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On the Trail

by Claire Ness

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    With album art and lyric sheet insert

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"Lake and River" by Claire Ness If you were a lake and I were a river I’d rush into you and it’d take me forever To run away, A slow and winding day. If you were a mountain and I were a valley I’d lie at your feet and stand by you gladly. I’d catch your rain As it rolled down from your face. I want to hold you like the grass Keeps the earth from eroding. I need your sunshine Like a flower waiting to bloom. If you were the moon and I were the tide I’d move with your mood, you’d raise me up high. I’d feel your pain like the breaking waves.
Cheer Up Sky 03:25
"Cheer Up Sky" by Claire Ness Cheer up sky, you’ve cried enough today It’s time to dry your eyes. Let the rays lift your face And part your gloomy guise. Let the breeze get behind you And roll you right along. For soon it will be yesterday And tomorrow will be gone. Let your veil of rain fall away. Drop that sullen look of grey And find your grace. You have nothing, nothing to hide So smile now, just smile for me Smile with your bright blue eyes.
Ruthie T 04:21
"Ruthie T" by Claire Ness Her name was Ruthie T And she looked just like Marilyn Monroe. She was so sweet, not one malicious Bone from head to toe. She came from a place with wide open space Out where the wild things grow. But it couldn’t hold her, and when she got older She left her wholesome home. She went down to the city To where the river runs thick and slow, She got tangled up with guy named Ace Like a moth to the warm fire glow. Ruthie T, where could that poor girl be? Ruthie T, the truth will set you free. Ace had the face of a bulldog. His checkered past was hard. But little Ruthie, all she saw Was a poor boy trapped in a game of cards She gave him all her money, Every penny she saved from home. He said - I’m gonna make you a playboy bunny, But first there’s some things you’ve got to know. He said - practice makes perfect, You got to know how to work it. You turn enough tricks tonight And tomorrow we will make things right. In the morning, they found a body Floating out in the bay. Nobody knows exactly what happened But this is what they say: Her money wasn’t all she brought Down with her from the farm She had a pistol in her pocket In case she came to harm.
The Cave 03:57
"The Cave" by Claire Ness I want to crawl into the cave between your arms And sleep next to the warmth of your fire. I want to crawl into your cave, and light a fire And sleep under your shelter out of harm. I’ll paint pictures on the walls Of all the animals. All the animals. I will forage in the forest, I’ll find food for us. What’s mine is yours. I will hide with you when the lions come On their nightly hunt. On their nightly hunt. I will fight with you when the lions come. I’ll throw fire at them. I’ll throw fire at them
On the Trail 03:26
"On the Trail" by Caire Ness I don’t get tired on the trail anymore I can go on riding far beyond before Cause when I’m with you, when we’re toe and toe I feel at home wherever I go I used to get real weary when I traveled All my loose ends ended up unraveled But with you by my side I don’t need no where to hide And I can go on pounding down the gravel It used to be that when I went out ramblin’ I’d not get far before my head was scramblin’ But now that I’ve found you and your love pure and true, The road is hardly half as much demanding. Taking in the country it ain’t easy My wanderlust was making me feel queezy, But then you came along and my dizziness was gone And on we’ll go together ‘til we’re wheezing.
Lucky Shark 04:06
"Lucky Shark" by Claire Ness I sharpened my teeth on those old bones. I scraped by on scraps I searched through the deep and shallow shoals Til my hunger was sharp as a tack. My shark skin is covered in teeth, you know. In case someone should attack. A razor sharp armour of fang-like cones, Running right down my back. I’m a lucky shark. I ain’t no sad sack. I’m a lucky shark. Ain’t no card sharper than that. I’ve sparred with the largest carnivores I’ve had my share of spats. A shadow leaked out, and swallowed me whole Til my cavern darkened to black. My scars have hardened, and sealed the holes. The canyon, now a narrowing crack. A long scarlet seam turned the colour of coal, But it’s always ready to snap. I’m a lucky shark. Far too smart for your traps I’m a lucky shark. Don’t cut me any slack The Sea may be sparse but it’s my home. Starving is not the worst lack Picking the shards from between the stones Scared away those who can’t hack. That lean stark silence gave way to a storm. And the reef began to grow back. Now carpets of starfish warm the cold floor And caviar is common as crap. I’m a lucky shark. I eat swordfish as a snack. I’m a lucky shark. My diet is rich in fat I’m a lucky shark. Happy to share my catch. More than happy to share my catch.
"Low Ball Louie" by Claire Ness Low Ball Louie, Low Ball Louie He never aimed too high, He was Low Ball Louie Louie always hated to go to school. He skipped class everyday to go play pool. All the old guys down at the hall They never asked him why. They knew Louie’d never make it Through school, so why bother try. On his eighteenth birthday He was kicked outta the house. His momma she called after him: “Go on get, you blood-sucking louse!” He went to the pool hall And picked up his cue, He bet his last ten against Rack-Em-Up Jack, And won the next few. That’s how Louie spent the rest of his life, Playing his way from day to day, No time for a wife. And if you ever find yourself Down at the old pool hall, Put some money down for old Louie Brown, But make sure you take the high ball.
Mechanic 02:46
"Mechanic" by Claire Ness I’ve broken down on the side of the road More times than I can count I’m getting tired of traveling alone It’s daunting to stick my thumb out I open the hood, but I’m no good Staring down at a tangle If only I knew someone who could See life from that kind of angle. I wanna marry a mechanic Cause if I fall apart He’ll put me back together If he has the right part. I wanna marry a mechanic Cause if my screws come loose He’ll get right to wrenchin’ And give me a boost. Don’t want no carpenter or plumber Or any electrician, they’ll just make me blue. Don’t want no piano man, or veterinarian But maybe a doctor would do. I wanna marry a mechanic Cause if my engine dies He’ll turn me over and rev me Til there’s life in my eyes. I wanna marry a mechanic Cause when I lift up my hood He’ll be under there for hours Just to fix me up good. He’ll make me purr like a kitten When I didn’t know that I could.
"Dance Me Through Life" by Claire Ness Chase me over sand dunes Straight out to the ocean Place your hands upon my eyes Surprise me with a view Take our shoes and socks off Running through the fountains Wait to hear the music And dance me in the dew Dance me through life, Twirl me around the world Dance me through life, You and I are paradise Make believe we’re pirates Fighting for the good guys Fake our death and realize We’ve come alive anew Break to pull a donut Race me to the restaurant Say that we are married On our endless honeymoon Face each day with wonder Naked in the garden Light a little fire And sleep under the moon Play with all the children Building castles out of snow Paint with our fingers Yellow, red and blue Shake me when I’m angry Bake a heart-shaped cookie Train across the country Laughing our way through. Wake me for the sunrise Sing me to sleep with lullabies Stay with me forever We are the lucky few
Swan Song 03:42
"Swan Song" by Claire Ness When I was a liitle girl I told my mother I’d be good, But I sold my only locket To a stranger in the wood. He was there one moment The next thing he was gone, And all that he had left me Was a dollar in my palm. Oh Mama, I’ll be good I took my only dollar Down to the river bend And bought a pack of cigarettes To share them with a friend They were full one moment Next thing they were gone. Soon my friend was on her way And the sun no longer shone. Oh Mama, I’ll be good The night was dark and hollow With no one else on the road But I would keep on moving As long as my blackened lungs would hold. My breath was there one moment The next thing it was gone. Down I lay beneath the trees And folded like a swan. Oh Mama, I’ll be good


