Excellent Video of “When We Were Dreaming”

I performed at a benefit for Veterans’ mental healthcare on Saturday (9/8/12) in Lewiston, and my friend Brian Patricks arranged for the video camera to be running.  I don’t know who was actually behind the camera, but the video and sound quality are exceptionally good.  http://youtu.be/nD5zPbKyWVQ.  This is the kind of gig that musicians will jump at, even though the audience was small.  It was a superlative room with professional sound provided by John Morrison Audio.  I’d do it again any time!  Also on the ticket, in a musical round robin were Brian Patricks, Shanna Underwood, and Kate Schrock.  A great night.

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Great Review of “Promised Land”


From the Portland Press Herald 9/6/12:

CD Review: Peter Alexander takes us to perfect summer place

‘Promised Land’ is a bluesy, rootsy record that should appeal to everyone from rockers to modern country fans.


Summer is drawing to a close, and, like a lot of folks in Maine, I don’t want to let it go. Fortunately, for those of us who aren’t quite ready to trade flip-flops for fall sweaters, Peter Alexander has given us the perfect audio souvenir to remember the summer of 2012.

click image to enlarge

His new album, “Promised Land,” contains the kind of music that goes best with an ice-cold beer, a back porch and a late-summer sunset. Had I received this CD in early June, this most certainly would’ve been my soundtrack to many a summer’s night.

“Promised Land” is a bluesy, rootsy record that should appeal to everyone from rockers to modern country fans.

The blues-rock stompers such as the opening tracks “I’ve Got a Secret” and “Nine Miles High” have that classic barroom boogie sound guaranteed to get the party started right. And the country-tinged uptempo numbers such as the title track are sure to please anybody who appreciates the more raucous fare served up on modern country radio these days.

“Outside in the Rain” was a pleasant surprise. It’s an almost Jimmy Buffet-esque track that lyrically deals with gloomy weather, but Peter serves it up as pure musical sunshine, with bright and jangly acoustic guitars strummed over a catchy tabla beat.

“Heartache in the Morning” is a catchy but contemplative back porch-type of song, the jaunty “Johnny D” will get your toes tapping, and the laid-back shuffle of “Can Love Be Real” might just have you smiling broadly and wiping a tear at the same time.

All the songs on “Promised Land” benefit from a stellar production job. The sound is crystal clear, with loud and raunchy electric guitar that never overpowers the shimmering 12-string acoustic guitars.

Peter handles all the vocals, and proves himself a master of many styles. He starts with a gruff and bluesy howl on one track, only to slide into a velvety, vintage Kenny Rogers croon on another. And when he harmonizes with himself, the sound evokes the glory days of the Henley/Frey harmonies of the early Eagles.

Yes, summer may be coming to an end, but don’t let it get you down. Because in February, when you’re cooped up inside, the snow is flying and the temperatures are dropping, you’ll have the perfect antidote. Just pop open a cold beer, put on your flip-flops, crank “Promised Land” and let Peter Alexander take you back to mid-July with his perfect summer soundtrack.

Rick Johnson is a freelance writer and radio host who lives in Westbrook. He can be reached at:


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The Shirt

What’s with the shirt?  People are starting to ask a lot of questions.

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“When We Were Dreaming” is finalist at Ossipee

The video of “When We Were Dreaming” has just been released in its final form at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F8IoRaXLDg. I also found out this week that it has been selected as a finalist in the New England Songwriting Contest and I have been invited to perform it at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival on July 29.

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Off to the Presses!

I have finally sent the graphics and master CD off to Crooked Cove, a local duplication service here in Maine that Charlie Gaylord helps run. Charlie is a living legend in Maine, as a long-time rock musician, radio host, and producer. Crooked Cove has been a sponsor of Maine Songwriters Association since 2010. I should have the CD’s back by the end of July.

Thanks to Johannah Harkness for her excellent photography and artistic direction–graphically, musically, and stylistically. And thanks to the many family and friends who supported this effort through the Kickstarter campaign. Especially, thanks to Jud Caswell of Frog Hollow Studio. Any musician who hears the CD will recognize the incredible skill and good taste that Jud has brought to the engineering. I can’t offer enough superlatives in recommending his services.

