Back At Your Door

by Matty Charles

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about

Back At Your Door is the third solo release by Matty Charles. This record reflects a spareness of style that calls to mind major songsters like Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson. There is also a poetic sensibility reminiscent of Leonard Cohen with a little Paul Simon thrown into the mix.

This album begins with the catchy bounce of, “Love’s Lost Quarter”, a song inspired by Charles’ experience of living in New York City for more than a decade. Charles sings, “They say that she’s a woman with a hammer for a heart, that she doesn’t give a damn about you when you fall apart.” and then, “...but I love her just the same. She’s beautiful and vain.” And he seems in awe of her power and allure, “I see her as a queen with lighted jewels in her crown and she shines so bright you see her for a hundred miles around.” It’s a succinct description of what draws and repels people to that great metropolis.

Then the record shifts gears and Charles is accompanied by acclaimed singer/songwriter and performance artist, Cynthia Hopkins for the compelling duet, “If I Fell Into You”. Their voices have a wonderful blend as they sing, “So darling, so darling if I fell into you, would you catch me and hold me and tell me it’s true?” The upright bass and the drums intertwine with the acoustic guitar in a lilting waltz that feels almost as delicate as the emotional resolution of the words being sung.

“Caravan of Misfits” and “Victoria, Victoria” are just acoustic guitar and Charles’ vocals while, “Drinking Again” jumps into the energetic stratosphere with it’s rock-a-billy drive and celebratory, self-destructive refrain, “She (booze) blocks out the light that I don’t want to blind me and she carries the fear from my soul. She locks all the doors so my heartaches won’t find me and I won’t feel the pain anymore”.

The overarching emotion of this group of songs is melancholy with a resigned acceptance about what life and love will do to the soul. It’s exactly what makes Charles such an iconic country song stylist and it’s what makes this record so rewarding to listen to; you can relate to it!
Ray Bayard (Reel Music Revue)


“That rare blend of resignation and gritty hope one seldom finds this side of Guy Clark”
(Village Voice)

“Matty Charles’s smooth baritone and articulate guitar work are colorful and authentic.” (Time Out NY)

“Charles’ lyrics and melodies are insightful, engaging and catchy, and his guitar playing is superb. Great, great, great!” (Dagger Magazine)

“Charles writes with the broadness of his heroes, Nelson, Earle and Waits, but his singing edges towards the gravity of Waylon Jennings, the melancholy of Richard Buckner and the worldly, poetic edge of Kris Kristofferson or Paul Simon.” (Country Standard Time)

“bring to mind Johnny Cash, ...(and at) other times a less twangy Robert Earl Keen. An instant classic.”
(Acoustic Guitar Magazine)

“Instead of songs about sadness that leave listeners feeling alone, Charles’ lyrics and smooth guitar riffs wrap their arms around his listeners and hold them tight.” (SF Reporter)


“Matty is a true gem. His songs are instant classics.” (Greg Trooper - singer/songwriter)

“I didn’t know they still made voices like Matty’s until I heard it. What’s even rarer is such a voice combined with such a writing talent...It blows me away every time!” (Devon Sproule - singer/songwriter)

credits

released January 12, 2012

Josh Stark - upright bass
Alec Morton - electric bass
DJ Mendel - Drums

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Belt Drive Record Club Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: Love's Lost Quarter
I don’t wanna go where the living gets too slow
You see I like to be a stranger when I wanna be alone
Where the neon lights the night there’s a place I feel alright
It’s a long long way from Heaven but it’s the closest thing I know

And they say that she’s a woman with a hammer for a heart
That she doesn’t give a damn about you when you fall apart
But I love her just the same, she’s beautiful and vain
And even when she kicks me out I always come back home again

Now the rich have got it made, or so I’ve heard it said
While the rest must be contented with whatever they can get
And it takes a lot of fame for a street to wear your name
So that people walk upon you but forget you just the same

And they say that she’s a Jezebel with pinwheels in her eyes
She’ll confuse you then misuse you while she tells you pretty lies
But when you play the game, you can only play a part
You can’t beat the ace of diamonds if you play the jack of hearts

I’ve seen Autumn’s golden rosary, Summer’s dirty street
I’ve seen the Winter stop the traffic as it fell upon her feet
I’ve seen her dressed in rags, I’ve seen her dressed in pearls
That’s why I fell in love with her, that’s why she’s still my girl

I see her as a queen with lighted jewels in her crown
And she shines so bright you see her from a hundred miles around
And the poet and the banker and the robber and the rube
Man, they always think they own her but they never, ever do
Track Name: If I Fell Into You (with Cynthia Hopkins)
There are so many troubles without making your own
And the world’s so confusing even now that I’m grown
But I still find myself with my hands in the flames
And I’m afraid of the tings that I’ve done

