THE ALBUM

  This is the place to go a little deeper into the Thanks for Checking In (TFCI) Album for the full recording and production credits, lyrics, photos from the sessions and some liner notes from me.

 

 Overall, TFCI was largely inspired by 70's American Pop that I heard on the radio, growing up as a child—and the 1980's British New Wave/Pop artists that I saw on MTV as a teenager. The goal was to make a collection of songs that would feature crisp songwriting, interesting scene changes, strong hooks, creative orchestration and direct, soulful singing. And not too long. 10 songs, 38 minutes is fine for this one. There's a couple little jams that give a nod to my love of improvisation—but, mostly a clear path of communication from myself to the listener.

I'm a giant fan of all genres of music, and have spent a lifetime of dedicated listening, studying, performing, practicing and appropriating all of that activity into the hope that I'd somehow find a singular voice that's solely (and soulfully) mine.  In short—to be able to play, sing and say what's on my mind.

Still, the musical core of this record is clearly defined by my use of the Piano Trio with vocals —adding orchestration and other elements as necessity or inspiration or dictate TO THE SONG.  Okay, that's enough for now. 

                                                                                         

                                                                                                               Jeff Kazee, NYC (March 26, 2022)

Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY
Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY

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John Morgan Kimock, Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY
John Morgan Kimock, Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY

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Bob Stander's Gretsch 6120
Bob Stander's Gretsch 6120

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Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY
Playroom Studios, Sea Cliff, NY

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1/27

The workbook

The Workbook
The Workbook

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Everywhere She Moves
Everywhere She Moves

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Protection
Protection

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The Workbook
The Workbook

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1/11

credits/LYRICS

THANKS FOR CHECKING IN

WRITTEN, ARRANGED & PRODUCED  BY JEFF KAZEE

 

Mixed by Bob Stander at Parcheesi Recording Studio, Huntington Station, NY

Mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, TN 

 

Basic piano trio tracks recorded by Roger Street Friedman at The Playroom Studio, Sea Cliff, NY

Vocals, additional recording & primary engineering by Bob Stander at Parcheesi Recording Studio, Huntington Station, NY

Tracee, Tear Me Down & Everywhere She Moves basic tracks & vocals recorded & engineered by Kevin Salem at Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY & Distortion Tank in Woodstock, NY

 

Additional recording at Jeff Kazee's Plastic Country Kitchen in Astoria, Queens, the NYC home studios of Oz Noy, Jeffrey Lee Campbell & Andy York. Hammond B3 Organ recorded by Mark Masefield at Mayfair House in Bradley Beach, NJ.

 

Cover Illustration & Design by Bob Delevante

Photographs by Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography

 

TRACK ONE: EVERYWHERE SHE MOVES

Drums: Richie Mercurio

Bass: Steve Count

Guitar: Jeffrey Lee Campbell

One chord struck on that wondrous grand piano at Bearsville Studios

in Woodstock, NY, and I was off and running with a Rundgren-inspired

pop sweet treat. Warm and inviting,  feeling the good vibes from the many

legends that called Bearsville home, "Everywhere" was the first song I ever wrote while

in the studio, It came quick , but it took me almost 2o years before I'd dig it up and finish it.

LYRICS

So sweet, so wonderful

I really couldn't ask for more

She makes me feel so stupid sometimes

I always seem to lose myself whenever she's around me

I can't handle my fragile independence 

I've got no freedom at all

 

Everywhere she moves, I move with her

Everywhere she goes, I go

I just can't stand to lose one minute without her

I'll never live without her, won't last one minute without her

I'll never make it alone

 

I'd like to think I got some self-control

But it's clear that I ain't got much

'Cause every time that girl is even near me

I'm a broke down man from the want of her touch

I can't handle my fragile independence 

I've got no freedom at all

 

Everywhere she moves, I move with her

Everywhere she goes, I go

I just can't stand to lose one minute without her

I'll never live without her, I won't last one minute without her

I'll never make it alone

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK TWO: TAMED

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Acoustic Guitar: Bob Stander

One has got to give it up. Trust is hard.

LYRICS

Why do you run if you're not afraid?

What's the point of loving  you can't be tamed?

Why do you trust the ones who you don't believe?

Does it make it any easier for you to leave?

 

Who do you know that will stand for you?

Who do you know that can stand the truth?

