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The Wilderness

by Jesse DeNatale

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Wallet CD with 8 page booklet featuring lyrics & more

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Signed copy of The Wilderness - These copies will not be shrink-wrapped as they had to be opened to be signed by Jesse DeNatale

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Wilderness via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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THE WILDERNESS Here we go Through the old wilderness By the slow Rivers of the unexplained Put your face close Just like this And don’t bow down In the midnight rain No candle no regret No remorse In the fields of fantasy And doubt We’ll do our best Just to stay the course If there’s no guide To show us out Cause I’ve got everything I want When I’m near you When I’m near you I’ve got everything I want When I’m near you When I’m near you I’ve got everything I want When I’m near you When I’m near you I’ve got everything I want When you’re near me too. And it won’t matter What song the heavens sing We’ve no ladder And we’ve no wing And the sorrow armies That they send No I’m not going I’m not going with them Chorus I’m standing in the forest With no place to hide They said life is short But maybe it’s wide I’m steady as a mountain That’s made up of sand I look to you now I look to you now. Chorus
STANDING ON THE ROCK It’s a constant spin But you fall right in Find your shoes Upon the shelf And you follow The road With a secret code That leads you To yourself Can you hear That lovely sound Coming from the Great highway Oh it’s how it’s done Here beneath the sun Standing on the rock This way It’s an easy walk it’s a heavy talk And some things That you don’t know But a steady mind Will seek and find And play it as you go Cause it’s everyone Here beneath the sun Makes it up Along the way On an easy walk And a heavy talk Standing on the rock This way When it gets real rough Can you stand real tough When the push It comes to shove And the shine gets dull And you’re vulnerable  And you cannot Feel the love Can you hear That lovely sound  Coming from the Great highway When the going’s rough Can you stand real tough Standing on the rock This way The meaning of the mission Is not to hesitate You show some kind of kindness And shutter out the hate I’m going up the mountain And howl at the moon Be thankful that I’m earthbound Cause farewell Comes too soon It’s a rolling pride You can feel inside As you move from Here to there Got the universe Inside your purse And a fortune in the air Can you hear That lovely sound  Coming from the Great highway It’s a kind of pride That you feel inside Standing on the rock This way. Do you lie awake Do you have more cake Has the world been Called unfair Breathe in you’re born Breathe out you’re gone Do you think you Got your share No there's never need for more greed We’ve enough to Last the day Hope you understand Well i think you can Standing on the rock This way
YOU’RE THE REASON Cross the valley From the beaches Mama likes to Call you peaches Barefoot through the Woods you like to go Ragamuffin What’s you knowin’ Like a flower You be growin’ You’re the reason That I call this home La da da da da da da da da da da La da da da da da da da da La da da da da da da da da da da La da da da da da da da da Midnight walking Through the hills By the secret daffodils Redwood bark and Meadow lark you know Even down the Miwok trail Moonlight seems so Very pale You’re the reason That I call this home Oh shine like water On your face Sons and daughters Take your place Laughing houses Skies of gold Shadows come and Shadows fold away Hear what I say The night and the day Hear what I say The reason to stay is you Maybe on the San Andres Someone’s gonna Have to save us Underneath an Ever changing dome All the beauty Of a painting Wonder why it’s Captivating You’re the reason Why I call this home Ranchers writers Farmers poets Even mother nature Knows it’s Still the bee that Makes the honeycomb You’re the light house In the dark You’re the bright spot And the spark You’re the reason Why I call this home
Beside You 04:53
BESIDE YOU In a town in Mexico Just before a big rainstorm They were huddled On the floor When the baby child Was born And the wind blew so hard Everyone had to leave Left the baby and a little Picture of St. Anthony Oh the pain and the joy Fallin’ rain it’s a boy Took a priest just to say I will stay beside you Heard my dad had a job In some uptown club Met a senorita at the door And they fell in love They would dance very wild And by chance had a child And he turned with a smile And said I will stay Beside you In the silence of a Big city motel room Mary sat humming Billie Holiday’s tune Stormy night lucky charm With a needle in your arm I can help I can harm But I will stay beside you After all of this you and I Come to Lovers Ledge I had thought a lot before I could give my pledge. All the rain underground One way up one way down One way up no way round And I go on beside you
