Too Old to Rock & Roll (2015)

by Jack Nimersheim

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about

Yep, it really was an innocent comment by my son, Jason, that inspired this album and, in many ways, reignited my interest in writing and recording new music...some twenty years after my last foray into anyplace even remotely resembling a recording studio.

I'd like to recognize several friends who contributed their time and talents to various songs on this album.

Jim Gaines and I first started making music with one another when we formed Heather, a country-rock band that performed and recorded together for almost ten years. That was in 1969. We've remained friends, ever since. Jim laid down the incredible pedal-steel and dobro tracks you'll hear on "Distant Light". Even after four decades, all I have to do is pick up the phone, give him a call, and "Gainer" will pack up his equipment, truck over to Chez Nims...then lay down a pedal-steel part that far surpasses anything I might have heard in my head, prior to his arrival. Thanks, pal, for both the friendship and musical support, through all these years. You're one of a kind, Jimmy...the finest kind.

Two other Heather bandmates from back in "the day" also stepped in help me pull together this album. Ron Baumgartner's amazing drumming and Ron Sachs' equally incredible guitar/vocal work (with Jimmy on pedal steel) transformed "Distant Light" from a Nimersheim solo performance into a virtual Heather reunion...and I couldn't be more thrilled. I also drew a pair of Rons when I was playing my hand on "Ready to Fall". And RB returned to add his distinctive drums to "Love You So". It was a joy, working with these friends and long-time musical collaborators, after so many years.

"Fog of War" was written and recorded through an on-line collaboration, working with extremely talented musicians from across the globe...people I've never met, in person. And yet, we managed to record a powerful song, together. Lorenzo Declich (Italy) and I co-wrote "Fog of War". Basically, Lorenzo composed and recorded a haunting instrumental track, to which I added a melody and lyrics; Alessandra De Luca (Italy) and Gil Wayne (Texas) contributed the background vocals and sitar, respectively. "Hold On" evolved in pretty much the same manner, except, this time, it was minime C. (Germany) who sent an instrumental track, to which I added a melody line and lyrics. That long, tall Texan, Gil Wayne, laid down his sitar and picked up a couple of drumsticks to contribute the drum track for "Jenny Tried". Thanks, all.

My friend and Scottish collaborator, Kevin Sweeney, contributed his distinct vocal harmonies to three songs on this album: "Jenny Tried", "Ready to Fall" and "Tijuana Haze". He then added a few sweet guitar licks to "Jenny Tried"...after I thought this track was already completed. (Shows you how much I know.) Kev and I record together under the musical sobriquet "Gypsies in Cyberspace".

I rarely record other people's compositions. One of those rare exceptions is "High Street", written by Larry Drake. When I heard this little gem, I knew I had to give it a shot. Larry graciously granted permission for me to do so. He even agreed to let me build my interpretation of this incredibly poignant song around his original guitar part...so I could capture the "feel" that first drew me to "High Street". Thanks, Larry. I owe ya.

Finally, there's the aforementioned Jason, my son. Jason is good for more than inspirational exclamations. He's also an accomplished musician, in his own right. But don't take my word for it. That's his lead guitar part, pulling everything together, on "Jenny Tried". He also wrote and played guitar on "Ready to Fall". My only disappointment is that, with Jason now living in California, he and I don't get to collaborate musically as often as I wish we could.

Everything else you hear is l'il ol' me, flexing my musical muscles in my "man cave"...the modest recording studio modern technology allowed me to cobble together in the basement, here at Chez Nims.

And thanks largely to that amazing technology, I guess what Jason said is true: You never are..."Too Old to Rock & Roll".

