Shut Up & Play! [CD]

Toronzo Cannon

Shut Up & Play! [CD]


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11 striking new originals delivered with purpose and passion. From scorching-hot blues to a gospel-inspired rave-up to deep, slow burners, the songs tackle the gamut of human emotions, all sparked by Cannon’s dynamic guitar work and commanding, cathartic singing.  “Tough-voiced, lyrically eloquent and musically focused…hard-grinding blues rock and urbane pop-soul balladry. Melodically rich guitar that seethes with emotion. Most impressive is his songwriting: his lyrics are full of wisdom laced with humor and life-toughened resolve.” –Living Blues


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1. Can't Fix The World 4:15

Been to the mountain top
Guess what I've seen?
A whole lot of people in the valley
Being mean
They're down there
Acting like fools
I can't fix the world right now
I got to play these blues

Politicians acting 
Like they’re gods
When they should be creating 
More jobs
That ain't right 
(No it ain't)
That ain't cool
I can't fix the world right now
I got to play these blues


Hey keys, come on in here


Check it  out, step back. 
That's what I'm talking about

People getting shot
In the church, school and store
When we gonna rise up y'all and say
No more?
People, listen
See, there's only     
I can't fix the world right now
I got to play these blues

Enough for talkin’
It's time to act
When we get together
We have more of an impact
The power of love
Is what we need
To overcome the love of power
And then we’ll know peace
Let's get together
You too

We know the problem
Right from wrong
But why justice 
Gotta take so damn long?
I'm afraid
Maybe I was born to lose
I can't fix the world right now
I got to play my blues
My blues
C'mon, y'all

2. I Hate Love 4:27

I’ve been around the block
Seen it all, heard it all
Women say the love me
But it wasn’t love at all
I hate love; it’s just an urge
I hate love; it’s just a made-up word
It’s an illusion of life; it’s all in your mind
You’re confusing yourself, you’re just living a lie

Women try to change me
Can’t be tied up no way
Women want commitment
But that’s not how I play
I hate love; it’s just an urge
I hate love; it’s just a made-up word
It’s an illusion of life; it’s all in your mind
You’re confusing yourself, you’re just living a lie
 
Love is not real 
We don’t need to be attached
Love is just an itch, y’all
That needs to be scratched 
I hate love, love, love, love, love
I hate love; it’s just a made-up word
It’s an illusion of life; it’s all in your mind
You’re confusing yourself, you’re just wasting my time

3. Him 4:44

I sit back and think about what we had
That’s why this song hurts me so bad
All I ever want to do is make you feel good
And treat you right like a real man should
But there was always something in our way
I didn’t realize that till today
Your last relationship is no excuse
To treat me like you do
I just don’t think you’re over him
And one day you gotta choose

He broke your heart, that’s what you said
But you can’t get him out of your head.
He took your kindness for your weakness
Then you come to me with bitterness 
You said a lot of things to try to hurt me
But it was meant for him and not for me
Your last relationship is no excuse 
To treat me like you do
I just don’t think you’re over him
And one day you gotta choose

It’s been too long and I’m not that strong
I’m not here to tell you right from wrong
Your denies and lies are wasting our time
Because you can’t get him out of your mind
So I’m gonna have to let you go
But there’s one thing you got to know
Do you want him, or do you want me?
‘Cause I want you
Hey, I want you baby
I want you girl
Hey, I want you

4. Had To Go Through It To Get To It 3:54

My grandfather, back in ‘43
He caught hell in Mississippi
Segregation was the law of the land
They called him “boy” when he was a man
With his faith he faced down hate
He took control of his own fate
He chose to leave with his family
He moved up north where he could breathe
He had to go through it he had to go through it
He had to go through it to get to it
He had to go through it he had to go through it
He had to go through it to get to it

Half my life on one job
Blood, sweat and tears, sure was hard
Big boss man all in my face
Breathing down my neck, always on my case
I gotta get out of here, make my own way
Be my own boss, that’s starting today
I had to go through it, I had to go through it
I had to go through it to get to it
I had to go through it, I had to go through it
I gotta go through it to get to it

My ancestors, shine a light on me
Protect me from hate and bigotry
I learned from the past what they went through
They suffered long and paid my dues
See, I’m the child of the master plan
And here I stand today, a proud Black man
They had to go through it, they had to go through it
They had to go through it to get to it
They had to go through it, they had to go through it
They had to go through it to get to it

