Sky Cafe/Johnny Smith

Age Of Indifference - Sky Cafe

The Beginning of the End - 1983 Morteza Katozian - MortezaKatozian.com

The Beginning of the End - 1983

Morteza Katozian - MortezaKatozian.com

Sky Cafe

"On this debut recording, Sky Cafe shares with their listeners their message of hope and concern around important issues of our time and invite us to contemplate our daily lives from a compassionate perspective. Conveyed in simple yet eloquent rock and folk settings, this collection of songs combines Johnny Tillman Smith and Michael Dane Hager's complementary songwriting skills and Aldoush Alpanian's typically attentive production. Sky Cafe puts forth an acoustic/electric sound that is the ideal background for Michael's plaintive outcry and Johnny's forceful, soulful vocals. The result is a thoughtful and introspective effort that is sure to please." San Francisco Chronicle

Sky Cafe

Michael Hager is a successful songwriter and play-write who turned his creative talents to writing novels in 2008. His first novel "Just Beyond the Edge" has received rave reviews from both reviewers and readers alike. He has just completed his second novel "Times of Clouds & Sun" due out in the summer of 2013. Michael lives in Mexico and is currently working on two film scripts. He's is co-producer of the Diez Minutos Play Festival, an international theater production to help promote the arts in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Artist Johnny Tillman Smith was born in Long Beach California in 1962. He began his musical life at a very young age. Born into a musical family,  A televised performance of Elvis playing “Hound Dog” that truly inspired the 9 year old Smith to pick up the guitar and pursue a life of performance and by the age of 10, he was regularly invited to perform on stage with local professional musicians.

Johnny eventually relocated to San Francisco following his performance on Sky Cafe formed Alias Smith, a roots/rock influenced band which took first prize in a regional Battle of the Bands competition. Alias Smith’s debut CD by the same name garnered much praise, and helped the band to secure an 18 date tour throughout Sweden and Finland as well as stage performances alongside such reputable artists as The Beach Boys, Starship, Maria Muldaur, and Roger McGuinn to name a few.  As a solo artist and released the album “Just a Man”. Johnny’s maturity as a musician is realized as his sultry, soulful voice weaves throughout songs reminiscent of sophisticated blues melded with upbeat rock tempos. The hit “Love Is like a Rock” became #1 on radio request lines, and the song “Fortune Teller” received honorable mention in the Napa Valley Music Festival Song Writers Competition.

Johnny has won best performer 3 of 3 times at the Northern California Songwriters Association competition, and is a regular on live television and radio broadcasts. Through all of his successes, Smith has never lost “touch” with his roots and still performs on the original Martin D-35 that he’s been playing since age 12.


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Album Details: 

Age of Indifference


Style/Genre: World Rock/Folk
Instrumentation: Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Sax, Drums, Harmonica, Keyboards, Accordion, Violin, Percussion, Tabla, Dumbak/Daf.

On this debut recording, Sky Cafe shares with their listeners their message of hope and concern around important issues of our time and invite us to contemplate our daily lives from a compassionate perspective. Conveyed in simple yet eloquent rock and folk settings, this collection of songs combines Johnny Tillman Smith's powerful vocals and Michael Dane Hager's complementary songwriting skills and Aldoush Alpanian's typically attentive production. Sky Cafe puts forth an acoustic/electric sound that is the ideal background for Michael's plaintive outcry and Johnny's forceful, soulful vocals. The result is a thoughtful and introspective effort that is sure to please.

Tracks:

1. Valley of The Moon (5:42)
2. Swept Away (4:44)
3. Come Out (3:33) 
4. Lonely Voyager (8:00)
5. The Age of Indifference (5:43)
6. Bums on 42nd Street (4:40) 
7. Shadows of Your Heart (4:45) 
8. Eyes of a Lonely Hunter (3:43)
9. Cantos (4:39)
10. Born in 1978 (5:03) 
11. Out of the Cavern (4:13) 

Total Time: 55:03

Item # CD 4001-2

There are so many people that we have to thank besides the wonderful musicians that made this labor of love and our dreams come true. Special thanks to: Tyson and Brennon for reminding us all that there is a next generation we need to nurture and care for, Tina and Michele, our loving partners, for their unyielding support and compassion, Don Surplus for his practice studio, Mark for his great sense of humor during our recording session, Christopher Ross and Mike Sanders who always inspired, our numerous friends for having the patience to stand by us through the dark days, Aldoush for asking to always do better than we thought we could and to X DOT 25 Music who had visions and didn't let adversity stop them.