Jack Nimersheim
Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky
August, 2015

credits

released August 15, 2015

Jack Nimersheim - guitar, banjo, keyboards, bass, drums, vocals

Special thanks to:
Jason Nimersheim - guitar (tracks 8 & 10)
Jim Gaines - pedal steel guitar (track 5)
Ron Baungartner - drums (tracks 5, 6 & 10)
Ron Sachs - guitar (track 10)
Kevin Sweeney - guitar (track 8), vocals (tracks 3, 8 & 10)
minime C. - synthesizer, drums (track 2)
Lorenzo Declich - guitar, bass, keyboards, drums (tracks 2 & 4)
Larry Drake - guitar (track 9)
Gil Wayne - sitar (track 4), drums (track 8)
Alessandra De Luca - background vocals (track 4)

Produced by Jack Nimersheim

All Songs © 2008 - 2015, Jack Nimersheim, except
"Hold On" © 2010, minime C & Jack Nimersheim
"High Street" © 2009, Larry Drake
"Fog of War" © 2009, Lorenzo Declich & Jack Nimersheim
"Ready to Fall" © 2012, Jason Nimersheim

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about

Jack Nimersheim Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

Fifty years!

That's how much time has passed since I first stepped on stage, picked up a guitar, and started playing music for the folks "out there".

Lucky for you, I don't have any recordings of those "teenage" performances. The albums on this page, however, provide a pretty good retrospective of the music I've been fortunate enough to help create, between the early '70s and now.

Enjoy...
... more

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Track Name: Too Old to Rock & Roll
TOO OLD TO ROCK & ROLL

Well, I picked up my first guitar in ’65.
Back when rock was king and “The King” was still alive.
Oh, I cut my teeth on “Satisfaction,”
and the Yardbirds’ “Heart Full of Soul”.
Now I wonder if I’m too old to Rock & Roll.

’67 brought Springfield and the Doors.
Oh, and “Sergeant Pepper” marched into the record stores.
Now it’s forty years on, and Morrison’s gone.
Oh, the years have taken their toll.
Could it be Mr. Young’s too old to Rock & Roll?

I took a “Stairway to Heaven” in ‘71
When I dropped out of school just to have some fun.
Late night gigs and booze and cigs and livin’ in the band.
Like a “Rocket Man” with no flight plan,
I was spiraling out of control.
Never had a dime, but I had a good time…
Playin’ my Rock & Roll.

Well, I picked up that old guitar in ’84.
And I packed it away, thought I never would play anymore.
But, I had a son, and son of a gun.
One day he looked into my soul.
He said, “Dad, you’re never too old to Rock & Roll.”

Y’know, Mick’s still preening…Plant’s still screaming.
And Elton’s touring with Billy Joel.
He’s right. You’re never too old to Rock & Roll?
Hell, no. I’m not too old to Rock & Roll.
Track Name: Hold On
WELL, I…I FEEL THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT,
AND IT MAKES THIS SEEM SO RIGHT.
I WANNA HOLD ON (HOLD ON) HOLD ON (HOLD ON) – 2x

I SEE YOU LYING BESIDE ME
AND I FEEL YOU DEEP INSIDE.
IN THE MORNING LIGHT, WELL, I KNOW YOU’LL DENY ME.
SO I JUST WANT TO STAY WHERE WE LAY, TONIGHT.

WELL, TOO SOON, THE MORNING COMES
AND I…I KNOW THIS NIGHT IS DONE.
I WANNA HOLD ON (HOLD ON) HOLD ON (HOLD ON)
Track Name: Tijuana Haze
HE DIDN’T KNOW IF IT WAS DAY OR NIGHT
HE COULDN’T SAY WHAT HE WAS THINKIN’
POURING TEQUILA ON A LOVER’S FIGHT
NUMBING THE PAIN BY DRINKIN’

HE CROSSED THE BORDER IN HIS PICKUP TRUCK
JUST TO FORGET A LOVER
A SIGNORITA AND SOME MIDNIGHT LUCK
ONE THING WOULD LEAD TO ANOTHER

WARM TIJUANA DAYS
WANDERING IN A HAZE
COME TIJUANA NIGHT
HE’D TRY TO LET IT OUT
JUST TO FORGET ABOUT LIFE…

HE SAID THE PAIN HE FELT WAS NO ONE’S FAULT
AND LOVE ONLY LED TO CONFUSION
A WEDGE OF LEMON AND A LITTLE SALT
HELPED TO SUSTAIN THE ILLUSION