The Hideaway 06:16
THE HIDEAWAY Who am I dancing lonely Through the city streets Criticized still somehow I’m standing on my feet Movin’ on there’s no way That you can change the Past, maybe why that’s Why nothing Ever seems to last I didn’t think about it I didn’t think about The night or day I didn’t think about it I didn’t think of what I’d have to say But here am I all alone No place I can call my home Standing out in the falling Rain and I’m slipping back To the hideaway Here am I here am I Here am I There I go moving down The sidewalk dead of night By myself I can make it Through the toughest time Feel the glow passing just Below the neon light It might know but I don’t Think that It will tell me why I never thought about it I never thought about the Falling rain I never wondered bout it I never thought of what Would remain But here I am all alone no Place to stand no place to Roam and I’m wondering Where oh I could stay And I’m fallIn back to The hideaway Oh here I am all alone No place I Can call my own Standing out in The falling rain I’m slipping back To the hideaway Here I am here am I Here I am Here am I
WONDERFUL MIND Well pardon me please Mr. Wizard A moment if you will We’ve got a terrible problem And we can not keep still There is a light that is missing The light they say we keep Not in the field of science But buried somewhere deep Oh mystery of humankind You’ve left kindness Far behind Let your heart go start And see what you can find There in your wonderful mind You’ve got to stand back And wonder just how We get it wrong Is it a spell that we’re under That we can’t get along We’ve got the world by the tail Ideas that reach the sun But here on the smallest Of scale we can’t live as one Chorus I get so very low, I get so Weary asking why and still I just don’t know. you know It makes me want to cry Show me a light in your Window or a smile upon Your face we’ll dive the Depths of the ocean and Look through outer space How do you care for each Other and never be so mean Is this be the greatest Invention That we have never seen Chorus
THE BALLAD OF OSCAR GRANT I put my hands in my pockets And I go uphill All I wanna do is get my fill Hang out with my boys And just move on Oh New Years night baby New Years Eve They held me down So’s I just could not leave I tell you it ain’t nothin’ new But it’s wrong And the cops got there From a 911 It should have never ever Ever have been done It should have never ever Ever been allowed Oh cause right there Near the subway track They put a bullet Into this young boy’s back And the cries go up And they do not come down Now way down yonder In a hollow tree There is a whole lot of things That were meant to be And a whole lot of things That just won’t do And the cops go crazy And they shot him down And the camera is a witness When he’s on the ground Yeah the camera is a witness Just like you There is a line in the justice And it’s black and white And everyone knows the truth Is wrong or right Everyone except a very Mixed up mind And the leaves are shakin’ In a poison wind We turn around and wonder How to begin And the best we can do is wish That we were colored blind Now take your roses Put them on my back I’ll be riding high up On the subway track I’ll be riding up high yeah Yeah that’s me And I climb the hills In Oakland town I’m gonna visit everyone From then and now I’m gonna visit everyone With my arms waving free Tell my mama and my child And my sweetheart dear Tell them I will always Be waiting here We can see each other Even when they can’t Oh yeah and when the world Is really not so free They’re gonna think about Johannes Mehserle And he’s gonna have to think about Oscar Grant.
POSTCARD FROM AMERICA I got a postcard from America You know she’s having a real Hard time And all the things She’s been working on she’s Got to leave them all behind Standing on the road To freedom, everyone is Looking out you take a Beating without reason And you just want to shout All the news and endless lying You never wanna lose Your soul you hang on and You don’t stop trying Oh no no oh no Cause I’m never gonna never Gonna Never gonna let you Down No I’m never gonna Never gonna Never gonna Let you down Oh no never Gonna let you down, Oh no Never gonna let you down. Oh that’s not my America At least that’s not what I recall you know my heart Belongs to America I’d hate to ever see her fall Chorus Here I am I will meet you like The morning sun Take my hand I will help you Till the work is done I can see darkness falling On your amber waves Trust in me won’t you trust me When you hear me say Chorus Well I’m looking for my soul and I can’t go back Well I’m looking everywhere In a night so black Yeah I’m looking everywhere but I lost it along the way Maybe I lost it in a busy life I was too distracted To see what’s right Maybe I lost it Somewhere along the way