All the love that I’ve scattered down the days of my time
All the sorrows I’ve tattered drinking whiskey and wine
The come back now to haunt me when I look in your eyes
And I wonder what we’ve both begun

So darlin’, so darlin’ if I fell into you
Would you catch me and hold me
And tell me it’s true
Oh, darlin’, oh darling’ it’s so hard to believe
But it seems like the best I can do

Now, there’s peace in the valley when I’m by your side
All the armies of heartache all run off to hide
But the smoke from the battle keeps the sun from my eyes
And I wonder what I’m fighting for

Repeat chorus

Honey, I can be grateful, I know that I can hold on
But I long for a world I don’t see
When you’re standing beside me it makes me feel twice as strong
When the light becomes harder to see

Repeat chorus
Track Name: Caution
I gambled once on Moses
On dreams and faded roses
On diamond studded rings made out of tin
While others saved their money
I gave mine to my honey
If I had the chance I’d do it all again

This world’s a burning candle and we are only matches
It makes no difference if we lose or win
But the rain will fall in patterns in rings around your lover
While your lover throws her caution to the wind

There’s a road you’ve come to know
And a road that you’ve not followed
Either way you go you got to move along
If you lose all that you own on account of how you wander
Just remember, you had much but now it’s gone

This world’s a burning candle and we are only matches
It makes no difference if we lose or win
But the rain will fall in patterns in rings around your lover
While your lover throws her caution to the wind

Now, you can keep the diamonds
And I will keep the roses
I’ve got the queen of hearts on my left arm
And the reaper’s on my right
And the Devil’s on my shoulder
In a ring of fire to keep me safe from harm

This world’s a burning candle and we are only matches
It makes no difference if we lose or win
But the rain will fall in patterns in rings around your lover
While your lover throws her caution to the wind
Track Name: Caravan of Misfits
Living on a caravan of misfits
But we’re not going anywhere
The church bells rang on Sunday morning
And the grass was we beneath your hair

Maybe I’m in need of something stronger
To get me through the darkness I’ve been in
‘cause I hear a distant drum
And the sound of voices singing
But my back is tired and my eyes are growing dim

I have been so careful in the sun
That I never found the way to go
But you made me feel like I was part of everything
And you made it easier to know

That the past still walks beside me
It’s the flesh of my desire
It’s the secrets in my heart that never show
And I skip a die beside you
And it told me that you’re lucky
Do you have the eyes that you would know?

Repeat chorus

And the dream that you have dreamed
That I had dreamed before
Did it find you with your ear against the wall
And in time, they say, we’ll understand
But many have been wrong
Look at all the ones that had to fall

Repeat chorus

I remember standin’ in the station
Chasing cold and burning like the rest
And you took me by the hand
Through the streets that we were leaving
Singing, hey there don’t you know
That you are blessed?
Track Name: The Blue Parade
Well, mother bought us tickets for the blue parade
And we grew up on the corner in the dark arcade
Stealing off together to the pictureshow
When the streets outside were almost burning
Taking shelter in the darkness from the sun

And if I make it out again I’ll see you there
Far from all the madness by the river fair
And honey, time can be a rover and a wrecking ball
And after all these years are you still learning
That we’re losing so much more that what we’ve won

It’s ok if you come undone
It’s ok if you put them on
Just remember, just remember

Pouring rain and summer days in the afternoon
Sitting in the corner of a darkened room
Tiny little islands just like everyone
Close enough to see but never touching
Big enough to feel but always wanting

It’s ok if you come undone
It’s ok, honey the race is almost run
We gotta find a way to catch that setting sun
Track Name: I Belong To Heaven
When I was a gambler, I gambled all around
When I quit my gambling ways I got a job in town
But I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

The world belongs to me, boys, the world belongs to me
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

When I met my true love, I knew she loved me too
We made each other promises like lovers often do
But I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

The world belongs to me, boys, the world belongs to me
I know it every time my darlin’ sits upon my knee
And I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

I’ve had my share of troubles and I cry my share of tears
But I believe my trials are like my own souveneers
And I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

The world belongs to me, boys, the world belongs to me
As far as I can wander, as far as I can see
And I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me

The world belongs to me, boys, the world belongs to me
The breezes in the branches and the gales upon the sea
And I am not a miner for the things that cannot be
I belong to Heaven and the world belongs to me
Track Name: The Spanish Boot
You walked me to the quiet hotel
You put your hand upon the bell
And looked upon the magazines
That the porter gave you
And walking down the hollow hall
I put my hand against the wall
I was just a Spanish boot
That you were into

Would you stand here next to me
Would you give your sex to me
You see that I’m only empty
I’ve been looking everywhere
For someone to touch me, dear
You see that I’m only empty

I was born an only child
Victim of the setting sun
We watched as the horses ran
And we played for money
I put all my cards on you
You cut me with your silver touch
You laughed as I fell apart
‘cause you think it’s funny

