Wood Burning Stove EP

by Joe Vickers

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released April 30, 2017

Recorded at Fluff & Gravy Studios in Portland, OR in February 2017.

Engineered by John Shepski and Eli Savage
Mixed by John Shepski, Juniana Lanning & Joe Vickers
Mastered by Brock McFarlane

Acoustic guitar, lyrics, vocals and piano by Joe Vickers
Collobaration with Andrea McBeth on Track 4

Additional players:

Anna Tivel (fiddle & vocals) on Track 1
Paul Brainard (pedal steel guitar) on Track 1 and 2


all rights reserved



Joe Vickers Drumheller, Alberta

Farmer by day, troubadour by night, Joe Vickers has logged countless miles on both his combine and tour van. His music explores the human spirit singing of the triumphs and tragedies of everyday life on the prairies.

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Track Name: Wood Burning Stove
At my window, skies turn grey
The northern winds blows right through this old frame
The garden has died, soon the snow is going to fly
As I wait by I get the notes I wrote for the woodburning stove

I sit at the mirror of the underwood
Confronting my fears, I finally faced them for good
Now the damper is set for these letters to be sent
And while the kindling is wet I’ll use the notes I wrote for the woodburning stove

Why don’t you come around anymore?
It’s day like these I need you the most.
I keep myself warm in a love that growing cold
by burning the notes I wrote for the woodburning stove

All the unfinished poems are the scattered ashes
Of an empty home I must abandon
It’s clear that I have to set a good match to
All the things I’m attached to
In these notes I wrote for the woodburning stove

I know why you don’t come around anymore.
I’ve been in denial and that’s forsure
The reason I have such a hard time letting go
of all the notes that I wrote for the woodburning stove.
Track Name: Bible Belt
Crying into your hands, you were sitting
On the curb outside of St. Anthony’s
Your white dress was fitting
Tighter than the Father gripped the rosary

I gave you a thrift store ring
It had to be a shotgun; no other way
We bit our lips and they clipped our wings
What’s the use of flying when living in this cage?

Oh, we weep when the river plays
Folding the cards that we were dealt
Seventeen years old and showing
beat by the buckle of the bible belt

The emptiness of these eyes
Reflects the space within my chest
While the smiles of a thin disguise
Are put on to match our Sunday Best

At night we dream in separate rooms
Then awake to the scripture of Joshua -
To serve Him in the home is not a chore
It’s my cross-stitched duty hanging on the wall

Oh I am struck by the guilt and shame
Longing for a love I’ve never felt
In silence I endure the pain
Beat by the buckle of the Bible Belt

All my life I was a failure
Mother said to act more lady-like
The small town gossip whispered
“That’s John and Mary’s girl, I hear she is a dike”

They saw my necktie and my crewcut
But could not see that identities differ
And this tough skin of mine had enough
I came out and changed my name to mister

Oh, my assignment betrayed me
I fled to where the redwoods dwell
A man born into this body
Free from the buckle of the bible belt

We were the whipping boys, we were beaten
People like us did not live in Eden
Their wrath covered us in welts
Beat by the buckle of the bible belt
Track Name: Ten Year Reunion
Seemed kind of special seeing you in Wayne
Your ages shows a little but to me you look the same
As that innocent dropout in Feburary of ‘05
You turned twenty-eight last week but you’re celebrating tonight

Showing me things we could have shared
Oh why the need to even go there?
Showing me things we could have shared
Kid's got your green eyes and dark hair

Last time I seen him he was at the Legion Hall
His arm in a sling, his fist no match for the brick wall
Said his old lady just left him, she couldn’t keep up to his pace
She moved on pretty quick, there’s a new truck parked outside her place

And he’s paying off the fines while working on a second DUI
Oh he’s still paying off the fines and it’s only the patch that’s running dry

The highway west of town is a son of a bitch
It’s a painful reminder - three white crosses in the ditch
That rock and roll lifestyle was a youthful attraction
To live fast and die young was fine until it finally happened

Now my eyes can’t even look
at the endpoint of that joyride they took
My eyes can’t even look
at their final words in the yearbook

And I hear
Not many showed up for the Ten Year
But they racked up a big tab
Left unpaid with a dine and dash

After the cops crashed the party
And hauled Holmen to the tank
He got in a fight again
Seems little has changed
Track Name: Andrea's Song
I turn the faucet on. I lock the bathroom door. The mirror turns to fog as my clothes fall to the floor. The water on my skin gives the warmth my body is missing. The faithful fan spins and spins loud enough he can’t listen to the sound of me crying on the shower floor. I know there’s no denying I've been here before.

I felt the distance in his touch and witness denial in the time elapsing. I learnt love alone is not enough to keep this tired heart from collapsing. Within him, she is no longer hidden. I see it now in the entries written upon the surface of the mirror pane. The fog lifts to show her standing in my place.

In the wake of me crying on the shower floor. I know there’s no denying I will spend more time counting seconds between each breath I take. The steam in my lungs give reason to escape. When I no longer need to rest my head on my knees, I will turn the faucet off. I will leave.
Track Name: Ephemeral
I caught myself looking at pictures of you again
I am bent like the trees on the coast, forged by the winds
And stunned by the view from the top of the bluff
A photograph never does justice but this is good enough

What am I doing here?
I hesitate though my gut insists
Love has no explanation, it simply exists

I caught myself reading the letters I wrote
The ones I planned on planting in the pockets of your winter coat
I cautioned if the trail had an easy escape
If we were past the point of getting out unscathed

Because when you live in the north
You’re bound to get snow in your shoes
And when you kiss a songwriter
There’s going to be a song about you

And if you listen carefully
While treading across the first freeze
You’ll hear the crackle of the wood stove
Burning your memory

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