Always Home

by Karl Hepler

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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
FEATURES: 'Always Home' is almost always good
By Jordan Lofgren (Staff Writer @ AVC Examiner)

Coming into the territory of a new artist can be worrisome since you have no idea what to expect. So as for Karl Hepler, I set my expectations to the bare minimum before putting the headphones into my ears. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t expect much, right?

The album begins with the title track, “Always Home,” a good opener that got me ready for the next tracks to come. As soon as the next song, “Letters to the Sea,” came on with its violins, I immediately loved the song. The lyrics are about a soldier that tosses letters into the sea in hopes that they will reach a girl. The song is high on metaphors, which I would notice are used a lot in his songs. The fourth track on the album is probably one of the better songs because of the infectious chorus and backing vocals. It is a fun song which I thought was a metaphor for life and death.
If we skim through the next couple of tracks, we get through to the eighth track called “Troubled.” This is the first song that I noticed had a slower sound compared to the tracks before. That was one gripe I had with the album in general. I can appreciate the guitar playing and the speed at which it was played, but Karl seems to overdo it in some of the tracks.

“Sail Away” stood out to me not so much for the song itself, but for the fact that Karl’s father, Doug, sings the main vocal part with Karl backing him up. His voice has that sort of raspy tone to it that I could enjoy. The best song on the album comes when we skip ahead two songs is “The Wexford Massacre.” The song is a slow song with great lyrics about a massacre (obviously) that happened and the injustice seen from it. The killings outnumbered 300 and the slow tone set the mood perfectly for what was being talked about. As the song continues, it gradually grows in the number of voices backing up Karl’s singing. What better way to have a song talking about hundreds of people than to have the feel of a bunch of people singing?

Overall, the album is enjoyable to listen to. I will be listening to it again, but I hope for his next album he will have more than two slower songs. I also noticed that his father backs his vocals up in every song. I would like to hear even more of that because you can actually hear the chemistry in their voices. I think if you enjoy acoustic music and folk, I would give this one a listen. I look forward to his next album and I hope that it could be as good as the best songs on this one.


released April 30, 2012



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Karl Hepler Georgia

A consummate performer and stellar multi-instrumentalist, Karl’s singular presence on stage is surprisingly engaging and always entertaining. He is truly a class act who breaks every expectation of a typical solo acoustic singer-songwriter. Between original works and his own take on existing songs, his style blurs genres, ultimately focused on the traditional mountain music of Appalachia. ... more

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Track Name: Always Home
Mark the wall
standing 3 feet 5 inches tall
running free
with the grass up to my knees

Summer rain
laying the scent of the clouds at my feet
the hurried creek
babbling verse with the breeze

Now lifetimes have passed
and I’ve moved on
but the memories that last
keep me strong

No matter where I roam
I am always home

Warm my hands
by the heat of the stove in the cold
Mama’s baking bread
and Daddy’s tending to the farm

And in the spring
I have my dog by my side in the woods
the dinner bell rings
and I rush up the hill through the mud

Now lifetimes have passed
and I’ve moved on
but the memories that last
keep me strong

No matter where I roam
I am always home

When I left to explore
to find something more
I found I was looking my way back home

Now lifetimes have passed
and I’ve moved on
but the memories that last
keep me strong

No matter where I roam
I am always home

No matter where I roam
I am always home
Track Name: Letters to the Sea
While casting away from the shore
their eyes met before the war
her hair flowed like fields of wheat
his heart to heavy to beat
through the crowd
peering in
she pulled out a part of him

He wrote letters to the sea
ending one with "Marry Me"
no current nor wind would carry them through
but his lonely heart hoped it was true
as battles waged
through smoke and fear
her golden hair became more clear

Her piercing blue eyes were gone with the sound
of screams that were followed by flames all around
the heat was extinguished by blood and the sea
and he lost the will left to breathe
sinking down
he was free
running through those fields of wheat
Track Name: Until the Morning Comes
Verse 1:

Soon we dance on tired feet
Singing loudly
The old front porch will start to creak
As we play madly
'til the morning comes


Let's go boys
Double that load
Working our fingers right down to the bone
We gotta keep on working 'til the day is done
Then we'll go home with the setting sun

Verse 2:

When the shadows stretch for miles
and night is calling
I'll put down my hammer for a while
and let the music ring
'til the morning comes

Lead (Chorus chords)

Verse 3:

As the flames begin to wilt
We'll be laughing
Hoping for this eve to still
but the day will end
and we'll be back again

Track Name: Jackie Said
3am she sat up in bed
Smoke in her eyes and clouds in her head
but kept her dreams alive

She packed her wares and fled through the door
Not going to be caged anymore
Burned rubber towards the sun

Her hair in the wind, a clarity arose
Her river’s dam had cracked enough to flow
carrying her home

She broke with dawn and scatter with the light
focused on whatever felt right
yesterday was finally gone

Blooming out with love under wing
a free and waking a life of her dreams
now offered out its hand

Jackie said, with lines in her face,
I spent to many years not going any place
so I left never to arrive
I left to be alive
Track Name: The Wexford Massacre
They knelt around the cross divine
The matron and the maid
They bowed before redemption's sign
And fervently they prayed
Three hundred fair and helpless ones
Whose crime was this alone
Their valiant husbands, sires and sons
Had battled for their own

Had battled bravely but in vain
The Saxon won the fight
The Irish corpses strewed the plain
Where valour slept with right
And now that man of demon guilt
To fated Wexford flew
The red blood reeking on his hilt
Of hearts to Erin true

He found them there, the young, the old
The maiden and the wife
Their guardians brave in death were called
Who dared for them the strife
They prayed for mercy, God on high,
Before Thy cross they prayed
But ruthless Cromwell bade them die
To glut the Saxon blade

Three hundred fell, the stifled prayer
Was quenched in women's blood
Nor youth nor age could move to spare
From slaughter's crimson flood
But nations keep a stern account
Of deeds that tyrants do
And guiltless blood to Heaven will mount
And Heaven avenge it too.