CHORUS

HE DIDN’T KNOW IF HE WAS WRONG OR RIGHT
HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT HE WAS THINKIN’
IF HE COULD MAKE IT THROUGH ANOTHER NIGHT
DROWNING HIS PAIN BY DRINKIN’

CHORUS
Track Name: Fog of War
IN THE FOG OF WAR
I SEE SOME LIGHT COMING THROUGH
CAN IT SHINE

WILL WE SEE WHERE THIS LEADS
OR ARE WE BLIND

SEE THE FEET OF THE SOLDIERS RUNNING
HEAR THE BEAT OF THE DRUMMER DRUMMING
FEEL THE HEAT OF THE GUNNERS GUNNING
ON…

LET’S FLEE THE NIGHT
MOVE TOWARD THE LIGHT
LET PEACE TAKE FLIGHT

FREEZE THE HEAT OF THE GUNNERS GUNNING
SLOW THE BEAT OF THE DRUMMER DRUMMING
HALT THE FEET OF THE SOLDIERS RUNNING
OH, HOW SWEET, IF THEY ALL WERE COMING
HOME….

IN THE FOG OF WAR
I SEE SUNLIGHT SHINING THROUGH
Track Name: Distant Light
I hurt you, one night.
Oh, but, two wrongs never set things right.
Third time’s a charm, the saying goes.
How it ends, no one knows.

But, we can run to the higher ground.
We can climb the tallest mountain and not look down.
In the brightest day…in the darkest night…
We will never lose our way, if we only keep our sight…
On the distant light.

We fought through the pain.
And we thought, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The years go by, the feelings grow.
How we love is what we know.

And we can run to the higher ground.
We can climb the tallest mountain and not look down.
In the brightest day…in the darkest night…
We will never lose our way, if we only keep our sight…
On the distant light.
Track Name: Love You So
I got a dream that makes me fly.
I see the Sun up in the sky.
And if the people ask me why,
It’s because I love you so…I love you so.

And when I stumble in the night.
You find a way to set things right.
You take the dark and make it light.
Then I know I love you so…I love you so.

Tell me how you feel.
Love can hurt or heal.
If our love is real.
I’ll never make you cry.
I’ll never make you cry.

I see the world that we can find.
If I could only make you mine.
And we could leave the pain behind.
Then you’ll know I love you so…I love you so.

I got a dream that makes me fly.
I see the Sun up in the sky.
And if the people ask me why,
It’s because I love you so…I love you so.

It’s because I love you so…I love you so.
Track Name: I Feel Alright
EVERY TIME I SEE YOU, WELL, I FEEL ALRIGHT, NOW
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER IF IT’S DAY OR NIGHT
WHEN THE WORLD IS CRAZY AND I GET UPTIGHT, NOW
I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT

IF THE POWER LINES REACH OUT AND GRAB MY KITE, NOW
WHEN I GO FISHING AND THE FISH DON’T BITE
EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A RED-EYE FLIGHT, NOW
I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT

MY NEIGHBOR’S LAWN LOOKS LIKE AN URBAN BLIGHT, NOW
AND THE I.R.S. HAS ME IN ITS SIGHT
SOMETIMES THESE WORRIES KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT, NOW
THEN I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT

EVEN THOUGH THE JEANS I BOUGHT ARE A LITTLE TIGHT, NOW
AND THE WAL-MART GREETER WANTS TO START A FIGHT
THE STATUS QUO MAY LEAN TO IMPOLITE, NOW
BUT I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT

THE POLITICIANS THINK IN BLACK-AND-WHITE, NOW
AND ALL THEIR PLATITUDES ARE TOO CONTRITE
THEY NEVER COMPROMISE BUT CHOOSE TO FIGHT, NOW
STILL, I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT

SO HERE’S A SONG I FELT COMPELLED TO WRITE, NOW
THE MUSIC’S SIMPLE, AND THE WORDS ARE TRITE
IT’S NOT DIVISIVE AND IT WON’T INCITE, IT JUST SAYS…
I THINK OF YOU AND I FEEL ALRIGHT
Track Name: Jenny Tried
JENNY STOOD ON THE FRONT PORCH
A SUITCASE IN HER HAND
SHE CLOSED HER EYES…WHISPERED GOODBYE
THEN JENNY TRIED TO START HER LIFE OVER AGAIN

HER FAMILY THOUGHT SHE WAS HAPPY
THE NEIGHBORS FELT THE SAME
CURTAINS HUNG ON THE WINDOWS
DRAWN ACROSS HER PAIN
SHE LEARNED TO HIDE HER SORROW
HE HID BEHIND HER SHAME
TIL SHE DEFIED HIS FOOLISH PRIDE
THEN JENNY TRIED TO START HER LIFE OVER

SHE CAUGHT A GREYHOUND HEADIN’ OUT OF TOWN
HER SPIRIT RISING AS THE SUN GOES DOWN
AND A THOUSAND MILES ROLLED BY BEFORE JENNY’S EYES.

SO MANY DAYS SPENT DREAMING
TOO MANY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
SO MANY YEARS BELIEVING
THAT SHE COULD SET THINGS RIGHT
JENNY DENIED THE HURT INSIDE
AND HOPED THAT HE MIGHT CHANGE
BUT IN THE END, THAT TREE DON’T BEND
SO JENNY LEFT TO START HER LIFE OVER…

NOW JENNY STANDS AT A CROSSROADS
THE FUTURE IN HER HANDS
SHE FLED THE LIES…SAID HER GOODBYES…
AND JENNY TRIED TO START HER LIFE OVER…

ON THAT GREYHOUND HEADIN’ OUT OF TOWN
HER MIND IS SPINNING AS THE WHEELS TURN ‘ROUND
AND A THOUSAND MILES ROLL BY BEFORE JENNY CRIES.
Track Name: Ready to Fall
So you say that you've been loved before
like you'd really know
Said you've been around the block and more
always willing to go
I know what they said
It's all in your head
But I don't have to see your smile
or sit around and talk for awhile
to know that it's a matter of time
before you fall

It's always easier to live the lie
when you really believe
Always want to give it one more try
when you really should leave

I'm trying to say
don't push me away
And I'll be there the day
when you're ready to fall
Yeah, you're ready to fall


The fights you won't win
only hasten the end
And I'll catch you again
when you're ready to fall
Yeah, you're ready to fall
I'll catch you after the fall
I'll pick you up from the fall
C'mon lets fall.
Track Name: So Nice When You're Around
YOU STOOD BESIDE ME
AS WE’VE GONE DANCING THROUGH THE YEARS
YOU HELPED TO GUIDE ME
THROUGH THE LAUGHTER AND THE TEARS

AND ALL AROUND ME
THE WORLD I KNOW MAY COME UNWOUND
THAT’S WHEN YOU GROUND ME
AND IT’S SO NICE WHEN YOU’RE AROUND

WHEN YOU FOUND ME
MY HEART WAS LYIN' ON THE GROUND
NOW IT TAKES FLIGHT WHEN YOU’RE AROUND

THE WORLD CAN NEVER BRING ME DOWN
‘CAUSE IT’S SO NICE WHEN YOU’RE AROUND

COME AROUND
COME AROUND
COME AROUND
COME AROUND
Track Name: Scars on the Land
Scars on the land…lines in the sand…

There’s a shadow on our soul
In the shape of Black Gold
Between the mountains and the sky
Where we spit in God’s eye

Scars on the land…lines in the sand…

And there’s a battle for the night
Between the dark and the light
We rape the desert and the green
To chase industrial dreams

Between denial and the lies
We feel the temperatures rise
Can we acknowledge what we know
Or will we reap what we sow?

It doesn’t matter if you lean to the left or the right
It doesn’t matter where you say you stand
We share only one world, one chance to get it right
And heal the scars on the land…