We are all confronted constantly with the challenges of day to day existence and it would be very easy to ignore our loved ones and the world about us. But every look into our children's faces reflects our past, present and future. The past is our legacy both good and bad. The present is our opportunity to correct our current course and stop worrying about the so called "generation gap" or political differences. The future is determined by how successful we are in making our principles and commitments come to life, and thus create real change. This album is dedicated to everyone who can reach down into the soul of this music and save a homeless child from another cold night, or contribute their energy saving our fragile earth or nurture a friend through a broken heart.

We want to thank you for taking the time to share our music and our lives.

Sky Cafe (Johnny Smith & Michael Dane)

CRDEITS:

Produced by ALDOUSH ALPANIAN

Executive Producers: X DOT 25 Music

Mastered at Rocket Lab by: Michael Romanowski 
Producer: Aldoush Alpanian 
Computer Graphics Support: Jayce Farahmand 
Cover Design: Koorosh Angali 

Inside Photo: Tina Campbell Hager

Katozian

Katozian

Cover Illustration: Morteza Katozian
               " The Beginning of the End " 1983, oil on canvas, 
                28"x40" Courtesy of the artist.

 

Vocals: Johnny Smith (1,3,4,8,11) - Michael Dane (2,5,6,7,9,10)
Harmony Vocals: Jim Featherstone (6,7) - Johnny Smith (8,9) Aldoush Alpanian (5,6,7,10) 
Also featuring vocalists Tina Osinski and Lilli Oldfield of Screaming Divas (1,3,4,8) 
Lead Guitars: Cedric Curtis (1,3,4,8,11) - Aldoush (5,6,7,10) 
Guitars: Johnny Smith (1,3,4,8,11) - Michael Dane (2,6,7) 
Bass: Scott Ross (1,3,4,8,11) - Jeff Obee (5,7,10) 
Sax: Larry De Lacruz (1,3,7,10) - Scott Hill (5) 
Drums: Daryll Borges (1,3,4,8,11) - Joe Brigandi (5,7) - Alphonse Meredith (10) 
Harmonica: Steven Gurr (2) 
Keyboards: Larry De Lacruz (1,3,4,7,8) - Jeff Obee (10) 
Accordion: Steve Della-Magera (4) 
Violin: Anthony (9)
Percussion: Art Cavagnaro (5,6) 
Tabla: Brad Van Cleave (5) 
Dumbak/Daf: Hooshmand Saki (5) 
Arrangements: Aldoush (5,6,7,10) - 
Sky Cafe (1,2,3,4,8,9,11) 
Choir Arrangements. on "The Age of Indifference": Heros Minasian

 

LYRICS:

"Valley of the Moon"

Words and Music by: 
Johnny Tillman Smith and Michael Dane Hager

you can see it from a distance 
with its neon signs that burn the sky 
it's a city with no name
whose lies are hidden behind the walls 
some are reaching for their hopes
some are reaching for the bright lights
they're all hiding from their fate 
all hoping for a future that's lost in time
all the alley ways are filled 
with the broken shards of last nights dreams
and the voices in the dark 
cry out to the strangers in the light
hey mister, can you spare
just one lousy quarter or a dime
so I can fight off those demons 
that are running through my mind

(Chorus) 
in the valley of the moon
there is no place you can hide 
and in the valley of the moon 
all your hopes are sacrificed

so you take your heart and run
to a safer place in time 
and leave the valley of the moon
to the prisoners of her light
well the day is like the dark 
when you've lost the secrets to your past 
and the answers to your future
are too vague for you to see the signs
you were hoping it was simple
when you came here to this sacred land 
but now that you have been here
you can see that you never had the chance

(Chorus)

now you thought you found some friends
that could save you from these mission lines
so you reached into their hearts 
with the stories of your tragic life
but they just turned away and said
"Did you hear the crazy words he raved?" 
"Yes, I think it was a prayer
from a man whose soul has flown away"

 

"Swept Away" 

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

well I was thinking about the day we left each other standing in the rain 
and I was wondering how you are and how much you've really changed 
and I remember the things we said and thought we both understood 
and I tried to love you all the way, you know I did the best that I could

(Chorus)

now I've been swept away by the memories of you 
and I'm crying for help is there anything you can do 
I've been swept away by the memories of you 
and I'm asking for love, is there anything you can do

well I look in the mirror and sometimes there ain't nobody there 
and I'm waiting for the day all this confusion will clear 
and I can't forget the look you had on your face when you went away 
it haunts me everywhere I go and I try and try and try to forget

(Chorus)

well the pictures on my wall they tell me it was not a dream 
and I know I'm not the fool, but sometimes that's just the way it seems 
well I was thinking about the day we left each other standing in the rain
and I was wondering how you are and how much you've really changed

