the songs

All songs by J. Jett (© Trestlehigh Music - BMI) Except: "If I Could" by T. Carroll (© EMI Music - BMI)


1. If I Could - This song seemed to fit with a notion that an introduction of myself was appropriate for the first tune. It's short, catchy and is done with just vocal and guitar.

2. Green Hill Trestle - (aka Greenville Trestle High) - It was at a gathering of friends back in ‘83 or ‘84 in Sugar Grove, NC. I was pitching horseshoes (and tunes) with Merle Watson. So I said to Merle, “Merle, I’ve written some songs. Can I send you a couple to listen to”? And Merle said, “Sure.”
In 1986, Doc and Merle’s “Riding the Midnight Train” album came out, and “Greenville Trestle High” was included.
I am forever grateful to Doc and Merle for their recording of the "Trestle" song.

3. When They Heard the Waltz - (aka Old Fashioned Waltz) - Years ago Johnny Paycheck did a show not too far from Raleigh, and I went with a couple of music buddies. They knew someone with Johnny and after the show we went back to where he was staying. He sat on the floor with an acoustic guitar and did several songs. He was great. His music, especially “Old Violin," stayed with me for days. This waltz came out almost complete while I was still spellbound by what I’d heard Johnny do.

4. Hobo Girl - Writing about all things train related continues to be a favorite topic. A while back I got into reading about hobos... real ones. I came across several stories about women who had taken up hoboing. Soon I was into writing about my own hobo girl.

5. Old Rock Road - I was lying down one afternoon with a flamenco guitar resting across my middle. I started playing without paying much attention to where my right hand was on the box. My fingers gave me notes from the strings, but also a percussive sound as they hit a string and then bumped into the bridge and saddle. The combination of sounds was kind of interesting. I asked myself what it sounded like, and the lyrics started to come out. I’ve always been a big fan of romantic music in Spanish. Even before I knew anything about the language, that kind of music would get to me. One of my favorite groups is the Mexican “Trio los Panchos."

6. Piedmont Strut - I met the blues lady, Algia Mae Hinton, in the early nineties at the Festival for the Eno in Durham, NC. I found out that we both lived in the same county, and we decided to get together and share some music. Some time later I got directions to her place and went over to see her. She blew me away with her singing, dancing and playing. She ROCKED! Impressions from her music were with me for days. Soon I had two songs to come out of the time we’d spent together: this one and “That’s Georgia." So here’s a tribute to Algia Mae and those strong musical traditions of the Piedmont Blues.

7. Hideaway Homeplace - A good part of this tune came down 15 years ago or so, but I never could get it like I wanted. That first part never really left me, and recently I thought of it and figured out what it needed.

8. Darkeye - The Green Swamp was a scary place to me when I was a kid because of things I’d heard grownups say about it. Much later I read a story in the newspaper of a holdup out in the country that resulted in the store owner being shot. Afterwards, the bad dudes were trying to get to a root doctor they knew, thinking that he could help them get away.
The sheriff got them first.

9. Southern Kitchen - My wife is an excellent cook. Her wonderful food and the tradition of the kitchen as a place of hospitality inspired this tune.

10. My Carolina - Carolina has some great natural attractions and some fine folks.