A Review of the Terence Martin CD
"Lost Hills"

"Lost Hills"
by Terence Martin

Copyright 2005 - gd0005
Good Dog Records
P.O. Box 364
Montvale, NJ 07645
ph: (914) 762-2976
http://www.martinsongs.com and
http://www.goodacoustic.com and

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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In his music, Terence Martin chronicles relationships. He portrays the self, others, distinct geographies and best (worst?) of all, mismatched couples.

Unlike his last two releases, the songs comprising this release have a more cumulative effect.

With his previous pair, he cast his spell from the onset with remarkable opening cuts--those being "The Way It Didn't Go" and "Waterproof." Here, there is no stop-what-you-are-doing-and-listen song but rather a collective effort that entices.

Each cut has something to offer but the triumvirate of cuts 6, 7 and 8 are Martin at his best: "empty pockets," "l.a." and "it won't be tomorrow."

"empty pockets" is a tale of love and lust, with regret just around the corner. A man brings his male dowry consisting of a $12 ring, a trinket of a saint hanging from a string, a song or two to sing, and nothing more to sweep his lover off her feet.

This is the classic story of being unable to live with or without the other person.

In "l.a.," Southern California is given a wicked once-over. Featuring Amy Semple McPherson, the theft of water from the Owens Valley, the rain of bullets and more, Martin has the most fun with a swipe at Southern California mobility with "take the 5 to the 10 or the 134."

Highlighting a tangle between a mismatched pair of lovers in "it won't be tomorrow," Martin sings of the residue:

"...I went to bed later
but sleep didn't come easy
lying there next to me was her point of view
it pushed and it shoved me
and it took all the blankets
it tossed and it turned
and it looked just like you..."

"Sleep Faster" is the quizzical opening cut. Difficult to discern, one compelling segment is:
"...he passed through you like a town
it's not love when you don't stick around
it's just visiting
they just go there to say they've been..."
"Hank Williams" relays the disappearance of Williams' headstone, but as with most Martin compositions, it's a little different. He sings:
"...were they fans or were they vandals
did they think that it would pay
did they roll away the stone
like it was resurrection day..."
Here is Martin's depiction of breakup-caused insomnia in "eight ball":
"I sleep with one eye open
and the other one shut tight
and stare at half the ceiling
half the night..."
The shifting roles we play throughout life and the resulting labels are presented in "east of the river."

"perfect fit" is an upbeat number. With clever wordplay, Martin describes skewed individuals whose strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.

The female in the "next best thing," bounces from person to person and disintegrating relationship to disintegrating relationship, attempting to stay afloat and find happiness.

Sounding a bit like a south of the border tune with its accordion and, surprisingly, mandolin backing, "where it all begins" is touching, upbeat and the perfect closer.

Martin comes through again here with another set of intriguing musical tableaus. He and primary co-writer Gregory Hicks deserve a nod for their separative talent in creating a unique conflation of lyrics. While the subject matter presented may be oft-portrayed in folk music, these lyrics set Martin's music apart.

Martin on vocals, guitar and harmonica, is backed by Billy Masters on guitar; Will Lee on bass; Chris Parker on drums; Jim Allen on guitar and mandolin; Clifford Carter on piano and organ; Amy Berkson on harmony; Dan Bonis on lap steel guitar and mandolin; Chris Davis on dobro; Gordon Roehrer on bass; Dennis Hrbek on drums and guitar; Charlie Karp on electric guitar; Pearson Constantino on cajon and snare and Radoslav Lorkovic on accordion.

Track List:

All songs written by Terence Martin, unless otherwise noted.

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