5. Something To Do Man 4:08

Friday night, lying in bed
Half asleep, half undressed
Got a call on the phone
Female voice said, “Are you alone?”
I said, “Yeah baby, what can I do for you?”
She said, “I wanna ask if you want something to do”

I’m her Something To Do Man when she wants some fun
I’m on call, y’all, when she wants something done

Hang up the phone, put on my clothes
Head to her house to do what? Who knows?
Open the door when I’m there
A voice inside say, “come upstairs”
I said, “Yeah baby, can’t wait to see you
You’re gonna give me something, something good to do”

I’m her Something To Do Man when she wants some fun
I’m on call, y’all, when she wants something done

Booty call, boy toy
I’m only here for her joy
Ladies out there, you want me?
Give me a call, my service is free
Hey ladies, what you want me to do?
This is a public service announcement
And I’m here for you

I’m your Something To Do Man when you want something done
Give me a call when you want to have fun

6. Message To My Daughter 5:47

It’s been building up for years
Me and your mother crying silent tears
I know you can feel it all in the house
‘Cause when you went to school you saw me sleeping on the couch
You’re young and I don’t expect you to understand
All the problems in the world between woman and man
Of all the things we done wrong
Our love for you will stay strong
Message to my daughter
I know it’s been hard on you
When me and your mother split apart
We didn’t divorce you too

You say you don’t take sides
But it just don’t feel that way
‘Cause when I text you in the morning
You don’t answer me till the very next day
When it hurts you, it hurts me too
So as a man I gotta do what I gotta do
So listen and please believe
I was there for you and didn’t want to leave
Message to my daughter
I know it’s been hard on you
When me and your mother split apart
We didn’t divorce you too

I’m sad it’s gotta be this way
For bringing trouble in your life
But don’t let that stop you, little girl
From being somebody’s loving wife
I’m glad you can finally see
There can still be love in a broken family
Message to my daughter
I know it’s been hard on you
When me and your mother split apart
We didn’t divorce you too

Message to my daughter
I know it’s been hard on you
When me and your mother split apart
We still love you

7. Unlovable 3:28

She said leave her alone
She got worries on her mind
Sometimes she’ll look at me
And start crying
She said “I don’t deserve you
Why you treat me so kind?”

What do you mean, baby?
That’s what a man’s supposed to do
He’s supposed to kiss and hug you
And love on you, too
He’s supposed to treat you right
And take of you

(Here’s what she said)
“Every man in my life
Gave me a dirty deal
They beat me to show love
But that love wasn’t real
But when a good man comes along
I don’t know how to feel”

I said, “Why baby
Why do you hold on to demons from the past?
I don’t want to press you baby
Don’t want to move too fast
I’ll prove to you I’m a good man
And I want our love to last”
(Listen to me)

She said, “Can’t you see baby
My scars are too deep
Don’t waste your love on me
I’m not the one to keep
I’m unlovable, baby
And that’s the way I’ll always be”
(No, baby, don’t think like that)

8. Guilty 4:07

Some man cheated on his woman
Some womancheated on her man
They both lay there in the darkness
Feeling bad about a one night stand

Some man got a baby on the side
Said she was on the pill, but she lied
Now she gets hush money twice month
To keep the secret from his bridge

Everybody knows they’re guilty
Guilty for what they do
But when you judge other people
There’s somebody judging you

Somebody out there doing drugs
‘Cause in their life there was no love
So they try to hide the pain inside
It’s just a slow form of suicide
See a man begging on the street
Then you walk past with your nose all high
Life is fragile, that could be you
In the blinking of an eye

Everybody knows they’re guilty
Guilty for what they do
You’re not alone, people
I’m just like you

9. Got Me By The Short Hairs 3:44

At my show, she’s looking real fine
She dance to my music and drink a lot of wine
One night stand with no regrets
Two months late she says she’s pregnant
(What?!)

She got me by the short hairs
Nothing I can do
She’s got me by the short hairs
Tell me what would you do?

Seven months later 
I’m in a bind
I’m still not sure the baby’s mine
Shotgun wedding or I lose my life
Her father got the gun
Now she’s my wife
(Oh no! What did I do?)

