Hunky Diamond

by Kip Bradley

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about

"I make American music that deals with where beauty and terror meet and how that tension shapes our lives."

*Biography

Kip Bradley has a voice that will make your blood run cold. At times he sings with a mercurial warble, at others with the shriek of a bird of prey, but always with electricity. It's rare to run across such a powerful voice that retains melodiousness at its most intense. The Tennessee- based singer/songwriter uses his instrument to stunning effect via an unique brand of Americana that doesn't eschew the influence of the classic-rock radio that every southern kid grew up with. And there is a childlike wonder that runs through the ten songs of Hunky Diamond, Bradley's debut album. From woodsy, acoustic fingerpicking to primal rock, with starry atmospherics and gorgeous slide guitar in tow, the album evokes images of late-night highway drives under the Milky Way and making it into town just as dawn breaks. Just the kind of place where childhood dreams clash with adult realities.

These songs were written and recorded mostly at nighttime, after Bradley worked long days at his construction job. The lyrics reflect this "I use my hands," Bradley recorded all the instruments (except drums, which were played by Tim Newton) on an outdated computer with ragtag equipment in any place he could find. The results are breathtaking. Bradley's arrangements brim over with creative flourish--they are constantly surprising and often stunningly beautiful. Bradley has learned the craft of recording well, and developed an exquisite taste for dynamics. His resume includes a stint at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, MS, where Modest Mouse recorded Good News for People Who Love Bad News, as well as time in the offices of Fat Possum and Domino Records.

Born in the middle of five brothers in a church-going North Georgia family, Kip grew up singing Tom Petty songs in the car with his father, and it was on a borrowed guitar that he learned to play his first chords. As a later teen he wandered out to Oregon, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York City and in-between before landing back at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, nursing a broken heart. There, on the shores of the Tennessee River, he rose from his ashes making an extremely compelling statement with these "songs about tearing yourself down and seeking redemption." He plans to tour all around the United States in 2015, playing both acoustically and with a full electric ensemble.

- by Clark Williams

credits

released July 14, 2015

Recorded & Mixed by Kip Bradley
Drums by Tim Newton
Drums Recorded by Jason Foster
Mastered by Charles Allison & Adam Swafford
Artwork Design by Houston Settles (Deer Run Media) & Kelly Bennett Smith (Dirtty Toe Productions)

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about

Kip Bradley Tennessee

Kip Bradley writes and sings songs that evoke images of late-night highway drives under the Milky Way and making it into town just as dawn breaks. Just the kind of place where childhood dreams clash with adult realities.

-Clark Williams
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Track Name: Split Wide
Split Wide
come from nowhere and nowhere to go
found myself on a dark country wood
with a man holding his own eye in his hand
boy if you ain’t scared you should be now
I was tired and I was hungry and I was weak brother one haggard son of a gun
caught my chance slipped from his poison grip
been running ever since
then the sky split wide as the angels cried darling we’ll love you for all time
but I went crazy love drove me madly
I felt so completely out of control
woke up in a graveyard in mississipp’ head pounding cold and wet friend told me ain’t nothing come from nothing man
sure as fire there’s god and there’s sin
walk through my dreams as I sleep searching for my lost soul when judegment falls on that which I know
if there ain’t a hell where will I go
oh father death where do you keep it hid
and oh mother earth when i’m gone take care of my brothers for i’ve put it on the line bet my house soul and time
i’ve gambled with my love just to stay high
had to bury them deep so the soul would keep
all the memories i’ve left underground
now everynight the sky splits wide and I can hear the angels cry darling we’ll love you for ever and ever yes until the very
end of time
and into the stars I will climb as life splits me open wide
and I cry just to hold them in my arms one holly time just one time one holly time oh lord just one time
Track Name: Hunky Diamond
Hunky Diamond
time out I can feel it in the wind a calling to me threw the trees
and then again it could of been my sins or the recklessness i’ve buried deep

so call me a dreamer got a mind all my own believe in only truths and never going home

there’s no certainty in time with her heart tells stories of pure insight of lies lovers cheaters users brother sisters fathers mother and daughters
and she was from Indiana he was playing for Ohio state yea they meet in December on his birthday
and the grocery bar was pouring out light and he knew she would flee the sight tried not to let it bother him cause he’s wrapped up doing wrong
yea she became a dancer and he a traveling salesmen on account of the scares that they both held

yes i’ll always be your fool come on girl take advantage yes i’ll always be a fool for you
yes i’ll always be your fool come on girl take advantage yes i’ll always be a fool for you

