On Stage: Terry goes it alone on new tour

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

Jesse Terry

The area music schedule thus week offers a variety of attractive options – including an intimate show by a talented modern American troubadour; and an over-the-top concert by an iconic heavy metal vocalist from England.

Jesse Terry, a singer-songwriter performing with acoustic guitar and gentle voice, frequently tours with a female partner. Recent shows in the area have been duets with Callaghan and Abbie Gardner.

On his current tour, which brings him to the area for a show on August 9, Terry is going it alone.

As part of Upper Merion Parks and Recreation’s 33rd Annual Concert Under the Stars Series (175 Valley Forge Road, Kimg of Prussia, umtownship.org, 610-265-1071), Terry is performing as part of the Second Annual Craig Bickhardt Friends and Family Festival, which also features Craig & Aislinn Bickhardt, Michael G. Ronstadt, Tommy Geddes and Tom Hampton.

In recent times, Terry has performed shows in Ireland, did a Midwest tour with Rebecca Loebe, was on the road with his “Joyful Noise Tour” with Abbie Gardner and did a run of shows with Callaghan.

Terry is an internationally touring, award-winning singer-songwriter whose intimacy with audiences, sincerity, and approachability has solidified him as a favorite at festivals and live venues nationwide.  He has three full-length albums – “The Runner,” “Empty Seat On A Plane” and “Stay Here With Me” – and another on the way.

“I’ve been really busy trying to finish these albums,” said Terry, during a phone interview last week from his home in Stonington, Connecticut.

“My new album ‘Stagzaer,” which is a full band album will be out in September and I’ve finished another album for later in the year.”

His fourth full-length album and follow-up to 2013’s “Stay Here With Me,” “Stargazer” is Terry’s most ambitious album to date, a lushly orchestrated collection of timely new songs centered around finding hope in a seemingly hopeless time, picking resilience over recrimination, and optimism over oblivion.

“Stargazer” was produced with multi-instrumentalist collaborator Josh Kaler in Nashville’s EastSide Manor Studios with renowned composer Danny Mitchell adding string arrangements.

“This album is a bit of a departure for me,” said Terry, who

Was the Grand Prize winner of The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the CMT/NSAI Song Contest.

“Having a string arrangement is really exciting. It’s always the music I’ve loved most – Beatles, Jeff Lynne, ELO, Brian Wilson. I wanted to make an album that took me back to the music I loved when I was young.

“I didn’t want to make a sleepy songwriter record. I just wanted to make a rock and roll record – a big record. I wanted to do something different from what I had done before.

“I write on acoustic guitar. So, to have a symphony behind the songs is really fun. And, performing live, it’s always fun to take the songs back to their acoustic form. These songs can be played solo, as a duo or with a band. It all works.

“We enjoyed using the studio as an instrument. Watching Nashville session players do their parts was so amazing – so beautiful. I did the whole album in Nashville from January to May. It took a while We spent a lot of time on it – a lot of 12-14-hour days.
“The theme of the alum is that you can pick your own universe and the effect you have on the world. This record is a deeply personal record – very vulnerable. But, it’s not as introspective as my previous records.”

Video link for Jesse Terry – https://youtu.be/nzJTqMjrcqA.

The show in Upper Merion will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are free.

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) hosts a lot of folk acts along with shows by rock bands that have been around for decades.

Blaze Bayley

It’s not usual for the venue to host such a loud and intense act as Blaze Bayley but on August 9, the small theater will have its walls shaking when Bayley and his band go to work.

Bayley is a singer/songwriter born in 1963 in Birmingham, England. Having started his professional music career in Wolfsbane in 1984, he lifted his career

to global heights when he joined Iron Maiden. Bayley released two albums and toured worldwide with Iron Maiden from 1994-1999.

After leaving Iron Maiden, Blaze embarked on a solo career, during which he has released nine albums and has enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the hardest-working artists touring worldwide.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to come to tour the United States with my full U.K. band,” said Bayley, during a phone interview Monday from his home in Birmingham, England.

“It’s been raining here all the time lately so I’m happy to be coming to America. We leave Tuesday morning and our first show is the ninth of August in Sellersville.”

“It’s so nice to have my band instead of bands I hire when I get to another continent. Using different bands is a surreal thing.

“I’ve done four big European tours with these guys so I’m excited to have them with me. The band is Carl Schramm on bass, Chris Appleton on guitar and Martin McVee on drums.”

In 2015 Bayley celebrated the 15th anniversary of his first solo release “Silicon Messiah” and in 2016 saw a significant worldwide resurgence of interest in his career – especially with the release of “Infinite Entanglement,” his first new studio album in four years.

“Infinite Entanglement” was the first in a trilogy of albums following a sci-fi concept connected with a fictional story rooted in the science fact of quantum physics. The two follow- up albums are “Endure and Survive,” which was released March 3, 2017 with the third due in March 2018. A book and PC game are also in development.

Bayley explained the “Infinite Entanglement” trilogy.

“Earth’s sun is a yellow dwarf and it will become a red giant,” said Bayley. “When that happens, it will destroy life on earth. So, there was need for a mission to a new planet which they discovered – a planet that could support human life.

“A space suit is surgically attached to people for the 1,000 years the mission will take to reach the planet. The humans’ DNA gets downloaded to a machine.

“The second album ‘Endure and Survive’ is about enduring that journey of 1,000 years. The self-appointed ultra-rich rulers are onboard but the crew doesn’t know this.”

The super-rulers have their DNA changed to be genetically-perfect and they are the only one who will be allowed on the new planet. They program one of the crew members to kill the rest when they are no longer needed to take the spacecraft to the new planet.

“This album is a bit darker than the first album,” said Bayley. “For me, the music and the story have created a vibe that is irresistible.

“At the start, I was consumed with the idea. I started writing it and it took on a life of its own. There is no way to stop now. I have to keep going. I’m about halfway through the third part.”

To read more about Bayley’s unusual and intriguing project, visit — www.blazebayley.net.

“For the live shows on this tour, I’ll be playing a few of the songs from the trilogy,”: said Bayley. “I’ll also be playing songs from my solo albums as well as some songs from Iron Maiden and Wolfsbane.”

Video link for Blaze Bayley – https://youtu.be/kJTXqHA2eYs.

The show at Sellersville, which has Psychoprism as the opener, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $19.50 and $29.50.

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