Free Week Live Shots

Jonathan Terrell

The Blackheart, Jan. 3


Photo by David Brendan Hall

Temperatures outside dropping rapidly, Rainey Street seemed refreshingly tame as opposed to its usual amped-up buzz. Inside the Blackheart, Jonathan Terrell warmed his faithful with tunes new and old. Primary on the agenda were songs from his latest release, knockout EP Color Me Lucky.

While Terrell's compositions always affect his Texas country roots, at times he spat out the words of his songs like young Dylan with the rasp of the Waterboys' Mike Scott. At other points there was bluster, a rebellious attitude evoking early Steve Earle. Austin's hardcore troubadour could teach some of the posers in the Red Dirt community a thing or three about songwriting that glimpses reality. Then he performed Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" with more intensity than its author ever put into it.

Of the trio that backed him, pedal steel player Simon Page added color beyond your standard country shuffle, although Terrell offered some of that too. Page stood out on new song "December Grey," a hymn for the downtrodden, and drove the slow build of "Color Me Lucky." Gleaming beauty rose from his strings.

Terrell stands out among a handful of Austin songwriters working these days with a healthy respect for tradition. He's entrancing, always unveiling newfound stories and refreshing melodies. The singer/guitarist reports his rock band, Not in the Face, is nearing completion on an album and plans one final blowout this spring before putting the group to rest.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Jonathan Terrell
Texas Platters
Jonathan Terrell
Color Me Lucky (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Nov. 25, 2016

Seven the Hard Way
Jonathan Terrell
Picks 2 Click: Local septet of acts braces for SXSW

Doug Freeman, March 4, 2016

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Jonathan Terrell

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle