When We Wander
Laid Back and Easy Going Americana With Deceptively Killer Lines and Hooks.
As I’ve said many times over the years; “If I was aimlessly flicking through the racks of a record shop and stumbled on this; the cover alone would grab my attention and lead me to asking the person behind the counter if I could hear a couple of tracks.”
(Remember those days kids?)
The cool pic of a handsome young man in a Rough Rider jacket, looking straight at you, effortlessly leads you into the the laid back and easy going songs that follow …….. but; in the best TV Detective manner; there’s a glint in them there eyes that hides the fact that he’s more than capable of delivering a killer line or couplet when you’re least expecting it.
To begin with, the title track When We Wander gently squeezes your heart until you can’t breathe for fear of missing a note or sepia tinged image …… phwoar!
Jesse Terry has a such a lovely and yet deceptive voice that you would be forgiven for putting this album on as ‘background music’ ….. but; trust me here …… something will catch your ear and you won’t be able to stop yourself jumping up and taking said song back to the beginning; be it the sumptuously reflective Hymn of a Summer Night, the Honky Tonk delights of Pretty Good Hand or even the bittersweet love song, In Spite of You; all have something that will pique your interest and maybe even look back on your own life.
Seven albums in and 150+ shows a year don’t necessarily make for an apprenticeship that makes a songwriter this good; but Jesse Terry uses every single experience in his life to create his Art; and in many ways his songs are Art.
Our new friend Neilson Hubbard’s gentle production gives this a bit of a West Coast/Laurel Canyon vibe; with Ghost Stories and the punchy Little Fires sounding as if Terry had overdosed on Jackson Browne and David Gates for 72 hours solid and wanted to tip his hat in that direction; and the world is a better place for it.
While a wholly gorgeous and slightly edgy album from start to finish; on any other album the title track would be my Favourite Track; no question but such is the quality and class on offer it doesn’t even make the Top 3!
Little Fires, with its searing pedal-steel spine, has an easy going melody that lulls you in until the story unravels and you find you unconsciously have a tear in the corner of each eye and your bottom lip is puffed up ….. yup; it’s a bonafide heartbreaker.
Jesse Terry can also Rock It Up when he wants to too; and the powerful Hanging the Stars effortlessly straddles Classic Country Rock and the new fangled Alt. Country with ease and is just perfect for the radio on a hot and stifling Saturday night.
Then, there is the overall winner …….. cue drum roll …… the Springsteen inspired Strangers In Our Town.
Like all great songs it will appeal to listeners on different levels; but to me this claustrophobic love song had me looking at Mrs. Magpie and thinking; ‘come on ……. let’s us be strangers in our town‘ i.e. let’s look at our lives from a whole new angle … we’re never too old to Rock & Roll; are we?
All that’s left for me to say is to tell you about the Press Release; as is my won’t I skimmed down to see if my name was included (it isn’t) and then I saw a quote from a radio DJ.
Mercifully for once it wasn’t Bob Harris; but someone you’ve never heard of but has been a huge influence on my listening taste and hopefully broadcasting skills over the las 50 years ……. one Paddy MacDee from my local BBC Radio Newcastle.
At one stage Paddy had three very different shows running 7 days a week and wholeheartedly supported ‘proper music’ and especially the local scene, not just on radio but turning up to gigs on his nights off too.
So; if Jesse Terry is good enough for Paddy MacDee, he’s certainly good enough for the likes of me and you!!
Released May 14th 2021
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