A World Without

by Stephen Simmons



Ten albums into an already acclaimed career, Stephen Simmons sharpens his rootsy folk-rock with A World Without, a record that mixes the twang of country music — a genre that provided the soundtrack for his childhood in small-town Tennessee — with the sharp observations of a singer/songwriter and the stomp of rural, roadhouse rock & roll.

A road warrior with an audience on both sides of the Atlantic, Simmons has spent most of his adulthood on stage, playing songs in ten different countries along the way. Recorded with members of his touring band, A World Without explores a life lived on the run, taking a look at the intersection between art, commerce, love, and travel. The songs are equal parts biography and fiction, with Simmons shining a light on those who travel and create for a living. There are tracks about Americans crossing the country during the Gold Rush, about puritans making a voyage overseas, about lovers becoming parents, and about Simmons himself.

A World Without also features harmony vocals from his father, uncle, and sister, a move that allows Simmons to pay tribute to the family members who've inspired his career. It's an album that hits close to home in more ways than one. Contributions from his longtime band members — including keyboardist Molly Jewell, guitarist Dave Coleman, pedal steel Alex McCullough, Drummer Tim Blankenship, Bassist Duane Blevins and producer/utility player Eric Fritsch — provide the backdrop for Simmons' voice, an alt-country croon inspired by everyone from Don Williams to Bruce Springsteen.

Released on Locke Creek Records (USA & all other territories)
and Blue Rose Records (Europe/UK)


released August 19, 2016

Stephen Simmons: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, High String Guitar, Harmonica
Eric Fritsch: Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Waldzither Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, B3
Molly Jewell: Piano, Wurlitzer, Backing Vocals
Dave Coleman: Electric Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Multi Kord Guitar, Mando Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tim Blankenship: Drums
Duane Blevins: Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Alex McCollough: Pedal Steel Guitar
Smith Curry: Lap Steel Guitar
Stephanie Simmons: Backing Vocals
Wade Simmons: Backing Vocals
Glen Simmons: Backing Vocals

Produced by: Eric Fritsch and Stephen Simmons
Recorded and Mixed by: Eric Fritsch at Eastwood Studios
Mastered by Alex McCollough at Yes Master
Photography by: Heidi Ross
Design by: Adam Pinney

All songs written by Stephen Simmons
Published by Shiny Geode Music / SESAC
except SILVER MOON SALOON: by Stephen Simmons / Mando Saenz
Scrambler/Carnival Music / ASCAP
and PRELUDE written by Molly Jewell / Lucy Byrd Songs / SESAC
C & P 2016 Locke Creek Records



all rights reserved


Stephen Simmons Nashville, Tennessee

Stephen Simmons was raised in the small town of Woodbury, Tennessee. As a songwriter and Ten years as a Road Dog, Stephen’s vision has grown to entail more than just reflections of rural America. Stephen’s records (which were compared to everyone from Johnny Cash to Ryan Adams) combine virtuosic songcraft and musicianship with unparalleled artistic honesty. ... more


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Track Name: West

So I headed West
And I hopped a train
Traded my old dirt plow
For a prospecting claim
San Francisco
The Golden Coast
On the edge of the New World
Lit with an ambitious glow

The Son of a migrant
From the Old World's shores
Scottish-Irish mixed with the blood of the Native born
In love with a Gypsy
Fleeing Revolution in a foreign land
Her Father seeks the yellow color
Like I seek his Daughter's hand

Working on the railroad to make my way
The creeks of Brysonville now lie so far away
Still she waits

Heaven can be found
When she lets her gold hair down
On any field that she lay
There's a tremble in the ground
When you let that poor girl down
In the California Earth is what they say

Staring into the evening Sun
At the end of a long work day
Alone with your thoughts
Aside the hammer's heavy weight
I memorized
Every soft line on her face
And not a million miles of railroad ties
Could ever erase

The blood in my veins would surely turn to sand
Should I arrive too late to be her man
I prey she waits

Track Name: Puritan Cowboys

It’s October on the Continent
It’s already cold in Wales
And I try to picture myself back home
But my imagination fails