He got me by the short hairs
Nothing I can do
He’s got me by the short hairs
“Do you take this woman?” “I do”

Sitting in the hospital
Scared as hell
When the baby comes
I hope I can tell
Baby’s here, and to my surprise
It looks like I caught her in a lie
I guess I should have 
Seen the signs
Cause the baby’s face 
Don’t look like mine
It looks like she’s been sleeping around
See, the baby’s eyes are blue
And mine are brown
(I gotcha!)

I got her by the short hairs
Nothing she can say
I got her by the short hairs
Divorce is on the way

10. My Woman Loves Me Too Much 3:48

When my baby say, “Come and get some of this blackberry pie”
She got that look on her face and that twinkle in her eye
My baby just loves me too much, don’t know the reason why
She started acting this way about the age of 45

I aint that good looking but I guess I’m doing something right
“Cause my woman want to make love morning noon and night
My baby just loves me too much, don’t know the reason why
She started all frisky about the age of 45

My woman talk too much, and I know it’s true
‘Cause she done told all her girlfriends and I got to make love to them too
 My baby just loves me too much, don’t know the reason why
She started acting this way about the age of 45

One day I’m gonna die, and Lord it’s gonna be my time
But she gonna be up there naked, waiting for me on cloud nine
My baby just loves me too much, I don’t know the reason why
She started acting this way about the age of 45
(I got a taste for some blackberry pie. Oh, yeah)

11. If I'm Always Wrong 3:55

You think I wake up in the morning just to piss you off
Find a way to get mad about something you saw
Always giving me directions on how to love you
And then accuse me of not knowing what to do

If I’m always wrong, just leave me alone
If all I do is upset you, I’ll be gone
But if you leave, baby, I’ll be strong
I can’t take no more; I’m looking at the door

You say things to try to hurt my pride
Then you tell my friends just your side
You think everything has got to go your way
But dig this, baby, it stops here today
If I’m always wrong, then leave me alone
If all I do is upset you, I’ll be gone
But if you leave me baby, don’t worry, I’ll be strong
You don’t understand; you’re the woman, I’m the man

We’ll get over this; you’re just wasting our time
You go live your life woman, and I’ll live mine
I can’t say that I wish you well
‘Cause living with you, woman is like being in jail
If I’m always wrong, then leave me alone
If all I do is upset you, I’ll be gone
But if you leave me baby, leave me baby, I’ll be strong
(Hey, hey)

12. Shut Up And Play! 5:58

We can’t march, we can’t kneel
Always telling us how we should feel
When we protest, you say we complain 
While injustice still remains
Is it right to say we’re wrong?
Then you don’t want to hear about it in my songs

Some don’t want to hear what I got to say
What I’m gonna do right now, y’all
Shut up and play 
They want me to shut up and play
 
No forty acres for my family 
That America promised us when they set us free
May my ancestors guide my path
Cause we don’t want to see another bloodbath 
But for now things remain the same
Our lives don’t mean much in this systematic game

Would you trade places with me today?
What I’m gonna do right now
I’m gonna shut up and play
I’m gonna shut up and play

Black Lives Matter to you, too
‘Cause we’re the people that sure ‘nuff got the blues
Four hundred years of nothing but lies
Too many names, too many died
Love is a feeling, truth is healing 
We all should be tired of this double dealing 
 
Someone don’t want to hear what I got to say
What I’m gonna do right now
Shut up and play
I’m gonna shut up and play

All songs by Toronzo Cannon, Cannonball Express Records admin. by Small Scale Music, ASCAP

Toronzo Cannon: Guitars, Vocals, Percussion and Handclaps
Brian Quinn: Electric and Upright Bass
Cole DeGenova: Piano, Organ, Nord and Clavinet
Jason “Jroc” Edwards: Drums
Phillip “Dante” Burgess, Jr.: Drums on “Him” and “Had To Go Through It”
Matthew Skoller: Harmonica on “My Woman Loves Me Too Much”

Produced by Toronzo Cannon and Bruce Iglauer
Recorded and mixed by Blaise Barton at Joyride Studios, Chicago, IL
Additional mixing by Brian Leach
Mastered by Collin Jordan, Bruce Iglauer and Toronzo Cannon at The Boiler Room, Chicago, IL
Photos by Sandro Miller
Design by Kevin Niemiec

toronzocannon.com