Do you fear that you'll let your image slip?

And it all comes down to one small trip?

 

And it's over and over again

When you're cornered you change like the wind

There's a truth to the fact that you never look back

And nothing's allowed to begin

 

I saw you there with that lonesome look

So many others have read that book

But, I’ll guess that's not completely true

Most put it down halfway through

 

Dog-eared and coffee-stained

Worse for the wear from being unclaimed

Funny you think that you're so hard to read

But that's just myth, you're not a mystery

 

And it's over and over again

When you're cornered you change like the wind

There's truth to the fact that you never look back

And nothing's allowed to begin

 

(Solo)

 

And it's over and over again

When you're cornered you change like the wind

There's truth to the fact, girl—you never look back

And nothing's allowed to begin

 

And it's over and over again

When you're cornered you change like the wind

There's truth to the fact that you never look back

And nothing's allowed to begin

Nothing's allowed to begin

 

Why do you run if you're not afraid?

What's the point of loving  you can't be tamed?

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK THREE: I GOT THAT FEELING

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Guitars: Bob Stander

A party song that I could imagine having cut at the

legendary Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studios, in New Orleans 

back in the late 50's. Fueled by the ghosts of Fats, Allen Toussaint, Lee Dorsey

& so many of the Crescent City masters.

LYRICS

Don't know when it's gonna come up on you

I don't even try to fight it 'cause I know that it's stronger

And all of the sudden I'm sweating and shaking inside

Yeah, I'm a mixed up boy but I always seem to turn out fine

 

I got that feeling

Oh, I got the feeling

I got that feeling

And it only feels good with you

 

The first time I felt it, I thought it was a one time thing

Such a strong emotion, I had to have it everyday

Now it only takes a second and I'm buzzing from my head to my toes

I'm powerless to stop it and there's only one place I can go

 

To get that feeling

Oh, I got the feeling

I got that feeling

I only feel it when I feel it with you

 

(Solo)

 

Oh, I got that feeling

Yeah, I got the feeling

Oh, I got that feeling

Don't you know that it feels so good?

 

Now I feel a little weak and it's quite hard for me to admit

There's been a few times when I foolishly tried to quit

When all of a sudden, inside—it's like a knock on my door

Saying, "boy, you should be leaving" 

But I always run back for more, more, more 

 

(To get) the feeling

Oh, I got the feeling

F-f-f-feeling, yeah, I love that feeling

Alright, I love the feeling

Can't get enough of the feeling

Oh, I got that feeling, baby

And the feeling that I'm feeling is true

That I only want to feel it with you

 

Oh, I love to love you, baby

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK FOUR: THANKS FOR CHECKING IN

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Guitars: Oz Noy

We must always be present in regards to each other. Even the strongest

of individuals need affirmation and a friendly face. We need each other. 

LYRICS

Hey, you must have heard me calling

I lost my way, next thing I’ve fallen

It’s good to see a friendly face

 

When this world feels like it’s ending 

And everything seems to be closing in on me 

I need someone to trust

 

Maybe it’s just a moment in time

And I need someone to say let it ride

To throw my trouble to the wind 

 

Life ain’t easy and it sure ain’t cheap

Anything good you gotta fight to keep

I’m so thankful you’re my friend

Thanks for checking in

 

Sun shining, but my head’s in the clouds

Throwaway talk and I'm laughing too loud

You say, what’s the matter with you?

 

What’s gone south and what’s gone wrong?

It ain't gonna work - going at it alone

Slow down, let’s talk things through

 

Maybe I’m going through a moment in time

Where nothing adds up and I’m barely alive

Feeling alone, like I just can’t win

 

Life ain’t easy and you know it ain't fair

When heartache comes, I can find you there

To pick me up once again

My friend,  thanks for checking in

 

Everybody breaks down once in a while

Everybody needs someone

To let you know you're not completely crazy

To let you go when you can't see straight

 

(Solo)

 

Hey, thanks for calling 

It’s good to know I got a friend that’s all in

You know I'd do the same for you

 

Maybe you’re going through a moment in time

Where nothing adds up and you’re barely alive

Feeling alone, like you just can’t win

 

Life ain’t easy and life ain’t fair

When heartache comes, you're gonna find me there

To pick you up once again

Your friend, until the end

My friends, thanks for checking in

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK FIVE: TEAR ME DOWN

Tear Me Down

Drums: Rich Mercurio

Bass: Steve Count

Guitars: Andy York

Percussion: John Morgan Kimock 

I wrote this for Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Recorded it

in 2002 and Johnny turned it down twice. I still can't believe it! 

