by Lord Baldwin

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Excerpts from acCritique by Eloise_98512 - "The Lioness In Exile"

E C C E N T R I C I T Y:
Lord Baldwin's new album and the treasure hunt it invites

It always impresses me when I spend time with Lord Baldwin's music how this artist is not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone in all sorts of ways : lyrics, melody, instrumentals, mood.
The 2016 album " E C C E N T R I C I T Y" showcases that fearless approach. The album feels like a journey, at times hesitant, at times a bit lost, revealing hidden treasures along the way.
There are 28 songs in the deluxe, two-disk album, and I will focus on the gems I found along the way, rather than giving a review of each and every song, which I have done in previous reviews of Lord Baldwin's music.
Like a walk in the woods, where the path at times is not clear, the surrounding songs are markers that help us understand the heart and soul of the bard, that are forever searching for authenticity and meaning. A bold undertaking, that shows courage on the part of the artist, as he struggles to come to terms with getting older and the unavoidable finality on the horizon.
E C C E N T R I C I T Y continues the journey, with some songs again that are quiet, reflective, and that truly feel like we are partaking of the journey the musician is inviting us to join. At times, the songs feel like monologues, that the artist wants us not just to hear, but also to accept. The doubt, the hesitation, the questions are very real and feel close to the skin. The inside sleeve (of the deluxe two-disk album) shows on one side an open suitcase full of personal items apparently important to Chester. It is a perfect image to get across the idea of a journey, the contents of which he shares generously and honestly. It is up to the listener to decide which items he or she can relate to.
I am also pleased that Lord Baldwin included one of my poems from my collection " Solo Flight ", " If It's All The Same To You ", that he put to song. " Chasing That Dream " is a flawless song that evokes a Bob Dylan like melody and harmonica. " Still In Transition" is a great ballad with very fun instrumentals, and a Tom Wait's like spirit, it is a haunting song about accepting the inevitability of the finality of our earthly lives. " More Of The Same " has a dynamite saxophone, and mind you, all the instrumentation you hear is done by Chester himself, very impressive. " Like An Old Man " showcases Chester's virtuoso harmonica, always a treat with its range and warm, energetic tones. " Not In Such A Hurry " is a personal song about realizing the slowing down of time with retirement. It has a bittersweet undertone, of acceptance and hope.
In " Hope Springs Eternal " Lord Baldwin harmonizes with himself, in a song that is touching for its emotional sparsity and transparency. " Unkind Words " is chilling in its unflinching insight and honesty. All in all, in this expansive and patient journey towards a deeper self acceptance and deeper purpose, Lord Baldwin leaves treasures for us to find in the sparkling gems he leaves along the way. As always, a day spent with Lord Baldwin's music is a day that leaves my heart and soul warmer, more hopeful, reassured and at peace.


released December 24, 2016



all rights reserved
Track Name: Don't Give Yourself Away
Don't Give Yourself Away
Sure you're far from being perfect but you're improving your score.
Ain't it good that no one's watching as that plate just hit the floor?
Sometimes it feels like faking it and you've no remedy or cure
as your smile brings on suspicion
and they kind a guess that you're not really sure.
Ain't we all a work in progress getting better every day;
and you're graceful as you stumble,
so don't give yourself away.
Everybody makes mistakes, but you're getting more than your share
of the “pick your self up,” “start over again,”
and you’re determined to get there.
Sometimes you kind a wonder is this age thing catching up with me.
as your smile brings on a sadness
of what someday might come to be.
the hand is quicker than the eye, they're all looking the other way;
and you know your secret's safe with me,
so don't give yourself away.
Worn down, failing, dignity exposed,
and to humbly accept that you're getting old can be such a test;
yes, still you're learning, as your life is turning,
and your heart is burning as you keep giving it your best.
Sleight of hand, twist of the wrist; and some things fall into place.
You have to think, Hey, wow man, seeing your own self face to face.
Falling down builds character but you gotta pick yourself up again.
As your smile brings on a sense of hope
and you remember where you've been.
Regrets and disappointments can be saved for some other day
Right now they're looking at you like you know what you're doing,
so don't give yourself away.
Track Name: Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts
Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts

Dear friends and gentle hearts
are in my thoughts, tonight.
Loved ones that share my grief,
and try hard to keep, on the light.
Good people that carry my load down their own road,
until they know,
I'll be just fine; I'll be just fine.
Dear friends and family ties
You’re here inside for all time.
I’m so glad to have you near; and I hold you dear
here in my life.
My words fail me for today, I keep looking for the right words to say in just the right way
of the how and why; of how and why.
Dear friends that bear my pain,
time and again; to help me heal.
Kindnesses that are shown;
comforting my own, and my ordeal.
Empathies that abound, and you know they’re not easily found;
yet their love is all around
for me to feel; for me to feel.
Dear friends and gentle hearts
are in my prayers, and I'm in theirs.
colleague from near and far,
that stand on guard; over my affairs
Loved ones that share my trail, that never fail,
from both sides of the veil;
oh how each one cares; how each one cares.
Track Name: If It's All The Same To You
If It’s All The Same To You,…

Weather’s unpredictable they say,
it'll change when you think everything’s okay;
Yeah, come to think of it, you are that way,
rarely bringing sunshine to chase away the grey.

You are my fair weather friend,
gladly taking the light out of my sunny days,
yes, and hoarding all the raindrops when my heart is parched;
always finding a reason to steal my thunder away,
never around lately, to lend a helping hand anyway.

And if it’s all the same to you, just be on your way,
clear my tidy porch; get on out of here.
And take that slick grin with you; I am so tired of your game.

You are my fair weather friend,
running quickly the other way when I am in distress and doubt;
yes and so good at ignoring any luck that comes my way,
shining up that mirror that you can't live without.

So, if it’s all the same to you, just be on your way,
get your boots on out of here; you’re messing up my new floor,
grab that flashy hat and that suitcase of clichés,
and get, get on out of here; don’t come back anymore.

Happy trails, my fair weather friend, I am sure you’ll find someone else
to lead down your winding; slippery trail.
Someday however, you’ll come face to face
with that empty heart of yours; so dark and frail.

If it’s all the same to you, please be on your way
and close the door;
I want to feel the sweet emptiness you’re leaving behind,
sweep it up into the yard where the wind can carry it away.

You are my fair weather friend,
running quickly the other way when I am in distress and doubt;
yeah, so good at ignoring any luck that comes my way,
shining up that mirror that you can't live without.
Track Name: The Geezer
The Geezer

Yes indeed, it appears that he has arrived,
somewhat of an eccentric, unpleasant man,
who at times, looks odd or acts a bit strangely
winging it per say with his uncertain game plan.
Aware of the subtle whisperings as he works the room;
looking slightly bored, still, they’re all being ignored
by the geezer.

Oh, he can be tactfully affable at times,
but he can be equally rude and contrary just the same;
ill-disposed, he’s adverse to sudden changes,
but adaptable to make the deal when there’s no other way.
He kicks and screams, as he’s dragged through bureaucracy,
they love being unfair, annoying and poking the bear;
poking the geezer.

Indeed, he is a bit of an embarrassment,
to some that don’t know him, as well as some who do.
But his secret to the good life is to be who he is;
in what life he has been given to travel through.
Slightly tripping over pointless formalities,
creating chaos in his path, to see how they react
to the geezer.

Some say they think he’s morally dubious;
that he’s from a low social class, on the climb.
They may be close, but he’s not letting on or getting upset
over what people have said about him over time.
After all, space and time in the universe is changing,
reality has no real fix, and is always playing tricks
on the geezer.

He offers no apologies for his apparent offenses
after all, he’s just an old guy in your peripheral view, passing by;
he’s on the last verse of his song, you won’t be bothered for too long
by the geezer.
Track Name: Chasing That Dream
Chasing That Dream

Time has a way of pushing you around,
as your journey moves you down some new road,
as distractions and detours, your plans
lose focus and your progress is slowed.
Still, when it’s hard to stand, on the moving rocks and sand
of the once river that is now just a stream,
hey, but you've gotten this far, and look, there you are,
believing and chasing that dream.

There are people, in their disappointment,
that would parade you past their own empty cup;
telling of how hard or impossible the task
and advise that you might as well give up.
But don't get caught up in the heat of their burned out defeat;
have your own engine stoked full of steam,
and keep your fire burning strong believing all along,
you have purpose in chasing that dream.

And never give up, no, never, never give up
on that vision of what you have planned.
And never give up, no,... never, ever give up
till you’re holding that prize in your hand.