Overcome with a restlessness
Still missing days long past
But it’s a brand new peaceful feeling
Now that I trust my path

With my Cowboy Ways
And my Puritan Roots
I set out each day
And I seek to live true

There’s a worry buried in my bones
Digging into my skull
But there’s a melody running through my veins
Givin’ my heart a pulse


Too anxious for the rivers
There’s a New World around the bend
Too much time for despair
Carrying around this Original Sin


Tonight tonight the Moon’s on fire
Like it’s been since I don’t know when
Put my finger on a map
Check my thumb, my soul to the wind

Track Name: A World Without

War will break your heart
The Stars were doomed from the start
You feel alone when they fall
But love can find us all

A world without dreams
Without wild and beautiful schemes
Where man never lets himself hope
Leaves only a machine with no soul

I know there’s
Some place in this world still where
We can find love within I swear

Learn to chase the light
Without running from the darkness of night
You would not know love without fear
Know joy without pain, anger or tears


The Church will break your heart
The State was flawed from the start
Anything we salute can surely fall
This world plays tricks on us all


We can find love within I swear
We can find love within I swear
Track Name: Fairy Tales (The Flower's Burden)
FAIRY TALES (The Flower’s Burden)

I don’t believe in Fairy Tales
She said as the waiter brought the check to our table
And I don’t want to hurt this time
An I’m just a boy sitting across from you
And you’re just a girl doing what girls do
But I can’t promise after tonight

And I sure can’t make you love me
Any easier than I could help you love yourself
She loves me, She loves me not sir
It’s an awful heavy burden for a flower to bare by itself

One for the money and two for the road
It’s one to hang on and two to let go
And I know it’s another thing altogether to trust this guy
Once bitten and twice shy
I’m a burnt child baby at a big bonfire
Standing here watching flames risin’ higher


Sometimes it’s so hard just to figure it out
Sometimes we say what we mean
We have our doubts
I’m not without mine and that’s ok
Can do this together
I’ll jump if you will babe


I don’t believe in Fairy Tales
She said as the waiter brought the check to our table
And I don’t want to hurt this time
Track Name: Every Time
Every time I do the same thing
Guess I’m doing something wrong
Never was no good at dancing
Been a wallflower all along

How you got me on the floor I don’t know how
And I don’t’ know what to do without you now

Baby I could write a book about it
And still read it all wrong
Baby I could sing a song about it
And still sound all wrong

I don’t know how to read the situation
And my radio can’t pick up no good station

I’ve tried everything and every way
But it’s the same every time and every way
And she’s every bit and every way
The same damn girl leaving the same damn way

Once upon a time I thought my dreams
Were within reach of these arms
Till someone came between us
And our love fell apart

I got a good look into his eyes
Realized that reflection was mine


Once upon a time the stars were out
And the ocean played us a song
Baby that feelings gone now
Just like that night long gone

Like waves my heart beat so strong
Wondered how this could ever go wrong

Track Name: The Music Highway

Well I hitched a ride to Memphis with a ragtag band
They were chasin' Rock N' Roll and women in a van
I was chasin the blues with the strongest whiskey I could get
And chasin the truth and a tune in my head

I've been riding these roads and slinging these songs
Yeah from town to town I keep moving along
But every now and then a little something I find
That can make a town a little hard to leave behind

Ooh ooh ooh ooh / ooh ooh ooh

Well I tried my luck at love in Memphis before
Mississippi'd flow backwards fore I’d try it once more
But somewhere on her heart there was one weak spot
An you could pick it just right on an ole flattop

I dreamed a smokey kiss outside a’ Neil's Bar
With her ass pressed up against some dirty, white car
Me pressed up against her soft, white skin
Like the soft, wet beads on a glass a’ gin

Ooh ooh ooh ooh / ooh ooh ooh

Well I lied and said soon I'd be back in town
I didn't know that then, but I know that now
You trust the art and not the artist I guess
Cause who he is in a song is his idealized self

You feel the whole city sing along
When you tap the right vein in a hard blues song
They warn the outta towners it's hard to draw
Yeah they wonder why we ever come down here at all