(Chorus)

 

"Come Out" 

(dedicated to my mother: Carolyn Bergseid) 
Words and Music by: Johnny Tillman Smith

you've always been a loner just happy with yourself 
you don't know what you're missing with your life upon the shelf 
come out, you'll be happy that you do 
and I'll be happy too 
I just want you to 
come out

(Chorus) 
come out here and see what you're missing 
all you got to do is open the door
take a couple of steps and open your eyes
then you'll see the beauty 
the beauty of the world 
all your life you've been wondering about it 
wondering about the outside
you don't have to worry I'll be by your side

the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing 
why don't you come out of that lonely place
get up on your feet get out of that chair 
come see the sunshine 
and breathe the air, oh yeah
(Chorus)

 

"Lonely Voyager" 

Words and Music by: 
Johnny Tillman Smith and Michael Dane Hager

she was born down by the water 
where the river meets the sea 
they say it was a holy place
just made for raising southern girls
but for her it was a prison
that kept her from her dreams
lost behind those dark walls of old time tradition
she was looking for a reason 
something to have faith in 
now she gave away her innocence
to a blue-eyed boy in blue jeans 
never asking for forgiveness
just looking for answer to her prayer 
a destination from her boredom
that could free her from her fate 
a quiet moment of distraction
that could carry, carry her heart away
she was looking for a reason
something to have faith in

(Chorus) 
she's got secrets in her heart
that she doesn't want exposed
she's got memories in her past that
she'll never let you know 
she's a lonely voyager
just chasing endless dreams
in a firestorm of pain
with nowhere left to hide
she's a lonely voyager
she's a lonely voyager

now she's headed for the bright lights
with her heartaches and her pride 
caught in web of its confusion
with no savior by her side
she was blind to all its dangers 
so she fell into a spell
and gave her grace to strangers
for a chance to paint the moon 
she was looking for a reason 
something to have faith in

(Chorus)

well her nights turned into cold days 
with no love to warm her soul
never knowing what to look for
just wishing for a hero to hold her 
tight but the jungle took its toll on her 
and time stole all her youth
and left her just a broken angel 
with no wings, no wings to fly away 
she was looking for a reason 
something to have faith in

(Chorus)

 

"The Age of Indifference" 

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

there's a great forest burning to the south of our homeland
they say it's all in the name to promote the lives of man
but the night skies reflect their lies as we turn to close our eyes
too afraid to ask the cost 
too scared to face what we have lost 
to a world of a selfish sin
to a world of a selfish sin
in the townships they are crying to the sound of a distant drum
they say they've lost the answers to the voices of their sons
but the children lie in cold despair, no chance to save their lives
too weak to try and make a stand 
too broken to hold onto a hand
from the arms of deliverance
from the arms of deliverance
we are on the brink, times when dreams are lost 
and the frontiers are closing down, with every passing glance
it makes no sense, there is no defense
to the age of indifference
to the age of indifference
there's a dark storm that's coming to the heart of our hometowns 
and the gangs are fighting for control to try to take the rich men down 
and in the wake of all these drug wars there's only one way to survive
too late to save their poor souls
too blind to stop what we have bought
from the hands of the innocent 
from the hands of the innocent

(Chorus) 
there are heroes that are captured behind the walls of distant shores
and they're calling out for freedom to try to open all the doors
but the politicians try and hide behind the laws of their disgrace
too tempted by their own greed
too trapped to let their prisoners free 
from the chains of their bitterness
from the chains of their bitterness
(Chorus)

 

"Bums on 42nd Street" 

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

I was talking to the bums on 42nd Street 
I was listening to their sad lives 
it was down at the depot they would meet
it was there they spoke of their strife
and some would drink their old red wine
just to help them pass the time 
some would sing those lonesome blues
cause that's all they really knew

(Chorus)
it's a sad, sad story I've told about the men that stand in the cold
it's a mad, mad world they've known these men with the heavy load 
well their ragged coats are made of tweed 
stuffed with papers no one needs 
they're called the sidewalk walkers
and they're foul mouth talkers 
they wander through the night as stalkers of the light
well they're poets and dreamers 
hiding from the past
disguising all their lonely fears
behind their laughter and their rags
they ramble through the streets like shadows in the night

(Chorus) 
some get sick in the early dawn 
as their world screams like thunder
they know their life's not long 
so why save each other 
well, I left them in the early day
down at the city park
I didn't know what to say to the lonely men of the dark

