Light The Dark

by David Ullman

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Café Days - Best In Boots Vol. 2 (2006​-​2007), The Furious Light (Remix EP), Live Takes (EP), The Furious Light (Acoustic EP), The Furious Light, Live Takes (EP), Wise Blood (Remix EP), Unplugged @ Uncorked (5.09.2009), and 3 more. , and , .

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1.
Who You Say 05:17
This is my cry in the dark In the blackest of nights As fire comes from a spark Set my soul alight In the beginning was the word So much has gotten in the way After everything I’ve learned I can’t bring myself to pray (REFRAIN) Still here I kneel My humble head bowed Broken heart in your hands Begging you aloud Show mercy please Hear me out Come down from that tree Lift my father up Send my sister love bring my brother hope make sure my mother knows that her son will be alright there’s no need to cry if you are who you say then show me today Prove you have a plan To make everyone fall in line Somehow make me understand How love can be a crime For every truth that’s been obscured Surely something has survived For the meek who have endured You’ve promised to provide REFRAIN Take the condition out of love A promise divine Has been twisted and corrupt Salvation for a price Show mercy please God Hear me out Come down from that tree Lift my father up Send my sister love bring my brother hope make sure my mother knows that her sons will be alright there’s no need to cry if you are who you say then show me today They say all roads lead back to you And someday all will see How I need this to be true Won’t you make me believe I’m determined here to stand Whether you’ll deliver me or not An awful roar in my head And a song in my heart
2.
Wise Blood 03:59
Dark clouds cut through the sky And night starts to bleed into day You’re off down a one-way road And all the signs say “Jesus Saves” Where you come from is gone You can’t go back The train is taking off, It’s tearing up the track You tried to move on But it called you back It cannot be denied It’s the blood that’s wise Running away from what you don’t believe Rantin’, raving that you are not clean With a sharp tongue and jagged teeth Shoutin’ “you reckon that you’ve been redeemed?” With a tear in his throat And the devil in his eyes He’s preaching the Church of Jesus Christ without Christ Tried to move on But the blood inside It cannot be denied It’s the blood that’s wise A martyr lying for the truth A soldier dying in a preacher’s suit His barbed-wire heart breaking before your eyes He’s paying the price For having blood that’s wise He’s Haunted by a man leaping from limb to limb in the forest of his mind he can no longer pretend There’s no end in sight No bottom to his eyes He’s walking on rocks toward a pin-prick of light bleeding blood that’s wise
3.
The Fall 05:30
The leaves are turning brown They’ll soon be falling to the ground It’s getting cold outside You’re in your corner and I’m in mine We’re both wishing we could find A way to turn the tide You can shout and you can scream With silence louder than anything But I’m not ready to risk it all ‘Cause when it comes to you I’ve still got a long way to fall We’re having one of those nights again This is one of those times my friend Where every sentence starts a fight We’re singing two separate songs Can’t seem to get along Or find a way to harmonize Just let the wind tow the line As the moon controls the tide Think I’m ready to risk it all But when it comes to you I’ve still got a long way to fall We’re gonna have it out now and then I’m not just trying to make amends But I think this break is about bend Cause I’m ready to risk it all And when comes to you I’ve still got a long way to fall I’ve still gotta ways to fall I’ve still got you to call I’m ready to risk it all And you’re not getting rid of me I’ve still got room to grow I’m not gonna let you go I want all the world to know That you’re not getting rid of me I’ve still gotta ways to fall I’ve still got you to call I’m ready to risk it all… I’ve still got room to grow I’m not gonna let you go Want the whole damn world to know… When it comes to you and me I’m not gonna let this be I’ll keep singing ‘till you agree That you’re not getting rid of me I’ve still gotta a ways to fall I’ve still got room to grow I want all the world to know That you’re not getting rid of me I’ll keep singing ‘till you agree This I guarantee You’re not getting rid of me The leaves are turning brown They’ll soon be falling to the ground It’s getting cold outside
4.
