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Time & Truth
Joel Mabus

fossil 2719


[click here to return to Time & Truth CD page]

[click here to read extra notes published online here only]

Joel Mabus midnite.jpg (1789178 bytes)


1. The Moon May Never Shine This Way Again (Joel Mabus 2019) 4:03
We say "Time flies" but it doesn't. Time escapes. Irreparably. Fugit inreparabile tempus. In fact, it's what a piece of clockwork itself is called: the escapement. This song escapes us away romantically to the sugar sand shore of Lake Michigan. The lakeshore of Sleeping Bear Dunes is a world treasure, and the jewel of the Great Lakes. Alas, it is gently disappearing, slipping into the rising water, so visit it while you can.

2. Walking Liberty (Mabus 2019) 2:17
When I was a kid in the 50's you would still see an occasional "Walking Liberty" half dollar in circulation among the Franklins. I miss the true silver coins. I recall they'd ring like a bell when flipped. I miss that sound, real or imagined.

3. Thank A Teacher (Mabus 2019) 2:51
I guess here I am channeling Jiminy Cricket, boys & girls. I urge you to do it! - thank a teacher for their service. As important to this world as any hero in the news.

4. A Special Kind Of Hell (Mabus 2019) 2:41
It's a country song, delivered with a twang as I ring the changes on an old-time Southern figure of speech. It feels good to get in touch with your inner Dante sometimes. Dedicate this to the scoundrel of your choice - plenty to choose from.

5. The Exaltation of Blue (Mabus 2019) 7:23
O, for the love of Dog! Here's the dry bones of an old folk song resurrected, with some new flesh added. My musical setting is a 3-part banjo tune I wrote for my dog's ears called "Henry's Pocket." Will Rogers once said, "When I die, I want to go where my dogs went." I'll second that! (Cats too. But pet Heaven better include something for chasing - I am not one for hunting, but my cats & dogs will want a little catch & release time.)

6. Analog Joe (Mabus 2019) 3:05
Yeah, I can get a little cranky about the tiny glowing screens that rule our world - our holy prayer books held in soft hands with thumbs a-flutter as we pace, heads bowed in silent contemplation, lost in our labyrinths. Our devices make monks of us all. Myself, I still mourn the lost tech of my youth - party lines, church keys & spools of typewriter ribbon. My algorithm is a shuffle blues.

7. When All the Famous People Are Forgot (Mabus 2019) 3:45
An Odyssean jazz ballad. The title line popped into my head one day & was the first thing I wrote on the page. Then the tune.

8. Yes Truth (Mabus 2019) 4:55
Truth comes first; then follow Justice & Peace in her footsteps. It was yet another horrible bloody day of gun violence - Pittsburgh this time. Murder at The Tree of Life. Stunned, as the media counted and recounted the dead, I found myself strumming chords & singing over and over one very old Hebrew word: "Hallelujah." Not in worship, not in triumph, not in exaltation, but as a simple soothing balm for the wounds.

9. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening (text by Robert Frost & music by Joel Mabus 2019) 1:39
A Frost favorite from 1923, which is a crucial date. His estate has long forbad setting this poem to music, but now after 95 years it's finally listed in the public domain: I am now free to sing it! The musical setting is my adaptation of "Old Hundredth," the ancient hymn tune in long meter. Fits like a glove.

10. Last Train Home (Mabus 2019) 3:05
A train runs through American folk music like a vein of iron. My chorus echoes a dozen old hobo songs, and the jangly chords I play here on my 1937 poor man's guitar sound a little like train horns to me. My life on the road as a folk singer these past 45 years has been not unlike that of a hobo: I travel around, strangers hear me sing and give me a little something for my pocketbook - sometimes a spare bed & a meal. Then I'm on my way. Thanks & a tip o' the hat, folks!

All songs here (except lyrics to track #9) were written and composed by Joel Mabus 2019, and published by Fingerboard Music, BMI.

Instruments: 1937 Kalamazoo KG11 guitar, Bryan Galloup Spartan guitar, Bart Reiter Round Peak banjo & Kanile'a K-1T tenor ukulele

"Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" is a poem by Robert Frost from his book, New Hampshire, published in 1923.


Produced and performed by
Joel Mabus for Fossil Records

Recorded, mixed and mastered
by Ian Gorman at La Luna
Recording in Kalamazoo,

Time & Truth are the two
stout threads that knit
together these songs.
It's either Time & the
truth it tells on me, or
Truth & the time it takes
me to tell it.
Joel Mabus
January 2019

Fossil Records #2719
(P) 2019 Joel Mabus
All Rights Reserved

Fossil Records
PO Box 306
Portage MI 49081