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Dust Diaries

by Robin Jackson

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October Rain 03:44
October Rain The rain pulls me awake on this warm Autumn morning the melancholy sky of grey  comforts like a cave You didn't stay last night  and maybe that's the right thing And letting go is truly for the brave Many times I tried  to pick up the pieces  of this broken moon we left hanging in the sky I have no illusions  Only disappointments  There's only so much you can do until it's time to say goodbye say goodbye... October rain the bitter knowing change  So let's make love before the snows fall from the sky we saw sunrise and both felt the pain now let it wash away October rain As the cold wind blows us  through this narrow winter And the fallen leaves of what we hoped for lay upon the ground I hope you will remember  the beauty of the summer when I found you in the garden your brown hair hanging down Sometimes love is wary and hides within the fallows and slips into the darkness like a moon upon the wane but you still found the way  through the tangled weeds and brambles So I will always think of you in the autumn when it rains
The Spring 03:48
Once the streets were paved with gold a precious world oh to behold and from the dusty ground, you evoked the sound caused flowers too unfold When the summers turned to fall you were with us through it all a ring upon the bell that echoed through the shell of winter’s call Now that you’re away I feel you every day Some days were hard to win we never knew what fate would spin you filled my cup with grace and held a steady face when the ice grew thin When the branches began to crack we knew there was no looking back soon all our hopes and dreams were tearing at the seams light fading into black You told us to let go the current pulls below like sunlight on the snow into the silent river you will flow and we’ll find you in the water, I know There was a time when I never thought that you would leave my side and through the shadows 
you would find the way And even though you held on tight I can see your fading light is stronger now that you‘ve gone away Tangled roots and history shadows deep within the tree shackles from the past broken way at last found peace eternally When Azrael unfolds her wings for you, a gateway to the spring that bubbles from the ground, once a fearful sound now taught us words to sing You told us to let go the current pulls below like sunlight on the snow into the silent river you will flow and we’ll find you in the water, I know
Moonshine, oh cover me in moonshine, and I will fill your cup with 
sentimental tales of raspberry wine Cause I’ve been singing these cowboy tears since we came to an end and Im writing snake oil poems 
and drinking alabast gin Like a kite in the wind I’m caught in a spin I’m out on a limb Sweet dreams oh cover me in sweet dreams and i will paint you a story of roses and gold, and bittersweet things It’s time to say hello to These lonesome lullabies and ride into the journey of a new sunrise And may our river of tears wash away all our fears and make it perfectly clear Sweet pie, oh mama make me some sweet pie fill it with whatever makes it better and will cause my eyes to dry And I pray to mother mary, great spirit and the holy fool That we listen to each other and take heed of the golden rule That you do unto me what I do unto you and we both see it through Soft grace, oh cover me in soft grace and I’ll fashion you a cup of forgiveness, gypsum, nettle and lace Cause the poetry that you’ve put inside my heart rattles like a ‘57 engine about to start Like a kite in the wind I’m caught in a spin I’m out on a limb Rain dance oh do a little rain dance call in the clouds and thunder to wash away this sorrowful trance And we’ll bath in rose petal fire while the whill-o-whisps sing and purify our eyes with water from the holy spring And in the days that were old may the story that’s told be one of Roses and Gold
Paper Bird (free) 05:18
Paper Bird I plant stories on paper ships and send them out to sea drift, each one holds a part of the story of our hearts inky vessels of sweet remembering, one last trip and then descending Paper bird your wings are light carry hardship out of sight salty moonshine, morning bell fly these troubles away across the swell August introduced us, 
December came between tales never told, 
rust gathered on the gold the months, they never really knew, the state of things below the blue The mussels wait with patience these tales, bitter like ocean wine tears of past and anchors cast soon mixed within the brine Paper bird your wings are light carry hardship out of sight salty moonshine, morning bell fly these troubles away across the swell Lay your axe down by the spring listen to the starbirds sing the sweetest sound I ever heard fly away oh paper bird And now the bird she flies beneath frosty snow capped cries, gusty clouds of grey watch as I cast words away release this heart from bygone pain and welcome sunrise once again
We stood on Sandy Avenue two lovers broken by the rain this fiery love we tried to leave but still the coals remain Your touch it played my skin that night like a burning violin I was strung out on your tune a lover’s heroin We tried so very hard to get this love to grow but I could not hold your crazy wind which never ceased to blow and you lit a candle in my soul that singes to this day and even though it burns me so, I can not walk away Darling, darling, let me tell you true there’s something burning in my heart because of you Darling, darling, oh, this fire it grew and now it’s burning in my heart because of you A gust of Indian summer wind wrapped confusion ‘round the night the stars told me to kiss you the moon warned to take flight And when I thought to leave you temptation played its part a dancing swarm of drunken bees put honey in our hearts We looked so very hard for the steps to dance among the stones but we tripped into the shadows made of sparks and bones and when I sought to hold you in the cracks you slipped between and when I tried to cool this fever, the water turned to steam