(Chorus) 
I was talking to the bums on 42nd Street
I was listening to their sad lives 
it was down at the depot that they would meet 
it was there they spoke of their strife

 

"Shadows of Your Heart" 

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

I can see you walking down the dark avenues past my lonely room
you're like the moonlight shining bright drowning all the stars 
and every time I see you it's like you were never gone
and your know I'm lying here inside but you're too afraid to dance

(Chorus) 
and I try to forget who you are 
and I try to escape from these scars 
but don't you know you're burning a hole in my life
tearing my world apart
oh girl, you're just a shadow in my heart
oh girl, you're just a shadow in my heart
I remember when we first met every night was like a dream
flying free like two angels high above a distant storm 
making love like two crazy fools watching the world go by 
but the memories of that love are quickly fading fast

(Chorus) 
two castaways drifting far away from angry lives 
searching for a harbor to soothe our ravaged hearts 
and the voices they are fading from a time of quiet hope 
but the silence of these empty nights just won't let me go
(Chorus)

 

"Eyes of a Lonely Hunter" 

Music and Words by: 
Michael Dane Hager

well the eyes of a lonely hunter whose love has gone asunder
the heart of a desperate man too weak to make a stand 
now I feel like I'm falling into the arms of disillusion 
down the road without no bends where the pain never ends 
so the light has begun to fade from a love once so bright
that I feel like a blind man in the shadows of the night

(Chorus) 
well I need you, I need you tonight 
can't you see that I won't survive 
I need you, I need you tonight, I need you

the anger that lingers in our hearts is like a stranger in our minds
I can hear your voice calling, it's getting stronger every time
but the tears keep on falling like the rain in my eyes 
I can hear your heart pounding it's like a siren in my mind 
but the memories of the bad times are burning down inside
like the wind before the storm
stealing away our love

(Chorus)
I thought I found the answer to the mystery of our plight
it's learning how to give, it's learning how to compromise 
but that empty look upon your face tells me there's not a chance
gone are the hopes and dreams lost in the games we played

(Chorus) 
well the eyes of a lonely hunter whose love has gone asunder
the heart of a desperate man too weak, too weak to make a stand

 

"Cantos"

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

oh the cantos on my bookshelf with the words of a crazy man
don't you know he lived by truth but died alone
and sometimes his words were lost in obscurity 
but to some they made sense out of life

(Chorus) 
but he was just a stranger in a foreign land
the voice of freedom for the common man
but they broke him like a child 
and left him alone with his dreams
and on gray days when I'm feeling like the clouds pouring down
I reach out and take the words of a poet man
from one world to another I ride on his verses
soft colors and some passion he left behind

(Chorus) 
and his friends they passed him by without seeing that look in his eyes
like mirrors they reflected all their lies 
oh the cantos on my bookshelf with the words of a crazy man 
don't you know he lived by truth but died alone
(Chorus)

 

"Born in the Year of 1978" 

Words and Music By:
Michael Dane Hager

born in the year of ninety seventy-eight
a product of a war he never would appreciate
raised on heroes he never knew
in a fantasy land built on empty plans 
poor child never knew the success he was supposed to be
his mother had all the social graces
the father he never knew worked too hard to pay his dues 
forgotten people in forsaken places 
holding onto lies with their empty faces
hidden from all the truth blinded by the masquerade

(Chorus) 
but you don't care what you left astray 
and you wonder why I cry for yesterday
sweet innocence won't you take, take me back again
sweet innocence won't you take, take me back again
generations of time they come and pass 
but ours was supposed to be the golden age
expected to answer all your ancient questions 
when all of your promises faded into false dreams
skeletons of your age still remain to haunt my soul
some say we lost our chance 
that life is just a joke, a passing glance
but I'll keep on struggling to change the ways 
and try and make you understand the pain
of what it feels like to lose what you sought to gain
(Chorus)

 

"Out of the Cavern" 

Words and Music by: 
Michael Dane Hager

out of the cavern into the light
just like the morning after the night
why do you make me feel this way
I can't solve the games you play
lost somewhere in my empty fear 
(Chorus)

love's flying by so fast I know I'm losing you
life's rushing by so fast I don't know what to do 
visions of faces hidden in the past
sweet memories that never last 
searching for things we'll never find
trying to hold onto time
wishing for answers that aren't there 
(Chorus)

there goes my mind away from me
just like a ship out on the sea
I can't feel with my eyes
how can I tell if you lie 
why can't your emotions be more clear
(Chorus)

I feel the darkness it's all around 
I know love's been lost, how is it found 
there are no secrets to hide
feelings are just thoughts sacrificed
I just want someone to care 
(Chorus)