Ooh ooh ooh ooh / ooh ooh ooh ooh / ooh ooh ooh

Well they call this stretch of 40 the Music Highway
But I can't seem to make it sing today
Track Name: One Fast Move

Like a drunk out on a tightrope in the sky
Inching towards my death twenty stories high
Don’t look down, don’t look up
Don’t look in the mirror don’t look now

One fast move or I’m gone
One misstep won’t take too long
Mind is losing it’s hold
One fast move or I’m gone

Like a branded sinner on a front row pew
Wondering if they all think that it’s true
Don’t look proud, don’t look sad
Don’t look at her, God least not now


Sleep that does not refresh
Limitations of the bone and flesh
Don’t know how, don’t know why
It’s all over if I don’t move now

Track Name: Silver Moon Saloon

Sitting alone at a table for two
Outside a bar in Winston-Salem in June
Waiting on someone or something to bloom
Peeling a beer label at The Silver Moon Saloon

The shop across the street it's the New Age Kind
Incense and candles if God ever finds you
It's new to the age but old to the mind
And I pray that your God has mercy on mine

Hope you find me
Hope you find me
This neon's bound to blind me
Hope you find me soon
Oh tommorrow
Oh tomorrow
I'll be gone like the time I've borrowed
Hope you find me soon
At the Silver Moon Saloon

The bartender got a new puppy I see
She's holding him close, she's holding him gently
From the bathroom prophets graffitti I read
I pray that their God has mercy on me


Sitting alone at a table for two
Outside a bar in Winston-Salem in June
Waiting on someone or something to bloom
Peeling a beer label at The Silver Moon Saloon

Track Name: Dreamers And Kings

There’s snow on the hills and frost on the plains
It’s gonna be a long lonely winter dark cold days
The birds have all flown till silence becomes the song
The space in the silence, haunts our thoughts all winter long

Kings they come and Kings they go
While the rest of us plow to the end of our row
Get behind our mule hold steady the reins
Thankful for the crumbs that fall our way

I have been a dreamer
Though I ain’t been a saint
I am a believer
And that ain’t gonna change
No I ain’t gonna change

A new spring’s birth marked by songbirds return
Winter melts away as the turning sun burns
Shed old skin, old cares melt away
Staring into the East, to greet him face to face

Track Name: Baby Brother's Got A Baby Now

Baby brother's got a baby now
He's scared to death but I know he's gonna make it somehow
I can't believe the way he looks into those little eyes
Staring back at him the way he did at me one time

I remember the day that they brought you home
Carryin' you around till you were crawlin' on your own
Till you were running to keep up always tryin’
Till you were fighting with me always tryin’ to drive

I turned around to look for you
I couldn't find the boy I knew
Instead there stood a man
With a Father's hands

I remember you so uneasy in our own Father's hands
I remember you squirming around and him proud but sad
He wasn't always there and I’ve come to know
Those early years left a little hole in you both

We turned around to look for you
Couldn't find the boy we knew
Instead there stood a man
With a Father's hands

Should write a sonnet about the love growing in his life
should write his baby girl a sweet lullaby
It would be an ode about a boy growing into a man
An ode about a brand new Father doin' the best that he can

We turned around to look for you
Couldn't find the boy we knew
Instead there stood a man
With a Father's hands
Track Name: On Top of A World

There’s a blank page in a notebook
And the pen on the desk’s all outta ink
There’s a blank canvas on an easel
And the brushes are all dried up in the sink

There’s an old guitar in the corner
And she needs a new set of strings
There’s a sparrow somewhere in the shadows
And he’s lost his will to sing

When there’s no time for dreaming
Into the ground lay my old bones
I swear I’d rather be six feet under
Than on top of a world with no hope
Yeah a World without Art has no hope

My mind’s humming like a locomotive
And he’s ‘bout to come right off the tracks
My heart she’s pounding like a hammer
And she’s anxious as a heart attack

There’s a honey colored Sun on the horizon
And some cotton ball clouds scattered in the sky
There’s a distant sound like children laughing
And I can see her face when I close my eyes