Red Blanket 03:43
There is a place where Heaven meets land I used to find you there wearing a blanket of red Wrapped up in silence, woven from past grandmother’s stitches gave you peace at last Woken at midnight I stumbled through dreams once scared and shaken, you sewed back my seams Holding me closely singing Blinken and Nod I asked what you were doing you said talking to God The stories you played with me, all fun and games while you wrestled with demons, you never told me their names The lessons you taught me, I still hold today when looking for answers, go to the infinite way The shadows they danced on history’s wall but you stopped the cycle, they never touched me at all So please when you speak to God, while on your bed give him my thanks, from your blanket of Red
I want you, you want me but you never come around I watch the sea, wait patiently, the waves my only sound. Thoughts spin and twirl like a dancing girl, or leaves in the autumn breeze They pass me by I lose my mind these thoughts were never meant to be But there’s a time when thoughts like these are offered places at my table to sit You said farewell, and left a spell, oh now it’s that time of night again isn’t it On that first night, you lit a candle bright, and swooned inside my head like alcohol But in this dream, somethin’ came between and now that candle’s casting shadows on the wall. Oh poets write on stormy nights and singers in the barrooms they will wail. of all the times loves made us stand in line, another chapter to this unrequited tale. And now my hope is dangling by a rope and the wind’s blown out this candle love has lit And all that’s left to me is my own company... and now it’s that time of night again isn’t it
The Wish 03:56
I put another quarter in the wishing well I prayed to the dark, and down it fell Down in the watery deep are promises no one can keep Well I’ve spent so many diamonds my crowns almost bare And the patches on my heart are sewn on with care And every time that I hit the floor I keep coming back for more So buy me a ticket on this one way train cause the only way to love is again and again And I’m riding the rails through this hurricane let it rain, oh let it rain Take a whisper from my lips a breath from my chest Steal a beat from my heart put my soul to the test I lay my guns in the ground, and my lies to the west let it rest, oh let it rest I once stole sunshine from a desert dream I once went fishing in a dried up stream I held mountains in my hand I wasn’t careful and they turned to sand I came across a sweet magnolia flower that smelled as soft as the midnight hour She stole diamonds from my dreams and wore them like a Zingara queen And may our scars be as pretty as a pink ole’ Texas sky And soft and tender like the whisper of a jackalope’s sigh And when we light new candles and our old ghosts haunt us on May the flames burn them away with the dawn I met Aphrodite on a summer’s day through weeds and the brambles, she showed me the way And left a glass crystal in my soul that echoed like a singing bowl I rode to edge of a canyon deep where the wind was so strong it knocked it me off of my feet Like a banshee out in the storm I knew again I’d been reborn
Royal Hotel 04:42
Under the bridge by the Royal Hotel I held you there, as the stars, they fell and the night wrapped its arms ‘round this fleeting affair as if it tried to keep us there The streetlamp covered us in dirty gold your lips were hot against the cold and your hair a black raven into my hands it fell under the bridge by the Royal Hotel Oh marry me tonight and the moon will be our ring and cover you in white and soot drawn from the rain And though you say you wish to be the night next to my day still you fly away, why don’t you stay Under the bridge by the Royal Hotel I held you there while the stars they fell and maybe we got lucky like two pennies in a well under the bridge by the Royal Hotel Oh we danced a broken tango by the wall and the barkeeps pouring tears and there’s ghosts up in the hall and the piano in the montage knew it all along cause sometimes love just doesn’t last that long In room 19 a man’s about to cheat in room 05 her vows are on the sheets and outside on the sidewalk you’ve left a lasting spell under the bridge by the Royal Hotel
This Time 04:22
The night once was young, just like you and I and love we thought we’d never lose A picture of perfection, we painted on our eyes always looking for something new And now time has dealt its hand and here we are still standing waiting for our ships to come in And the streets are getting lonely and the the wind whispers Ïif onlyÓ well maybe it’s time for if only to begin So raise up your flag put the moon in your sack Forgive and let go and never look back ‘‘Cause time won’t wait for us to get it perfectly right so if you’re willing, I’ll dance with you tonight And I can see that you’ve been here as long as I ao many times fell from this carousel the tears in our clothing every bump from the ride we’ve got to know ourselves far too well So darling life is short, and the sun is moving faster so put your lipstick on, or we’re headed for disaster And I think it’s safe to say that we’re both a work in progress so let’s put down our pride before we miss the boat again So raise up your flag put the moon in your sack Forgive and let go and never look back ‘Cause time wont wait for us to get it perfectly right So if you’re willing, I’ll dance with you tonight Put stars in your flask, tell the band to play Stop waiting around for the perfect sunny day Let’s make love in the rain, like the very first time and I promise to you I’ll stay this time Oh this time.....


Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Robin Jackson, known for his wild, theatrical contributions to bands like Vagabond Opera and the March Fourth Marching Band, draws upon the moody spirit of his rain-soaked, Portland, OR home to create an eclectic brew of dreamy, vintage folk-pop in he debut album Dust Diaries (release: June 8, 2012). The Record features an all star band with members of The Portland Cello Project, The Eels, March Fourth Marching Band and Vagabond Opera. "A catchy and captivating song-crafter…a true storyteller." - NPR


released June 1, 2012

All songs written and composed by Robin Jackson except "It's that time of night again" lyrics by Robin Jackson and Laura Bell. All songs registered with ASCAP.

Drums and percussion - Anders Bergstrom; - Rob Stroup (on This time), - Chet Lyster (on Heroin and Honey)
Electric and acoustic guitars - Chet Lyster
Piano, wurlitzer, accordion and organ - Mike Danner
Acoustic and electric bass - Matt Voth
Violin - Annalisa Tornfelt (on Heroine and Honey), - Katherine Claire (on Roses and Gold)
Cello - Skip Von Kuske
Trombone - Daniel Lamb
Flugelhorn - Max Ribner
Saxophone and Clarinet - Robin Jackson
Tuba - Huck Wilken
Whistling - Robin Jackson

Background Voices - Robin Jackson (on October Rain, Roses and Gold, Paper Bird, Red Blanket), - Katherine Claire (on October Rain, Paper Bird), - Annalisa Tornfelt (on Heroin and Honey), - Ashley Ward (on The Spring)

Produced by Chet Lyster
Engineered by Rob Stroup at 8Ball Studios, Portland, OR
Mastered by Justin Phelps at Cloud City, Portland, OR
Album design by Elena Cronin (elenacronin.com) and Rachel Brodkey
Photo credits - Mosca Photo (moscaphoto.com)

© 2012

My heartfelt gratitude to everyone who aliveness my musical endeavors. This album happened because of a community and fans who supported it. Special appreciation goes to my awesome family, Chet Lyster, Stacey Ludlow, Flora Bowley, Rachel Brodkey, Amy Hatfield, Hunter Paye, Katherine Claire, Lewis Childs, Liz Labby, Vagabond Opera, M4th Marching Band, Ashia Grzesik, Johnny Dwork, Kyrstyn Pixton, and to my fabulous global musical community and the Songwriter Soiree which inspired such music.

Dedicated to my Dad, Mark Jackson who helped me feel the beat.


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Robin Jackson Portland, Oregon

Award winning songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist known for his wild contributions to bands Vagabond Opera and the March Fourth Marching Band, Robin Jackson presents his debut album. The ethnomusicology major has mastery of almost a dozen instruments and played with everyone from Gogol Bordello to The Decembrists. "A catchy and captivating song-crafter... true storyteller." - NPR ... more

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