EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD ONE [listen]
(Jim Fastiggi and Ray Chesna)
Get your chin up off the ground, Don't you let life get you down. Get up, fight another round, Every day above ground is a good one. Don't be caught up in a rage, Things will get much better with age. Tomorrow turn a brand new page, Every day above ground is a good one. Don't be shook by idle threats, Don't look back, have no regrets. The only thing that regrets gets Is six feet under, pushin' up daisies. All you cats, and all you frails, Don't be chewin' on your nails. In the light your problem pales, Every day above ground is a good one.
Well if you like to hear the guitar, Lemme tell you a little story 'Bout the way it was not long ago. Back before the CD, back before the TV, Only rich folks had a radio. You had to make your own music, Put your fingers to the wood. Don't have to be Segovia, Do the best that you could. The only the thing that matters is It makes you feel good. That's how it was not long ago. Well after church let dinner settle, Maybe set and talk a little, Dad would reach and tune the old guitar. If the music wasn't fancy Uncle John get kinda antsy, And he'd get his fiddle from the car. The neighbor gal she'd see 'em And she'd run to get her mandolin. A few hellos and then they'd start. Well, first they'd pick out "Old Joe" Then proceed through every tune they know, Playin' music from the heart. They loved to make their own music, Put their fingers to the wood. Don't have to be Segovia, Do the best that you could. The only the thing that matters is It makes you feel good. That's how it was not long ago. So if you don't play, it's about time, Don't let the pleasure here be all mine. Don't put it off another day. First you learn your three chords, Then four or five, you can't get bored. Pretty soon you're on your way. And you can make your own music, Put your fingers to the wood. Don't have to be Segovia, Do the best that you could. The only thing that matters is It makes you feel good. That's how it was not long ago.
(Rick Nestler, Ray Chesna)
Well there's a dirty little bar-room, on the other side of town, And everything inside of it is stained tobacco brown. At the bottom of a hill, easy to stumble down, And it's the only place for miles and miles around. But the drinks are cheap and the music is loud, And the smoke hangs 'round the bar-room, in a blue hazy cloud. And at times I feel at home like a king upon his throne, Settin' on my bar-stool, all alone. Well I can feel just like a king, almost every night. The barmaid, she's a friendly gal, and she treats me alright. I just set here with my drink in hand, surveyin' the land, Waitin' for my honky-tonk queen to sit by my side. But the drinks are cheap... Now the peasants in this kingdom, they live on barley, hops and malt, And the ones that swill tequila, may forget about the salt. But they're happy bein' free; bein' what they be. I could only wish the same for you and me. But the drinks are cheap...
David Chamberlain is producer and host of Atlanta's "Sagebrush Boogie," a program of Western Swing on WRFG-FM 89.3, and is a rabid guitar fan, too!
Ray Chesna is a friend of mine, and I'll be the first to admit why. It was the guitar playing that did it, I guess. When someone comes along who splendidly picks just about every guitar style, what can you do, ignore him?
I didn't, and neither have a lot of others, folks who feel the blues, get high and lonesome to bluegrass, or tap their feet when the guitar player swings. Ray has played and taught many kinds of music in his career, as good musicians will. He's spent much time playing burn-down-the-barn, flat-topped bluegrass as fingerpicking his way through the maze of a country blues. Ray has also squawked his way through many a smoky rockabilly set armed only with his battered Fender Telecaster and years ago he even did time in a Ukrainian dance band!
The product of years of listening, and of calloused practice is here in your hands. In Everyday Above Ground, Ray Chesna draws from the vast American musical palette to offer a rich and personal body of music. Just don't expect any Ukrainian tunes this time out!
This, Ray Chesna's first album, is the inevitable meeting of veteran picker and the studio. As producer and guitar visionary, Ray is very pleased with this, the result of years of dues-paying and practice. I know that ya'll will find Every Day Above Ground a joyful discovery.
David Chamberlain, 1995