Driving into the dawn All my innocence denied All my worries are gone with you by my side Wasn't the gun in my face It was the gleam in his eye telling me Today's as good as any day to die Barbed-wire fences cut across the sky Drawing lines between fight and flight While the fear, it follows me It cannot be denied With perfect resignation I’ve made up my mind (CHORUS) Now the red moon's at arm's reach begging for forgiveness The wind roars out a warning and the air, it thickens I tried to reason with myself but self wouldn't listen Hitch-hiking on a highway with no consequence I've crossed the line I've jumped the fence Heading toward the horizon darkness falls on queue staining the oil-spill sunset a blood-soaked hue CHORUS Where i'm going now fear can't follow There's no need for safely here There'll be no tomorrow There's no wrong or right now just you and me while the devil awaits his due in a dreamless sleep
5.
There’s a violence inside of me And a weakness on display An anger burning quietly That will not go away Seems the more that I struggle The harder it becomes To believe in miracles In anything or anyone But I will not fall apart I will not give in… or take part I’ll set fire to the spark And burn a hole in the night To light the dark And I know that you feel it to The way the world weighs on you The frustration of the fight Still you manage to stand up For what you know is right You will not fall apart You will not give in… or take part You’ll set fire to the spark And burn a hole in the night To light the dark We’re leaving these roads outgrown For wide open skies In your heart I’ve found my home I’m better man when seen… through your eyes We will not fall apart We will not give in… or take part We’ll set fire to the spark And burn a hole in the night… to light the dark
6.
Throwing diamonds at the sky trying to outshine the moon There’s no time to reflect and there’s never enough room (never enough room) There’s no easy fix.. and each time it gets worse Getting harder and harder to write our next verse (help me write our next verse) (CHORUS) You said you couldn’t find a happy song in all I’ve written for you You said you wanted a happy song and there were none that you knew I guess the happiest sad song is gonna have to You say sadness is surrender, and sympathy is not love But I believe in you and I am not giving up (please don’t ever give up) Sometimes faith is not enough and you need what you can touch Feel like you’re always running and never catching up (I just wanna catch up) CHORUS Like a star in the sky that dies before the dawn Even the brightest moon is overtaken by the sun Trying to see in the dark the light that’s breaking through I’ve been so proud of my pain now I’ve got nothing left to prove I’m just trying to add a happy song to all I’ve written for you I’m just trying to sing a happy song this is the best that I can do I guess the happiest sad song is gonna have to do
7.
You'll See 03:14
Sometimes you gotta say it clear Somethings not working here Though we seem to have lost our way I know we're gonna be ok 'Cause in this partnership of equal stakes We'll find a balance of give and take Let's on this one thing agree (CHORUS) You're the only one for me Don't want some dressed up fantasy No, not some silly celebrity Nobody else could be A better fit for me There's only you… Only me... You'll see Like a train that's jumped the track I know we cannot go back How could I have be so mean To the sweetest thing I've ever seen How could I ever resists Your little thumb-hidden fists? With humble hands I plead CHORUS You're talking of bells that can't be unrung But I'm thinking of bell-ringing to come I don't know what I'm gonna do But I know how I feel about you CHORUS 2x
8.
Upward Down 03:31
Want to start, but where to begin I’ve spent such long time my friend On the outside looking in Working hard, and spending all my time First on the bill but last in line Trying to make the wrong words rhyme Up here so high Way up in the clouds I've lost sight I'm upward-down I don't wanna fight Just wanna kiss the ground tonight Wanna be everywhere at once Be everything to everyone Falling short at all fronts But I'm not lost And I don't need found I'm a long way off on this upward down I don't wanna fight Just wanna clear the air tonight I've stolen time I've drawn flies I've sold the truth I've bought lies I'm off the mark but i'll get it right in time Weary now from always keeping score Never content to be ignored Giving less but expecting more Wish I were a much better friend Want to have done all I could I’ll do more when I can But I'm running in place And I can't slow down Should I take a break or take a bow It's this upward down That's got me turned around

