Hello and welcome to my website. You’ll see below some of my songs, performed both by Akron’s Chuck Auerbach Band and by my friends in a loose group headed up by Michael and Kathy Grady (Grady/Miller). I’ve included lyrics below each performed song and there are additional ones under the lyrics popdown.
Songwriters and Musicians: If you're interested in creating your own songs using these or other Chuck Auerbach lyrics, check back as we continue to add more of his material. The current crop are all listed in the Lyrics section of the menu. Contact sheet below.
So here we are in November, and I got asked to play an opener at that old Akron standby, Annabell’s at Highland Square. My old friends Grady and Grady joined me and came up with this ditty for the song ‘That Guy on the Corner.’ Lyrics follow the video.
That Guy on the Corner ©Chuck Auerbach 10.2018
A day doesn’t pass I don’t see him
A bottom’s up bucket his throne
Covered in rags, all he owns packed in bags
No money, no name and no home
Hope the light’s green when I pass him
If it’s red then I got to pretend
I’m busy, in deep conversation
Like the fate of the world’s in my hands
Oh but everything’s coming up roses
Ain’t got a care in the world
Just got a raise, it’s the best of all days
(But then there’s) (Except for) that guy on the corner
Where does he go when the day’s done
How’d he end up in this life
Something he did or he didn’t
Take a fool to think it’s alright
Who’s gonna speak for the voiceless
Who’s gonna stand and ask why
We need a daily reminder
But for the grace of the Lord, there go I
Just spent a grand evening in Akron about protest. Guess many of us were in the mood to share our frustrations via song. Here’s me performing a new song with Grady/Miller at Jilly’s Music Room in Akron. It’s called ‘The Stranger.’ Lyrics below the video.
The Stranger (© Chuck Auerbach)
Every couple years, there comes a stranger
Big old smile, bible in his hand
Looks like you and me, and all the neighbors
But he’s the devil, dressed up like a man
He says the flock is lost, but he’s the shepherd
Don’t you fear, he’ll lead us all back home
Got the only line that runs to heaven
God speaks to him, speaks to him alone
It’s lonesome folks, just looking for some comfort
Like sheep to slaughter, never slow their pace
They see the light of Jesus, in the stranger
Like moths into the flames of his embrace
The stranger’s got a way to hypnotize you
Makes you think it’s him, who’s sacrificed
But he ain’t done a thing, or give up nothing
While every one keeps paying with their lives
The righteous ain’t the ones that’s making weapons
Or blood-soaked money, tearing up the ground
Or building churches, trying to buy their blessing
But none of them are ever heaven bound
"Red Sails" and "Relaxation": an oddly glowing (and charming) review of my album "Remember Me," from a blues magazine in the Netherlands. I'm not fixing the Google translation!
Text: Peter Marinus (in Dutch).
"It is a nice fact that an artist is always supported by his father and his father gives an album as thanks. That is the case on the album of Chuck Auerbach , the father of Dan Auerbach, whom we know as a member of The Black Keys and now also as a renowned producer. Chuck was sporadically occupied with music and held jobs as a social worker, forester and antiquarian...
It has become an album with wonderfully relaxed music with influences from the blues and the country. An album that you would like to put on during our hot summer.
In the wonderfully languid Sylvie the obvious JJ Cale influences can be heard. That sound hangs over the entire album. Chuck has a soft, fragile voice that fits perfectly with this music. The languid accordion and the sparkling guitar work also stand out. Chinaman is a lazy shuffle with a warm humming bass and brightly piercing guitar. The song is reminiscent of "Red Sails In The Sunset". Desperation is a sultry bluesy shuffle with hard organ licks and twang guitar. A song with a threatening and desolate sound.
The Long Time To Be Lonely ballad is pretty soulful with a wonderful tingling piano and crying pedal stem. As beautiful and relaxed is the ballad I'm So Sorry with Chuck's intimate whispering vocals and the languid accompaniment. If You Left Me is a heaving song with a early 60s rhythm & blues sound, complete with warm floating organ and deep twang guitar. Not only Ian Dury wrote a song about his father. Chuck also has one, My Old Man . A very fragile ballad. In Bottoms Up , the JJ Cale sound is mixed with nicely surging rockabilly with piercing country guitar.
Finally, the booming slow blues shuffle Some Fools passes by with hard angled guitar riffs.
Father Auerbach and his son have delivered a wonderfully relaxed album, which will certainly appeal to the fans of JJ Cale."
Here's "Bottoms Up," about hypocrisy, not religion, and is one of my favorite songs that the band plays. Lyrics below it. Enjoy.
