Live at Blue Highways

by Stephen Simmons

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Recorded live at the prestigious Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands on April 21st, 2007 on Simmons' first European Tour. He is accompanied by Dave Coleman on guitar.

Rounder Europe Records released Simmons' Drink Ring Jesus album (released in USA in 2006) to European audiences in the Spring of 2007 and this Festival Performance was at the beginning of a tour that took him from The Netherlands, to France and The United Kingdom to promote it's release. Rounder Europe additionally re-released Simmons' Last Call (2004 USA release) as well, thus the majority of the songs from this live show are from those two albums (plus the unreleased 'Shine').

Simmons is accompanied by sideman, Dave Coleman, frontman of the longtime Nashville Roots Rock Band; The Coalmen.

To watch a video of 'County Lines' from this performance visit Youtube @:

To watch a video of an Interview of Simmons from visit Youtube @:


released September 15, 2009

All songs by Stephen Simmons
Vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica: Stephen Simmons
Backing Vocals and electric guitar: Dave Coleman



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: Time To Pay
There’s gold there in them hills
Said the Devil to the preacher
And you can help yourselves to all you’ve found
It’s all the same to me
And you can have your damned ole city man
Self-righteous fools out in the street
And the gold you found is all around
But you just pave the road beneath your feet
There comes a time
To be brave
Your soul is mine
Now it’s time to pay
And I can tell you think you know my friend
Just how you’ll handle me
Well son Judas thought he was slick too
So don’t fool yourself there priest
Well if it’s gold or power or flesh you crave
Then feast them eyes on me
I’ve got enough to go around my child
So just sit back in that seat
Well it comes and goes, it ebbs and flows
And it gets on you and me
It makes a funny sound, but it’s all they’ve found
And it’s in the dirt beneath your feet
But if it’s love you crave just take it to his grave
With the other fools that just don’t see
I’ll find another soul who’ll trade his for gold
So don’t try that shit on me
Words and music by
Stephen Simmons
©copyright secured
All rights reserved
Track Name: Shirley's Stables

I hardly take the old road since they built the Interstate
Man I don’t know what possessed me guess I just felt like riding today
I see Shirley’s Stables all boarded up and let go
Truth be known that’s why I always take the Interstate home

Ten years ago these stables were home to the best Thoroughbreds in the land
Danny named this farm after Shirley, this farm he built with his own hands
And Danny was my best friend, but there was talk all over town
Cause Danny was a jealous man, and things were starting to get out

The weeds have all grown up out in the pastures
Where nobody ever rides at all
The barn ain’t nothing but an empty stack of stalls
But there’s a ghost in Shirley’s Stables
That haunts the hills and the dreams of us all

I still remember where I was the day they called the law
I was out back in the main barn shoeing a mare that we just bought
Sheriff had a lot of questions said they found Shirley dead that night
Found a bullet in her chest matched the one in Danny’s 45


Sometimes I miss those days and the horses that I used to train
Working on my best friend’s farm that shared Shirley’s name
Sometimes I miss those nights and the way that Shirley held me tight
All the times that we’d hide out the time that she was mine


I hardly take the old road since they built the Interstate
Man I don’t know what possessed me
Guess I just felt like riding today
Track Name: Forgive Me Father

The summer sun was sinking
My lonely heart was aching
Cause I thought that I was breaking that girl
She drew me in the evening
But threw me out in the morning
And I guess I had it coming that way

Oh a strange fair-skinned girl
With blonde hair looks like an Angel when she prays
Forgive me Father
For what I done here today

I told her I was a singer
I knew that she was dreaming
When she laid back on my bed drinking her rum
She never thought I was a scheming
As she laid back just listening
Never thought that I was coveting her touch


She held me tighter than a lover
Who just wants to play
And in some strange twisted way
It’s all that kept her from going insane
Forgive me Father
For what I done here today

I woke up in the morning
Wondered why no birds were chirping
As the kettle was brewing my cup
There weren’t no bells a ringing
No new angel’s wings a singing
Cause the whole time I was clipping them off