leaving the strip bar cause i’m running out of cash my hands started to shake and I began to turn back pulled her off the stage and told her “I got you baby now you can relax
I know you’re a hard earning stripper but without you i’m just a lost wanderer i’ll provide for you be your man we can make a home together
and they can call us dreamers call us anything as long as you’re my pole swinging strutting melody
and they’ll call us believers cause only truth matters and finding your own home”

yes i’ll always be your fool come on girl take advantage yes i’ll always be a fool for you
yes i’ll always be your fool come on girl take advantage yes i’ll always be a fool for you
Track Name: Moon Threw the Trees
Moon Threw the Trees
well I was born with a golden ego it took a small girl to knock me down
she was only eighteen I was going on twenty five oh my god
but what’s a heart gonna do once it’s inside of you i’ve still got my lies

and oh how you do me this way
oh how you showed me your place
oh how you kissed my face
now my rest lies with you

I was lost in the woods starring at the Moon Threw the Trees your voice floated to me
now you’re an angel in the sky I wish you hadn’t of died i’m a lonesome human being

and nothing ever matters to me I was dying in the wood and the trees
baby hold on to my longing hand I could of been your tan

cause you and me were such a good dream
and you and me had such a good dream
oh laurenia I can’t tell ya how much you meant to me
you were my flower the air I breathe everything to me
Track Name: Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
I work just like any other man I plow my fields I use my hands
I make a minimum wage sometimes it’s hard to say it
I fell in love with a mountain girl some people don’t wanna do ‘em
I ain’t been out of the state since two thousand and four

but it’s hardly a sin just to know that you are content
and hard as the wind i’ll be working

I make a minimum wage yes I go to work in the AM
I get off around four I might have a few beers then
then I get back to work i’m a man with his hands
then I come in after dark she’s lying biscuits in the pan

all I wanna do is stay on the this farm with you she’s in the kitchen i’m building a fire
I just wanna keep this love warm tonight look up and find the constellations
oh big dipper won’t you hold us tight cause soon my crops will be selling

but things ain’t so easy when you’re struggling my trucks breaking down and empty bank account
knocked my girl up things are falling apart my boss is pissed I keep showing up late
bills are piling up running out of fighting cause it’s the dying blood pumping my heart
it’s all I can do to not run outta gas it’s my worn out bones and my lack of rest

all I wanna do is stay on the this farm with you she’s in the kitchen i’m building a fire
cause I just wanna keep this love warm tonight look up and find the constellations
oh big dipper won’t you hold us tight cause soon my crops will be selling
and as the night falls around the one you love feels so good to be free feels so good to be loved and everything turns simple all again
with easy ways fall to grace trust the stars above to keep you in place and everything turns simple all again
where my rest lies is on your breast and my hearts lies on this countryside
Track Name: Runaway Train
Runaway Train
found myself in a dark wood searching for the moon threw the trees
and I could hear that old familiar ghost of my past calling to me
so I followed the fading voice down into a canyon I was lost
there I screamed out to my past but all that echoed were terrifying laughs

then a storm began to roll in I was weak and afraid
thought i’d be left out here all alone to suffer for the sins I had made
then an angel came to me she asked what’s your one wish to be
I said can I see your face so I know i’m not alone in this place

I have love and I have hatred what’s my place in this life where’s my own comfort live
i’ve seen god and i’ve seen the devil like a run away train life will be coming at you fast

Lights Out
back when I was young used to dream of so much more but we all know just where that goes
keep thinking bout breaking out write my own stories of just how I grew to be so much more then they pegged me for
and the job keeps weighing me down I stand around and wonder how I got to this place and where’d I go a’stray
will I ever be good enough and how will I provide from this sound and will my heart ever get to where it’s truly bound

and how will I fight without my soul beside my heart
and where is it that i’ll be found after all of these lights have been turned out

maybe I was born too late maybe this ain’t my life to lead work my hands to the bone to come back to an empty home
what’s this life mean to me if ’n I can’t sing of the girl that I kissed this very last spring
all I want to do is kick out break my chains and find out if all that I got are these empty songs
is it already past my time for me to take what’s mine and will I ever strike a tear in a lover’s eye

and how will I fight without my soul beside my heart
and where is it that i’ll be found after all of these lights have been turned out
Track Name: Good Man
Good Man
so there I was getting high for a greyhound ride that’s where I should’ve died late December on my way home for christmas
bus driver said we’ll stop get something to eat be back in fifteen for that’s when i’ll leave outside Roanoke, Virginia
and yes I can still feel my heart pound as I walked out looking all around that bus nowhere to found
and so I took off down the highway oh lord I wanna be saved ain’t gonna spend the rest of my days here on this asphalt