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Cover for Promised Land

About halfway through the recording of Promised Land Jud Caswell warned me that the big bottleneck was going to be the graphics for the CD cover. At the time I thought we had the graphics all wrapped up, but as the music took shape it reshaped our thinking on the graphic concept. Johannah, who has helped and encouraged me every step of the way on this project–and who is also doing all the photography for it, has staged about a dozen photo shoots, mostly building on the theme of aging industrial infrastructure. We have shot several times on train tracks, bridges, at rail yards and junk yards, and the results have been really good. (Johannah is a really goo photographer and has a great sense of style.). We have narrowed the options down to two or three of the best, and are asking for input from our friends and supporters to help choose the final version. If you’d like to have a voice in this process, just go to the Photos page and leave your suggestions.

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Notes and Lyrics for Promised Land

Recorded at Frog Hollow Studio • Brunswick, Maine
Jud Caswell: engineering and mastering, woodblock on Heartache in the Morning
Peter Alexander: vocals and harmonies, guitars, bass, tabla, cello, keyboard, tambourine
Josh Caron: drums
Tom Masucci: drums on Red Dirt Town
Andrew Thomas: Keyboards on Nine Miles High and Fade Away
Johannah Harkness: photography and artistic guidance

Special thanks to friends and family who supported the creation of this CD

And thanks to former Animals lead guitarist, Antion Meredith, for this review:
“Peter Alexander’s “Promised Land” is an exuberant, rockin’ collection of his own compositions presented with a heavy helping of guitars, both acoustic and electric. Opening with a powerful invitation to party (Promised Land), Peter takes us through many moods, touching on family feuds (Red Dirt Town), deep introspection (In The Quiet) and even a gently, bluesy instrumental (Christina). I’m delighted to see that Peter has finally accessed his inner Rock and Roll Wildman, allowing him to “do his thing!”

Song Lyrics:

I’ve Got a Secret
I’ve got a story that I don’t dare talk about
Even with my very best friend.
Driving me crazy ‘cause I just want to shout it out
Hopin’ it will never end.
I’ve got reason to believe I’m not alone in this
I think you’ve got a piece of it too.
Like a mad dog I’m want to take the bone and run with it;
I think you’d like to run with it, too.

I’ve got a secret but I just can’t let it out
It’s way too good to be true
Everybody longs for the kind of thing that’s happening:
Fallin’ in love with you
Someday I’ll tell you just how much I’m thinking ‘bout you
You can tell me about your dreaming too.
Just a little fantasy that you and I could ever be
In each other’s dreaming too.

I don’t know if you and I could ever be together, Baby
Maybe we’re like orbiting moons.
Or maybe you and I are in a different solar system, but I
Think we’re going to find out soon.
All of this attraction’s going to drive me to distraction
And I think I’m going to lose my mind.
All that I can promise is no matter how it happens, Babe
I’ll love you til the end of time.

Nine Miles High
When I looked up from working
Your eyes were set on mine
I could not hold emotion back
I was feeling nine miles high.

Just to have your eyes on me
To see you look my way
I think I’d do most anything
to catch that smile again.

Nine Miles High
The way I felt tonight
The way you caught my eye oh yeah
I was nine miles high tonight.

Like a fool my mind went blank
You shot into my heart
Your friend said “no!” My feelings sank
Busted ‘fore we start!

You got up slow, you looked my way
I thought you’d stick around
But then I saw you walk away
You left me nine miles down.

Nine Miles High
The way I felt tonight
The way you caught my eye oh yeah
I was nine miles high tonight.

While We Were Dreaming
Where were you last night when we were dreaming?
Where were you as we walked hand in hand?
We were walking down a garden path
I was thinking we’re alone at last,
I could feel the touch of your skin.

Where were you last night as I was sleeping?
I could feel you sleeping there with me.
We were lying ‘neath a shady tree
All around were the birds and bees
I could smell the fragrance of your skin.