Bottoms Up (©Chuck Auerbach "Remember Me")
Every Sunday morning .. on the tv
Blown-out silver hair, cold blue eyes
The angel choir sings, as the most reverend
Picks the pockets of the faithful, with his lies
Step up .. the kool-aid's ready
Heaven's just ... one sip away
Don't be shy. .. the lord is waiting
Bottoms up .. .it's judgement day
(last) bottoms up .. .it's judgement day
Tears come streaming down, as he confesses
To all the pain he caused, 'for he was saved
And though old Satan baits him, with temptation
Praise Jesus, he ain't ever lost his wa
Tell me, why's it always happen to the poor folk
Some bible-thumping scoundrel, picks 'em clean
When are they ever going to learn, the only devil
Is behind them blue eyes, on the tv screen
Cathy Grady, member of my Akron live band, takes a Chuck song and turns it into a country soul masterpiece. It's called "Time After Time."
Time After Time (©Chuck Auerbach)
Heard somebody say they made it alone
With nobody’s help, all on their own
Well if it’s the truth, how lucky they’d be
‘Cause I know the truth is so different for me
Time after time, it comes back to me
That even the fool that I am has no trouble seeing
Everything that I am, that I’ll ever be
Is only because of you loving me
(last) Everything that I am is you loving me
There’s been some hard times in my life
When living or dying was a roll of the dice
But with you by my side, all the woes of the day
Like a dream, as you wake, just all fade away
Here's a nice ditty worked up around a song I wrote, called simply "Jenny." With lyrics. Thanks to my Akron live band for the hand!
Jenny (Chuck Auerbach)
I drove hundreds of miles to nowhere
For a different point of view
But all I got for all that driving
Was a ton of missing you
Every girl I met, everywhere I went
Was a shadow of what I knew
And the longer I stayed on the road
The more I thought of you
Oh Jenny, why did you ever leave me
Without pinning me down, reminding me you’re everything I need
And Jenny, already know that a fool I been
Gonna head back home, hope to god you’re gonna let me in
I went from town to town, driving all around
Looking hard for a pot of god
When if I’d opened my eyes, would have seen the prize
Ready waiting there for me to hold
But I was young and dumb and I couldn’t see
What’s plain to everyone but me
Should have stood my ground, quit looking around
I had everything I need
Here's a song worked up by my Akron live band, with lyrics, called "It's Only Words," which I wrote fairly recently. We played it at our show in May. Enjoy!
It's Only Words (©Chuck Auerbach)
It's only words, she don't mean it
She just needs a little time
Cause it's hard, knowing your future's
Given up, even trying
All the hopes, all the talking
All the plans and all the years
Swept away, like they was nothing
Leaving ashes, leaving tears
She gone, and who could blame her
After all I put her through
Hope she finds all she been looking for
And all of them dreams come true
(last) Hope she finds all she been looking for
And all of her dreams come true
Give her time, what they tell me
She'll come back, she did before
But we ain't kids and she ain't kidding
And she ain't walking back through this door
Meet the band! Chuck introduces his awesome Akron live band at the Jilly's show, May 2018.
Here's the live version and lyrics of the song "Chinaman," as recorded with Chuck's band in Akron (arranged by Dan at his Easy Eye Sound for the album Remember Me). Enjoy!
Chinaman (Chuck Auerbach)
Not the man I used to be, can't do the things I used to do
Run around, raising hell, never thinking nothing through
Like who I hurt, who I lost, all the bills left unpaid
Never thought about the cost, never got in my way
Call me old and call me stubborn, call me just what I am
Just an old dog digging, till I meet a Chinaman
(last) just an old dog digging, till I meet a Chinaman
Not the man I used to be, and the world ain’t like it was
My old friends up and gone, left the old life in the dust
(but) Me I hung on, like the fool, I worked so hard to be
Spent a whole life going nowhere, and no where is
where I want to be
"The Lonely Hour" is the first new song and lyric we're going to load from Chuck's 5.30.18 set at Jilly's Music Room in Akron.
The Lonely Hour (Chuck Auerbach)
The lonely hour, right before dawn
‘Fore darkness fades, sun comes along
The emptiness, I never knew
Grows and grows, without you
Even a blind man could of seen
What lay ahead of me
Ain’t none so blind as them
Who just won’t see
It’s why the time I dread the most
Is when I’m laying with your ghost
In that long, lonely hour before first light
That lonely hour, drags on and on
Wasted prayer, chances gone
An honest man sleeps all night long
But I toss and turn, waiting for dawn
And so it goes another night
Don’t nothing change or come out right
With every beat I die anew
I lost it all, when I lost you
Remember Me dropped today, 6.15.18! Chuck's finely crafted and heartfelt lyrics were brought to life in 9 songs produced and arranged by his son, Dan Auerbach, at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville. One of them, "My Old Man" (showcased below), is a very personal ode to Chuck's own father Walter. Happy Father's Day indeed.
