Take a little bit of Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Paul Simon and you get some idea of what singer-songwriter Jesse Terry sounds like. The folk/pop music that Jesse Terry creates feels right at home when played alongside the music of any of the aforementioned musicians. After garnering some well-deserved attention for his music including winning the Grand Prize for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Jesse Terry has taken more of his music and created his newest album entitled Empty Seat on a Plane.
In order to bring his music to life, Jesse Terry assembled a band that includes the multi-talented Neilson Hubbard, guitarist Kris Donegan, Pianist Danny Mitchell, drummer Evan Hutchings, singer Hannah Miller who added harmonies to the songs on the album, and Eamon McLoughlin and David Henry who added strings. Together with Jim DeMain who mastered the album, the aforementioned musicians helped Empty Seat on a Plane by Jesse Terry to be a solid listening experience.
The title track begins the newest release from Jesse Terry. “Empty Seat on a Plane” is a track that has a sound that will remind some of songs by the Alternate Routes. In fact, “Empty Seat on a Plane” would feel very much at home on that band’s album Good and Reckless and True. The relaxing beat on the beautiful track by Terry makes for a very nice, easy way to get into the new release. The light playing of the guitar, piano, bass and drums create a folk-flavored track that has a sound that will have many sitting back and enjoying the music.
While Jesse Terry keeps the light feeling of “Empty Seat on a Plane” continue on the second track, that track, “Let the Blue Skies Go to Your Head,” has a slightly more energetic feel than the first track. The piano of Danny Mitchell and the guitar of Kris Donegan on the track work well together to give the song a timeless sound as it seems to fall anywhere from the seventies into the eighties.
There seems to be a theme of travelling running through the songs of Jesse Terry. Like on the title track of “Empty Seat on a Plane,” the song “Grace on a Train” contains slight references to travel as the singer finds someone who was beautifully different. This particular track brings back the sound of people like Jim Croce and especially John Sebastian, as the song “Grace on a Train” will no doubt remind you of the song “Darling Be Home Soon” from The Lovin’ Spoonful. All of the players in the band come together to create a song that blend the elements of the song into a track that sounds readymade for radio play. With the commercial quality of this song, “Grace on a Train” could be one of the songs that people will gravitate to.
The track “Bitterroot Valley” adds just a little bluesy feel to the release. The piano/organ from Danny Mitchell really gives the song some soulful feeling as do the background singers. The song sort of stands out from the other tracks because of the soul flavor but it still has enough familiarity to it that it doesn’t stray far from the sound of the rest of the release.
One of the prettiest songs on the new album from Jesse Terry is the track “Coyotes”. The acoustic guitars featured on the song help create a beautiful approach to the music and the vocals of singer Hannah Miller add an even stronger feeling of beauty to lyrics that aren’t so beautiful in their nature. “Coyotes” is not only beautiful; it’s also one of the strongest tracks of the twelve that create the setlist of the album.
Jesse Terry seems to have the talent to write in a way to make his songs seem more like stories. One of the songs on Empty Seat on a Plane that seems like a story because of the way Terry wrote the lyrics is the song “Barefoot Child”. The narrator in the song seems to tell the subject of the song to live in a carefree manner and don’t let things that don’t matter bother you.
The new release from Jesse Terry stays within a folk/rock sound throughout the twelve tracks that make up the album. Each song on the album has a certain beauty to it and shows off the writing ability Terry as the songs for this album have been arranged with simplicity that will many will find appealing. From the first song to the last, Empty Seat on a Plane will finally give Jesse Terry the album needed to make him a household name.
Check out a live version of the title track to Empty Seat on a Plane by Jesse Terry HERE.