Crooked Lines

by Tim Cheesebrow

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released March 24, 2016

Drums: Mike Arturi
Bass: Ryan Hays
Guitar: Steve Sullivan
Banjo: Phil Nusbaum
Mandolin: Pete McCauley
Keyboards: Joe Peterson
Pedal Steel: John Schjolberg
Vocals: Sarah Morris
Vocals: Peter Mayer
Vocals and Guitar: Tim Cheesebrow

Production and Engineering: Brad Matala
Recorded and Mastered at Essential Sessions Studios
Distributed by Loud Folk Records

Artwork: Sarah Schneemann



all rights reserved


Tim Cheesebrow St Paul, Minnesota

Tim Cheesebrow has dedicated his life to making music. Described by Northfield News as “a critically acclaimed Minnesota favorite,” Tim’s brand of rootsy Americana has a distinctly midwestern flavor with singable, folky melodies, interesting guitar work, and down-to-earth lyrics that tell a story. ... more

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Track Name: Crooked Line
When I was a young boy, I’d walk the highland hill
Up there the busy city life seemed to stand so still.
No-one looked black or white, no-one right or wrong
I saw no sinners, I saw no saints, but there’s a bit of both in all

One step at a time, we walk a crooked line
towards a place where we all treat each other right
We will stumble, we will fall, but we’ll get there one and all
If we keep feet on that crooked line

i couldn’t tell from that height which were rich or poor
I couldn’t see what they kept behind their closed front doors
I saw a thousand people and just as many chains
after my time on Highland hill, I would never be the same.

It’s hard to hate somebody when you see them from such heights
So why do we insist on on it when we can look them in the eye?

When I was a young man I’d protest my first war
the one that’s now been going for 15 years or more
We went in with our biggest guns, but didn’t quite know why
Thinking they’re not us, somehow made it seem alright.
Track Name: Give Love
You got a million things rolling round in your brain
it’s enough to make you just a little insane
and it’s hard to keep it together until the end of the day

We got 6 billion people who are feeling this way
trying to keep all our different demons at bay
but with a simple act we can make it all seem okay

Give love, Give love
You don’t need a reason, it ain’t like there’s a season to
Give love, Give love
it won’t cost you a dime, to take a little time and give love

No it’s not a miracle as you’ll soon see
Our brains are just wired electro-chemically
To reward a little love with a hit of dopamine

It can be some pearly whites or just with a touch
It can be dancing with the girl you’ve been dreaming of
but this chemical release can change the world you see so much

It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important in this life
and there’s such an easy way that we can make it a better place
Track Name: Lullabye
Go now lay your head, upon my shoulder
Go now lay your head upon my shoulder
Go lay your head down, I’ll place kisses on your brow
so that you know right now how much I love you

Go and catch me a star when you’re out flying
Go and catch you a star when you’re out flying
Go catch us each a star, we may need them later on
One to wish upon, and one to reach for

Go now close your eyes and know I’m with you
Go now close your eyes and know I’m with you
Go and close your eyes, feel your heartbeats fit in mine
I’ll be just outside until the morning
Track Name: Best I Can
There was once a time when life moved in straighter lines
I thought I knew my place, and still had time to do great things
but the more I learn, the less I know for sure

It seems I have the answers, but that is just an act
I don’t know if we’ll be alright, but say “we will” if you should ask
cause the more we grow the less I know for sure

Constantly I question my own worth
and wonder if I’ll make peace with this world
So when things get out of hand, and don’t turn out like we planned
Just remember that I’m doing the best I can….

There was once a day when we spent time in the sun
Now we’re working so much, the screen glow is close enough
The more we work, the more I wonder why

I wish there were a guiding star, but I’d settle for a map
to help us get through this life without falling through the cracks
every time I look up, we seem to lose the path

We used to laugh, we used to smile, We’ve been content, but it’s been awihile
We’re supposed to do what grows our souls, but I’m not sure what that means anymore.
Track Name: You Are My Everything
You’re the smell of coffee in the morning
You’re the sound of leaves on an Autumn night
I can’t conceive a tomorrow
Without you by my side

You’re the bells from the church on Sunday
You’re the silver in the light of a waxing moon
and if the ground ever let you go, you’d be right where you belong

You are my everything
there's a ghost of you in every song I sing
my hand was made just to wear your ring
you are my everything.

You’re the head of a rushing river
You’re the eye of a hurricane
You’re the wake of a comet as it sails the sea of space

You’re the dew on the grass at daybreak
You’re an agate buried in a beach of sand
It don’t matter where we go from here
As long as we go hand in hand
Track Name: No Regrets
As I lay half asleep in the shade of an old oak tree
a voice sounded suddenly and the old oak spoke to me

Said a hundred years I stood, let me tell you what I learned
No matter how much time you’ve had, it’s not enough in the end

So take a chance, get off that fence, have no regrets

All you’re life’s ahead of you, until it ain’t, that’s the truth
Open doors will start to close, and you’ll wish you’d walked through them before

You get no gold, unless you chase a rainbow, have no regrets

I think you’ll find when the end is in your view
It’s all the things that you didn’t do, that are haunting you….

When I found myself awake with a feeling I can’t shake
Like I’m an empty cup, like I wanna be filled up.

