Don't Let Me Stay

by John Velghe & The Prodigal Sons

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    For the discerning listener we offer music you can touch. We understand you yearn for the continuous groove -- unobscured by pixels and bytes. For you we've created this limited edition, 12" long-play record at 33-and-1/3rd RPM for your hi-fi stereo, USB-enabled turntable, or foldable record player.

    The analog fruit of our hours and hours of labor is pressed into 140gr virgin vinyl wrapped in a 16pt card stock jacket with panoramic album artwork. We felt it crucial to bring you the pleasure of "Don't Let Me Stay" the way it was meant to be experienced. You'll get two sides -- 11 cuts in all -- of brass, maple, alder and air all contained in one, continuous, stereophonic sine wave. It really is a feat of physical beauty. (purchase also includes a digital version, for those inevitable days when the imperative of convenience outweighs the elegance of the physical, analog experience)

    Side A
    1 Time Bomb
    2 The Occupier
    3 Blood Line
    4 Heaven’s Waitress
    5 Iron Skin

    Side B
    6 Austin (you sorta stole my heart)
    7 Owe My Soul
    8 Mumbling Town
    9 Stage Inside the Main
    10 Assume The Ground
    11 Ave. In You
    ... more
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  • Record/Vinyl

    This is where you order the 12" vinyl for pickup at a show. You will not be charged shipping, otherwise everything else is the same.
    ships out within 3 days

      $15 USD or more 


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Maybe the thread that unifies John Velghe’s (“Vel-jee”) new LP, Don’t Let Me Stay, isn’t a thread at all. Perhaps the thread is actually the tightrope Velghe walks throughout the album, built between different poles like solitary lyrics and the collaborative energy he cultivates with his 7-piece band, The Prodigal Sons.

While his 2010 debut EP was billed as a solo effort, this 11-song LP -- released on Lakeshore Records (Beverly Hills, CA) -- finds Velghe building lush arrangements with a horn ensemble, string trio, and full rock-n-roll band (sometimes 12 players in all) all twisting with the intricate vocal harmonies of Kirstin Paludan, Chris Wagner and Mike Alexander.
Meanwhile, at the core of each song is a man with a guitar telling a story -- as much Townes Van Zandt as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

“Austin,” “Heaven’s Waitress,” and “Ave. In You” depict Velghe’s wanderlust and desire to leave his life-long hometown of Kansas City. Conversely, “The Occupier,” “Time Bomb,” “Owe My Soul,” and “Blood Line” embrace those things that keep us grounded and safe -- an old guitar, love, and family.

These poles -- solo and ensemble, familiar and foreign, intimate and grand -- are the ones Velghe and The Prodigal Sons deftly work between on Don’t Let Me Stay. It’s only fitting that for balance they all hold on to the traditions of forebears like Alejandro Escovedo, Uncle Tupelo and The Replacements. Never bothering -- or knowing? -- to look down.

Sure, funambulism is an ambitious undertaking; but, on Don’t Let Me Stay, John Velghe and The Prodigal Sons aim to show us what we’re all capable of with a little bit of song and a lot of heart.

Fans of Drive-By Truckers, Wilco, Michael Penn, Okkerville River, Old 97s, Alejandro Escovedo and Bruce Springsteen will enjoy this album.

Side A
1 Time Bomb
2 The Occupier
3 Blood Line
4 Heaven’s Waitress
5 Iron Skin

Side B
6 Austin (you sorta stole my heart)
7 Owe My Soul
8 Mumbling Town
9 Stage Inside the Main
10 Assume The Ground
11 Ave. In You