 

Lyrics:

I saw you standing with your latest flame

The Devil smiling, you barely knew his name

Yeah, you trot him out so thoughtlessly

Another chance to stick the knife in me

 

You must live to tear me down

Yeah, you try your best to hurt me, just to push me around

You must live to tear me down

Well, you'll never learn to understand 

Some things just don't work out

 

I know it didn't go the way you planned

I guess it's true—you cannot change a man

What I got, you know, I gave to you

I gave my best but it would not do

 

So, you dress me down at every chance you get

I guess the pain you felt, you can't forget

We can't always get the things we want

But that doesn't mean you got to hurt someone 

 

You must live to tear me down

Yeah, you try your best to hurt me—just to push me around

You must live to tear me down

Well, you'll never understand 

Some things just don't work out

 

There's got to be some kindness left in you

Part of the girl that I once knew

Who'd believe you'd have a chain on me?

Teaching me a lesson in misery

 

(Solo)

 

You must live to tear me down

Yeah, you try your best to hurt me—just to push me around

You must live to tear me down

Someday, you're gonna learn that it don't all work out

 

You must live to tear me down

Yeah, you try your best to hurt me—just to push me around

You must live to tear me down

Someday, you're gonna learn that it don't all work out

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK SIX: YOU KEPT ME WAITING

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Guitar: Bob Stander

One of the hardest parts of life is, while most things can be repaired or

learned from, some things are irreversible. Most of us have all experienced various 

levels of collateral damage in our lives. It hurts, and it's not fair, and it stays with us, but we're 

not alone. Keep grinding.

Lyrics:

I thought the time wouldn’t come when I wouldn’t feel angry

Always feeling like I was back on my heels and crazy

And the world went by and I seem to survive, all the while

But I was drowning inside, living a lie and I smiled

 

You kept me waiting

You kept me waiting

You kept me waiting

I waited for you

 

Alone, waiting for my luck to change

It’s a universal truth, people wish for it every day

I was counting on you for some valuable affirmation

Little did I know that you were lost in your own situation

 

You kept me waiting

You kept me waiting

You kept me waiting

I waited on you

 

How was I supposed to know? 

That you would never show  

 I’d be forced to find my way back home alone

 

Looking over my shoulder for a simple sign

God knows I prayed, God know I tried

Gotta hang on tight to think you didn’t want it to hurt me

Did you want it to hurt?

 

(Solo)

 

Alone, waiting for my luck to change

It’s a Universal Truth—people lose hope everyday

 

Waiting for something, waiting for someone

It never gets easy when you know it ain't coming

(But I) can’t let letting you go eat me alive

 

You kept me waiting, you kept me waiting

You kept me waiting— I waited for you

You kept me waiting, you kept me waiting

You kept me waiting—I waited on you

I waited on you

I waited for you

I waited on you

I’m waiting on you

Keep waiting for you

I'm waiting for you

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK SEVEN: A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Guitars: Oz Noy

Trumpet: Chris Anderson

Trombone: Neal "The Dude" Pawley

Some church for you heathens. And when I say "you", I mean me.

Feel joy? Pass it on.

Lyrics:

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

I found a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna let you use it, too

 

The world’s gone crazy, spinning out of control

 Sometimes it’s all you to do is just to try and hang on

 If only for a minute a good feeling arrives

 You can’t hide it away, you have to see that it shines

 

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

I found a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna let you use it, too

No trouble, no rain—I see the darks clouds drifting away

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

 

There ain't no method, no trick to be found

You have to climb on up from your spot on the ground

Reach out to others and soon you will know

It's so much sweeter on the bright side of the road

 

The world’s gone crazy, spinning out of control

 Sometimes it’s all you to do is just to try and hang on

 If only for a minute a good feeling arrives

 You can’t hide it away, you have to see that it shines

 

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

I found a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna let you use it, too (yes, I do)

No trouble, no rain—I see the darks clouds, but they're drifting away

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

 

(Solo)

 

Shine a light, baby...

 

Yeah, I got a little bit

I gotta share my love light, baby—with you, tonight

I got a little bit...

