Steering Wheel

by Rustin Smith

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Rustin Smith suspended his pursuit of a degree in theology and classical guitar studies to launch the Ardent Records' acoustic rock band, Satellite Soul. As a founding member of the band, Rustin contributed as a songwriter and lent guitars, vocals, mandolin and various other stringed instruments to the band's sound and to their critically acclaimed self-titled project released in 1997. During his stint with Satellite Soul, the band played over 300 shows nationwide, recorded four top 20 and two top 10 singles, and sold nearly 40,000 copies of their debut national release.

Since leaving Satellite Soul, Rustin has recorded his first solo project, Steering Wheel, which proves nothing short of a masterpiece of lyrical depth and textural "roots rock" Americana. Preferring to downplay his prodigious ability on all instruments strung, Rustin instead showcases his equally impressive songwriting in intelligent, earthy pieces of song-craft a la Tom Petty, Mark Heard and the Beatles. To label Steering Wheel simply a "pop" record would be to limit the sensitivity and depth of this artist whose explorations of faith, family, and life in the Midwest are capable of speaking to anyone with ears to listen.


released January 1, 2000

All lyrics and music by Rustin Cody Smith

Produced by: Rustin Smith
Recorded by: Rustin Smith and Brandon Beyer
at Dane Studios, Shawnee, KS and Joseph Mills at M&M Studios, Manhattan, KS
Mixed by: Matt Martone at Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN
Mastered by: Brad Blackwood at Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN
Art Director: Trevor Williams
Back Photo: Maya Needham

I thank God for…
my family—Marcola Rae; my parents—Bob and Debbie Smith, Shawn, Kay and Kamryn (for their generosity); the Smiths; the Clarys; the Needhams and Hills
those who contributed to this project directly and otherwise—the musicians who played and sang; Brandon Beyer; Joe and Kim Mills; Wayne Valentine; James Felver; Devin and April Wendt; Lano Needham—my very own live band; Cheryl, Derek, and Tyler Beyer—for their patience; Justin Klein; Bo and Paige Jackson; Curtis and Sarah Oberle; J. Edward Albert; Derek and Holly Shacklett; Julie Needham; Kip Blue; Justin Williams and the Lighthouse guys; Tyler and Trisha Simpson; Maya Needham; Trevor Williams; Travis Brockway; the Swiharts and Wellspring; Ken Pennell; Lynda Hurt; Dave Ferneau and the kind people at Blue Springs Christian Church; my friends at West Hills Community Church; my friends in Troy; Mark and Jeremy at Bentley Guitar Studios; everyone at Ardent
the One who knows me
And everyone else who cared

This recording is dedicated to my grandparents:
Bert & Vivian Smith and B.W. & Virginia Clary


all rights reserved



Rustin Smith Kansas City, Missouri

Midwest songwriter Rustin Smith creates intelligent rock songs from sonic headwaters discovered in a childhood spent spinning .45's from 1960's pop and country to 1980's synth rock.

Having achieved critical accolades with Ardent Records band Satellite Soul and solo indie record Steering Wheel, Smith released Soldier Songs in late 2013.
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Track Name: King

I don’t want to be king
I’d only reign on parades and weddings
So get a crown and keep it ready for the real thing
I don’t want to be king

There’s a void
Someone’s missing on the throne of your heart
You’re annoyed
Telling me I could be the one but don’t start


Don’t look at me
I’m not the one who made the rules for all men
Let it be
No I’m not gonna play it cool once again


I don’t want to be King
Track Name: Once And For All
Once and For All

Here we bark, we’re like dogs in a kennel
Here we staring out through the chains
You got nothing if you can’t get up to take it
You got nowhere if you can’t escape
And how could I sound so at ease with myself
When I’m staring it all in the face

And I deserve a big slap, holding back,
Waiting for the big attack, waiting for the ax to fall
But I know what You see has so much less to do with me
And so much more to do with One who came to die once and for all
Once and for all—once and for all

Here we swim, we’re like fish in a barrel
Here we never even had a chance
We were choked before we were chosen
We were the fruit of the circumstance
I guess hope was holding onto me
More than I could ever dream of holding onto hope

Track Name: Stand

He ride the night like
He shine the day so bright
Evening in the pouch on His hip
He got the time thing down
Right in the palm of His hand
He surf the water
Hold in a jar the
Ocean that He spill on the sand
He got the jar full of ocean
Right in the palm of His hand

He speak creation
He make the earth sing
“Glory to His name
He is the King”
I can be His servant
He will take my hand
And when the world is ended
We will stand

He down the mountain
He up the canyon
Footprint on all of the world
He got the earth thing down
Right in the palm of His hand
He shine the sun like
A match in the moonlight
Kickin’ it around with His heel
He move the stars all around
Right in the palm of His hand

Track Name: Lead

And as I remember
Lord, I tried but I never had the chance
And if that’s the groove
I know I’ll lose, I’ll never learn to dance
This is the way
The prophets say, the world is sure to end

The darkness of this dry winter
I hope I will not remember

You lead me on now
Beside the still water
You set my eyes to the mark
You make me lie down
In the green pasture
You lead me out of my dark
You lead me on, You lead me on

And as I remember
The summer sun was near too much to bear
And the wilting leaves
Renounced the trees, the trees they could not care
This is the way
The wise men say, the world is sure to end

The Springtime I will remember
O God, send Your light this winter

Track Name: Never

Never so hurt that You couldn’t mend
Never so lost I couldn’t find my way again
Never so dark that light wouldn’t shine
Never so hopeless that I hope could not find

