The Story Behind the Song: “What in the World” – Carry the Light, 2008

Carry the Light CD CoverI released CARRY THE LIGHT in 2008, and one of my favorite songs from that CD is “What in the World.” When I was writing the songs for this record, I remember that the title of the record was constantly in my mind. As an artist, one of my goals is to carry light into the world in some way.

“What In the World” is a song that talks about pain and suffering on one hand, and on the other, what we can do as human beings, citizens, people that care. How can we bring healing and kindness into the world?

‘What In The World’ lyrics

What in the world were we thinking…?
What in the world we gonna do now…?
Some people need a hand up,
Others need to stand up…
What are you gonna do…?

What in the world were we dreamin’…?
What did we think it would come down to…?
Some people gotta get up,
Others need to wake up…
While there’s somethin’ to do…

What in the world…
What in the world…

What in the world were we feelin’…?
Tell me what did you assume…?
You think we’re gonna be ok…
Live another day…

What in the world…
What in the WORLD…

You don’t have to look too far to see the pain…
Step outside your door – it falls round you, like rain…
You’d have to close your eyes not to see…
People everywhere still longing to be free…
The day has come for us to see…
That the answer lies, lies with you and me….

About the Album Art

The artwork on the CD came from an artist I was fortunate to have met in California named Boris Koodrin. He had seen a PBS special that featured a concert I played in Kentucky, and e-mailed me to inquire about buying a CD.

We came to be friends through continued messages, and I asked him if he could create a painting that would become my album cover. I had a vision in my mind of a picture of me as a little kid, holding a candle in a rainstorm. That’s how I felt about all the bad events that were happening at a time when the war in Iraq was still making constant headlines.

He painted a beautiful picture, in which the light of the candle transforms into thousands of little dragonflies flying toward the sun. It appears on the inside fold-out cover of the CD.

 

Call me crazy, but I do have hope. You have to have hope — I think we have to operate from that place. That’s what this record has come to represent for me, and for better or worse, its message is just as relevant today as it was back in 2008.

More Good Stuff:

FREE Download of ‘What in the World Were We Thinking’

> Buy ‘Carry the Light’ as a CD or Digital Download

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> Learn to play like Kelly: GuitarLessonsbyKellyRichey.com 

The Story Behind the Song: “Only Going Up” – Shakedown Soul

kelly richey shakedown soul“Only Going Up” is the seventh track from my 2015 record Shakedown Soul, which I co-wrote with Sonya Ziegler. Click PLAY above to listen as you read.

This is a song comes from a classic blues inspiration: the end of a relationship. Something I’m sure almost all of us can relate to.

More specifically, this is a song about a relationship that you’re very passionate about and still wanting to fight for, and about the process of coming to terms with the reality that it’s falling apart.

It’s just like a river – not like a stream
My heart is on fire, baby – this ain’t no dream
I wanna be the one – to hold your hand   
I wanna be the one – who’s there to make you stand

These lyrics describe someone who wants to make a commitment to their lover and stay with them no matter where the ride may take them. But in the second verse, you’re starting to recognize that things are falling apart, despite that passion and that will to see it through.

You gotta love yourself – far better than the rest
You’re not the only one – who wound up in a mess

Now, instead of talking about wants, you’re talking about needs. You’re starting to identify some boundaries and question whether this situation is healthy. Perhaps talking to yourself, or perhaps talking to the other person, trying to convince them that they too would be better off stepping back from the relationship. When relationships fall apart, it takes two.

I looked in the mirror – what did I see?
I looked in the mirror – that someone was not me.

There’s that moment of truth – the recognition that you’ve really gotten away from yourself while trying to follow the path the relationship was taking. Even if that intention is coming from a good place, it can still wind up being self-destructive.

Only going up from here – I can’t go down
Only going up from here – I can’t go down
Only going up from here – I can’t go down
Only going up from here – I can not break this ground

This describes the push-pull feeling of heartbreak, feeling like you’re being pulled in two directions at once.  In the last line, just think about crashing to the ground and how that would make it crack. It’s such a hard fall, such a deep disappointment – but no matter how hard you come crashing down, you can’t bust through. It’s that feeling of hitting rock bottom and realizing there’s no way to go but up.

