Trials and Stimulations
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Nov. 28, 2008
Jonathan TerrellTrials and Stimulations
Born and bred in the East Texas town of Longview, Jonathan Terrell seemingly has roots music in his blood. Trials and Stimulations may be only his second effort, but its 14 songs span a lifetime of stories well told. Taking his cues from the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, the twentysomething songwriter moans poetry set to country and folk settings that kick up dust with a flourish. He then watches as it settles, examining the aftermath with a keen eye. A middisc trilogy of desolation ("The Lone Road"), twisted rockabilly ("Boots"), and Dylan-esque folk ("Terrible Man") grounds the disc, perfectly illustrating Terrell's talent for mood, melody, and lyric. At 55 minutes, Trials and Stimulations could use some editing, but Terrell's songs are sturdy, his band above average and engaging.