I got a little bit more to give you, babe

'Cause I got so much to give

 

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna share the light with you

I found a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I wanna let you use it, too (yes, I do)

No trouble, no rain—I see the darks clouds, but they're drifting away

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

Found a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

I got a little bit of sunshine in my heart today

And I want—I wanna share—share the light with you

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK EIGHT: TRACEE

Drums: Rich Mercurio

Bass: Steve Count

Trumpet/FLUGELHORN Scott Wendholt

12-String Guitar: Andy York

Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

First loves require navigation that we are not prepared for. There's a moment in life when 

you have no idea that so many forces and situations are in play.

That moment is a sweet spot before you realize that life is complicated.

LYRICS:

Tracee always finds the losers

She likes to think that she can see in them what no one sees

But Tracee never does the choosing

Girls like Tracee always seem to be around

The boys that love to push them down

 

I fell in love with Tracee

Just before the final year began in my high school

She tried her best to love me

But it was all too clear we'd never get to see it through

That's not what guys like me and girls like Tracee really do

 

Goodbye, my love

An angel's heart in a wicked world

Goodbye, my friend

Such a drag to be everybody's good time girl

 

(Solo)

 

The last time I saw Tracee

She was running wild in our hometown with her latest redneck prince

She looked tired, hard, lonely and bored

And all the while, her frozen smile serving as her best defense

I guess I'll never really know the girl that Tracee could have been

 

Goodbye, my love

An angel's heart in a wicked world

Goodbye, my friend

Such a drag to be everybody's good time girl

Goodbye my love

Surely, I'll see you in a better place

Goodbye, my friend

You need so much more love than you could ever take 

You need so much more love than you could ever take 

She needs so much more love than she could ever take

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK NINE: RUNNING

Drums & Percussion: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

Guitars: Bob Stander

Man on a wheel. Ambition, failure, success, failure, family, stress, good luck,

bad luck, hope, resignation, gratitude, rebirth, stress. Rinse, repeat.

LYRICS:

I was born with my feet on the ground

Running anywhere where I couldn't be found

Any place I landed I called home

 

Call it chaos, some call it peace

I'dl like to think it's a natural release

When I feel the world is pressing, I move on

 

The rock keeps spinning, taking us around

I'm just a passenger waiting to be found  

 

The clock 's ticking and I'm always aware

The engines on and it's taking me there

I got no time to settle down

 

The machine in side me just won't stop

What's the point in even turning it off?

(I'm) starting to think this thing's got a mind of its own

 

The rock keeps spinning, taking us around

I'm just a passenger waiting to be found  

The world keeps spinning, taking us around

I'm just a passenger waiting to be found 

 

(solo) 

    

Hermes, the god of speed 

Is also the god of thievery

People we love can disappear so fast

 

Like the Galloping Ghost, (I'm) still running strong 

I'm carrying weight, stiff-arming the throng

I can't run forever, I just can't last 

 

The rock keeps spinning, taking us around

I'm just a lonely passenger waiting to be found 

Well, the world keeps spinning, taking us around

I'm just a lonely passenger waiting to be found 

I'm waiting to be found

La, la, la, la—la, la, la

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)

TRACK TEN: PROTECTION

Drums: John Morgan Kimock

Bass: Andy Hess

If  you find yourself evolving, that a good thing. On a musical note, 

my favorite part in this is the instrumental soli in the middle. One part Rachmaninoff, 

one part Brian Wilson.  I fooled with this song for 15 years without lyrics

and a working form. So annoying. One day, it presented itself to me as a fully—finished

work. I was happy. I can only assume that sometimes the song is done, but it's

waiting for you to get your license to use it. 

Lyrics:

I've stripped away every single last bit of protection

Down to the bone, one man alone, hoping to see

 

Confidence leaves when a soul is forced into confession

Stumbling in fits, it gets harder and harder to breathe

 

Such is Life's mystery

To cast doubts on beliefs 

That we lean on for strength and comfort

 

Happiness, joy and a promise of feeling secure

Is it a sin, to pull from within all you have to survive?

 

(Solo)

 

Loneliness comes and it stays, chips away at your pride

Like some evil friend, you should've never let in, feeding you lies

 

I've stripped away every single last fear of rejection

Down to the bone, one man alone, and I feel alive

Jeff Kazee Music (ASCAP)