While this is a song about heartbreak and endings, the positive side of it is that it’s also about breaking free, and realizing you’re important. You can’t give yourself up or give yourself away, not even when you’re trying to stay the course and do what you think is best. What you want and what you need are not always the same, and the gap between is where heartbreak lives.


GET A FREE DOWNLOAD OF THREE KELLY RICHEY SINGLES from my three favorite CDs when you sign up for my mailing list – kellyricheymusic.com.

BUY SHAKEDOWN SOUL AS A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND RECEIVE A SECOND DOWNLOAD FREE – my previous studio release, Sweet Spirit, featuring the track ‘Fast Driving Mama’
BUY NOW

The Artist In Me

The Artist In Me

Your eyes tried to steal my soul
My heart turned stone and I grew cold
…that’s when i started choking

It’s through your eyes that I was lost
I found out early what a dream could cost
…and my heart was broken

I don’t know why — the artist in me kept choking

I looked to you for a sign of the times
Your eyes took me way across that line
…and I kept choking

I looked in the mirror but I was never there
I bleed inside and no one knew I cared
…and I kept choking

I don’t know why — the artist in me was choking

I said fuck this and walked out of my hell
God damn me for putting my soul up for sale
…but I was choking

I don’t know what to do to be free
I got locked up a long time ago and I can’t breathe
…and I’m still choking

I don’t know why — the artist in me kept choking – choking

I looked for a new path because I was lost
I did what I could and I paid the cost
…I had to stop choking

I knew that there was something inside of me
I knew there was something that made me breathe
…because I was choking

I didn’t know what to do so I made it up
I didn’t know where I was going but I was tough
…and I was tired… of choking… of choking… of choking… I’m done choking

Written by Kelly Richey

Shakedown Soul

kelly richey shakedown soul

If You Wanna Rock We’re Gonna Roll!

If You Wanna Rock We Are Gonna Roll!
Kelly Richey’s “SHAKEDOWN SOUL”

Hey everyone! If You Wanna Rock We’re Gonna Roll!  My new CD “Shakedown Soul” is officially available for pre-order! “Shakedown Soul” has been a journey filled with profound personal growth, just as all of my prior sixteen CD’s have been.

Let me tell you the story:  READ MORE

Kelly Richey - Shakedown Soul

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY for Kelly Richey Fans ONLY!

Pre-order the hardcopy of the long-awaited new album release by Kelly Richey, “SHAKEDOWN SOUL”, and as a free gift, you’ll immediately receive the entire CD as a digital download!  The CD is a 10-track album that deftly mixes blues, funk, electronica, and Richey’s signature gritty rock and roll!

“SHAKEDOWN SOUL” is a 10-track album that deftly mixes blues, funk, electronica, and Richey’s signature gritty rock and roll. The ten tracks are woven together seamlessly with chunky guitar riffs, groove based, melodic bass lines, synthesized sounds, and in-your-face John Bonham-style drum grooves and loops. Richey augments foot-stomping rockers with blistering guitar work and husky vocals that swagger along a massive wall of sound that swirls and spins in layers with celestial glitches, DJ scratching, drum loops, horns, keys, strings, and synth sequencing into a hot mess of sonic candy that perfectly suits her raw, ultra-personal all-original song lyrics. “Shakedown Soul” features melodic, well-arranged songs that feel both ethereal and hard as concrete. Richey’s riff-heavy guitar is gritty and dirty, and she steps out of the box on this album to incorporate synthesized sounds with her signature Strat that masterfully complete each other.

Always finding new ways to shake up the blues/rock genre, her ballsy rock and roll guitar playing doesn’t disappoint. Insipid, she is not; instinctively peeling back the layers, Richey’s “Shakedown Soul” is a undeceptive sojourn that never makes excuses. Sonically lush, emotively raw and honest, “Shakedown Soul” is Richey’s finest work to date.

