A Review of the CD
by Terence Martin

by Terence Martin

Copyright 2000
Good Dog Records
P.O. Box 364
Montvale, NJ 07645
ph: (201)573-0718
http://www.martinsongs.com and
http://www.goodacoustic.com and

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/01
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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From the first purring moments of lap steel guitar, through the poetic lyrics, to the wistful closing mix of lap steel guitar, electric guitar, shaker and harmonica, newcomer Terence Martin's opening cut sublimely lures the listener into the inner workings of a relationship in a stunning fashion unlike any other. Picking up the song midway through, he sings:

"it's the curve of love
it's the rise and the fall
it's a frame that we keep
around a hole in the wall
the problem's in the human
in the flesh and the bone
'cause if love were the measure
we'd never come undone

a woman is a window
a man's a revolving door
one foot's always moving
the other's nailed to the floor
and the walls keep them together
and they keep them apart
and it's all just graffiti
in the chambers of the heart

the sheets hold the imprint
of your lover after dawn
and the bed remains unmade
long after she's gone
and you wish at that moment
that you were waterproof
when these thoughts fall like rain
on a corrugated roof..."

There are some songs that leave such a powerful imprint that you feel changed in some fashion--this is one of those.

Martin bookends his second release with the more somber but equally enchanting "Familiar Mysteries." He details the inexplicable flotsam and jetsam of life in the first few verses:

"...for those without a compass
drifting far from shore
out on some lost highway
or locked behind a door
the prison of a restless room
or the road you cannot see...

...there's those who cry for no one
and those who dress in black
gone by fire or gone by ice
or else just gone off track
those of us who leave too soon
or the ones left in between..."

Offering confession and seeking forgiveness, he closes with:
"...to those done well or ill by me
or wrongs I can't recall
the violence of a careless word
the faithful kiss turned false
I wrote this song and drank the ink
of the words I didn't need
to make amends for love's loose ends
and familiar mysteries..."
His cut "Orphanage Trees" offers a splendidly creative use of metaphor and irony involving an orphanage's children and the trees growing outside it. Backed by acoustic guitar and harmonica, Martin sings:
"there's a row of trees by the iron gate
I watch them as they stand and wait
no one knows how they got there
just blew in from who knows where
they put down roots and they won't let go
take what you get and you call it home

and act like you don't care
just glad to be anywhere
and dream that you've got it made
when you're standing in someone else's shade...

...there's a wind at night blows through these trees
it's the same cold wind that blows right through me
make up a past and give yourself a name
and a pair of arms to hold anything..."

In "Cracks In The Sidewalk," "Almost Anyone," "Augustine Creek" and "Dreamland," he continues the portraits of intriguing landscapes. His solo-penned material best reveals his poetic gifts and are the absolute highlight of this release. But take responsibility and don't blame Martin if you end up wearing out the repeat button on your compact disc player.

Martin plays a multitude of instruments and his vocals are a singing-talking, generally low-key style that dovetails well with his lyrics. The instrumental backing he utilizes effortlessly enhances the potency of his words.

Martin, on vocals, guitar, harmonica, bass, percussion, slide guitar, accordion, shaker and keyboard, is backed by Dan Bonis on lap steel, dobro, weissenborn guitar, mandolin and shaker; Jim Allen on electric guitar, mandolin, vocals and guitar; Dennis Hrbek on organ, guitar, triangle and piano; Martin Stroh on drums; Jim Coppola on drums; Chris Cunningham on guitar; Michele Rubin on vocals; and Jessica Seidel on vocals

Track List:

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