A Duo of One

by James Wyatt

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about

I wanted to get something done.

I always have a hard time finding people to play with in bands. It's nearly impossible. I've never found a writing partner. Pushing 40 I knew it was time to do something or just shut up about it. So I settled in with a gaming computer, old copy of Mixcraft (version 6), and a new Yeti Blue mic. That was the recording gear. For simplicity's sake, I decided to go just acoustic guitar and no electronic effects.

I played all the instruments myself and wrote every song except "Groovy Kind of Love" myself. Everything here is live acoustic. Some songs are just me and a guitar, and some are almost "full band" via overdubs and rerecording. I played guitar, piano, drums, harmonica, melodica, ukulele, cajon, shakers, tambourine, and more. I added a few effects in post to help select instruments or voices stand out, but that's all. I took my time and hammered it all out in my "Lair" across the summers of 2016 and 2017.

The music reflects my thoughts from those times. Feelings of isolation are common throughout as I spend a lot of time by myself. Most of the time it's great, but clearly I want more friends and haven't figured that part out yet. There are also happy notes embracing who I think I am, what I like in life, and fond memories. I didn't set out to write anything specific but decided to let the muse guide me. I have unfinished songs from these sessions I opted to keep for the future that didn't quite mesh with the flow of this group of tunes.

Naturally I had to include some things for the love of my life, Stacy. She's kept me sane and dealt well with me, even when I was hard to reach. The song I wrote for her was easy since there's so many things she is to me.

I'm proud of the result. I don't expect many listens but it is recorded and done, and I hope to continue on a follow up album using electric guitars and synthesizers.

I hope you enjoy A Duo of One and again, thank you for listening.

-JPW

credits

released July 29, 2017

Photography by Melody Wyatt

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about

James Wyatt Houston, Texas

I now work alone, puttering with what I have and record to computer. I love writing but have a hard time actually recording. It's a fun process, even if no one really hears these songs.

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Track Name: Despite My Best Intentions
I don’t know why I can’t say what I mean
I don’t know how I control all my dreams
They don’t control me
But I’m silent in both
Waiting for something the waiting continues
And still you stand by
But the gleam in your eye, is often a tear
I know I’m the cause, it’s always my fault

I know exactly what you want to hear
You wrote it all out for me on note cards
We rehearsed them aloud
But still I ignore
Sitting there silent, I stupidly continue
The sin of omission
Though you don’t fade, forgive and forgive
How long will you wait? How long will you wait?

What I traveled the world and came back just to see you?
Would that absolve me of my meager emotional contact?
Should we continually throw down and pick up,
Putting on band-aids and smiling fake smiling
Or is it possible, truly forgiving, means
Always repenting, and forging still onward?

Maybe I will grow out of this phase
Maybe I’ll wake up and you’ll get your change
You know I pray and I pray
Most every day
Promise myself, this time is different
You won’t ask again
For days it is better, though we both know I
Can’t hang in there long, old patterns repeating too soon
Too soon

Maybe it’s true, love does cover all?
Track Name: Elephant
It's been twelve days, and once again
in through the door strolls our oldest friend.
Jokes crash and burn, smiles fade away
nothing will help, so nothing we say.

So we dance around the elephant in the room
trying to avoid the impending doom.
Nervous hands, stare at the floor,
the elephant is here, and we'll dance some more.

We carry on, it might go away
though we know better, the same game we play.
Light for the kids, under grey cloud
eye contact gone, now much to proud.

So we dance around the elephant in the room
trying to avoid the impending doom.
Nervous hands, stare at the floor,
the elephant is here, and we'll dance some more.

No chance of joking, no words are spoken, peace talks have broken down.
Can't dance forever, time adds a stressor, hopeless endeavor now.
Shore up defenses, ignore all senses, hard consequences wait.
The pain is coming, no use in running, when's the first swing?

Gone for a while, never for good
laughter is back, we act as we should.
Smiles all around, but it never ends,
partner returns, and we'll dance again.

So we dance around the elephant in the room
trying to avoid the impending doom.
Nervous hands, stare at the floor,
the elephant is here, and we'll dance some more.
Track Name: C-Shaped House
Well I loved that time in the c-shaped house
Two front doors for the ins and outs
Running 'round 'neath the cap gun sky
Digital watch track the time fly by

Small door room, secret toys inside
Shower on hear the water rise
Pudding pops by the front wheeled gate
Fishing worms, yeah we played with bait

Here was the hideaway... there was a secret cave...
Maybe the mission base... sometimes a magic case...
Pause by the waterfall... hear the cicadas call...
Eat Ray's at the mall... we tried to do it all...