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Kelly Richey News & Updates

October has been a very busy month.  I kicked off the month by attending a songwriting workshop in Nashville, TN with one of my all time favorite writers, Mary Gauthier.  This four day event took workshop participants into a deep dive of intensive songwriting adventures.

While attending, I wrote the final song titled “I Want To Run” for my upcoming new CD– set for release in late 2015.

If you’re not hip to Mary’s work, I encourage you to check her out; in my opinion, she’s one of the finest songwriters in the market today.  If you’re a songwriter, I highly recommend her writing workshops– it’s put on by Lydia Hutchinson, founder of Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops.

Mary Gauthier Songwriting Workshop

Upon returning home, I headed straight into the studio for final tracking and mixing and I’m happy to announce that we should start mastering this week!  The CD artwork will be unveiled the first week of November, and pre-orders will begin.  The CD is produced by my drummer, Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue.  Tobe and Rikk Manning joined forces with me in creating a sound that is truly FRESH and ROCKIN’ …!!!

The CD artwork was done by Sonya Ziegler and it’s stellar!  Sonya’s help and support in developing the material for this album, coupled with Tobe and Rikk’s brilliant musicianship and Tobe’s outstanding production approach leaves me deep in the groove!

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the artwork next week and pre-order details!

Tobe Donohue and Kelly Richey - Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Rikk Manning and Tobe Donohue - Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Afraid To Die— New Video by Kelly Richey

Afraid To Die— New Video by Kelly Richey

Video Production by Jeremiah Oschwald of Beardhousemedia.com.  Executive producer, Sonya Ziegler.  Afraid To Die was produced by Duane Lundy at Shangri-la Productions with Kelly Richey on guitar and vocals, Robby Cosenza on drums, and Blake Cox on Bass.

This is a deeply personal song that I wrote this winter while writing for my upcoming release.  These lyrics were loosely taken from my poem published in my poetry book “Whisperings”.  The poem is titled, “Once Again”.  I wrote this song as I was reflecting on the countless number of profound changes I’ve experienced these past five and a half years of sobriety.  The struggle of breaking free from the chains that held me back had everything to do with being afraid of letting my old self die… and afraid of embracing the real me.  The release of this video is one of many new markers in my journey to evolve personally and also as an artist.  The creation of a new solo show allows me to perform a broader array of material that, incidentally, also finds it’s way to the larger stage with my band.  Many new and exciting changes continue to take place in my career as a performer, songwriter, teacher and coach.  I hope you enjoy this video!

You’re Afraid To Die

You draw that line and you slip past it
You’re feelin’ high but you know it won’t last
You know that pain so you walk away
The fears that come bring the tears that stay

Your heart it pounds now and it won’t stop
Your feet they run cause they don’t walk
Your head is low but your hopes are high
You don’t wanna live cause you’re afraid to die

You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid

Erase that line and you slip away
You can’t take – what – you can’t say
You’re outta love and you’re outta luck
You’re all alone and you’re all screwed up

You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid to die
You’re afraid

Words and Music by Kelly Richey

Video Production by:
Beardhousemedia.com
Jeremiah Oschwald

Executive Producer Sonya Ziegler

Produced by Duane Lundy
Shangri-la Productions

Kelly Richey – Guitar & Vocals
Robby Cosenza – Drums
Blake Cox – Bass

Filmed at Chase Brewing Co. in Lexington, KY

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Upcoming Shows:

March 26, 2015 – 8pm    

Bistro 42    
6021 Timber Ridge Drive
Prospect, KY 40059
Phone : (502) 632-2552
Contact Website : https://www.facebook.com/bistro42ky

March 28, 2015 – 3pm
Bowling Green State University Presents:
The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture    

220 McFall Center
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Phone : 614-824-1730
Contact Email : [email protected]
Conference Information: http://goo.gl/o8pOSO

Kelly Richey Photo Shoot 4_Photo by Sonya Ziegler
Photo by Sonya Ziegler

New Video Scheduled For Release Next Week:

This past week I went to Lexington, Kentucky to complete shooting the footage for my new video, “Afraid To Die”.  This is an intense song about someone struggling with addiction– and the only thing keeping him alive is his fear of dying. Engineer/producer Duane Lundy at Shangri-La Productions did an amazing job on the mix giving it that haunting sound reminiscent of Daniel Lanois’s approach in Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball.

