Empty Bottles, Full Hearts

by Jordan Carr & the Boys

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jack mesenbourg This album speaks to me often ...usually late at night ...but it tells stories that are so close to home Favorite track: Fly by Night.
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    12" Vinyl of Jordan Carr and the Boys: Empty Bottles, Full Hearts. Mixed and master by Eric Bloomquist (Sting, Soul Asylum, Chance the Rapper) at RiverRock Studios in Minneapolis, MN

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    Empty Bottles, Full Hearts crewneck sweatshirt on 50/50 Canvas. These bad boys are printed with non-toxic, environmentally friendly dyes and inks and are the most comfortable sweatshirt you will ever own... Artwork by Luke Lieske

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    Empty Bottles, Full Hearts T-Shirt on 50/50 Canvas. Will not shrink! Printed with nontoxic, environmentally friendly inks and dyes.... Artwork by Luke Lieske

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1.
Another bar rail whiskey night slicking my hair back in the spotlight on the stage of this old bar I swear I've been here before This is all I know Sucking up shots back at the spot gunnin' Dogs out in the parking lot jamming quarters into the jukebox getting high on old Skid Row This is all I know I live for these rock and roll nights living life after midnight barking these songs up to the moon killing myself just to feel how I used to have I wasted my whole life yeah, I ask myself that all of the time but, as long as these drinks flow I won't for awhile Some other place, another time another story that got left behind I remember it once in awhile and it always makes me smile This is all I know I live for these rock and roll nights living life after midnight barking these songs up to the moon killing myself just to feel how I used to have I wasted my whole life yeah, I ask myself that all of the time but, as long as these songs flow I won't for awhile You know, I live for the nights out in open spaces under clear midwestern skies after years and so many places I get caught up in disguise so unlike the books up on the shelf this old boy gets down on himself when I pull up to the station as the train is leaving and you're all waving goodbye I live for these rock and roll nights living life after midnight barking these songs up to the moon killing myself just to feel how I used to have I wasted my whole life yeah, I ask myself that all of the time but, as long as this night flows I won't for awhile I live for these nights
2.
I woke up in a jail on Sunday morning with a headache and red eyes and the memory of a girl that I've been trying to get rid of after all that I have done just to forget we were in love this jail cell seems to be the only thing that's keeping us apart I took a bus to New York City just to try and break your heart I came back to Minneapolis with a fire in m heart but it burnt out ofter the weekend after a couple of gallons of booze, a few failed attempts at getting laid and I was back in bed with you after all that I have done just to forget we were in love this jail cell seems to be the only thing that's keeping us apart I wrote a song to tell you off yeah, to finally come clean and when I finished it I was certain there'd be no more you and me but that song didn't ever spin and that record never sold, but when you finally heard it you said that it was your favorite that I'd wrote after all that I have done just to forget we were in love this jail cell seems to be the only thing that's keeping us apart I've got four months in and four to go I've had some time to sit and think while I lay in the cell alone if there's one thing that I've learned I think you ought to know Honey, I can look pathetic all on my own without any help from you after all that I've been through just to keep myself from you and after all that I have done just to forget we were in love after all that time with you and all that we'd been through this jail cell seems to be the only thing that's keeping me from you and all of the foolish things I do
3.
we chop lines across the table and chase the drip with Rumpleminze we pass bottles in the driveway and watch the daylight slip away some pile into cars or drunk drive in Dodge Ram vans I'll catch ya downtown after these next shots we blow our paychecks all on shot wars and blow our minds in bathroom stalls I blow my high pacing the dance floor I circle back and start over on these nights we're rolling deep with pretty girl and high self esteems it's times like these I hope will never end So, let's raise a drink in toast to all the we know let's raise another glass to here and now some day everyone we love will come to pass so let's treat these nights as though they'll be our... last call in a half an hour one last chance to seal the deal I overdraft my bank account to ensure the party lasts all night one last trip to the broom closet on these nights I'm high as hell whiskey shots cocaine rails so what's one more round before we crack the ball? So, let's raise a drink in toast to all the we know let's raise another glass to here and now some day everyone we love will come to pass so let's treat these nights as though they'll be our last the bars flood out into the street lights I missed my chance with that one girl when the party is over I'll walk home to sit alone on the rooftop and watch the sun come up where I'll raise a drink in toast to all the I know and I'll raise another glass to here and now some day all of you I love will come to pass that's why I treat these nights as though they are my last So, let's raise a drink in toast to all the we know let's raise another glass to here and now some day everyone we love will come to pass so let's treat these nights as though they'll be our they're going to be our last So, let's raise a drink in toast to all the we know let's raise another glass to here and now some day everyone we love will come to pass so let's treat these nights as though they'll be our I hope we always last
