Switchback Driving

Let's go switchback driving on two-lane roads

In the sunshine or the cold and the snow

When you're riding beside me with a hand to hold 

It's a simple feeling I can't fight anymore

Some folks like the city and the people all around 

There's safety in the numbers that surround

They never let their feet touch the ground 

And they'll never know the canyon so profound

Some folks like the suburbs they like to be close 

To the hustle and bustle and places remote

They always say the have the best of both 

But it's easy to get neither and lazy and comfortable

Sometimes I find the double-yellow lines

Call out to me to gently remind

How lucky I am to have you by my side

There's a memory to make every day of our lives

Let's go switchback driving on two-lane roads
In the sunshine or the cold and the snow
When you're riding beside me with a hand to hold 
It's a simple feeling I can't fight anymore

God's Architect 

You say you want to be God's architect

That you'll treat the land with the utmost respect

As you straighten your halo and you genuflect

But your divine intervention I surely reject 

Forgive me if I remain suspect 

If I know your kind and what to expect

If I take a moment to reflect

To ensure all of your facts are checked


You say you want to improve the work of God's hand

That you're only a steward of the canyon land 

That you sought his counsel you're some kind of prophet

You just want to be God's architect

You say you want to be God's architect

That there's still room to improve and perfect 

There's an open canvas with a canyon subject 

There's a tourist temple for you to erect 

Excuse me if I interject

Forgive me for being circumspect

The profits you profess won't effect? 

It'll take years to disinfect...




I wanna go from rim-to-rim

I wanna see where it all begins

I wanna be reminded of my insignificance 

I wanna go from rim to rim

We can start at the north side and head on down 

Make our way to Cottonwood Campground

We can walk the creek no one else around

Trail beneath our feet is the only sound


Take the Kaibab down as the canyon calls

Past Roaring Springs and Rainbow Falls

Follow the Angel to Phantom Ranch 

Sit and watch the water and fall into a trance

Stay by the river as long as we can

Before we pack back up and start up again

On the path to the top we'll go 

Past Indian Garden onto the plateau

Time to rest up for the final push

It's a steep climb be we don't have to rush

We can take our time nowhere else to be 

The sounds seduce the thoughts inside of me


Tear It Down

I went to Page, Arizona just last week
A couple nights later I fell into a dream
Where I had a visit from Abbey and Katie Lee
They said they had a choice for me

We went out walking over Glen Canyon Dam
When Ed turned to me and he said he had a  plan
Something about a monkey wrench and a whole lotta dynamite
He said we could do it, and we could start tonight


To tear it down Tear it down and set his (hers, our) soul free
Tear it down Tear it down the way it’s supposed to be
Tear it down tear it down and sing it like Katie Lee
Let the river flow into the sea

Katie she said she was ready to fight
But if she was gonna do it she was gonna do it right
She’d gather the people and start the protest
It was up to me to do the rest


Now I liked Ed’s plan, and I like dynamite
But I didn’t like the sound of 99 – Life
So I took Ms. Lee’s advice and I wrote down this song
It’s up to you to sing along



eDollars Over Sense


When I see this canyon I see Kingdom Come
When you see this canyon you see income
The choice is here the time has come
Will there be anywhere left to be lonesome

You see opportunity you see dollar signs
You see tourists and gondola lines
Springing up among these juniper pines
You want me to just step aside


You’re preying on native sacred sites

Choosing Dollars Over Sense
Like its your god-given right
To decide the fate of the confluence

The canyon stands red brown black and white
Constantly changing from dawn til night
With each vision unique to one’s own eye
Unobstructed from river to sky

Wilderness and wolves, steeple and pew
Is it made to love or made to use
Preserved for all or profit for few
The battle rages in me and you 



The All New Grand Canyon Circus Show

Step right up and get your ticket 

To the brand new Grand Canyon Circus Show

You'll be amazed at the vision 

Of Our ring leader, Gifford Pinchot

He'll get you down to the very bottom

You'll get to see the earth's soul exposed

And it won't cost much just a few dollars

It's a trapeze act, and you've a starring role


Because what we're selling here is wonder 

As a service to everyone

When there's no such thing as wilderness

That's when our work is done 

Mr. Muir tried so hard to train us

We never did learn how to behave

He always knew when they uncaged us

The business lion just couldn't be tamed

There's nothing sacred except for money

That's the elephant in the middle of the tent 

We'll use him up and sell his ivory

Don't mind the blood dripping from our hands


It's not for the whimsical or the faint of heart

This high-wire act this cannonball shot

We'll give them awe we'll give them shock

And our profits will never stop



  • TEAR IT DOWN M23:09
  • GROW MY OWN M22:14

Closer to the Whole

Dear friend can you count me in? 