Would you stand here next to me
Would you give your sex to me
You see that I’m only empty
I’ve been looking everywhere
For someone to touch me, dear
You see that I’m only empty
Track Name: Drinking Again
Well, I left the bar room, my old broken heart room
The sound of drunk laughter and the whiskey and gin
I tried to live sober, but I guess all that’s over
So, if the doors swing both ways wont you let me back in

Now, I been drinkin’ again with my old long lost friend
Say hello to my bottle of booze
I been dry for awhile but when I saw her this evening
I knew that I could not refuse

‘Cause she blocks out the light that I don’t wanna blind me
And she carries the fear from my soul
She locks all the doors so my heartaches wont find me I
And I won’t feet the pain anymore

Well you get what you’re given but it’s a hard way of livin’
And its one of two ways that I know
I can walk a straight line, oh, but sooner or later
Some one’s gonna carry me home
Track Name: Victoria, Victoria
You could ring your golden bell
Carry dreams right from your wishing well
There’s nothing left between us, honey
Nothing but the world

Your streets are green, your skies are blue
Have you done all the things you wanted to?
There’s nothing left between us, honey
Nothing but the world

I watched your building
Through my tin can in the rain
You sat there waiting
Like a maiden on a swing
Oh, but for shame, your servants came
Did they teach you anything

Victoria, Victoria
All your ships are setting sail
As you sit there like a daughter of the king

Because I’m rich, because I’m poor
Because I don’t know what my hands are for
No, I’d never hurt you, honey
No, I’d never change a thing

Your bed is warm and your breath is sweet
What would it take for you to be complete
No, I’d never hurt you, honey
No, I’d never change a thing

And a sea of soldiers keep you safe behind the walls
And all your lawyers they’ll take care of you, my doll
Oh, but for shame, your lovers came
Did they teach you anything

Victoria, Victoria
All your ships are setting sail
As you sit there like a daughter of the king
Track Name: Sixteen Candles
Sixteen candles and a bottle of rye
I’m gonna give you just one more try
‘Cause it’s another long night
And I’m tired of just hanging around
I have tried to settle down
I fell in love and then I fell back out
and now I’ve lost my castle
And I broke my plastic crown

Friday night when I get paid
I’m gonna drink my cares away
Maybe I won’t miss her the way I do today

I lay in bed with the TV on
Gets so lonely when the daylight comes
And my eyes have grown tired
From staring at the moon all night
One more game of solitair
I think of touching her long brown hair
And I’m watching through the window
As the girls go passing by

Tried to lose myself in love
But man, I just keep fuckin’ up
Tried to love her better
but my hearts a broken cup

I catch the train on my way to work
The cars and busses do the crosstown jerk
And the rain keeps fallin’
like it’s gonna keep fallin’ for years
I hear a song on the radio
Ditty ditty wah ditty wah oh
And I’m stepping on the corner
Over bags full of rusty tears

Friday night when I get paid
I’m gonna drink my cares away
Maybe I won’t miss her the way I do today
Track Name: When They're Cold
I hear the girl downstairs
Out singing in the rain
A stranger in the crowd
That came to talk to me again
My, my the moon is high
Wont you give your fond farewell
Kicking the car wont get you far
You better keep that dollar bill

My old machine is running clean
As the morning starts to cry
Sunlight falls in rays of gold
Just like money from the sky
But don’t forget the cigarette
In the ashtray by the door
When the fire burns out
All hope is gone
You can’t smoke ‘em
When they’re cold

Some folks condescend
To try to see my point of view
And some folks understand me
Or at least they think they do
But you and I just wasted time
Till there was nothing left to show
And I was glad when you came by
But I was twice as glad to go

In every roadside diner
The coffee’s just the same
And the waitress smiles politely
When I call her by her name
But it’s never quite as good
As I imagined it would be
One of these days
I’m gonna change my ways
Oh, honey, just you wait and see
Track Name: Back At Your Door
Learning to live, learning to die
You’ve got time enough when you’re young
Walking around with your head in the clouds
Unaware of the damage you’ve done
Mama can’t hold you no more
Daddy can’t tell you the score

When some foreign girl
Comes and captures your heart
Will you know of the place that she’s from
As you wander around all alone in the dark
Will you hear all the songs that she’s sung
Mama can’t hold you no more
Daddy can’t tell you the score

Man made the atlas, man made the cages
And man loved the girl for her charms
And he watered the world with the blood of the ages
And went by the light of the stars
Mama can’t hold you no more
Daddy can’t tell you the score

So put down your troubles and wait for tomorrow
You’ll only be gone for awhile
And long distant faces get lost in the wires
As they travel for mile after mile
Mama can’t hold you no more
Daddy can’t tell you the score

And you wish that he could but it’s good
Now that you’re back at your door