Kelly Richey_Shangri-La Studios_Phots by Sonya Ziegler

Writing and The Creative Process:

Throughout the week I’ve been hard at work in my studio bouncing between teaching, writing, and working through my favorite list of songs from my catalog for my solo show.  I completed a new song this week, called “The Artist In Me Was Choking”.  As I write, I’m pulling lyrics from many of my poems found in my book “Whisperings”.  This is the first record I’ve ever done without a deadline.  I’m enjoying the creative process and allowing myself to explore all possibilities— with these new creative endeavors brings some rather big changes, changes that I will be announcing next week.  I’m happy, I’m inspired, and the weather has finally broken.  It’s been a long cold winter, but it’s brought much fire to my soul!

 Kelly Richey in hte Studio_1.25.2015_Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Lita Ford Show:

It was a blast opening solo for Lita Ford this past week in Indiana!   As expected, the crowd was there to rock!!!  Lita played an acoustic duo set and opened her show with the cover tune “Bitch Is Back”!   It was a fun night!  The venue was packed but my friend and guitar student Karen Miller from Louisville, Kentucky caught this shot through the window.  Thank you Karen!

Kelly Richey and Lita Ford Live

 

Kelly Richey in the Studio at Shangri-La Productions in Lexington , KY

Kelly Richey in the Studio at Shangri-La Productions in Lexington, KY:

This past week, I returned to the studio with engineer/producer Duane Lundy for the next round of recordings for my upcoming new album.  This second round of recordings focused on two new songs: “Afraid To Die” and “Just Like A River”.   The first round of songs included: “Love” (which is the song used in my new music video), “Lies”, “Only Going Up”, and “You Wanna Rock”.

Kelly Richey_Shangri-La Studios_Phots by Sonya Ziegler

Keeping in line with my last studio release Sweet Spirit, but with even more of a departure sonically from past material, I’m blending the loops I use in my live solo performances (created with Native Instruments Maschine STUDIO) with drums (Robby Cosenza) and bass (Blake Cox).  Conceptually, the sound is a gritty remix of Blues, Electronica, Rock, Folk, Funk, and Americana; think The Kills and the Smithereens meet Ryan Adams and Patti Smith– mixing cutting, highly personal lyrics with synthesized sound and drum loops overlayed with raw, organic electric guitar.  Lyrically, I’m pulling from my poetry and new lyrics written while out on the road touring this past year. “Just Like A River” was originally a poem, but was worked up as a song as a suggestion by my good friend Kay Milam.  I have a well-established friendship and working relationship with Duane Lundy, and completely trust him to guide the sessions.

My new album will be released in late fall of 2015, with six singles and subsequent music videos being released throughout the year.

Kelly Richey_Shangri-La Studios_Phots by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey_Shangri-La Studios_Phots by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey_Shangri-La Studios_Phots by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Note: Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet, songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach.  Richey has made her mark through the power of her voice, figuratively and literally.  Kelly leads writing workshops as a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change and was certified through the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA).

KellyRicheyLive-PhotosbySonyaZiegler-Hi-Res_10 copyKELLY RICHEY – ABOUT

Kelly Richey is one of the hardest working independent musicians out there; to date logging an extraordinary 1,000,000 miles touring, and at one point in her 30-year professional career, gigging a grueling 275 days out of the year. Richey has toured in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Born in Lexington, Kentucky but now based in Cincinnati, Richey started playing guitar at the age of 15. Today, a staggering 4,000 gigs later, she more than earns the title of master guitarist and singer/songwriter. She has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out”. She has been listed as among the top 100 gifted guitarists by the Truefire Community in 2011, and frequently draws comparisons to blues guitar icons Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Richey has shared the stage with such legends as Lonnie Mack and Albert King, and has opened for Joe Cocker, Lita Ford, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Walter Trout, Little Feat, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, George Thorogood, Average White Band, Robben Ford, Warren Zevon, and James Brown.  Richey has fronted her blues/rock power trio, The Kelly Richey Band since the early 1990’s, and she also performs an intense, dazzling solo show incorporating electric and acoustic guitar, looping, beats, electronic sound synthesis, and some of her more personal acoustic material.

