ending. we survived the distance and have been living together as husband a wife since early 2003. but i won't forget the loneliness of that time and how it was necessary for me to wait for the one i love.


there where our hearts are so – the melody of this song speaks to me. it is in a song like this that i can see that my priorities
have changed as a songwriter. i used to convolute the life out of
the songs, mainlining poetry. this did the melody no good. it
sucked the joy out of the songs. sometimes it made them
unsingable. fortunately, the simplicity of melody is so enticing
that it gets to drive most of the time now. i love robert's earthy
harmonies here. and i'm happy with my guitar work, which sounds like a friendly-wrapped present.


war wound - (live broadcast recorded on kspc fm). i
wrote this song years ago. 1994, i think. but it is shameful that
war seems to be a reoccurring theme in this violence-begetting
violence world. we think we are improving and then we look at
something as ugly as imperialism and we realize that progress has not yet begun. it begins with peace and caution and diplomacy and respect. wouldn't it be nice if we were teaching respect to the leaders of tomorrow rather than telling them what to do and getting angry at them when they don't?



to write a review

Philip Christman

a quietly revelatory cycle of songs written as the California singer/songwriter
John R. Williamson
Of Love and Politics

“This album is my ‘Song of Songs,’” says independent artist John R. Williamson. He’s describing Maybe in a Shade You Don’t Know, a quietly revelatory cycle of songs written as the California singer/songwriter fell in love with his wife Ikuko. Like Solomon, the independent Williamson writes with an ornate simplicity and sparseness. Witness the album’s title track, a gleaming raga over which Williamson’s three-line lyric sounds infinitely suggestive. Elsewhere, he meditates on what he describes as his “continuing frustrations with the leadership of this country,” but stays oblique enough to avoid the paintball effect of protest songwriting.

“My reactions may seem a bit mild, unless you read them as trying to help people to see that love can actually exist in a time of such hatred and ignorance,” he says. As always, his lo-fi, homemade aesthetic suggests an amalgam of Yo La Tengo and Thomas Merton.

Williamson grew up playing music, and began recording during his years as part of the “underground contingent” at evangelical Azusa Pacific University in California. “[We] used to hole up in these practice rooms with our tape deck and create,” he says. He’s made several albums with artists including Mandy Troxel and Robert Deeble, while earning plaudits from T Bone Burnett and Victoria Williams: “She wrote a nice letter to let me know that she was enjoying painting to it,” he says.

Chris Yoder

Cross of Folk, Blues and all accustic
Has one of my favorite songs from John R. Williamson "On and on and on". Enjoy!