Boat shows always in summer time
Wood deck play and the warm shore line
Swing at the park and the merry-go-round
Checking the meters, say the numbers out loud

Plenty of cats, but just one dog
He'll chase the cousin down the hall
Grab a new cap from the closet door
Swim in the ice chest, then up for more

Here was the hideaway... there was a secret cave...
Maybe the mission base... sometimes a magic case...
Pause by the waterfall... hear the cicadas call...
Eat Ray's at the mall... we tried to do it all...
Track Name: Creepy Fan
Hey buddy, have you played this club before? I’m pretty
sure those are the same cargo shorts you wore.
Remember last time when you rocked that Rush song I didn’t
know all the words but did my best to sing along, because I

Know how tough it is to step outside the house, I’m pretty
Sure you appreciated each one of my shouts, though

I’m a creepy fan comin’ on a little strong, though I’m just
Being who I am even if it might be socially wrong and no I
Don’t mean to harm you, I just want to be the one to tell you
How well you’re doing your job.

About two weeks ago I saw you at HEB, that’s when I
noticed you buy the same brand conditioner as me
And when you Tweeted you were happily engaged I knew you’d
Love for me to start your gift registry page because

Who has got the time for all of these little tasks when you’re so
Busy entertaining us and making us laugh

I’m a creepy fan comin’ on a little strong, though I’m just
Being who I am even if it might be socially wrong and no I
Don’t mean to harm you, I just want to be the one to tell you
How well you’re doing your job.

I feel so safe at home in my man cave
online I’m witty, popular, and brave.
But when I venture out into meatspace,
I’ve got to realign my brain and reroll all my traits.

So next time I come and watch you perform,
yes I’ll deviate again from social norms
Might try to talk to you mid-set or not
So promise me, you’ll never call the cops!

I’m a creepy fan comin’ on a little strong, though I’m just
Being who I am even if it might be socially wrong and no I
Don’t mean to harm you, I just want to be the one to tell you
How well you’re doing your job.
Track Name: You Are
You are my favorite thing
You are so much fun
You are beautiful
You are the only one
You are all I see
You are everywhere
You are upside down
You are in my hair

You are the best part of my life... (you are...)
You are the best part of my life... (you are...)

You are everyday
You are up so high
You are mine all mine
You are for my eyes
You are personal
You are fashion sense
You are memeable
You are ticklish

You are the best part of my life... (you are...)
You are the best part of my life... (you are...)

You are my favorite thing
You are so much fun
You are beautiful
You are the only one
You are all I see
You are everywhere
You are upside down
You are in my hair
Track Name: Weather the Girl
Weather the girl, early each morning.
Sunshine face, hurricane warning.

Weather the girl, rises to greet you.
Perfect smile, dimples receive you.

How to prepare one’s self, for every encounter?
Late now uneven man, stalled summer shower.

Weather the girl, no day without her.
Happy to stay, eight on the hour.

Weather the girl, dressed for the feature.
Inside the home, never can reach her.

Prompting answers now, sleeting when you chose,
Silently squeezing hands, during the interviews.
Off for a local break, never the weekend crew.
Hailing from other lands, funneling once then through.
Track Name: Looked Good on Paper
It started as a simple plan
from a simple man
I'd take all the words and music from my mind
and make an album, release it online.

I'd play everything myself.
I'd have absolutely no assistance.
At the very least... it looked good on paper.

So I set about, writing while recording.
Summer was easy, and relatively quiet.
Pluck and strum, try different chords...
I'm far from professional, mostly learning as I went.
I found it cathartic. Liberating. Exciting.
Challenged myself, a lot of time spent in thought.
I don't expect anyone to buy this album.
But that's not why I wrote it.

I learned a lot about myself during this process.
It was unlike anything else I'd ever done.
Nothing eather shattering, or ground breaking,
and as cheesy as it sounds, it was a growing experience.

So if you're listening to this...
thank you.
Don't just plan something out in your mind.
Do it.
Just try it at least.
Regardless of how it looks on paper.
Track Name: A Duo of One
I’m a Mitchell, without, a Webb
I’m Daft, without, a Punk.

I don’t mean to sound like a pansy
I’m Linnell looking for my Flansy
I can’t be a duo on my own

I’m Wayne, without Garth
Snoopy, with no Woodstock
I’m Screech without a Zack,
I’m Riggs, with no Murtaugh

Would be great to share the bunk bed
I need a Troy to complete my Abed
I need help to make me carry on

Spock without a Kirk
J.D. without a Turk
Calvin without Hobbes
Phineas without Ferb

All alone can be quite scary
Living as Tom but without a Jerry
Second mind to drive in tandem
I’m a Jaime and I need an Adam
I can’t be a duo on my own