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Angel Ridge was the road I lived on just outside of Athens, Ohio during a time when many of life’s harsh and beautiful realities were laid bear to me. When living in rural Appalachia, I was a state public defender and worked on a battered woman homicide case. This experience resulted years later in the song, “For Teresa,” and my first recording, a 4-song EP released in 2009, “Angel Ridge.” The EP has two originals, “For Teresa” and “Succumb,” and also includes two favourite covers done with the Shiners – Gillian Welch’s “Tear My Stillhouse Down” and the Little Feat tune “Fool Yourself,” the latter version earning praise from Fred Tackett himself. The project was produced by Simon Law, recorded by Aaron Key at Zoo Music, and masteredby Stephen Stepanic at Joao Carvalho’s Mastering Studio. It also included collaborations with a group of talented and experienced musicians (and good friends), including Blair Packham, Mia Sheard and Astrid Foster, all featured on the EP.


released February 6, 2009


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Jen Schaffer and The Shiners Toronto, Ontario

Jen Schaffer is a Montreal-born, former Ohio and now Toronto resident singer-songwriter. Jen has honed her own brand of original soulful acoustic roots music with the help of her dedicated band and collaborators, The Shiners - Simon Law (a.k.a. The Funky Ginger), Astrid Foster, John T, and Jonathan Marks. ... more

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Track Name: For Teresa

Mother’s little helper
Help me find the strength I lack
Steel my nerves and stop my shakin
I ain’t never comin back
Once I thought his love would save me,
Save us from my family trap
But it turns out he’s no different
Feel my life fadin to black
Feel my life fadin to black

Sent the kids down the road to momma’s house
He told me, so I did
I learned how to shoot in the woods at night
And how to keep my bruises hid
Now I’ve lived on this ridge for 33 years,
since the day that I was born
I always dreamed of crossing that county line
Cross the river and be gone
Cross the river and be gone

I hear his truck pull up in the driveway
He’s come home early to test my hand
Dirty dishes still in the kitchen
My legs to weak from fear to stand
But when the front door slams I run for the back
And I grab just what I can
Close my eyes and pray to a long lost God
That he’ll take me as I am
That he’ll take me as I am

Momma sing to me,
Go to sleep a little baby
when you wake, you’ll have cake
And all the pretty little horses
Oh, hear me now

I find I’m walkin down this backroad, barefoot and wet,
blinded and cold from all the rain
Feelin heavy in my right hand
The weight is causin me to strain
So I drop something in the long tall grass
growin by the Church of All-Saints
See a flash of gleamin metal
and scarlet-coloured stain
And a scarlet-coloured stain

Let me rise above these hills,
Flyin high and free from all the pain
Mother’s little helper, help me now
Mother, won’t you help me now.
Track Name: Succumb

It’s not the love that I wanted
It wasn’t even the touch
But just a glimpse of what has parted
A restless urge, I felt it’s clutch
A grip so tight yet loosens quickly
At thoughts of what might come to pass
If I succumb
if I succumb
if I succumb at last

My mind retreats to days of plenty
Time and space to watch life pass
My youthful soul had not yet emptied
Of hope and faith and dreams that clash
With expectations life imposes
On weary travellers of time
When they succumb
They succumb
When they succumb to that straight line

It’s gravitational
That I can feel it’s pull
I will watch me fallin while callin out for you
But I’m not like Alice though, I don’t see the ground below
But I know my landing won’t leave me standin tall
Or at all

But in quiet times I see things clearly
Without regrets, without remorse
Reminded how we fell so deeply
The night we set upon this course
We stood outside, eyes low but glowing
Our hands were warm as they entwined
And we succumbed
We succumbed
We succumbed to the sublime –
Oh, we succumbed
We succumbed.

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