Terry Blade is changing history, one present at a time. The genre hopping, highly decorated musician is back with a new album, and that’s always a pleasant surprise. With a discography that revisits music to making songs that are inspired and aim to inspire, this well-rounded polymath goes down the dusty trail once again. You’ll hear folk and country roots from a contemporary with an edge. This is his latest album, Ethos:Son of a Sharecropper.
Let the magic lie in the details. That is the joy and reason, the rhyme and time in country/folk music. Terry Blade opens with an emotional track, Come Home. The poetry is in his baritone, and the lyrics. As the balance is met with the slide guitar, you are transported to another time, another place. This album already seems like home, with this one track.
The second is a single that has become Terry Blade’s most popular. From his King like deep voice to that catchy bluesy riff, the tempo is a marching soliloquy. It touches on the sentiment, dwells on it then recedes. Like any brilliantly written song, the depth is in the exploration itself. As you naturally transition into Rigor Mortis, you see the range of styles within a genre that Terry Blade explores. With a much darker and sober lyrical mass, the finger style guitar contrasts it with gutting imagery. You flow into Rainbow Child, the mastery in composition clearly being heard. Though the transitions are common, it’s the timing and originality in bringing his own execution to the table that makes it unique. Terry Blade isn’t your typical country artist. He might be the cornerstone of what is next to come.
As the sun sets
Talk About It changes the energy, yet places all the gravitas on the lyrics. As the accompanying guitar walks beside, the sun rays are on the protagonist with the voice. It is almost humbling, to hear this kind of music with such poignant lyrics after a long time. Drawing up a unique picture, it braces you for the journey. With an interlude called Fiddle and Banjo, you are given a respite from the emotional words that have been. The banjo and slide converse, with a monologue featuring in between.
Wasn’t Mine has the warmth of a Johnny Cash track to it. From the opening guitars to the tempo and flow, it fits like a velvet glove. The harmonics give another level of balance to this track, and Terry Blade continues to add layers and texture to a cross-section that had formed its own template. In Grandma’s Kitchen explores another tale of the South, through melody. With a quicker, snappier tempo, acapella engages you till the banjo brings it. Jimmy James has the sorrow of George Jones with the retro core you’d expect. His vocals really shine through, on a song like this. In My House might close this album, but places a bookmark. As the layers of piano, slide and Terry Blade’s mesmerizing vocals draw you in, it takes a moment to admire the book you read, in a way.
This might be autobiographical, but has a raconteur energy I’ve never felt before. It is the fulfilling of a prophecy, and the making of a legacy. You cannot oversell Terry Blade. You can only experience him for the powerful presence he is.