On the Trail (2017) was produced by Juno-Award-winning
producer Bob Hamilton and is Claire’s third album.
It features a top notch team of Canadian musicians and
presents an eclectic collection of Claire’s original songs,
steeped in the sounds of jazz, folk, western swing,
bluegrass, and country music .The album includes such
songs as: ‘The Cave’, a passionate pop-roots love song and
ode to cave-dwelling; ‘Ruthie T’, the poignant tale of a
country girl who moves to the city; ‘Lucky Shark’, a song
about a hungry shark who scrapes by in life but ultimately
thrives; ‘Mechanic’, a humorously tongue-in-cheek song
about marriage; ‘Dance Me Through Life’, a light-hearted
and poetic ballad of romance; and ‘Low Ball Louie’, a fast
and catchy number about one of real life’s forgotten people.


released March 4, 2017

All songs written by Claire Ness
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Bob Hamilton
Additional recording in Toronto by Don Kerr
Graphic Design by SteioDesign
Cover photo by Christian Kuntz
Childhood photo by Penelope Gawn
Illustrations by Claire Ness

Annie Avery: harmonium and organ
Kim Beggs: backing vocals
Paul Bergman: upright bass
Olivier de Colombel: saxophone
Lianne Cranfield: backing vocals
Karen Graves: saxophone
Bob Hamilton: guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, backing vocals
Patrick Hamilton: banjo, washboard, woodblock
Sarah Hamilton: fiddle
Lonnie Powell: drums
Keith Todd: trombone
Grant Simpson: piano
John D. Williams: clarinet


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Claire Ness Whitehorse, Yukon

Cheeky wit.
Swing vocals.
Wild northern spirit.

Untamed tales and bona fide love songs from a candid heart!

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