This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Replicating his earlier release and title cut "Waterproof," Terence Martin opens his latest CD with the song, "the way it didn't go," and immediately lets the listener know something special is about to proceed. The question is begged: how many other singer-songwriters would have the courage to put the best song first, for fear of never matching such artistry with the remaining cuts?
As for the rest of the offerings, listeners will be amply rewarded with the literate lyrics that abound in each of his remaining 11 songs. Currently a teacher of English literature and a published poet, Martin displays a remarkable talent to view a situation through a unique prism and then turn a phrase and paint a picture that other songwriters can only wish for and dream about.
His songs here are about relationships, primarily between people but with a few depicting the connection between people and places. And none more so about the former than the aforementioned "the way it didn't go." Reminiscient of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and its concluding lines "...I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference," Martin employs the same theme of choices and pathways:
"where is the lifeTraveling about in "sleeper on a westbound train," he sings of a relationship's remnants: "...I was one step ahead of the weather, one step behind your memory, it looks like freedom but I know better..."
the life we might have led
it started on the corner
where we never met
I nearly turned to you
you nearly turned to me
at the intersection
of what is and what could be..."
In "23rd street runs into heaven," Martin sings of another broken coupling:
"...23rd street runs into heavenContinuing his theme of faded love, in "Steel Rail Nightingale, he sings, backed by wistful mandolin: "...the world's always flat out here, it's all horizon nothing bends, I watched you fade into a dot, somewhere at a sentence end."
you can see the sunset from the roof
out where the river draws a crooked line
between my memory and the truth..."
"Wooden Nickels"is akin to prime time John Prine. Martin closes with:
"...put a pair of quarters in your shoesMartin closes with the quietly powerful "Evening Sky," a fitting flip side from his opening selection. This bookend, backed by accordion, mandolin and guitar, opens with:
when you go downtown
you can use them not to call me
when you don't want me around
but if you need to telephone
be sure to call collect
and I'll be sure not to answer
out of self respect..."
"Love and lust lie down in our bedThe last verse provides this truth:
they sleep somewhere in between
the heart and head
they rub together
creates the sparks and glue
that holds you to me and me to you.
"...the eyes of those you loveFor those who are elated by the magic conjured up by wizards with words, Terence Martin and this CD are for you.
will remind you
what is real and what is true
and nothing really matters anyway
but who is there at the end of the day..."
Martin, on vocals, guitar, harmonica and keyboard is backed by Jim Allen on mandolin, guitar, accordion and vocals; Dan Bonis on lap steel guitar, 12-string slide and dobro; Cadence Carroll on djembe, percussion and vocals; Dennis Hrbek on keyboard, percussion and guitar; Charlie Karp on electric guitar and vocals; Brian Nesgoda on drums and percussion and Gordon Roehrer on bass
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