Biggest Sky

by Gary Ruschman

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about

Blending folk, jazz, and rock, singer/instrumentalist Gary Ruschman leans into his Kentucky roots on this solo debut, featuring emotional old-timey balladry and uplifting summertime jams.

Envisioned as a musical travelogue, Biggest Sky is filled with sonic layovers in big cities, small towns, and the mountains, deserts, and fields in between. Mixing influences ranging from Appalachian folksong to contemporary jazz and sounds experienced on tour across the globe, Gary's lyrics layer on the themes of how we take care of one another, life lessons, wants and needs--and the differences between them.

credits

released December 5, 2019

Katherine Castille: vocals on Wild, All Are Welcome Here

Thomas Doggett: saxophone on All Are Welcome Here, DipsyDoodle, and Biggest Sky

John Cleve Richardson: bass guitar and vocals on Bright Morning Star

Andrew Thoreen: trombone on Mercy and DipsyDoodle; background vocals on Biggest Sky and All Are Welcome Here

Julie Thoreen: vocals on DipsyDoodle and Biggest Sky, background vocals on All Are Welcome Here

Gary Ruschman: lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, baroque guitar, bass guitar, banjo, percussion, programming

Cara Wilson: fiddle on Hard Times, Road Song, Wild, Biggest Sky

Recorded at Colfax Dupont Studios (Minneapolis); Crane Artist Lofts (Des Moines); Sound of Music Studio (St. Paul); St. Timothy Lutheran Church (St. Paul)

Lyrics and notes: ruschman.com/biggestsky




All songs written by Gary Ruschman (ASCAP), except Hard Times (Come Again No More) by Stephen Foster, and Bright Morning Star (Traditional)
produced by Gary Ruschman ©2019

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about

Gary Ruschman Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "funny and fresh-voiced", Gary Ruschman has appeared with orchestras, opera companies, and festivals around the world, including NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, the Boston Pops, Kennedy Center, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Prague Choral Festival, Birdland, Portland Opera, and spent a decade touring and recording with Cantus. ... more

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Track Name: Hard Times (Come Again No More)
Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
while we all sup sorrow with the poor.
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh, hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh, hard times come again no more.


There's a pale sorrow maiden who toils her life away,
with a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh, hard times come again no more.


Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
tis a wail that is heard upon the shore.
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave;
Oh, hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh, hard times come again no more.
Track Name: Wild
I was tired
Tired of being alone
Frightened to pick up my
Phone line
I was cryin'
Scared.
Scared of my feelings inside
Trying to make up my mind
Since you
Came in view


Wild: Thrilled just to be here with you
Dying to tell you the truth,
that I love your smile.


High: Can’t understand what it means
Hoping it's more than it seems
That you feel it too!


Now I'm styled
Walking with you at my side
Knowing there's no need to hide
From this, your kiss.
Now, now it’s so easy to see
Easy to see how you matter,
How you’re so able to flatter
It’s how much you matter to me.


How you thrill me, Always will be
Yours
forever together


Wild: Thrilled just to be here with you
Now I can tell you the truth,
that I love your smile.
High: I’ve never felt so alive
I never knew I could fly
Make me feel free as a child
Oh, babe: you drive me Wild

©2018 Gary Ruschman (ASCAP)
Track Name: Desire
She has never traveled down this road
But believes that she’s got it right
She only needs a trigger to take flight
Her only way to go with her desire

He doesn’t have control
His world (his world) is just this night
Only needs one opportunity to take his bite
He thinks that he is owed by this desire

She knows she'd be disowned
Wants the rules to not apply
She has got to find a way to have a try
It’s the only thing she knows from her desire

The need comes quick and keen
And they claim they’ve lost themselves,
They’re not the ones to blame

They have nowhere left to turn
They want so much to burn
The only way for them is to explode
Let go into the fire of their desire

©2018 Gary Ruschman (ASCAP)
Track Name: Bright Morning Star
Bright Morning Star a Rising
Bright Morning Star a Rising
Bright Morning Star a Rising
Day is a-breaking in my soul

Oh where are our dear fathers?
Oh where are our dear fathers?
They are down in the valley a-praying.
Day is a breaking in my soul.

Oh where are our dear mothers?
Oh where are our dear mothers?
They are up in the mountain a-shouting.
Day is a breaking in my soul.

Oh where are our sisters and brothers?
Oh where are our sisters and brothers?
They have all gone on before us.
Day is a breaking in my soul.
Track Name: All Are Welcome Here
When troubles come, a setting sun
You are welcome here.
You're going numb, feel overcome
You are welcome here.


If you're alone, can’t find a home
You are welcome here.
Your bird has flown, you’ve been disowned
You are welcome here.


Can’t find a friend, or feel condemned
You are welcome here.
You will be heard, so rest assured
You are welcome here.


Feel our pains together
Celebrate together
Live our lives together
All are welcome here.

©2017 Gary Ruschman (ASCAP)
Track Name: DipsyDoodle
Twisted around, baby you’re mesmerizing
Upside down, I’m overanalyzing
Mystifying, when you get right down to it.
Topsy turvy, I don’t know how you do it.
Popsy pearly, help me, so I don’t blow it.

State of confusion, now you’ve gone right down to it.
Got me dizzy, and I can’t help but show it.
Fire crackly, y’got me and don’t you know it.

You’re just a dipsydoodle, all my balance is thrown.
This kind of love is brutal, your eyes won’t leave me alone.

Mind is a jumble, I’m going under.
Now I’m in trouble, you’re bringing the thunder.
I want you, I need you. Got to got to have you.

@2018 Gary Ruschman (ASCAP)
Track Name: Someone Gave Me Kindness
Someone gave me kindness;
Someone gave me kindness
Cancelled all my shyness
Someone gave me kindness.
And now that I am strong,
It’s time to pass along
My finest.

Someone helped me wake up;
Someone helped me wake up
Helped me after breakup
Someone helped me wake up
Now that I can see,
It’s down to you and me
To take up…

The flowering of our hearts
Connecting us to life,
The reason we were born
To open up our eyes,
The thankfulness we know
That we’ve been helped to stand
To find our peace together, hand in hand.

Someone gave us kindness;
Someone gave us kindness
Cancelled out our blindness
Someone gave us kindness
Now that we are strong,
It’s time to pass along
Our finest…

@2019 Gary Ruschman (ASCAP)
Track Name: Biggest Sky
Two birds, High Flying West
Underneath the crescent of the moon
High above the jack pines, they do their best
Down here, we're naturally immune

A momentary flash of recognition
A choice to stay smart without the scars
Observing in yourself your inclinations
Your tiny place on earth, beneath the stars

Magic in the snow, and it’s still April
But we’re so far North that no one seems to see
The biggest sky, so often one you’ve missed before--
Missed your chance for sweet recovery

A momentary flash of recognition
A chance to stay smart without the scars
Remembering at once your obligations to
Your tiny place on earth, beneath the stars

A momentary flash of recognition
A choice to stay alive while you’re at sea
Considering it might be hallucination,
this distance you have traveled, or reality

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