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about

Since the release of our 4-song debut EP, "Angel Ridge" in 2009, the music and band, Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, has evolved. We've honed both our ensemble playing and original material to the point that a full-length album was ripe for the making. Amongst the 30 some songs I've written over this time, we have selected 12 to record for this "Fate Line" project.

The Shiners, my talented and dedicated band – collaborators, Woodford enthusiasts and friends one and all – consist of Simon Law on drums, keyboards and background vocals, Astrid Foster on bass and background vocals, John Teshima on guitar, keyboard and bass, and our very own jazzer-come-fiddler, Jonathan Marks, on violin, viola, mandolin and background vocals.

We all went into the studio in August of 2013 to start recording these songs at the wonderful and award-winning studio of Jeremy Darby, The Canterbury Music Company. Simon Law, Shiner, Soul II Soul original member, Grammy-award winning songwriter and producer, is producing our album. The album will to be released or emerge in November 2014.

credits

released November 18, 2014

Produced by Simon Law
Recorded by Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Company, Toronto, ON and Simon Law at Wolfrey Studios, Toronto, ON
Mixed by Jeremy Darby and Simon Law at Canterbury Music Company, Toronto, ON
Mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel
Jen Schaffer and the Shiners logo designed by Caroline Chan at All The Year Round
Art Direction & Design by Lauren Schaffer and Caroline Chan
Band photography by Lauren Schaffer
All songs by Jennifer Schaffer (SOCAN)
“Making the Fruit Fall” co-written by Simon Law (SonyAtv/PRS)

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about

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: Fate Line
Fate Line
Music and Words by Jennifer Schaffer

© SOCAN 2009

Chorus:
My fate line, my fate line, my fate line

Is longer than my life

My fate line, my fate line, my fate line

And sharper than a knife

It cuts through imagined victories

Over all those stubborn ghosts haunting me

My fate line, my fate line, my fate line

Verse 1:
Deep in the bone, I can’t extract it

Source of my words, like ancient sandskrit

Still, though I try, I can’t predict it -

Just what the next dictate will be

Chorus

Verse 2:
Hands like my mother’s – so familiar

Cast the stones that make the waters stir

A future hidden in the rivers

Carved deep into my calloused skin

Chorus (instrumentally)

Bridge:
I can’t escape

Those escapades

That I eschew too late
I’m preordained

And predisposed

To predicate my fate

Chorus
Track Name: He Once
HE ONCE
Words & Music by Jennifer Schaffer
© 2011 SOCAN


He once
Walked the streets of London
Walked the streets of London
With a swagger and a sway
And he once
Danced away his demons
He danced away his demons
‘Til the dawning of the day

He once
Dazzled all the darlings
Dazzled all the darlings
With that sparkle in his eye
And he once
Laughed as all the leeches
Laughed as all the leeches
Sucked his spirit dry

But how many flights will he
Take to get back home
To ramble or to roam
Across the unforgiving seas
And how many cheeks must he turn
‘Til he can see
That this once illusive love
Is waiting here with me

He once
Gave up all the gaming
Gave up all the gaming
And he let his pieces lie
He once
Offered up his essence
He offered up his essence
And I took with a sigh
I took it with a sigh
I took it with a sigh
I took it with a sigh
Track Name: Seventeen Years
Seventeen Years
Words & Music by Jennifer Schaffer
© 2009 SOCAN

Waiting to emerge
A cicada from the ground
Lost but then your found
Amongst the decomposed debris
First you die then you are
Reborn amongst the trees
And after 17 long years
You have finally broken free
after 17 long years
You have finally broken free

Mothered way too young
To support a family
The Agency agreed
and took away her baby son
she burrowed deep and dark
and dreamt about a reunion
and for 17 long years
she refused to come undone
and for 17 long years
she refused to come undone

She played house then suffered it
Just a fragile doll herself
She baked a cake once a year
Moved the homestead north of Guelph
Made a world where no one could reach her
Or ever teach her
To feel the shame that was dealt

She’ll use her strong new voice
To call her one true love back home
He may hear it rise above
The cacophony so grand
But it ain’t no siren’s song
The jagged rocks reduced to sand
And after 17 long years
He returns to hold her hand
After 17 long years
He’s prepared to hold her hand
After 17 long years…
Track Name: Learning to Dance Again
Learning to dance again
This time taking it slow
Watching the past slide
Watching the past go
We take our maiden steps
Shuffle along and glide
Learning to dance again
We let the music guide

Oh
From solo to paso doble
Ooh
Feelin’ the one drop, just we two

Do the rub-a-dub
Try the Jamaican two
Hold each other’s hips
And feel the slippery groove
It’s Marley and Tex and Brown
That grease the wheels and moves
And Chaka says we can
Taste the sweet and new

Oh...
Navigate
The landscape -
The soundtrack to our
faltering starts.
Gently cajoul,
With beauty and soul,
This evolution that fused our hearts.