Years ago it seemed it would be easy
to balance out and play all the roles,
but now, as priorities call you away
you move further away from your goals.
There's times I know, it's much easier to let go
of that one small flickering gleam,
but hold onto that star and no matter where you are,
keep believing and keep chasing that dream.
Track Name: Still In Transition
Still In Transition (The Day Is Coming To A Close)

It’s getting harder to believe this isn’t happening;
but I’ve been living too in long in denial.
Have to face facts that things are what they are
and get on with things; be my stoic self with style.
No matter what I try to make myself believe,
can’t escape heading down a one-way path everyone eventually goes.
It’s disconcerting that there’s nothing I can do to change my course;
I’m still in transition and the day is coming to a close.

The woman; she keeps herself too busy all the time;
to let those problematical thoughts fill her head.
Maybe she has the right answer to this conundrum;
maybe in service I won’t feel this sense of dread.
Sometimes when I dwell on the finality of it all,
I reflect on the past I inadvertently chose;
Still, all of the “what ifs” now don’t matter anymore;
I’m still in transition and the day is coming to a close.

So many things I planned but never got to;
bits and pieces of my life lay scattered about.
I wonder if my failings have left her disappointed
or saddened her as we took that different route.
I stand here staring blankly into the closet
at all of the, “someday I’ll fit back into” clothes;
I think of the dreams I never tried on, or that will never fit anymore;
I’m still in transition and the day is coming to a close.

When I was a boy, there was a man that sat on a porch;
who smiled from a secret that he never spoke;
I think I know now what the knowing smile was for;
I think that I now understand the joke.
I’m feeling like him, somewhat stranded on a porch
looking out at the world with a pain that comes and goes;
watching the red sun slowly sinking in the west,
I’m still in transition and the day is coming to a close.
Track Name: More Of The Same
More Of The Same

More of the same, just a different disguise,
searching for the truth through all of the lies.
Meet the new boss; he’s same as the old,
just a little more callous, and crafty and cold.
The classic signs come from way back when,
but it looks like we did get fooled again.
No need to point fingers at someone to blame,
cause it’s our own fault – it’s more of the same.

More of the same, just drawing bigger flies,
the choice is no choice and the prize is no prize.
They cry social justice, and display their cure,
while the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.
We want to relate to the words we hear
but they sound too perfect to hold so dear.
It all boils down to who plays a better game,
then it’s, “Let’s get down to business” to more of the same.

More of the same, and it never ends
like a torch passed on between sordid friends.
It’s hard to know which is worse, to accept or deny,
them lying to us or us letting them lie.
It’s all such an art, how can we relate
while we’re so caught up and we can’t see the fate?
We’re drawn down the path by the face and a name,
promising the moon,… yeah?
but given more of the same.
More of the same.
Yeah, that’s all we get; a lot of more of the same.
Come on,…
Track Name: Like An Old Man
Like An Old Man

I’m walking through the grocery store, wearing my, “whatever” clothes.
I know I’m over the top; looking outrageously off,
but that’s just the way it goes.
Where I been, what I done, who I am, nobody really knows,
I'm acting like an old man
wondering down the cereal rows.

I like to speak my peace, always liked beating my own drum,
and to let everyone know exactly
where it is that I'm coming from,
This young audience here seems bored
and I feel an indifference that’s yet to come.
I’m talking like an old man;
with wise words that come out sounding dumb.

Sitting on this park bench studying faces
of what seems to be successful men,
as they mostly pass by hurriedly;
looking over at me,… now and then.
their eyes question, "Who are you?"
and, "Why should we even care?"
I’m looking like an old man,
lost in his thoughts sitting over there.

I been studying things out, exercising caution as I walk on down the street.
I see the future coming fast;
more now than what I used to see.
Thoughts wander from the past to the here and now,
like some movie I seen,
and I’m thinking like an old man;
looking out for what is left to be.

I'm wise enough to know what I can and can't do
from all the things I’ve tried,
I know I’m looking like an old man;
but I still feel young at heart inside.
Track Name: Not In Such A Hurry
Not In Such A Hurry

Getting up in the morning, grab my guitar, and sitting on the bed;
I strum a few chords and hum a little tune
that’s rambling through my head.
There was a time before retirement,
the clock was pushing me out the door
but lately, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

There I was frustrated, impatiently waiting in that line;
scheming to shave off a second here and there
to get back what was mine.
Justifying my crazy life by writing songs about being poor,
but now, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

Driving down the freeway, so many cars speeding to and fro,
passing me on both sides, everyone in such a rush to go.
Riding too close, stepping on the brakes,
stomping the gas pedal to the floor,
glad that I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