And I could live this dream forever
If you could live it with me too
All our friends are looking on
Wondering what’s going on, I wish
We could tell them it’s a dream that has come true.
So many things I don’t understand
Between a woman and her man, why
So much love always comes with heartache too.

Where were you last night while I was dreaming?
Where were you when I woke up alone?
I was thinking of the tears we shared
Knowing how the dancers all got paired, and
Why you had to sleep in your own home.

Wish I could live this dream forever
And have you live it with there with me
We’d be walking down a garden path, saying
Thank God we’re alone at last, and
I’m floating in the sweet breath of your being
We’d be lying ‘neath the shady tree
All around are the birds and bees, and we’d
Never have to wake up from this dreaming.

Where were you last night while I was sleeping?

Promised Land
Hey little baby won’t you come on down
Everybody’s going to a place downtown
There’s a little pub where we all can meet
All the pretty women dancing in the street
Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Kick off your shoes and don’t be late
We got something to celebrate
Party’s going to start at a half past ten
Wake up in the morning and we’ll do it again!
Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Lonely Hearts Club closed its doors
People ain’t going there no more
Everybody’s going to a better place
Laughing and singing and a smile on their face.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Come on everybody let’s jump and shout
Summertime’s coming and the blues’ gone out
Smile at your neighbor and shake their hand
We’re all going to the promised land!
Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Outside in the Rain

Went outside in the pouring rain
Trying to find my love again.
I don’t know why love’s gone away;
Wish that it’d come back again.
Don’t know what I’m looking for, I know the way I felt before
It never seems to work out right,
I end up home alone each night

Come on Love Come back again,

Weatherman says time for spring
But a cold wind’s rattling my window pane
I long to hear the bluebird sing
But I’m cold inside and I can’t hear a thing.
A little more hurtin’ everyday I try to give my love away
It’s an empty room when love’s gone out
I close the door, I start to shout:

Come on Love, come back again.
Help this broken heart to mend
Tell me lonely days will end
Come on Love come back again.

Like a bird that cannot fly I hide my head and wait to die
Hope alone keeps hanging on, I wonder why it takes so long
My friend said that by seeing red I can drive this feeling from my head
But she don’t know my head don’t ache It’s an empty heart and my mistakes.

Come on Love, come back again.
Help this broken heart to mend,
Lonely since I don’t know when,
Come on Love, come back again

Marilyn, don’t you think it’s time you let me in?
Don’t you think it’s time that we begin
To do the things that we’ve been thinking?

Fantasy. Not enough to satisfy me.
I’m looking at the real thing.
And it’s driving me crazy.

Marilyn, I’m on the edge of doing something wrong.
I try to stop it but it’s gone too long
And I don’t know if I can carry on.
Marilyn, I’m thinking ‘bout you every night and day
I think of all the things I’d like to say
And what a fool I’d be to say them.

Marilyn, there’s no denying what a mess I’m in,
I just went crazy I fell right in
And now it looks as though I’m sinking.

Fooling ‘round, starts so easy but we’d run aground
I’m feeling queasy ‘cause I’m hanging ‘round
And I know I’m not supposed to.

Red Dirt Town
Do you hear that train comin’, coming down the track
Take your bass in hand and don’t be comin back
Cause that train’s got your name on it, so get on down the ine
The sooner you’ll be leaving, my sister she won’t mind

She come home from the night shift, she’s wearing scrubs all day
You’re always ready for her but she’s finished with your game
She tells me she is tired, always worried bout your pay
But you got no job, I’m tellin her, and she can’t trust what you say.

Go ask her for some money, just one more time
Say you’ll pay her back but she won’t give you a dime
Cause I told her bout that woman, down in Red Dirt Town
Your game is over, your ship has run aground

So I’ll see you to the rail yard, you can jump a train
You used to be my friend buy you left a world of pain
Yeah, you said you loved my sister but you just need a place to stay
She’s thrown you out, now I guess you’ll have to pawn that bass!