Just a 1-2-3-4 cuz I'm always rushing

To set the pace can you keep me in time? 

Because it won't be long another year gone by

Dear friend I hope you understand 
I feel so blessed to use these hands

To write these lines to play these tunes 

To trust the road and never know the route


But the light above is covered up by an old dark cloak 

The stars are trying to shine through they're burning little holes

Windows of what's to come they're filling us with hope 

We're all taking steps toward the light 

Ascending our souls

Closer to the whole

Dear friend can we keep this pace? 

Can we feel the love without the chase? 

When we're all in step with mindful minds

There'll be no regrets and no one left behind 



To My Knees

In the morning I'll rise you bring me to my knees

When I see your eyes you bring me to my knees

There's no way to disguise I never act surprised 

You've got something inside you bring me to my knees

In a love so deep you bring me to my knees

In every word we speak you bring me to my knees

On a mountain's peak in the water of the creek

In all of my belief 


You're rhythm in my feet you're hymns in the leaves

Singing straight to me you bring me to my knees

With a melody so sweet from a well so deep 

You're everything I seek you bring me to my knees 

At the end of the day you bring me to my knees

Just before I lay you bring me to my knees

In reverence I say with you I'll stay 

You're the only way you bring me to my knees


Grow My Own


I wanna grow my grow my own 

I wanna grow my own

I wanna know where mine comes from

I wanna grow my own

I wanna learn what I don't know 

Plant the seeds and watch them grow

I wanna reap just what I sow

I wanna learn what I don't know


I wanna get back to the land

Feel the dirt upon my hands

Sweat and toil in the soil and sand

I wanna get back to the land


Store-bought food just ain't the same

Just like sugar ain't Aspartame

Fruit and meat vegetables and grains

Store-bought food just ain't the same


Low Hanging Fruit

You don't pick the low-hanging fruit leave it for those in need

Just set your sights on the highest branch you can reach 

People may say that's good enough but you don't have to believe 

Because it might be what you're looking for is beyond what they can see


You can take the easy way tried and true

Or you can make your own hay and set your own roots 

When you find yourself complacent sometimes you've got to shake the tree

Because that low-hanging fruit is saccharine bittersweet 

Sometimes you've got to be patient to grow something up from seed 

Sometimes you've got to go hungry and sometimes you've got to bleed

But if you're doing something worth doing it shouldn't come with ease

And when you're through there'll be plenty for everyone to eat 


You keep reaching you keep growing

You keep believing always knowing 

That it's only the labor that bears the fruit 

That feeds your soul and tells your truth



Nolan McKelvey


The Western Way

It's the western way to greet you with a smile

And a firm handshake and to look you in the eye

To be earnest in every effort that you give

To know it's not the place but the way that you live


That's the western way

Yeah that's the western way

You never know until you go

And find the western way 

The pain will hurt no matter where you are

But it all feels better underneath the western stars

The scars will heal and the memories will fade

But your love will always live from the cradle to the grave


Try to live honest and make an impact

Hope looks forward and doubt looks back 

There's a solemn solace in every sunset

That's the western way and it's as good as it gets 

Chorus Chorus

Trailblazing and Stargazing (The Pleiades)

You're getting braver and braver all the time

Not much to put in front of you that you won't try

And you don't even reach to find that leg you used to hide behind 

You're getting wiser and wiser all the time

It won't be long before you recognize 

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree no matter how hard you try


When you're trailblazing know we'll always come and find you 

When you're stargazing find your seven sisters they're there to remind you  (we're all behind you)

Can't carry the past it's a heavy load

We all make mistakes and we have to let go 

If you don't they'll push you down and keep you on that low low road

Can't carry the future it'll break your back

Expectations only remind you of what you lack 

You'll find yourself having to backtrack and unpack just to be here now