by Shapeshifters



I played with the Shapeshifters from early ’96 until late 2000. We were based in Nashville, Music City USA. The group was basically a reformation of the late 80’s early 90’s band from upper east Tennessee called Brian and the Nightmares. Brian Relleva was a stellar tunesmith and frontman, and John P. Smith and Mark Ryles were known as the “Rated R Rhythm Section.” I joined up shortly after answering an ad in the paper which read: "Band looking for guitarist who likes to rock. No abusers, please.” I think Cheap Trick and a couple other bands were mentioned. Most of these songs were recorded at John’s house on an 8-track reel to reel. I played a Gibson Les Paul through a vintage 100 watt Marshall head and a 4x12 speaker cabinet. Needless to say, we were loud, and we routinely pissed off sound man after sound man. But, lord did we have fun!

~ Kevin Abernathy (Spring 2016)

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All songs by Shapeshifters © 1998 (Relleva Music, BMI) except "Every Grain Of Sand" lyrics and music by Bob Dylan © 1981 (Special Rider Music) and "Marylin's Saxophone" written with David Myers
Produced by Shapeshifters
Recorded at Chowder Town Hall, Nashville, TN
"No Moon," " Every Grain Of Sand" and "Beyond This Town" recorded at Robert Lee Blevins' private studio
Engineered by John P. Smith
Design and photography by Brook Hines
Chowder Town Records
This album is dedicated to Carl Perkins


released January 1, 1998

Brian Relleva - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica
Mark Ryalls - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Kevin Abernathy - Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
John P. Smith - Bass Guitar



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Kevin Abernathy Knoxville, Tennessee

He's just a boy with a guitar from east Tennessee. And he likes beer n' hot wings.

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Track Name: Somebody Stop Me
Was it all just a waste of time
Up at your house with the Venetian blinds
Drawn so tight that the neighbors can't see
You compromise position in the way that you scream
Somebody else's name in my ear
I should leave you, Honey, but that seems so severe

Somebody stop me before I love again
I don't know the where but I sure know the when
Somebody stop me before I love again
Oh yeah

I can't believe that the joke's on me
What we had together was the perfect symphony
Now you're begging me without a stitch
If lies were dollars, Honey, you'd be rich
But not rich enough to change my mind
I want to leave you, Honey, but you look so fine

Somebody stop me before I love again
My reputation's mud if we don't let it end
Somebody stop me before I love again
Oh yeah

Was it all just a bed of lies
Your legs were sweet just to get a rise
Now my heart has broken, spirits bent
Can't take back your love that you have for it
I guess one more time won't kill anyone
As long as I'm gone before the morning sun
Track Name: Seen The Future
Got a lonely wife, a beat up truck, a hungry little boy
Too many bills to pay
I got a joint as big as my leg
Waiting for me at the end of the day
Gotta plan an attitude, a cheapo tank of gas
Got my underwear packed
Got a map of Area 51
Don't plan on coming back

I have seen the future and I'm going around it
I'm gonna build a rocket and put my ass on it

Been watching the stars real close
Gonna hit my window like a bayonet
Got a truck load of solid fuel
From an Israeli at the AMVETS
Have the same dream every night
Sit waiting on the launching pad
Thinking about my city on the moon
With my pale little almond-eyed dad

I don't care if I miss work, I don't care, I don't care, I won’t lie
I just want to see that face on Mars up close before I die

I've got a guitar won't stay in tune
I've got an amp on the fritz
I've got a new song that I can't sing
Cause the words don't seem to fit
Eleven starts the count down
Gonna burn a hole in the sky
I'll be singing at the speed of light
Hitting a G-chord when I fry
Track Name: Too Many Strings Attached
She took me to dinner then handed me the check
Fried me some chicken then handed me the neck
I let her drive home then she got in a wreck
Gave her some cutlery then she stabbed me in the back
She gave me a guitar but it had too many strings attached

We got up to dance but she had two left feet
It was a formal affair but she dressed indiscreet
Told my boss a joke that even I cannot repeat
She was a psychic with all the wrong facts
Tried to play her like a fiddle but she had too many strings attached

She had a bad cough and it wouldn't go away now
She gave it to me we were sick every day now
Went to her doctor then I learned
He got his degree from a mail order firm

She told me a story that had no end
Laid down her rules that would not bend
She sang a swan song that sounded like a hen
Sailed on stormy waters then the damn started to crack
She gave me a guitar but it had too many strings attached