Heartache in the Morning

If you’re going to leave me lonely,
Don’t you think that you could
Tell me something about it: what’s going on
You say you’re worried ‘bout a heartbreak
And you’re thinking of the heartache in the morning, When it’s time to go.
Well don’t you wonder why I’m still around? I got a heartache, too.

Baby please don’t go
Can’t you see that I need you And I’ll treat you right.
Baby let me show you All I know is I love you
And I want to be The only one to ever hold you
The only one you’ll need.

I’ve been searching my whole life through
Looking for a woman who could meet me
All my friends have said it can’t come true
But when I saw you I knew they were wrong, believe me, Won’t you believe me?

You’ve been hurt before
I can see that you’re suspicious;
Men have done you wrong.
I’m knockin’ at your door
I’m just looking for permission
I want to stick around.
‘Cause darling if you let me
I won’t let you down

Johnny D
Maybe I was lucky maybe I’m the lucky one
I was lucky back in school
Got away with things I knew that I should not have done
I was breaking all the rules, we were breaking all the rules.

But Johnny D got caught with something that he shouldn’t have
Johnny D did something wrong.
He got busted in a place where he should not have been
But he’s not the only one, oh no he’s not the only one.

Sometimes I wake up and I’m feeling like a criminal
I think of people we once burned.
It’s not the case that Johnny D can say he’s innocent
But he’s not the only one, no he’s not the only one!

So Lord have mercy on my friend who lies in prison
Doing penance for our sins.
He’s the ones who’s always paying for the two of us
Can’t forget that he is in there now; Can’t forget that it was him!

Lord have mercy on my friend who lies in prison
Doing penance ‘stead of me.
He’s the ones who’s always paying for the two of us
Wish that I could set him free. Wonder why it wasn’t me. Wonder why it’s Johnny D.

Can Love Be Real
If you know me, you would know that I want you with me now I need you tonight

If you love me If you really, really love me you would be here with me, here tonight.
Cause I’m lonely, yeah, yes I’m lonely
You’re drifting away, and I can’t hold you
But I want you to know, oh I love you, yes I do
And I wish that you could love me too the way I do

Baby won’t you come back, won’t you come with me now?
Won’t you lend me your hand, give me your hand and be with me now?
But I hear you say, there is a different way
Why should it be different?
It’s a world of dreams and they’re all the same
I understand there is a piece of land
And a home that’s far away
Do you believe me now?

Baby tell me truly now, how do you feel about it
Do you think you could do without it
In a material world, can love be real?

Fade Away
Baby let me tell you something: I’m not easy to be fooled
All the things you’re now confessing, Known ‘em for a year or two.
I don’t want to hear you say it Hoping it would be untrue.
Do you have to pay me back For all the things I put you through?
I got something…to… say to you:
Don’t go thinking I’ll go crazy
Don’t go thinking I’ll be cruel
Baby, I’m just way too lazy
I’ll just fade away from you.
I’ll just fade away (from you)

No I don’t like confrontation
Baby, I just run away
This how you get my attention?
Babe, there is a better way.
Maybe things could work out different
Things don’t have to go like this.
If you told me what you wanted
Maybe we could find a fix,
Maybe we could coexist, but
Seems to me you want it easy
Baby I would be untrue
To justify the way you treat me
I’ll just fade away from you
I’ll just fade away…

In the Quiet
Sometimes in the quiet I lose my peace of mind
Dark thoughts surround me, my confidence is gone
I’m just a worried man I’ve got a troubled mind
This weight on my shoulders isn’t even mine.

Sometimes as I wander through flowers and fields and stones
Far from the beaten path I feel so alone
This road’s an adventure; it seems a new frontier
Sometimes I wonder what dreams have brought me here.

Oh for some guidance to help me through the night
Oh for a clear idea of how to touch the sky
Please show some mercy and ease my worried mind
I need your mercy through this troubled time.

Sometimes in the quiet I’m willing to believe:
Must be some purpose revealed before we leave.
I’m just a worried man I’ve got a troubled mind
This weight on my shoulders isn’t even mine.

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