Forgive me Father
For what I done here today
Track Name: Drink Ring Jesus
Well I thought that I saw Jesus soaked
In a drink ring on some magazine
And man what’s wrong with me I don’t know
Cause I’m too damn young to start seeing things
Or so I’m told
Well they’re talking on some TV show
Bout how it’s been a year since they changed everything
And man what’s wrong with me I still don’t know
Feels like I should care but I just stare at the screen
In my work clothes
Maybe I’m only growing old
But I been thinking bout changing things
And if God should save my soul
Then I’ll need my drink ring Jesus
To come rescue me
If I’m going home
Well it’s late and the light of the TV’s on me
Hear strange voices, in foreign tongues, incessant ancient chants
Always trying to find strength in my time of need
And I was looking in this glass when the answer
Was right there underneath
And I thought something was wrong with me
Something wrong with the way my life had been cast
I been looking for signs and things
When they were everywhere even under my glass
In my drink ring
Words and music by
Stephen Simmons
© copyright secured
All rights reserved
Track Name: Devil's Work Is Never Done
He was pretty sure he didn't believe in Heaven
But there at the end he wasn’t quite sure
And I almost lost that lousy son-of-a-bitch
After fifty years of damn hard work
Every year they say it should get a little better
Cause this world is going straight to Hell
But they ain’t never stood on this side of the shovel
Hell ain’t a kingdom it’s a hole if you can’t tell
It looks so easy sounds so damn simple
You think these souls fall right outta the sky?
Jesus back off, this one’s mine
Working all day hustling and a slaving
Just another soul somebody thought that they could save
Chalk me up another one
The Devil’s work is never done
You and you’re father think you’re so damn clever
With your forgiveness and your talk about love
But I’ve been busting my ass and it’s high time
You showed some respect for the work I’ve done
You cry when you lose them
You bleed for every last one
A bunch a sore losers
Is what I think you’ve become
You guys always seem to get all the good ones
The poor and needy downtrodden masses
Sometimes the whole deck’s stacked against ‘em
But still I can’t break ‘em, their hearts are the truest of the pack
Seems like all you ever leave me
Are all these poster child souls who think they’re above the fold
You know the ones with their high profiles
But they got no timber in their souls
The famous and the powerful
Those Deceitful wagers of wars
And all those Goddamned politicians
They very ones that evoke your name just for a damn vote Lord
Words and music by Stephen Simmons
© copyright secured all rights reserved
Track Name: Lay On The Tracks

Trying to find the silver lining
In this cloud
Is like trying to take a beat up old guitar
And trying to find the sound
I’m down in the floor
I’m out in the trash
I’m the ashtray over in the corner
That you never clean out the ash

Baby you’re gone and you ain’t never gonna look back
But I’m the type of guy you know I ain’t never been good at that
Cause If I can’t ride on the train
I’d just as soon lay on the tracks

You can lay new floors now baby
You can repaint your walls
A different tile every spring
A new color ever fall
But I’m down in the cracks
And the creases of your floors
And I’m in the closets of the rooms
That you don’t use anymore


I see you driving down the road
Adjusting your mirror
You turn it over to the other side
So you can’t see me here
But I’m under your hood
In the plugs and the wires
Still spinning outta control
Down in the tracks of your tires

Track Name: County Lines

There are boys here in this county
Who can race and shoot and run
Lead you to an early grave
Really show you how it’s done
Drag you through these gravel roads
And blind you with their shine
Make you wanna lose your breath
Make you wanna lose your mind

And there are girls here in this County
Who can tease you with their love
Control you with a wink
The way they smell, they way they look
They lay down by the lake
Until they’re brown and golden tan
They can take you out at night
And turn your truck into your bed

County Lines
Run in funny ways
But once they draw ‘em up
They don’t ever change
They say you can’t go back
So don’t even try
Take one more step
And kiss your County goodbye

Things down here don’t ever change
That’s just the way they’re done
Before you’re ever born
We decided for you son
That boy’s just like his daddy
And his grandpa on and on
Makes it hard to leave behind
But so easy to be from

And you may think you’ll have some say
In when you come and go
Just cause you drive all over town
All over every county road
But you’ll be sick when you wake up
And realize it’s gone
Yeah you stayed here all your life
But your life left you alone


You keep moving
Trying to leave it behind
Just end up in some other small town
Behind some other County Line

Take one more step and kiss this County goodbye