4.
The Days 03:41
you took the high road I took the low road then got stoned and got lost on the drive home I watched you leaving as I kept repeating if this is hell there's no need to see heaven there are times in your life when you're just getting by and you hold on to someone for a short little while they weren't our best days they weren't our worst days they were just days that we made it through they weren't my best days they weren't my worst days they were just nights that I spent with you now nothing more than memories now I have trouble breathing in this season felt like years, but was just a few weekends time on the fault line rolling with you all night god damn those evenings felt so right but there are nights in your life where you're set on "goodbye" some nights are just there to regret for all time they weren't our best days they weren't our worst days they were just days that we made it through they weren't my best days they weren't my worst days they were just nights that I spent with you now nothing more than memories now sometimes when I'm wasted I pick up my phone and I dial your digits but then I just hang up and think how long it has been since we went out and got drunk and high and made love and just laid around talking all night there are times in your life when you're just getting by and you hold on to someone for a short little while they weren't our best days they weren't our worst days they were just days that we made it through they weren't such bad days probably my best days were the days and nights I spent with you now nothing more we're now nothing more than a memory
5.
Fly by Night 04:38
have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight out of hatred for yourself? I know I have I'm just wondering if you've ever sank so low and what you see in me because I don't see much in anyone these days I've spent all this time searching for someone who feels the same cause I've got a feeling deep inside of me maybe I'm being cheated or I'm being hustled cause I've been cursed to be a bad Leroy Brown the last Cool Hand Luke left in this town Mr. Fly By Night slow down, baby, so I can do you right I'm that guy I dress to kill and I wear my sunglasses at night and I know you wish that I'd love you sometimes I wish I knew how to if I just had one day where I didn't have to feel all confused I didn't have to feel ashamed for everything then maybe I wouldn't fight these feelings somehow someway maybe someday we could be something something more than this something more than a feeling deep inside of me maybe I'm being cheated but you're being hustled cause I've been cursed to be a bad Leroy Brown the last Cool Hand Luke left in this town Mr. Fly By Night slow down, baby, so I can do you right I'm that guy I dress to kill and I wear my sunglasses at night and I know you wish that I'd love you awkward and silent drunk with impatience stuck inside of these dreams I'm not sure what to do now except for what I'm used to or maybe die a bad Leroy Brown the last Cool Hand Luke left in this town Mr. Fly By Night slow down, baby, I never did you right I was your guy I dressed to kill and I wore my sunglasses at night and I know you wish that I'd loved you sometimes I wish that I had, too
6.
do you even remember the feeling of leaving the city the long nights car rides same album repeating do you even remember any lines to any of our old songs do you even remember? do you even remember? we broke up when I went back to jail I haven't seen you in a few months but I heard that you moved on so why in the hell have you been phoning me every friday after midnight girl, you goy me wondering if you even remember the feeling of leaving the city the long nights car rides same album repeating do you even remember any lines to any of our old songs do you even remember? do you even remember? on the way from the cell to commissary I get a message saying that you'd tried for me again last week oh baby, why in the hell have you been phoning me every friday after midnight girl, you got me wondering if you even remember the feeling of leaving the city the long nights car rides same album repeating do you even remember any lines to any of our old songs do you even remember? do you even remember? do you even remember the feeling of leaving the city the long nights car rides same album repeating do you even remember any lines to any of our old songs do you even remember? do you even remember?

about

Empty glasses. Broken hearts. Closing down bars. Watching the sun rise with the boys. Jordan Carr hasn’t just survived a lifetime’s worth of these nights. He lives for them.

And while some people might never accomplish anything past the empty bottles and piled-up voicemails, Carr channeled his adventures into Empty Bottles, Full Hearts, an album of whiskey-soaked folk rock that celebrates the virtues of an irresponsible life without ever glossing over the headaches and heartbreaks that are inevitably part of the deal.

The six tracks, engineered by Eric Bloomquist (Chance the Rapper, Sting, Soul Asylum), make up a record born for jukeboxes that still take quarters. However, the combination of Carr’s voice singing along with acoustic and electric guitars (and the occasional addition of horns that The Boss himself would approve of) make it modern enough for any rock’n’roll-loving listener whose life hasn’t gone according to plan. This is a story of a man that lost a lot of chances, money and—in the case of the jail sentence during which Carr wrote the entire album—freedom. It’s a stirring and gorgeous retelling of Carr’s reckless, rebellious years. He’ll be the first to admit that it’s all his fault.

Sonically, Empty Bottles, Full Hearts is a cheerier version of The Gaslight Anthem mixed with deep cuts from early Billy Joel albums. The record opens with “I Live For These Nights,” an E Street jam where Carr admits that a life after midnight is the only one he knows. “It’s Not The Years, Honey…It’s The Mileage” details the struggle of being unable to get away from a girl that was no good from him, even after he took an impulsive (and unpleasant) bus ride from Minneapolis to New York City just to get away. Carr returned home and spent the last of his money on a bottle to drink with friends on a weekend adventure. “I had an wild time and was certain I'd gotten over the girl only for the weekend to come to an end and the longing for the girl to return,” he says.

And so it goes for Carr. When a friend heard some of the singer/songwriter’s stories, he described Carr and his friends as “Tornado Alley,” unknowingly providing the title for a song about a summer where everyone seemed to be trying their damnedest not to grow up. “It was a really dark, coming-of-age period where everyone's future was so up in the air, but no one seemed like they were going anywhere,” Carr says. “It was a strange time unlike any other in my life that will never be duplicated … thankfully.” But even though he wouldn’t relive it, the chorus of “Tornado Alley” shows Carr looking back with a grin and a nod, prompting the listener to “raise a drink and toast to all that we know.”

“The Days” opens with Carr stoned, lost and remembering the time invested alternatively calling and hanging up on people that meant something, if only for a moment. “They weren’t my best days, they weren’t my worst days,” he sings. “They were just nights that I spent with you.”

Then comes “Fly By Night,” a song that opens with groove, trumpets and Carr’s own take on a 1989 Batman quote that’s comfortably wrapped in the kind of self-loathing the Dark Knight himself would likely approve of. “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight out of hatred for yourself? Cause I know I have.” As the song plays on, Carr continues to use pop culture references to announce himself an imperfect anti-hero from movies and days gone by. He’s “a Bad Leroy Brown, the last Cool Hand Luke left in this town,” the kind of guy your mom dated before she settled down, the dude your dad still daydreams about being.

The record ends with “Do You Even Remember?” It’s Carr’s swan song featuring the addition of piano, saxophone and strings to create a stirring story that manages to be both present and nostalgic at the same time.

It takes a unique voice to look back at dark times and remember the insanity with both a knowing smile and the wisdom to never do it again. With a solid rock’n’roll trio and the occasional horn section behind him, Carr channels that voice on Empty Bottles, Full Hearts. He’s a kindred spirit of unhealthy coping mechanisms and he’s made a record for survivors, a soundtrack to wild nights, trampled feelings and hangovers that were totally worth it.

credits

released September 15, 2017

Mixed and mastered at Riverrock Studios by Eric Bloomquist.
Jordan Carr: vocals, guitars
Caleb Harris: drums, percussion, vocals
Jordan Riggs: lead guitars, vocals
Nick Backes: bass
Matt Webster: vocals
Laura Schultz: vocals
Disraeli Davis: piano, synth, organ, strings
Matthew Palmquist: saxophone
Sarah Houle: trumpet
Jessica Landsteiner: trombone
Payton Schlomann: piano

Cover photo: Irv Briscoe
Back cover photo: Jim McFarlane
Album art layout: Chris Saliture

Additional tracking by Tyler Kotewa

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Jordan Carr Minneapolis, Minnesota

Despite the darkened nature of some of Carr's songs, hope shines through. Armed with a beat-up guitar and a cutting grin, Carr has traveled the globe and spread his tales of heartbreak, incarceration, empty bottles and full hearts.

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