by Shawn Nelson

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SAN JUAN STREET, by Austin’s Shawn Nelson, captures expertly Nelson’s best: his rich, round, reedy vocals; listenable lyrics; and master-level multi-instrumental skill.

SAN JUAN STREET, which was recorded at Guzman Fox Studios in Austin, produced and engineered by Joel Guzman, mixed by Bradley Kopp, and mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colo., has something for every music lover — from the South of the Border-flavored title track, featuring Mexican horn and mandolin and beat; the haunting “Down Here,” with its rock ’n’ roll-driven guitar and fiddle; and “Hit the Road,” a pure-D, long-voweled country love song with the smart lyrical twists and turns found in most of Nelson’s originals.

Nelson — who counts electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, trombone, and coronet among the instruments he plays on the new album — has toured extensively, especially across Texas. His first three albums, SHAWN NELSON AND THE RAMBLERS (November 2004), LIVE FROM ANTONE’S (November 2005) and AIN’T NO EASY WAY (March 2009), yielded songs that have evolved into favorites for fans and band.



"He's been bouncing around Austin since at least 2003. Still, no one would have picked Shawn Nelson to make one of this year's best country albums. San Juan Street finds the local working with some of the most sympathetic players he's ever had the pleasure of collaborating with while also demonstrating above-average writing skills. Produced by accordion master Joel Guzman and featuring guitarist Matt Slusher and bassist Will Dupuy (formerly of South Austin Jug Band), plus Ephraim Owens on trumpet and Trisha Keefer on fiddle, Nelson mixes and matches styles flawlessly."



"The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shawn Nelson. What do they have in common? Anthems about being a free spirit. You undoubtedly know about Ramblin’ Man and Free Bird. In the case of Shawn Nelson, it’s Nobody Got A Hold On Me, the first track on his 4th release, San Juan Street. Stylistically the song is kind of a mash-up of Ryan Bingham and Old Crow Medicine Show. But it also has some southern rock roots. And it’s a good harbinger of the material to come on the album."



released October 25, 2011

Produced and Engineered by Joel Guzman
Recorded at Guzman Fox Studio (Austin, TX)
Mixed by Bradley Kopp
Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering
All Songs Written By Shawn Nelson
© Fonky Tonk Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved

SHAWN NELSON - Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Cornet and Trombone
MATT SLUSHER- Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Harmony Vocals
FLETCHER MURCHISON - Electric Mandolin
SCOTT MARTIN- Electric and Steel Guitar
BOBBY PERKINS - Bass and Percussion
PATRICK HERZFELD- Drums and Percussion
JOEL GUZMAN - Accordion, Piano, Organ, Percussion and Harmony Vocals



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Shawn Nelson Austin

Shawn Nelson is a songwriter, musician and singer based in Austin who has been performing and making records for over a decade. The Austin Chronicle named his 2011's San Juan Street "one of the best country albums of the year."
Shawn and the group of string band pickers have recorded a live studio album slated to be released in the Fall of 2016 marking Shawn's 9th independent release.
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Track Name: Nobody Got A Hold On Me

I can head for the mountain or sail out to sea
Or hang out here in the hill country
If you dance with the devil he’ll dance right back
Ol’ Doc Dupuy told me that

But nobody got a hold on me
Nobody got a hold on me
Gonna get what I need eventually
Nobody got a hold on me

It’s a crying shame what we gotta do
In the land of plenty for the few
But we got guns and rock n roll
Honky-Tonks and Muscle Shoals

There was once was a time when we could survive
With crops in the field and homemade wine
It’s a wicked world we’re living in
Fighting these wars over and over again
Track Name: More Than California

Say good-bye to LA for me
I don’t have the time to care
‘Cause I know she’s down in Austin
Who knows how long she’ll be there

I need her more than California
Needs the bright lights of LA
She’s the dream I should be chasing
I can’t let her get away
I need her more than California
Ever needed me to stay

Had to try my luck out west
Had to see how far I could go
The further I got from her and Texas
The closer I got to coming home

I said I’d be there by tomorrow
If you’d give us one more shot
I may not have much to offer
But I’ll give you all I’ve got

Say good-bye to LA for me
I don’t have the time to care
Track Name: Dreams In The Desert