Richey has been teaching guitar almost as long as she’s been playing; with over three decades of teaching experience under her belt, she is a deeply dedicated and inspirational guitar instructor who has taught well over 1,000 students to date.  Richey teaches both privately and through the online teaching course with TrueFire.  Richey has put out a number of instructional videos and teaches several guitar workshops around the country.  Richey has a rock solid understanding of blues guitar techniques, which she passionately passes on to her students. She’s a warm, outgoing and dynamic guitar instructor with a unique teaching style who relates exceptionally well to her students no matter what their skill level or background may be. Her goal is to provide expert instruction tailored to meet each student’s individual needs, so that he or she can excel to full potential.

LOVE Kelly Richey

LOVE Kelly Richey

Kelly Richey’s NEW Video titled “LOVE” from upcoming CD!

Love, Love, Love is a powerful thing…
Oh I said Love, it’s a powerful thing…
Anyone can do it – that’s the thing!

Love, Love, Love is a wonderful thing…
Oh I said Love, it’s a wonderful thing…
Anyone can do it – that’s the thing!

People wanna talk about love –
But talking’ never really did a thing –
If you wanna get it – then you better give it –
Isn’t that what love’s suppose to bring…?

Oh I said Love, it’s a powerful thing…
Anyone can do it – that’s the thing!

LOVE Kelly Richey

…share the LOVE

LOVE …it’s a powerful thing!  …will appear on Kelly Richey’s upcoming CD titled, “Shakedown Soul” is a studio album superbly mixed and mastered by producer, Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue, and features a group of extraordinary musicians and back scene talent all collaborating to make the finest piece of work that Richey has done to date. All the songs are original, and feature Richey on guitar and vocals, Rikk Manning on bass, and Tobe Donohoe on drums, scratching and synths.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Richey has crafted her finest album to date, featuring ten stellar songs that are guaranteed to blow you away whether you are an old fan or new. Be prepared for an astonishing, intense sonic experience that will leave you with your jaw on the ground!

Sister’s Gotta Problem – Free Song Give Away

Sister’s Gotta Problem – Free Song Give Away

Sister’s Gotta Problem – don’t know what to do
Don’t wanna talk about me – just wanna talk about you
I don’t know what to do – I don’t know what to say
Aint got no problem with solution – aint it all the other way

Sister wanna help you – can I give you a hand
Tell me what you need – and maybe I can understand
People run in circles – don’t know what they say
Don’t tell me that it matters – if you’re gonna walk away

Written by Kelly Richey

“Sister’s Gotta Problem” is the title track on my first CD and a second studio version appears on “Sending Me Angels” — check out the links below for a free download for these recordings!  Be sure to grab your FREE download of Sister’s Gotta Problem – Free Song Give Away

Sister’s Gotta Problem CD:  Sister’s Gotta Problem MP3

CD1_Sisters Gotta Problem_By Kelly Richey

Sending Me Angels CD: Sister’s Gotta Problem MP3

CD7_Sending Me Angels_By Kelly Richey

Special Offer! Download ALL 15 Kelly Richey CD’s for $49

Instant access to Kelly Richey’s COMPLETE CD catalog via digital download for your computer, iPhone, iPod, Android or mp3 player.  When you purchase this special package you will receive a link for immediate download!