Chuck has many more lyrics "waiting for a song". The musicians in his Akron band added some more to the mix and were filmed live. We'll start adding them to the site soon, above.
Musicians can contact Chuck about creating music around any of his lyrics on the info page below. Musicians have free reign to create in any song genre. Lyrics from the album have been marked as such, others will be added over time under the lyrics pop-down.
The cover art features the bracelet his father, and American GI, gave to his mother in England in 1943, when he left for Eastern Europe.
"My Old Man" features vintage photos of the family.
My Old Man (Chuck Auerbach)
I held to his hand, like he’d held on t’ mine
Like if I held fast, he’d get more time
But his sickness come on, like a thief in the night
An’ the man, my old man had lost his fight
I was always the kid, him my old man
’Til ma called cryin’, changed the plans
We did what we could, but there’s never a chance
When the devil wants his turn t’ dance
So lord if you please, ‘cause I don’ understand
Why y’ couldn’t reach out, give him a hand
An’ tell me again, help me, please, understand
Why y’ couldn’t leave me my ol’ man
He’d worked all his life, never asked for much
A meal, a whiskey was enough
Raised without love, since he’s three
Alone, no one but ma and me
The last day I saw ‘im, last one alive
Withered and spent waitin’ t’ die
But deep in my sons’ eyes, I’m sure I see
My old man, lookin’ back at me
Despite raising a Grammy-winning musician, Chuck Auerbach had never put much thought into making a career out of music himself. The elder Auerbach didn’t make his on-stage performance debut until age 66, but he has been honing his lyricist craft for years. His first album, Remember Me, showcases his innate ability to convey the stories of his well-lived life through song lyrics. The album of nine songs, which will be released on June 15th to coincide with Father’s Day, was a collaborative effort with his son Dan Auerbach, who also produced the record, and features some of Nashville’s finest musicians, including Dan, Kenny Vaughan and Dave Roe.
As the son of an immigrant and a first generation American, a strong work ethic was engrained in Chuck from a young age. His father instilled in him both the importance of providing for one’s family and his love of jazz. Chuck also quickly immersed himself in rock and roll, which shaped his musical style.
After his son burst into the music scene in the early 2000’s with his band The Black Keys, Chuck’s love for music resurfaced once again. He and Dan began writing together, earning him songwriting credits on Thickfreakness and Keep It Hid. As a local of Akron, Ohio, he immersed himself in the music scene there, singing his originals acapella at open mic events, which resulted in several local bands performing his songs. In 2014, when he began working with Kenny Vaughan in Nashville, he was encouraged to perform his own songs and that captured his energies.
Chuck collaborated with Dan, Kenny and musician Corey Chisel in Nashville, to record the album he had spent years crafting and which he named "Remember Me." Within a few weeks, and with the help of A-list musicians, the entire album was completed at the Butcher Shoppe and it was mixed and released with additional musicians - Russ Pahl and Richard Swift - at Dan’s Easy Eye Sound Studio.
Chuck wanted to make sure that Remember Me showcased the events that had influenced his life in every aspect, from the songs to the cover art. The “remember me” bracelet that Chuck’s father, a World War II Veteran, gave his mother, a refugee he met in England, upon receiving word that he would be shipped to Russia in 1943, graces the cover. The album is a testament to the influence of the music from his youth. David Fricke of Rolling Stone calls the song “My Old Man” a “memory lane of plaintive groan and upright bass.”
Now at the age of 68, Chuck Auerbach is finally ready to step into the spotlight, age aside.
Akron, Ohio live band (l-r):
Russ Flannagan // Keyboards
Kevin Martinez // Upright and Electric Bass
Cathy Grady // Violin, Viola, Guitar, vocals
Michael Grady // Elec. and Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, vocals
Danny Tommy Jenkins // Percussion
Nashville studio band (l-r):
Pete Abbott // Percussion
Kenny Vaughan // Guitar
Cory Chisel // Production
Dave Roe // Bass and Vocals
Dave Ferguson // Studio space
Dan Auerbach // Production, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Sean Sullivan // Recording Engineer
Bobby Emmett // Keyboards and Vocals
Dante Schwebel // Guitar
Russ Pahl // Pedal Steel Guitar
Richard Swift // Vocals
Colin Dupuis // Engineer