There are dreams in the desert
Hope on the highway, a rough rocky road ahead
Promise in passion, faith in the fallen
Religion for when you are dead

You pray, you dream, you beg, you plead
But it don’t change a thing
You want, you need, you give,, you bleed
But it don’t come so easy
It’s the same ol’ story

There are feelings of failure and down-right depression
Choices and chances to take
Wisdom in winning, lonely in losing
And fortune that can fall either way
Track Name: Hit The Road

I left home when I was grown
When I could cross the bayous on my own
Spent some time living crazy
A little too lazy for a man
So I ended up down in New Orleans
With a pretty Creole woman I called Rose
But Rose she says we can’t stay round here
Let’s have another beer and hit the road
Let’s hit the road

61 can take us out of New Orleans
Be in Memphis in the morning if we drove
But Rose and me we ain’t got much money
Or a car that can make it to Tennessee
The TV’s talking but I can’t hear it
Bet they’re saying hell’s a coming for us all
And Rose she says I can’t make it without my Momma
Can’t be leaving here without her all alone
Let’s hit the road

Still remember walking through New Orleans
With my pretty Creole woman by my side
But if I smell me a blooming sweet Magnolia
I’ll pretend I don’t know ya and start to cry
‘Cause Rose and me we never ever found her Momma
Guess the Good Lord came and got her before we could
And as I boarded the last bus to Houston
Left Rose there refusing to go
So I hit the road

Hit the road
Cross the bayou
On my own now, all alone, heading home
Hit the road, hit the road, hit the road

And as I boarded the last bus to Houston
Left Rose there refusing to go
Track Name: Anna Lee

It’s a cold grey morning and I can’t ignore it, I’m blue as I’ve ever been
I’m laying here lonely thinking if only I wouldn’t have done what I did
We had us a home on a slow rolling bayou living and loving so fine
She told me to hold her and always adore her and she would never leave my side

Oh Anna Lee, baby come back to me
Oh Anna Lee, baby forgive me
Oh my sweet Anna Lee

All I can hear in my head is the fear in her voice when she called out to me
I woke up in water and grabbed our two daughters and told them all to hang on to me
‘Cause the water was rising and rising and rising through the attic and onto the roof
We swam to the street light together we held tight wasn’t nothing else we could do

I thought that forever that we’d be together but that was just never to be
She cried for her maker to please come and take her but all she had was me
She started screaming and cussing the demon that rained down upon us that day
I tried to hang on but I’m just not that strong, my sweet Anna Lee was washed away
Track Name: In The Afternoon

Honky-Tonkin’ in the afternoon
Daydreaming ‘neath a neon moon
There ain’t nothing to loving you
Ain’t it cool, in the afternoon.
Ain’t it cool, in the afternoon

The jukebox plays all them country songs
Right or wrong, you’re gonna sing along
I dance with you, the sun shines through
And it’s cool, in the afternoon
Ain’t it cool, in the afternoon

There must be something
No there’s nothing
I wanna do without you
Baby it’s cool

Ain’t it cool, in the afternoon
Ain’t it cool, in the afternoon
In the afternoon
Track Name: I Can't Hide

My head is heavy and I’m beyond blue
Going crazy can’t stop thinking about you all the time
Must be losing my mind
‘Cause I can’t run and I can’t hide from you

I held you close, but you slipped away
And if I could I would fade away, but I keep on moving
Before I ruin everything
‘Cause I can’t run and I can’t hide from you

So drink ‘em down yea now one more round
Drive me out of this whiskey town, the skies are blue
Ain’t nothing more I can do
‘Cause I can’t run and I can’t hide from you

Can’t run from you, I can’t hide
Can’t run from you, I can’t hide
Can’t run from you
I can’t hide, I can’t run
I can’t hide, I can’t run
Can’t run from you
Can’t run from you
I can’t hide
Track Name: Down Here

Up in the morning down on my luck
Well the money in my pocket, well it’s just ain’t enough
To take you out dancing and buy you pretty things
Had to hustle baby just to get you a ring

Down here
Down here
Yea down here

I got a shotgun don’t need the police
‘Cause I’ll shoot you down if you point that piece at me
From Ft Worth to Houston live and die by the gun
Won’t you come and take it son ain’t that how it’s done