These Rooms 04:11
THESE ROOMS There’s an old willow tree And it’s talking to me and It’s power is bigger than I And I’ve been thinking a lot About all that I got In these moments Where fortune is mine Well all of the streets They are covered in ash And the moon Has lost all it’s glow But here in these rooms Where the honesty blooms There is something I wanted to know Well the drunkards all lie Junkies fall from the sky And there’s a mountain Of things to confess And you can’t make it alone If you’re straight you’re Stoned oh rain down some Willingness And maybe they come Just to quiet the drum And try not to step on the Truth to hell and then back They find a heaven’s intact And they stand there Like living proof It’s a long way to travel Just to get to the start You see your chains all unravel And breathe it in till you begin Yeah you’ll begin to feel your heart Now I’ve been here awhile On the miracle mile and There’s always something To cheer. Through the sliver And crack With your hand On my back I can stare Down whatever I fear And all of the streets Have somehow been paved With a wisdom as welcome As gold And here in these Rooms where the honesty Blooms I’m as grateful for All that they hold There’s an old willow tree And it’s bigger than me And I keep it locked In my mind
The Galleria 07:20
THE GALLERIA It’s springtime In the Central Park I think it’s Easter too Everything is rising up Like Jesus used to do And lilac trees and Yellow bees and a bridge to Lead the way like maybe Something you might see In a painting by Monet I’m looking up the avenue Inspired to pretend I wanna feel like artists do When they finally do ascend How you gonna find How you gonna follow How you gonna find And follow your muse Well baby it’s you When we’re laughing In the afternoon Dancing in the galleria When we’re laughing In the afternoon Dancing in the galleria It’s Friday night the lamps Are high there in the studio The Spanish music’s coming Up from the little street Below The model poses on The couch the paint is Crimson red she puts the Rose into her mouth and Tosses back her head “No I don’t care just what They say. They’ve got some Kind of nerve. You cannot Service art that way. No It’s me it’s gotta serve” Chorus I’m looking through the Window pane I’m Riding on an uptown train I’m looking for something That’s true I’m turning up the sky And ground I won’t know it Till its found But I’m gonna bet it looks A lot like you. Oh resurrect and reinvent And push it through the Strife Picasso all that time He spent couldn’t draw a hand to save his life Now Jesus steps out Of the cave says “ Tell me what’d I miss. ” He scratched his head And looked around, said “Who made all of this?” Now Art is Nature’s Harmony It’s work to Get it done You only Cross the bridge you see With fierce imagination. Chorus
Step Lively 04:48
STEP LIVELY In a cafe round the corner You’ve emptied up your cup Everyone’s looking down Cause everyone’s wired up And if you’re growin’ weary There’s plenty left to prove And time is moving faster And it’s begging you to move Well how you gonna keep Your lights on baby How you gonna do your job When everything about it Just drives you crazy And you really don’t like it Really don’t like it Really don’t like it much at all Step lively You’re bound to catch a glimpse Get a view of a new sensation Step lively You’ll know it when you eyes Go wide in the conversation Step lively You’re driving in your car Like a star neath the Constellations Step lively Cause that’s the way The world’s gonna need you And you and you and you And you Yeah that’s the way The world needs you And if you’re undecided Just do what you do best You shouldn’t try and hide it It’ll never give you rest Your mystery’s discovered That chair won’t go no where And time is standing still By just you being there Chorus
Paradise 05:28
PARADISE The weary hour the Blackened dream This paradise Ain’t what it seems We gather with the crowd Out in the dawn And the cars and chairs The seesaw swing The photographs And diamond ring I know they’re somewhere Here but gone And when the world Falls out the sky We lift it back up way up high And struggle with Our question why On our way to Paradise It’s misery will kick you down You’re lost awhile Until you’re found And mercy comes to whisper In your ear The memories won’t Go the grave It’s always you We wish to save Cause smoke and flame Will always disappear And oh what kind Of paradise The angels and their sacrifice Oh love will never have A price no no no oh I’m going out where I belong I’ll keep you with me In a song And sing it like a cloud Into the air You look around And find anew And find the thing Will work for you And dust off any ashes From your prayer And when the world Falls out the sky We lift it back up way up high And answer any question why On our way to paradise Jesse DeNatale -Vocal, Guitar, Keyboard, Harmonica


The Wilderness to Paradise

Jesse and I recently sat in his garden under sweltering skies, where I listened for the first time to The Wilderness. He strung a pair of speakers in a potted tree in front of us: The fruits of his labor, the emanating music returning to its natural habitat of the towering pines around us. Why do I love this record? It’s because The Wilderness contains so much of our moment. The wilderness is a fitting way to picture how lost we can feel sometimes. And from within every symbolic form the wilderness takes in Jesse’s music, his voice is reassuring, redemptive—it is light, shifting shape in the darkness as a melodious spiritual missive: We have everything we need…
In The Wilderness, Jesse pursues his muse in multiple realms where he allows himself to be lost. And found. Everywhere around, there is the electricity of life and genius, the magnetic irresistibility of the abyss, the lulling gravity of the cosmos. There are aching and joyous moments excavated from lost pasts: The gaze of two lovers meeting eyes through nightclub smoke; the skies of gold over a West Coast which is both cradle and grave to the constellated hopes of America’s big-hearted searchers; there is the artist’s model tossing back her head in the charged air of a quiet studio, sending an oceanic swell into the artist’s heart—from paint to brush to canvas, and out through color and composition to countless other hearts. It all swirls upward, intertwining in threads of poetry, emotion, and breath: Now-gone lovers dance on the worn floorboards of gallerias torn away by time but restored in reverie.
Even when the wilderness becomes steeped in melancholy, “Step Lively” is Jesse’s keynote imperative. He reminds us that we are elements of—and elemental to—the transgalactic collage of nebulae, stars, planets, dust. We are the light in the darkness.
The overarching story of The Wilderness reverberates from the opening song, feeds through all the rest, and resounds back from the last. “Paradise,” the album’s closing track, feels like a relic pulled from the ashes of a century now long gone, when America’s postcard would not have included the postscript that it has lost its soul somewhere along the way. “Paradise” laments the specific loss of a California town destroyed not long ago by vicious flames. “The Ballad of Oscar Grant” distills such a conflagration to a single painful beat of our history’s darker and poisoned pulse, which even now still repeats all too often.
Upon my first listen, the resounding message I heard coming from deep in The Wilderness was to find, to follow your muse. The muse is the tiny divine light we pursue around each darkening bend in the woods as we seek inspiration. In so doing, we hone our excellence and build Paradise inside of ourselves, in spite of, perhaps because of, the wilderness.
- Shaun Bond


released December 2, 2020

All songs written by Jesse DeNatale
Coat Pocket music (ASCAP)

Produced by Jesse DeNatale and Nino Moschella
Recorded at Bird & Egg Studios. Richmond, CA. 2017
All songs recorded, engineered and mixed by Nino Moschella
Additional Recording by Jesse DeNatale
at Good Morning Studio. Sebastopol, CA.
Mastered by Alex Oropeza

Personnel listed below the lyrics are:

Jesse DeNatale - Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Harmonica,
Vibraphone, B. Vocals. Nylon String Guitar.
Tom Heyman - Electric Guitar
Paul Olguin - Bass
Nino Moschella - Drums, Percussion, Electric Guitar, B.Vocals. Synth.
Daniel Gianola Norris -Trumpet
Alex Volonts - Viola

Cover painting: “Orpheus Charming the Animals with his music”. Roelant Savery 1610. (CCBY-SA) Stadel Museum

Photography: Scout DeNatale
Liner Notes: Shaun Bond

Thank you to the musicians.
Special thanks to Nino Moschella
for his talent and expertise.


all rights reserved



Jesse DeNatale California

Jesse DeNatale has been writing songs for as long as he can remember. He has released two critically acclaimed records: Shangri-La West (2000) & Soul Parade (2006). His music has been described as evocative & hopeful, a combination of poetry and storytelling
"A dynamic tune-fountain"- Billy Collins
"The Bard of Tomales Bay"- Ramblin' Jack Elliott
"A unique and original American voice"- Tom Waits
... more

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