Sustenance

from No Straight Lines by Bill Gable

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about

This song was inspired by Atahualpa Yupanqui. I love how he not only sang but played guitar and I tried to create for myself the kind of demanding part he played so effortlessly. In my earliest demos of it I was using an Argentine bombo as percussion, but I took it in more of a Spanish direction as I began to define the production for this album.

No writer has had any greater affect on me than Fernando Pessoa, both his prose and his poetry. Feeling his influence in certain lyrics throughout the project, I really hoped to add some Portuguese inflections here and there on the album, also because I spent time writing portions of this album in Lisbon. Early on I wrote a couple of songs in the style of fado that weren’t good enough to belong on this (or any) album. But I knew that the Portuguese guitarra used in fado would be an interesting color to add, along with the acoustic bass guitar I’ve seen used so effectively by fado groups as well. Jimmy Haslip was able to borrow an acoustic bass guitar for this, and after giving up trying to find anyone near LA capable of playing guitarra – let alone on something like this – I was forced to buy a guitarra and teach myself how to play it. Apologies to the real players out there for my bastardized approach! What an amazing instrument. It would take a lifetime to learn how to play it well.

lyrics

beyond the sun
across the sea
I thought the world
belonged to me
and headed off undaunted
I ate too fast
I drank too much
stayed out too late
could never get enough
no passing feast
could ever fill me up
what it was I wanted was
sustenance

amphetamines
never picked me up
nor did bitter coffee
from a Dixie cup
ever enhance my living
I wasn’t saved
through innocence
nor through reason
nor through deliverance
I tried them all
and cast them out at once
promising but never giving
sustenance

so tell me why somehow the moon is never bright enough
and no one’s heavy load is ever light enough

the truth was never
true enough
and you were never
you enough
god knows what I wanted
I did the best
that I could do
it’s not for lack
of loving you
so many others
so much worse off than us
all that there was missing was
sustenance

I learned to breathe
I learned to crawl
I wanted more
I wanted to have it all
I never realized
As everybody must
That all that I was looking for was sustenance

credits

from No Straight Lines, released April 14, 2015
Bill Gable – Vocals, guitar, guitarra, palmas
Jimmy Haslip – Acoustic bass guitar
Arturo Solar – Flugel
Manuel Gutierrez – Flamenco footwork
Joey Heredia – Palmas
Ethan Margolis – Flamenco guitar, palmas

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about

Bill Gable Los Angeles, California

BILL GABLE is an uncompromisingly original American singer-songwriter, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist whose music spans the boundaries between pop, jazz and world music.

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