Singing songs of freedom in honky-tonks and bars
Sometimes I can feel ‘em sometimes I fall apart
But barley breaking even and just getting by
Get me gas in the van and little to get high
Track Name: Mercy

Give you all I got, it’s not enough for you
The tears they don’t drop ‘cause they’re tired and blue
And broken over you
I’m down on my knees

Now I’m just a man at the end of his line
I do what I can but it’s just not my time
Won’t you show me a sign
I’m down on my knees

There’s a monkey on my back but he ain’t the one
To blame for what I lack or for all that’s left undone
Yea there’s nowhere left to run
I’m down on my knees

There’s a better road I know not the same ol’ highway
But I have been told that there’s a brighter day
Won’t you show me the way
I’m down on my knees

I’m down on my knees
Mercy, Mercy
Mercy, Mercy
Track Name: There's Time

A man in a mirror, a soul made of stone
Callused and cratered, battered and worn
Dirt on your elbow, you finger your food
Out here a drift with the stars and the moon
But there’s time, oh it’s time

A pistol on a table, a book made of dreams
A heart with no halo and salvation seems
To pass you on by like you’re not really here
Watching and waiting for it to appear
But there’s time, oh it’s time

There’s time to keep moving, time to carry on
Time to keep living and time for a song
There’s time, oh it’s time

A beer in a bottle, a boy and girl
A slow action throttle, a fast moving world
Holding and hoping for something to come
Lonely ain’t nothing but a loaded gun
But there’s time, oh it’s time
Track Name: Hollow Moon

Hollow Moon up above me
Serpents shifting down below
Spin in circles forever
Round and round the cosmos

Some say the sun’s got a sister
Some say she will return
And bring the Annunaki with her
From the heavens to the earth
From the heavens to the earth

Cut up cattle and bended crops
Pyramids and carved rocks
Tell a story we forgot
About the Chariots of Gods
Oh believe it or not

When I’m up top the mountain
Or down in the valley below
Keep the spirit close to me
Baby never to let go
Filling my body and soul

Round the cosmosOh round and round we go
Cosmos, oh round and round we go
Cosmos, oh round and round we go
Round and round the cosmos
Oh round and round the cosmos

Galactic hearts and dark rifts
Ancient calendars predict
The fiery dragon spits
A shift in consciousness

Cosmos, Cosmos, Cosmos
Round and round the cosmos
Oh round and round the cosmos
Track Name: Babylon

There were towers of sin
For the children of men
Who all spoke the same
But when the tongues did change
With the winds of no name
Swept it all away

It’s a hard day in Babylon
It’s a hard day indeed
In the land between two rivers long
It’s hard day indeed

There were idols of love
And gardens that hung
From behind the gilded gates
But they were covered in blood
When they danced and they sung
In the mighty Persian reign

Babylon, you've bled for far too long
Dead and gone in Babylon

Now the tyrants of old
Who long for the gold
That lies beneath the land
And so here they come
With their banks and their guns
And an oil company man
Track Name: Daydreamers

Come with me
Take my hand
Cross the sea to another land
Cool breeze come
Blowing on through
There is no end to me and you

Daydreamers, peaceful people
Don’t take your dreams away
No, not today
Not today, not today

Dreadlock Rasta
God and Allah
Makes no difference you see
‘Cause we are one
‘Neath the stars above
And everyone’s out looking for love
Track Name: San Juan Street

The sun still shines on San Juan Street
The wind still blows through the trees
November rains come and go
Your spirit it still remains
Your spirit it still remains

I close my eyes and see your face
Smiling back at me
I think you’re there and hope you’re here
All around this place
All around this place

Self medicate myself into a haze
But that don’t bring back them damned ol’ good ol’ days
Them good ol’ days
Them good ol’ days

We said goodbye you touched the sky
I watched you fade away
My heart is heart and full of pain
Since you went away
Since you went away

Wet and cold, hot and dry
Seasons still pass on by
You’re in my head and on my breath
Can’t get you off my mind
Can’t get you off my mind

Them good ol’ days
Them good ol’ days
Them good ol’ days