Buy Now

About Kelly Richey: Kelly Richey is one of the hardest working independent musicians out there; to date logging an extraordinary 1,000,000 miles touring, and at one point in her 30-year professional career, gigging a grueling 275 days out of the year. Richey has toured in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Born in Lexington, Kentucky but now based in Cincinnati, Richey started playing guitar at the age of 15. Today, a staggering 4,000 gigs later, she more than earns the title of master guitarist and singer/songwriter. She has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out”. She has been listed as among the top 100 gifted guitarists by the Truefire Community in 2011, and frequently draws comparisons to blues guitar icons Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Richey has shared the stage with such legends as Lonnie Mack and Albert King, and has opened for Joe Cocker, Lita Ford, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Walter Trout, Little Feat, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, George Thorogood, Average White Band, Robben Ford, Warren Zevon, and James Brown.  Richey has fronted her blues/rock power trio, The Kelly Richey Band since the early 1990’s, and she also performs an intense, dazzling solo show incorporating electric and acoustic guitar, looping, beats, electronic sound synthesis, and some of her more personal acoustic material.

Making Music out of Thin Air

Making Music out of Thin Air

In my songwriting process, I capture ideas on my iPhone, napkins, scraps of paper, and my computer, and then pull from these ideas when I have a clear head and some time on my hands. Often I dip into the poetry I wrote years ago. In the past, I’ve written purely for emotional release and personal reflection. Today I’m beginning to develop an actual writing process, more focused on songwriting as a craft, not just a release. There is, and always will be, a place in rock for raw outburst. But I believe a seasoned artist can temper that rage, or joy, or whatever emotions welling up inside, and put it through a process that elevates it into something more universal, more refined, and ultimately more long-lasting

.the open road kelly richey

About Kelly Richey: Kelly Richey is one of the hardest working independent musicians out there; to date logging an extraordinary 1,000,000 miles touring, and at one point in her 30-year professional career, gigging a grueling 275 days out of the year. Richey has toured in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Born in Lexington, Kentucky but now based in Cincinnati, Richey started playing guitar at the age of 15. Today, a staggering 4,000 gigs later, she more than earns the title of master guitarist and singer/songwriter. She has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out”. She has been listed as among the top 100 gifted guitarists by the Truefire Community in 2011, and frequently draws comparisons to blues guitar icons Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Richey has shared the stage with such legends as Lonnie Mack and Albert King, and has opened for Joe Cocker, Lita Ford, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Walter Trout, Little Feat, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, George Thorogood, Average White Band, Robben Ford, Warren Zevon, and James Brown.  Richey has fronted her blues/rock power trio, The Kelly Richey Band since the early 1990’s, and she also performs an intense, dazzling solo show incorporating electric and acoustic guitar, looping, beats, electronic sound synthesis, and some of her more personal acoustic material.

Happy Woodstock Anniversary!

Happy Woodstock Anniversary!

Original Woodstock Concert TicketHappy Woodstock anniversary weekend! I went back to the vault and found the song “Ashes of Woodstock” that I did with Heidi Campbell, back in my late ’80s Nashville days. A TV executive in NYC was interested in the song for a Nickelodeon TV show. He never did use the tune, but he was gracious enough that when Heidi and I played it in his office for him, he thanked us with this original 3-day ticket to Woodstock! I keep it with all my other concert tickets (I have never thrown any away!)

We were conceived when music and politics merged –
Running through the ashes of Woodstock, learning to doubt what we learned -Changing the meaning of rock- but playing with things that still –
playing with things that still – playing with things that still –
playing with things that still -burn.

This generation – baked the American pie.
The falter in communication – our nation turned inward once more.
So now it’s a pure revelation – to reach out beyond our own –
reach out beyond our own – reach out beyond our own –
reach out beyond our own – sores.

Our fascination – with the idols of yesterday thrives –
We’re children of yuppies and software – and Elvis and acid still rule.
And we’d never admit that we don’t care – but only because it’s not cool.
We were conceived when music and politics merged –
Running through the ashes of Woodstock, learning to doubt what we learned -Changing the meaning of rock- but playing with things that still –
playing with things that still – playing with things that still –
playing with things that still -burn.