If You Knew All Along (2016)

by Chris Cunningham



Released April 23, 2016
Self-produced indie folk ep with original songs ranging from circa 1989 to present. They likely would have remained unheard if not for the persistent encouragement by friend and fellow touring artist Wes Kirkpatrick who stayed a few extra days in the studio and beseeched me to record the basics. Thank you Wes. And Thank You to all who've been a part of this effort.

Some things other artists have said about Chris's music:

"Chris is a master of knowing what a song needs and, often more importantly, what it doesn’t." 

~Aaron Espe (his songs have played on hit shows like Nashville, Grey's Anatomy, and more)

"Chris has the ability to unleash poignant heavy-hitter songs with a gentleness and humility that lets us know he is daring to speak from the heart. His voice, like his music, has a beautiful way of interweaving something delicate, with something on the edge."

~Mai Bloomfield (Jason Mraz, Raining Jane)

"Chris has the ears for harmony, and an intuitive sense of what works in an arrangement. He’s always finding ways to give a recording more emotional depth without taking away from the raw essence of the song.”

~Connor Garvey (award-winning performing songwriter)


released April 23, 2016


If You Knew All Along was brought to life by a full cast of incredible musicians including:

Mai Bloomfield - cello, harmonies
John Sanders - bass
Clay Green - drums, percussion
Drew Fleming - drums
Michael Gillan - percussion
Justin Roth - percussion, high-string guitar, background vocals
Chris Cundy - piano, Hammond B3
Thomas May - pedal steel
Bill Kahler - soprano sax
Alex Koukov - banjo
Bridger Dunnagan - fiddle
Chris also played: baritone guitars, Rhodes, piano, pump organ, E-bow, background vocals


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Chris Cunningham Bozeman, montana

Chris started writing songs in the late 80's and is best known as one half of the acclaimed folk pop-duo, Storyhill (signed to Red House Records) with long time-friend / collaborator John Hermanson), which has toured the US extensively, playing major festivals and premier venues such as Garrison Keiler's A Prairie Home Companion. Chris's solo music remains true to the vein of artists of the 70's. ... more

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Track Name: Knew All Along
mystery solved, now it’s a new kind of deal
a new set of problems, some fancied, some real
your trusty old friends, with no hand to lend you today

if you knew all along, would it have turned out this way?

progress is progress, it’s just not over yet
with the promise of promise I’m willing to bet
through the clouds, through the fog
the backlog of things left to say

if you knew all along, would you do it this way?

no something for nothing, not anymore
a spaceship has landed on the jungle floor
that you’re willing to keep traveling on with me

if we knew all along, where now would we be?

so often impatient just want to get it all done
have it once and for always - have it all for once

serenity flies on uncertain terms
what will you do now with all what you’ve learned?
take another blank page
wish them a happier day

if you knew all along …
(what would they say?)
if you knew all along …
(what would you do?)
if you knew all along …
(would you do it this way?)
if you knew all along …
(with nothing to prove)
if you knew all along …
(where would we be?)
if you knew all along …
(happy, joyous and free)
Track Name: Falling
sailing away on a welcome feeling today
got the restlessness out of the way
and I just wanna stand still

and stay a while,
let me see that little one smile you do,
when we’re playing and I can get through
every once in a while

met you by a running stream
daisy flowers on bended knee
darling “this is love, and I’m all in”
falling …

surfing the waves
into the evening when we trade place
now you’re sleeping, but I’m still awake
building boats by the shore

and it’s sink or it’s swim
it’s what do we do when to lose is to win
it may be backwards but then again
we’ll have each other to tell

came upon a covered bridge
I’d never looked back but then I did
“darling where there’s a will, then there’s a way”
moving like a humming bird
poet wings on every word
“kiss me and we’ll both be falling in”
falling …
falling …
I’m falling …
I’m falling …
Track Name: Emily
I hope your dreams are sweeter, sleeping through the night
no more bitter flavors, you’ve found your appetite

I can’t say I’ve fallen from such a height
isn’t it the darkness makes the stars shine bright?

I’ve heard the devils laughter and worn the face of pain
frozen through the winter and shivering in shame

wrap you in lambs wool, rock you side to side
isn’t it the darkness makes the stars shine bright?

Emily, it’s OK to bleed
this too will pass, eventually

so let yourself go crazy, watch yourself go blind
you’ll never see a shadow without a source of light

and you’re a source of light
forever in my skies

isn’t it the darkness makes the stars shine bright?
Track Name: Give It Up
round and round and round the place,
the cleaning of the clocks
mother wants a face to face,
no one wants to talk

sister fears the roof will fall in upon her home
father plays the diplomat pretending problem solved

give it up, give it up
someone’s got to give in or give it up

you’re on the outside, looking in
you can’t help have opinions
everybody’s got a valid point of view
but what’s the point when it comes down to
a feud?

so and so said something wrong embarrassed everyone
too much dirt, too much mud to sweep beneath the rug

give it up …

you’re on the in the inside, looking out
but you cannot tell what it’s all about
all you know is enough is enough
everybody’s got a valid point of view
but what’s the point when it comes down to
caving in or living up to a higher love?

Agnes held her great grandson for one and only time
and for that moment no one spoke except in nursery rhymes
Track Name: Terra Firma
everybody felt the earthquake
a hundred miles wide
triggered the Richter scales
turned daylight into night

I must have been asleep
it's something you don't ignore
when tremors push the walls to rubble
all the way through the floor

on the commute this evening
about to reach the bridge
suddenly the road is swaying
like a wave

look out the metal and concrete
pieces everywhere
wouldn't get a second chance
to get out, out of there

terra firma
terra firma
terra firma
your steps are sure

is nothing ever set in stone here?
can you count on being fair?
you wanna put the blame on someone
it seems too much to bear

and promise becomes a burden
collapsing with the weight
you think you're going crazy
you think it's too late

terra firma
terra firma
terra firma
your steps are sure
on solid earth again
Track Name: Set Aside
sunny again, how long has it been
1000 shadows
sunny again, the spring on the wind
1000 snows

how do I tell you, all of this will pass?
how long would we let the winters last?

so old the dragons, so cold in the cave
this way of living
lonely the phantom, invisible chains
the perfect prison

how can I show you, love to be true?
how long would we let those monsters brood?

set aside all your illusions of fire
for all I know love grows in light of the afterglow
of I’m sorry
and I never meant to be
so mean

my best of thinking, the worst of my dreams
come back to haunt me
rewrite the story, restore the estate
to former glory

when will that promise light again your face?
how they say that the mountains will move by faith

set aside all mis-creations of pride
for all I know peace lies just on the other side
of I’m sorry
I never meant to keep
you at an arms reach
but now in all honestly
I’m finally ready
to come clean
Track Name: Spanish Dove (circa 1989)
soft night, cool night
candle light in my cup
I’m alone, I rest upon
a moonlit surface, await the dawn
a winter’s solstice creeps along
a frozen sky

soft light, warm light
midnight on my clock
I’m in tune, with waning moon
set on horizon, coming soon
thoughts of flying through stratosphere
to get there

soft touch, warm kiss
beyond a shadow of a doubt
I’m in love with what’s above
a changing skyline, Spanish dove
a pinkish backlight in her eyes
in her eyes
in her eyes
it breaks the night

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