I’ll be all right just as long as You’re mine

Never so blind that You couldn’t see
Never so real it doesn’t feel like a dream
Never so scared You couldn’t change my point of view
Never so hard You could not get me through

I’ll be all right just as long as I’m with You

Golden Slumbers used to fill my eyes
But now all I see are stacks of smoke and nights of fire

Never so wrong You couldn’t make so right
Never so strong to find a shelter in Your might
Never so confused You wouldn’t reason the rhyme
Never such a rebel wouldn’t call to You in time

I’ll be all right just as long as You’re mine
I’ll be all right just as long as You’re mine
Track Name: Sleep

And I reside in memories
Just see what I want to see
Ever hoping I might see the way
And I’ve fulfilled my prophecy
To become just what I’d be
Now that there is nothing left to say

I ever want to be forgiven
I want to find myself just living
Free from out these chains that hold my mind
I ever want to wake from dreaming
To find that I have known the meaning
There just where the sleep has left my eyes

And I could think that it’s OK
Another mile, another day
‘Til I forget what I was living for
Some new problem in my head
Same old reeking of the dead
‘Til I admit I can’t take anymore


I can see that this life is a dream
As its meaning unfolds
And one day I will wake up
To answer the bell as it tolls

Track Name: Found Out
Found Out

Found out
Now nothing can take from me
What I’ve seen
Found out
Now nothing will ever be
The same for me

I thought I knew the danger
But I was slow to see
I didn’t know You were the one
Who’d reconcile me


I thought I saw it coming
But I was slow to see
I didn’t know You were the one
Who could forgive me

Track Name: One Heart
One Heart

Bought some virtues, tried to keep them under lock
Really thought that I could hold them
But I was hungry at the spinning of the clock
It wasn’t long before I sold them

Where the two paths crossed
My heart got lost

Two eyes, blind to each other
Two hands, always fighting one another
Two feet, O I could run but why bother?
I’ve got two choices but one heart

Set a curtain to the wind and watch it blow
I’m half-wishing I could be there
But only You will take me where I’m gonna go
And You are what I hope to see there

When that wind gets strong
My heart’s beyond


I’m clearing my head of voices
Not thinking ‘bout all of these choices
I’ve already given my heart away

Track Name: Break Through
Break Through

When I was fourteen I was hit by
Bolt of lightning from the clear sky
How the hot wind did mock my pain
It blew me down and down again
But how You knew that, You knew it well that

All You had to do was hear me, know me
All You had to do was stand in my shoes
All You had to do was touch me, heal me
All You had to do was break through

And on this sea of ebb and flow
I try to steady, but this I know
That You are spirit, but I am flesh
A simple doubter trying to trust
But how You knew that, You knew it well that


So I will work here and I will wait here
For the One who took my place here
Who knows the struggles of being born here
One who knows me—who knew it well that

Track Name: Pass Away
Pass Away
1 John 2:17; Matthew 24:35; Ezekial 37:3

The tide is turning like a motorcade
One thing after another, everyone seems OK
I guess they never thought it’d end someday

{chorus 1}
But if you wake up
Hope you smell the ashes burning
And when I hear you scream
I know that you’ll be learning
While Mr. Happy-go-luck runs to his fire truck
But that truck ain’t gonna work that day
‘Cause the world is gonna pass away

Trouble’s brewing like a coffeepot
Everyone wanting what the other one has got
And our reporter’s got it live on the spot

{chorus 2}
O come on, Hamlet
Can’t you see the curtain falling?
And would you be so sad
If you heard Jesus calling?
Now I have read that you talk to the dead
But those bones are gonna dance someday
‘Cause this world is gonna pass away

I got a fast gas tank filled up to the top
Got thirty-one flavors, but the hunger doesn’t stop
We’re gonna get what’s coming
Hope that we’re not shocked

(verse 1)
(chorus 2)
Track Name: Here

Leather hands, leather neck
Feather weight, but what the heck
Around here, you gotta stand bigger than you are
Iron rule, a little much
Iron grip, so little touch
Around here, you gotta stand bigger than you are

Buy a ticket for a train
But trains don’t roll into this town
You can chase the sun across the field
But be sure it’s going down
You can peel your ears and beat the odds
And maybe you’ll hear the sound
Of the life you always dreamed about
But you just never found
Around here

Dusty boots, dusty shirt
Dirty soil, soiled dirt
Around here, you gotta stand bigger than you are
Working man, pays the toll
Callused hands, callused soul
Around here, you gotta stand bigger than you are

Track Name: Hovercraft

Awake in the garden
Rubbing my eyes, check the time on my bed
Begging Your pardon
Gently surprised by the kind thing You said

I was adrift like a hovercraft
At once salvation in Your bloom
I am only coming back
‘Cause I heard You had prepared a room

Counting the hour
Shaking the sleep from the rug in my head
Then like a flower
Saving the weak like a bug from the dead

Track Name: Home
Ecclesiastes 11:10; Luke 15:11-32

Life at seventeen
Was on the fence and in-between
Said I got a way to save myself
Riding over those hills
Steering wheel and a Bonneville
And I got a way to save myself

It was youth that burned
One of those lessons learned
Seemed like the hardest turn
Just to head back home

Having seen what I’ve seen
It just doesn’t seem like me
I got no way to save myself
And I never got that far
Peddle down in a fast car
I couldn’t seem to save myself


And I could see him from the road
My father waiting by the telephone
How could I think of myself?
“Hey son, I’m glad you’re fine,
Supper’s on, you’re just in time”
How could I think of myself?


I guess it was the best turn
Just to head back home

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