But there’s no wine if you don’t plant a vine and have no regrets
There’ll be no wine unless I plant a vine, be no gold unless I chase a rainbow
Time to take a chance and get off that fence….have no regrets.
Track Name: The Big Score
Bet ‘em high, roll ‘em low, Bet ‘em high, roll ‘em low
Let it all ride, just need to get one big score.
Bet ‘em high, roll ‘em low, Bet ‘em high, roll ‘em low
Just one more roll of the dice and I’ll go.

They let me go, ‘aint gonna’ work no more today, son
I don’t care ‘cause I got plans to make my own way
I’ll lay down this paycheck and if I make the right bet
I’ll never have to work a day again...

I won a hundred dollars playing blackjack
I won a hundred more on slot machines
Then I made my way to where all the big shots play
I ain’t leaving until I got it made

3 hours in I’ve got all of my chips cashed
Playing the next round with my car keys
They say if I’m short on dough I can go and talk to Joe
Says he’ll keep me rolling till I can pay off the loan

They’re coming mmm..knock, one at the front door
knock, knock, two at the back door,
knock, knock knock, not gonna’ let you in.

They’re firing mmm....bang, one at the front door
bang, bang, two at the back door
bang, bang, bang and that one done me in.

I just tried to make the best of my sitiuation
I just wanted a change in my routine
I wish I’d never stumbled in, to that house of woe and sin
the big score didn’t work out quite so well for me
Track Name: Sign Right Here
I wanted a new start, moved to the city
where everything is fast and everyone is busy
Trying to find a way to make my name

I put in my time, worked 5 to 9
Met a few guys seemed to to be doing alright
and I asked them what it took to get to the top

All we need, is your soul in trade
You won’t use it anyways
It’s the price we all have to pay
It’ll be your favorite mistake
Just sign right here

I met a smooth man he’s some kind of agent
He knows everybody and won’t keep me waiting
I got what it takes and he’ll make me a star

He said “You want the bright lights, name on a sign
and all the little things that say you made the big time
I can make it happen for you
You just leave it to me.”

I know no good can ever come of this, I know
and the devil looks better when you got no options, I know
Well we all make sacrifice, and we all make compromise
and maybe this is mine...just show me where to sign.
Track Name: I'll Carry You can get you down, down so low
You can’t remember being warm, like the winter’s all you know
Like you’re lost on the ocean, without an oar
It’s hard to think about dry land when you’re busy filling holes.

I want you to know, you’ve got nothing to fear
Just call out my name, and you know I’ll be here

When the wind is raging all ‘round you and the river seems too wide
I’ll be the ship to carry you to the other side

some times...when I’m feeling let down, down hearted baby
I wonder where have all our friends gone, gone to lately?
What we don’t know, we don’t know because they won’t say
When they’re alone, they’re thinking the same thing.

You got to remember, you’re not as alone as you feel
When you’re staring at the wall, your own shadow’s all that you see
So turn around, turn around, turn around...
Track Name: Headlines
I learned on the news today
all the bad things that are on their way
bugs and bombs and some disease
and the ever crashing economy

later on the news that night
two religions face to fight
my home is filled with toxic fumes
and I’ll be safe if I stay tuned

The news I read is all overblown
and the seeds of fear are all that they’re sowing
If who to hate is all they have to show
Then I won’t, I won’t read their headlines….

So put down that paper and turn off that screen
It’ll rot your brain quick as you please
They don’t care about wrong or right
They just want to see their ratings high

I like the good old-fashioned way
Talk to people and hear what they say
Since what you know determines what you see
We should be more careful about what we read
Track Name: Take My Hand
Early in the morning, when you were only 3
deep in conversation, as deep as it could be
You told me all the people you would someday be
and here’s what you told me

You’d one day be a painter, making works of art
one day be a doctor to fix a broken heart
you’d climb aboard a ship and sail around the sun
but to whoever you become, I said

Take my hand, and don’t let go.
Hold it tight, when things get rough
It may get smaller, as you grow
but it will always guide you home

Many years later, when you were 42
you came to break the news, your wife was leaving you
You didn’t know the reason, or what you could do
It was the end of all you knew
I said

and now I’m near the end at the age of 89
and you’ve been here now for days, you wouldn’t leave my side
I told you I was scared and you readied your reply
you put your hand in mine
you said

Take my hand, I won’t let go.
I’ll hold it tight, you won’t be alone
It may seem large, now that I’m grown
but it will hold you till you’re home
Track Name: Better This Way
I was 22 when I bought these 40 acres.
It had a barn, bright red for all to see.
I built it with my hands from rough hewn timber
and it housed my sweetest memories

I took a wife, her name was Mary
with hair as black as the coal that kept us warm
It was in the barn we had our first child
while taking shelter from a storm

It was a storm that came this last December
that pulled a old pine out from the ground
It split the beam and like a puppet with cut strings
the barn came crashing down

I think I like you more now that you’re busted
It seems life has left us both a little rusted
I remember the days when we could stand up straight
but honestly I like us both better this way.

I went out at dawn to see the wreckage
I wondered if I’d feel torn down too
As the sun came up, and hit it just right
like it began its life anew

The barn will slowly gather dust
and I feel it in my bones so have I
but we have stories to tell about a life lived well
for those who have the time

Mary passed now 5 years ago
and my son has moved away
My hands can’t do what they did before
So I try to remember those days

That barn and I had been through hard times
the wood, my face are weathered just the same
If I could forgive that barn for giving way
I could forgive myself for just the same.