about

According to NO DEPRESSION, "David Ullman sings with a passion and clarity that belies his relative rookie status." His latest album, LIGHT THE DARK, is hailed by the same authority on roots music as "both striking and sincere. Every track reflects the strength of an artist possessed, one benefitting from both confidence and craft. There’s nothing halfway or compromising about what Ullman does; he puts his all into every offering and the results bear that out, even on first hearing."

A moody mix of haunted hymns, blasphemous ballads, and folk-rock redemption songs, LIGHT THE DARK was recently released in a limited-edition LP/CD combo package on Ullman's own label, Dreaming Out Loud Records.

Largely subsidized by a series of successful fundraising concerts and an online “crowdfunding campaign,” LIGHT THE DARK asks its audience to examine the conflicts between who they are versus who they want to be; where they come from versus where they’re going; and, what they’ve been told versus what they, themselves believe.

“These songs share not only a resilient spirit, but also a willingness to shine a light on one’s self and confront the ways in which we are often our own worst enemy,” Ullman explains. “It’s an album about the ongoing, and often traumatic, process of finding your place in the world--deciding for what, and with whom, you will stand.

“Whereas my first album was written and recorded in a vacuum and performed at gigs after the fact, all of the songs on LIGHT THE DARK were honed and developed on stage. So, the primary goal for this record was to capture the energy and dynamics of my live performances with minimal accompaniment in the hope that audiences will respond as well to what they bring home as they have been to my live show.”

Originally from Northeast Ohio, Ullman’s emotionally intelligent and unabashedly candid debut, DOG DAYS (2008), was deemed “exquisitely beautiful” and “intensely rich” by Cleveland music critics, and the region’s concertgoers were introduced to Ullman over the course of the more than 300 shows he played in support of the album, as well as its singles/EPs “Deja Vu” (2007) and “Secondhand” (2009) and the live “Bootleg” UNPLUGGED @ UNCORKED (2010).

Building a devoted fan base one passionate, furrow-browed performance at a time, the now 34-year-old Ullman began playing clubs, coffeehouses and bars in and around Kent, Ohio in 2005 while finishing college and working twelve-hour-nights in a plastics factory. He’s since left both factory and college life behind, relocating to Northfield, Minnesota and taking his tattered green Doc Martens and his bloodied, battered Martin guitar on the road.

“One of the benefits of beginning your music career in a college town is that, after they graduate, the students who’ve made up your audience either return to where they’re from or move someplace new,” Ullman says. “I’m fortunate to have supporters in some pretty cool places.”

Regardless of the setting, whether it’s opening for acts like Need To Breathe, Chelsea Crowell, Iris DeMent, Hamell On Trial, Josh Krajcik or Rusted Root on theater and club stages; returning to his old stomping grounds to play in the Kent State Folk Festival; or a private house concert, Ullman’s most valuable asset is his ability to relate to an audience.

Listeners easily identify with the extreme highs, the obliterating lows and the hazy in-betweens reflected in his songs. Slightly gravelly vocals, which crescendo from the barest whisper to a barely-controlled roar, lend Ullman’s earnest and raw confessions a grace and sincerity rarely found in today’s music.

“For me,” he says, “even though I might sing about intense, sad-sounding subjects, the goal is always to transcend the darkness by giving voice to it. It’s catharsis. I don’t usually sing songs when I’m happy. I guess you could say I sing sad songs to get happy.”

credits

released December 4, 2012

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Written by David Ullman

Click individual songs for production credits

featuring...

Brian Yost - Drums, Percussion, Keys and Bouzouki
Tara Hanish - Cello
Brian Ullman - Electric Guitar
Kristoffer Carter - Bass ("Wise Blood")
Nate Pelfrey - Bass ("The Fall")
Zach - Vocals and Lead Guitars ("Happiest Sad Song")

Mixed by Jake Fader
Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio, Lakewood, OH

Photography by lesley.anne.k photo | design

Thank You - Susie: best. wife. ever. You light my dark everyday; Jack, for all the advice, encouragement and direction; Kyle for your commitment and creativity ; Yost for your initiative, versatility and friendship ; KC for kicking out the jams; BT: badass guitar wizard; Tara for kicking ass and classing up the project; Zach for lending his pen, vox and guitar chops: Namaste; Nate Pelfrey for the fretless action; Nate, Seth & Gina @ Just A Dream Studios; Cary and the RCR Recording Studio Crew; Big Bob & Matt D for the sweet hook-up @ Elevation; Jake for making the ghosts between the speakers dance; Adam for making it all sound sweet but not too loud; Monica, Rae Ann & April for your great ideas & teamwork; Sean, Kris, Dallas and Dawn for the feedback; Abby, for the friendly advice; Terry Durst and The Beachland Ballroom; Timothy Eddings and Musica; The Bushman, Enormity and Mike T; SPECIAL THANKS: Dawn Ray-Novak, Kimberly Ann & all “Fantastic Fuelers”

All songs by David Ullman (BMI)
Except "Happiest Sad Song" co-written
with Zach Freidhof (Zef Music/BMI)

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