by Alexis Ann
Those who first saw James Taylor in the Nantucket Coffeehouses still speak of instantly knowing they were in the presence of greatness. Those who rocked to Springsteen on the Jersey Shore knew he would soon be known to the world. Those who were mesmerized by a young Billy Joel in Long Island bars and pubs knew they saw a future Music Hall of Famer. That same recognition of having been on the ground floor prior to a meteoric rise to the top was shared by those who attended Jesse Terry in concert at the Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center in Old Saybrook on August 13th.
Jesse Terry not only owned the stage, but he owned the hearts of the roughly 200 people fortunate enough to attend the evening. Not all got to speak to him in person, but each and every one left the evening having become his friend as well as his lifetime fan. Unique to the great talents of the world, is the fact that they cannot be compared to each other. Jesse Terry is Jesse Terry – a voice, a presence, a personality, and a talent unto himself.
Jesse sings songs of his own composition, each an expression of his path through life, his dreams, his triumphs, and his tragedies. With three up and rising albums under his belt, “The Runner,” “Empty Seat on a Plane,” and “Stay Here With Me,” Jesse Terry has built a repertoire of diversity and distinction. Within that collection are words and tunes that everyone can identify with and embrace. As with all the great songwriters/singers, he is prolific – guaranteeing that one’s current favorite Jesse Terry song will soon be supplanted by his future creations.
A mother and daughter, Mom in her 50s, young lady in her 20s, were heard at the Katherine Center to remark, “All that talent and he is so easy on the eyes.” Handsome, yes, but more so charismatic, Jesse is a friend you are meeting for the first time though you feel you have known him forever. Yet, who is Jesse Terry?
Readers might have a chance to meet him locally on the sidewalks of Stonington, as Jesse and his New Zealand born wife, Jess, have settled in to our region!
Born and raised with music, Jesse received his first guitar as a gift from his mother. At the time an aspiring painter, he knew his true love was music. A graduate of the prestigious Berklee School of Music, Jesse can compose for each and every instrument that might accompany his finest tool – his voice. Jesse has a few gigs on the east coast prior to embarking on a September tour of the United Kingdom, a series of appearances that has already sold out in several venues. Can anyone say, “International Star?”
Our current favorite Jesse Terry song is “ Let the Blue Skies Go to Your Head,” (winner of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition Americana Award) from the “Empty Seat on a Plane” album. It has a lovely mid-tempo tune with tricky and evocative verse rhythms, a lilting chorus hook, and stays-in-your-head lyrics – a pane to having the courage to commit to a relationship. It takes no courage for us to say, Jesse Terry, here’s to a decades long relationship – the sky is the limit!