Release Date: March 13, 2012
Label: Lakeshore Records
Format: 12” vinyl, CD, Download
Catalog #
SXSW Showcase: March 17, 2012, at
Maria’s Taco Express with Alejandro
CD Release Show: March 24, 2012, at
The Record Bar, KCMO
Label A&R Contact:
Eric Craig, Lakeshore Records


released March 13, 2012

John Velghe - vocals, guitars and keyboards. The Prodigal Sons are: Mike Alexander - guitar, mandolin, backing vocals; Chris Wagner - bass,
backing vocals; GoGo Ray - drum set; Hermon Mehari - trumpet; Sam Hughes - saxophone; Mike Walker - trombone. With: Kirsten Paludan -
vocals; James Mitchell - cello; Whitney Williamson - violin; Catherine Root - violin.
All songs written and arranged by John Velghe (BMI). Published by Man With Burden Music (ASCAP) and Will Music (ASCAP).
Produced by John Velghe at Guttersnipe Recording Co. Kansas City, Missouri



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John Velghe Kansas City, Missouri

John Velghe (pronounced Vel-jee) writes songs leaning towards personal narratives and accounts of people he’s met over 20 years of playing and touring. From a friends fre ex-wife in Austin to a 4-year-old waitress in Lucas, KS to a transvestite railroad worker in Duluth, MN; Velghe populates his songs with real characters who’ve informed personal allegories about escape, transformation and fear. ... more

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Track Name: The Occupier
You put the dents in all my old leather soles
You knocked me back in sweet repose
You let me in and showed me how your old coats
Covered tattoos that opened wounds

Make your heart frail
So I can be its occupier
If I fail
I can't help you make it whole again

I love the neck
I love the fret
I love the fall
Of each and every minor chord
These hands were meant for telling three-minute lies
They're just too weak to hold a life
Track Name: Timebomb
Could you blame me
If I don't trust pretty faces
Let me be the one
To tell you so

Would you hate me
If I wrote you down a story
One I never
Wanted to be told

I don't think I should be going
Anywhere any time soon

Cause there's a time bomb
Ticking over our heads
And there's someone
Sticking inside my heart

Excuse me if we don't
Part ways in anger
Will you let me if
I walk away nice and slow

Will you thank me
If I let you be the writer
Of a story that
I never want to be told
Track Name: Bloodline
Did you get lost in your bloodline?
Well it falls to children sometimes, to let their children down
Did you come out just to fall down?
Well it falls to pieces sometimes and it don't come back around.

You know it's a high time
And your bloodline
Will let you down

Will you hold out for a headline?
Well there's bound to be a word or two when you steal a broken crown.
When it's over we'll be older
And they'll come to spare our feelings when they come to push us 'round

Little bit of song, little bit of sunshine, you will be the cause it'll always be the wrong time

Did you get caught with that old crown?
Well it falls to pieces sometimes, and pieces let you down.
Track Name: Heaven's Waitress
We'll meet heaven's waitress
Just like on the pages of
A Willie Nile song

I'll be tipping counters
You'll be finding flowers for
Your old Canon so
You can turn them into gold

We'll be sprung from sages
To hear them count the ways that our
Dreams won't unfold

We'll be autumn's patrons
Sunlight on our faces as
We ride westward home
It will turn us into gold

I can't feel to let you go
Just for fear you'll be alone

You'll be heaven's waitress
Just like on the pages of
A little unheard song
I've been trying to turn to gold
I've been trying to turn to gold
Track Name: Assume The Ground
I fall down
When I dream about you
But it’s not because of you
It’s just because I’m lost and
There’s ground beneath my feet.
I've been doomed to feel you When I sleep.
So I fall on.

I break down
When I talk about you
But it’s not because I’m blue
It’s all because I’m lost and
There’s ground beneath my feet. I’m attuned to hear you
When I speak.
So I talk on.

I fall down
When I dream about you
But it’s not because of you
It’s just because I’m lost and
The ground where you sleep Would rise to meet me at my feet.
So I fall on.
Track Name: Owe My Soul
They see my face and there they go
Broke down, busted
They've seen my heart enough to know
It can't be trusted

Pay my alms in withered tones
A shotgun mortal
I keep my hands inside my home
In case they're idle

Owe my soul
Sold my river to cross

They sing me songs and leave me notes
But I don't read them
Told me lies
To give me hope
But I don't need it

Bon Secourse is in my arms
She'll be my treatment
An honest man can have no charms
They fall for reason