I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
I got my mother’s old bible and my father’s letter jacket from the seventies
oh I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
a heart ready to break and a hundred more miles back to Tennessee
and yes I been pleadin’

truck driver stopped and asked boy would you like a ride no sir that wouldn’t be right my feet gotta learn to walk this world on their own
a drizzling rain and a starless night began to roll in I was shivering not because I was cold but because i’d been poisoned
and yes I can still feel those tears falling down as I looked about no headlight or saving grace to be found
that’s when I picked myself up off the highway yelled lord I wanna be saved ain’t gonna spend the rest of my days here on this asphalt

oh I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
I got my mother’s old bible and my father’s letter jacket from the seventies
oh I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
a heart ready to break and a hundred more miles back to Tennessee

and I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
I got my mother’s old bible and my father’s letter jacket from the seventies
oh I got one good chance to turn around and be a good man
a heart ready to break and a hundred more miles back to Tennessee
and yes I been pleadin’
Track Name: Limped Back Home
Limped Back Home
sick and skinny as a rail yes I limped home
tense in my best friend’s bed I needed just one more rail
woke my brother in the night with a gun said put it to my head
he tied me up threw me in the bed of his truck and drove me home instead

now I lay in poison from an evil man’s lips
here I twist and turn feeling like death
cause i’ve been dancing with black angel thinking i’ve had it made
but all I am is a weed in the dust

heard the cry of the coyote deep in the holler
felt a snake crawl up my leg while hiding from a copper
wrecked my past with me future been a cold hearted lover
and lied to all of my friends said hey man don’t worry

well somewhere along the way I found a restlessness
and I can’t lie it’s hard to fight it
I bury my demons deep inside
way down where no one can find them

now I lay in poison from an evil man’s lips
here I twist and turn feeling like death
cause i’ve been dancing with black angel thinking i’ve had it made
but all I am is a weed in the dust
Track Name: Lights Out
Lights Out
back when I was young used to dream of so much more but we all know just where that goes
keep thinking bout breaking out write my own stories of just how I grew to be so much more then they pegged me for
and the job keeps weighing me down I stand around and wonder how I got to this place and where’d I go a’stray
will I ever be good enough and how will I provide from this sound and will my heart ever get to where it’s truly bound

and how will I fight without my soul beside my heart
and where is it that i’ll be found after all of these lights have been turned out

maybe I was born too late maybe this ain’t my life to lead work my hands to the bone to come back to an empty home
what’s this life mean to me if ’n I can’t sing of the girl that I kissed this very last spring
all I want to do is kick out break my chains and find out if all that I got are these empty songs
is it already past my time for me to take what’s mine and will I ever strike a tear in a lover’s eye

and how will I fight without my soul beside my heart
and where is it that i’ll be found after all of these lights have been turned out
Track Name: Clementine
Clementine
well she got a call late that night from a cop car
said they were looking for him down in the canyon
he had gotten drunk driven off this cliff they guessed
well Clem was never seen again

and out the window she would cry
oh Clementine you never named our first born
and by the moon and the stars i’ll never let you go

well did they know he was just living down there in the canyon
making corn liquor stocking up on trout living like a black bear
while she sat at home burning letters closing memories
in a fire he started a long time ago

and out the window she would cry
oh Clementine won’t you come home
our baby has yet to be born

and out the window she would cry
oh Clementine you never named our first born
and by the moon and the stars i’ll never let you go
Track Name: Gone South
Gone South
dream a little more cause your heart’s been broken salty tears stain the kitchen floor
cause he’s no longer there to help with the groceries or to carry y’alls laundry home
and there’s still signs of him living down on first street in the shoe box studio that they once held
snows piling up but it’s colder in that apartment she smokes on the fire escape to keep her conscience warm

her heart’s moving on now tired of eating super all alone
the manager slips her his number but she can’t bring herself to call
her boys gone south

walks the streets of New York lonely sees a matinee to help ease the pain
mails his clothes back with a letter saying have a good life and take care
doesn’t ride the subways anymore cause they learned them together sees his face in ever glass door
she goes out drinking with friends that he never knew so they don’t ask about him or how he’s doin’

he’s cooking a selfish dinner searching for peace in a bottle
took a poor girl out for pleasure but nothing seems to work like she did
the love he left up north