Used to be, I’d be worrying about having enough time to get things done
dashing here, there and everywhere,
and seemed I was always under the gun.
But now, all that really matters is family being together forever more
and, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

Going from “A” to “B,” used to have to look for the quickest route,
going to work, going back home; the fastest way to get in and out.
Now, I’m taking less-traveled roads, and I’m more relaxed than ever before
and I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

There was always something happening that I had to get to on time;
in my haste I could be rude or impolite pursuing that nickel and dime;
then afterwards, in retrospect, I’d wonder what I was doing all this stuff for,
thankfully, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

I guess there’s a frame of mind
we all have to have when we’re in the game;
Scheduled routines are followed at work so results are always the same.
But I can see things now from a distance
as I look down at that useless war,
I’m glad, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.

Guy on a motorcycle riding my bumper, being an obnoxious jerk,
As he’s flashing his lights impatiently; I figure he’s kind a late for work.
So, I pull over to the side to let him pass, hoping he’s not too sore,
Thankful, I’m not in such a hurry anymore.
Track Name: Hope Springs Eternal
Hope Springs Eternal

Night turns into day; another chance to learn and grow
as you move in a direction
and chose the path you’ll go.
Choices; good and bad will define character thus far.
In motion, through the universe
to understand who and what you are.

Sometimes you’re bound to fail as bad decisions set you off track
and at times you feel there’s no way,
for redemption to lead you back.

A change of mind and heart; a hope to again be whole
brings about the first steps to atone
and to heal your very soul.

And though you might still fall and digress now and then,
with each step that you go forward
you move away from where you’ve been.

Nights turns into days, giving new chances to learn and grow
as you move in your directions
to chose what path you’ll go.
Good choices that you make strengthens your character and heart
as hope springs eternal
and you feel good of who and what you are.
Track Name: Unkind Words
Unkind Words

There are times we get tired or lazy;
say what thoughtless things come to mind,
with angry messages unsure and hazy
as emotions dictate whatever feelings we find.
It is so easy to transfer in your dealings
that passion that like smoke and fire flies about;
but we never do good, conveying feelings
when unkind words come out.

we get stressed out, we're under the gun;
we've no time, things close in, we're at a loss,
a friend tries to help but isn't fast enough to get it done
so we yell back to get our point across.
As soon as it leaves our lips, we know it's wrong
but saying sorry admits frailty and doubt;
so our silence only reinforces our strong
obligation when unkind words come out.

Why do we think hurting another is okay,
verbally lash out at another that's offering a hand?
Maybe to be cunning or clever in some way,
saying things we’d like to believe they won't understand.
But who's fooling who when we know that they know,
that we've thoughtlessly followed down some hopeless route;
as insensitivity removes compassion to show
the harm when unkind words come out.

You feel driven to say things like you don’t care;
it feels smart coming out of your head,
but it’s no sooner voiced and is it out there
before you regret the careless words that were said.
And that hurt you bring about with this sad business
lingers on, as they question what you're all about
till you finally atone and ask forgiveness
for those unkind words come out.
Track Name: Doing The Greater Good
Doing The Greater Good

There’s always other things to do;
things more important than the arduous act,
and there’s always greater priorities
that take precedence even over that.
But in this day and age of indifference
with more pressing engagements of should.
Nice to know there are still people out there
doing the greater good.

Here, there, and everywhere;
they’re out there in simple force,
offering services and helping others
with their needs, without remorse.
Like you, they have their things to do,
what’s important, what’s understood,
yet they choose to make time and follow their heart
doing the greater good.

Random acts of kindness, giving unselfishly of their time.
Not so hung up on menial rewards or meeting the bottom line.
Hoping that their selfless actions of laboring to easy another’s strife
might lighten another’s burdens, might effect a change in their life.

There will always be someone out there
with that inconvenient, needful call,
and no matter who or what you are
there’s no way you can do it all.
But maybe this one day; this one time
you might lend a hand when you could,
and join the benevolent folks out there
doing the greater good.
Track Name: Lover Boy Is Tired Tonight
Lover Boy Is Tired Tonight

Today has run its course with its turmoil and remorse,
and hassles at work like a man sent to the front.
It’s a battle I never win, and I come home all caved in.
A good meal and some sleep is all I want.

So if you’re thinking of me as an opportunity
just because I’ve turned out the lights,
I’m sorry to say, it’ll have to be another day,
because Lover boy is tired tonight.

I’ve been hard at it all day, with the bossman on my case,
thinking anywhere else is where I ought to be.
When I’m feeling like this, even hunger doesn’t exist.
I might fall asleep watching TV.

So if you’ve made some plans to attack your man,
after the kids have disappeared out of sight,
better suppress them for now, postpone them for now,
because Lover boy is tired tonight.

It’s not anything of you, just something I’m going through,
so drop your guard and know that I still care.
But my ship came in and it sank, I’m riding on empty tank,
and coming into home for repairs.

So if your love lights’ on and you see mine is gone,
don’t be upset, I’m sure there’ll be other times,
maybe tomorrow, let’s say, but for now, there’s no way,
because Lover boy is tired tonight.
Track Name: Stay With Me Lord
Stay With Me Lord

There’s no getting around the fact that I resist changing who I am;
You know I go my own way; not really following any of them.
I know it’s my choices that hold me here fast
and no excuses or apologies can justify my past.
Difficult, challenging? You know I am, but to be fair,
I do have my moments where I’m trying hard to get there.
So, stay with me Lord and forgive me as I fall,
I’m still trying to get it right, after all.

Too many times I’m at the crossroads of my fate
deciding to go left or right, or to go forward on the straight.
And after having traveling so many miles; I have to know fully well
that there’ll be a reckoning for me for all of the times I fell.
Am I just slow? Why do I feel the need to return or go
back to what I’m sure will not end up edifying my soul?
But please stay with me Lord, if for no other reason than that I believe
that I’ll be needing you more than ever, to succeed.

With so many choices on earth to see, to do, to think
sometimes being down here we get ourselves out of balance and sync.
I need a mentor; to guide me back to the true reality
they I am here right now, for a reason; to live, to love,
to make mistakes but to learn and perfect my agency.

Seems I’m always finding myself looking over to where I should be
wondering what I gotta do to finally get myself set free.
When suddenly I’m in trouble; and pretty sure what it’s all about
it’s then that I need to break free, to change course and to get out.
I feel a disturbance coming and I’m not ready to make the stand
I’m weak but I’m not unwilling to reach out and take your hand.
So, stay with me Lord; I’m in the middle of this eternal fight
and I could use you in my corner tonight.
Track Name: Kind A Feeling Right
Kind A Feeling Right

The kids, and their kids were over last night
and it was chaos with them running all about
as little ones were going back and forth, full speed ahead
while the rest of us were all just hanging out.
And I looked over at them, individually and as a whole
seeing love radiating in their faces like a light;
and feeling myself and my place in the universe
and my place in their hearts,
I’m kind a feeling right.

There is always so much to do and so little time;
seems like I’m always on the run.
Maybe in my own defense it seems like the only way
I would ever get anything done.
But she pulled me out and away for us to bring dinner
to a lonely woman the other night.
And I saw what a little love and comfort can do
and thinking about bringing happiness to that woman,
I’m kind a feeling right.

So much for me getting myself involved; all caught up
into many instant gratification things
as my psyche gets confused and I lose focus
with the reality of true happiness and what it brings.
But when I’m where I should be, doing what I should be doing my troubles seem less important and I catch sight
of what’s really important, and as my spirit rises
above and beyond this temporal world,
I’m kind a feeling right.,,, kind a feeling right.
Track Name: Somebody Loves Me
Somebody Loves Me

That mirror’s not being too kind today;
saying bad things I don’t believe are true,
and I don’t need things raining on my parade
as I struggle with my own demons to get through.
But when adversities weigh heavy on my mind
or hanging too long around my door
looking for my faults, (and they’re not so hard to find),
still, I try not to let em bother me too much anymore,

because, somebody loves me unconditionally;
sees me and understands who and what it is I can be.
Someone to understand; to face life with, with grace and style;
somebody loves me, and it makes my life worthwhile.

Out there the world can be cruel;
it’s so hard for such a simple one to get along,
and there’s no getting around, me, looking like a fool
me just pretending like I'll get somewhere singing my little song.
I must still go my way in that real world out there;
we all have to have times that we stumble and fall,
but it's nice to know that somebody out there cares
and wants to help to get me through it all,

and, somebody loves me and is waiting for my return,
always with me in mind; always holding for my concern;
facing every day together with hope, we're hand in hand with a smile;
somebody loves me, and it makes my life worthwhile.
Somebody loves me, and it makes my life worthwhile.