Rhythm rises up
From forces overlooked
The always there laid bare
In the pages of our book
But questions fall away
And the pondering can cease
As we feel the pulse and sway,
Reveal the sweet release

Oh...
Track Name: Making the Fruit Fall
Make or breaking it down
Shaking the tree
Making the fruit fall
Whys and wherefores
Fall to the floor
You can summon it up
And gather your strength
Then gather what’s left
And watch as life
Expands and blooms

Calamities
And casualties
But hints of something new
After years
Of sitting by
Courage coaxed the new

Make or breaking it down
Shaking the tree
Making the fruit fall
Whys and wherefores
Fall to the floor
You can summon it up
And gather your strength
Then gather what’s left
And watch as life
Expands and blooms

Calamities
And casualties
But hints of something new
After years
Of sitting by
Courage coaxed the new

Tied and tethered
Ropes they bound and burned
Now loosened and weathered
So let go
It’s your turn
it’s your turn

Make or breaking it down
Shaking the tree
Making the fruit fall
Track Name: The Snatching of Hannah Twynnoy
They pitched the big tent in the town pub's yard
The menagerie made it hard
For Hannah Twynnoy to serve patrons ale
His whispers called her to her final tale

In bloom of life, a child within
She was taken by the tiger's grin
Her pokes and prods of beast in cage
Would soon awake, would soon enrage

Restless with all that she possessed
She seeked the other
She seeked to twist and test
The circus tempted with exotic fare
And Hannah's longing finally could be dared

In bloom of life, a child within...

Try to seize the catch
Without risking to be snatched
By the jaws that can ensure your sweet demise
If you seek the tiger's gaze
You'll ensure your final stage
But you'll never suffer any compromise

Warned to stop her taunting, teasing way
But in the end the tiger had his say
A loosened bolt and all that fury raised
Would mean that Hannah's pain would
Be allayed

In bloom of life, a child within...
Track Name: Your Touch is Deep
Your touch is deep
I cannot keep from loving you
The feeling steeps
Til I’m undone
Awakes my heart
From its somnambulated state
And coax its start
Away from numb

I falter, I fall
Stumbling, I stall
I falter, I fall
Stumbling, I stall

Don’t want a balm
A numbing salve applied in haste,
To soothe loves sting
When left to waste
Don’t want mirages
These things are keeping me from sight
A blinding view
That blacks the light

I falter, I fall...

Can I let go
Of these aversions
That are cruel
That harm my soul
And yet I fuel

If I embrace
What’s a most inconvenient love,
And feel its pull
As not a shove
Then ache and longing
Will crystalize into a gem
That holds my sway
As staff to stem

I falter, I fall...
Track Name: I Will
What are you hiding from little girl
Deep inside that closet
Wrap yourself in coats and furs
And wait for them to notice

You’re gone
You live
You breathe and give
You’re gone
You live
You breathe and give
And I will, I will, I will notice
I will, I will, I will know

Hear them calling out your name
Long after you vanish
But you refuse to play their game
Absolver and the banished

You’re gone
You live
You breathe and give
And you’re gone
You live
You breathe and give
And I will, I will, I will notice
And I will, I will, I will know

The time has passed
They’ve lost their grasp
As you are spirited away
To find yourself
So raw and stealth
But free from absent ties that bind
Your free from absent ties that bind

And I will, I will, I will notice
I will, I will, I will know
Track Name: A Story's End
Stood in the archway
Between going and gonna stay
Chose the one you thought would need
Your care and love
You did believe
He’d love you back
And forever again

Paid for the choice you made
Forgive should trump betray
But learned the lesson much too late
It won’t slow the steady gait
That overcomes
Your own strides
To be free

As time collapses
You will open eyes
Face the fear that
Try to twist the mind
Your story echoes
Through the growing space
Wearing down its trace
Of groove and grind

Story’s older now
It’s hard to till or plow
A soil that never took the seed
But just a fragile weed
That undermined
Your own drive
To be free
So be free
Track Name: Living Out Loud
I’m living out loud and clear
Can’t you hear me singing
I’m living out loud my dear
Can’t you hear me sing
I’m living out loud
Playing at real
Life rushes by silently
I’m living out loud
So I can feel
Seeking clarity

I listen to Lucinda sing
About her satisfied mind
Wondering if that’s something
I will ever find
So I’m living out loud...

Am I on the road
Or merely on the verge
It’s hard to tell sometimes
Where pain and pleasures merge
Enlightenment will come
And this confusion pass
That’s what I tell myself
As I step through that looking glass

I’m living out loud and clear
Can’t you hear me singing
I’m living out loud my dear
Can’t you hear me sing
I’m living out loud
Playing at real
Life rushes by silently
I’m living out loud
So I can feel
Seeking clarity
Seeking clarity
I am seeking
Track Name: Audience
Ears that can
Ears that can’t
My ears are listening to your
Desperate chant
And it says

Hear me, won’t you hear me, won’t you hear
me, won’t you hear me now

Eyes that can
Eyes that can’t
These eyes are open to your
Deviant
Ways

Hear me, won’t you hear me, won’t you see me,
won’t you see me now

You can’t resist
You feel the urge
To seek an audience
to preen and purge

Ties that bind
Ties that cut
Your opened skin will be your
Opiate
Haze

Hear me, won’t hear me, won’t you feel me,
won’t you feel me now
Track Name: After A Fall
Rooster crows in the afternoon
Loud and hard as at early dawn
Another chance to resurrect
Long after the day is born

So rise again, rise anew
Please hear the call
A chance to fly
After a fall

Shake and shimmer in the breeze
Free and as wild as you please
Concrete melts away with ease
When you look up from the ground

So rise again, rise anew...

After a fall what can you be
Wings that reach up from the flames
Or only embers that remain
After a fall what can you see
Mountains push up through the blue
Or do they just block the view
It’s up to you

You’re too young to just stagnate
Life rolls along and it can’t wait
Like a stone the stream will wash over you
Join the current and flow on through

So rise again, rise anew...