Jesse Terry's When We Wander

Bruce Von Stiers

It's been quite a few years since I first heard the music of Jesse Terry. I've reviewed a few of Jesse's albums, including one he did with Lizanne Knott and Michael Logen about two years ago. Although Jesse's musical style could be said to have a folk tone, his songs are much more than just that.

In the fall of 2019, Jesse gathered up a group of other artists to work on his next solo album. Instead of the normal studio recording setup, the songs were recorded live. The title of this new album is When We Wander.

The album was planned to be released in May of 2020, but then the pandemic hit. With everything that was happening then, it was decided to delay the release of the album.

When We Wander was produced and mixed by Neilson Hubbard. It was recorded at Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville. The album has twelve songs and a play time of forty-two minutes.

Jesse played acoustic guitar on the album and did all of the lead vocals.

In addition to producing it, Neilson Hubbard played drums on the album. Hubbard has worn many hats over the years, including record producing, film directing and photographer along with being a singer/songwriter. Eamon McLaughlin played viola and violin on the album. From MercyMe to Rodney Crowell, McLaughlin has played on many artists albums. He even played on an album that I reviewed about thirteen years ago by singer / songwriter Amy Courts. Will Kimbrough played electric and acoustic guitars along with the mandolin. Listed among the many artists that Kimbrough has worked with are Emmylou Harris, Roseanne Cash and John Prine. Juan Solorzano was on lap steel, electric and acoustic guitars. He is known for his work with Molly Parden and his collaborations with his musical partner, Becca Mancari. Dean Marold was on upright and electric bass. He is the bassist for David Ball and plays in the band, The Farewell Drifters. Josh Kaler played the pedal steel. Aside from assisting other artists on their albums, he produces and puts out music for shows like Grey's Anatomy and Shameless. Danny Mitchell is on the album playing the piano and doing some backing vocals.. He is most known for his work with Miranda Lambert. Mia Rose Lynne did backing vocals on the album. Aside from work in musical theater, she has recorded well received folk/ American albums. Liz Longley also did backing vocals on the album. Her latest effort was the critically acclaimed Funeral For My Past.

The title track, When We Wander, is the first selection on the album. Soft and melodic, the song was inspired by the life that Jesse and his wife has as touring family. Some of the music made me think of the classic band, America.

Strangers In Our Town is a toe-tapping song. It follow the theme of touring life. That it is so good to be home, off the road. And that they should explore their town and the sea near them where they can be anonymous.

Ghost Stories is mellow, yet a bit haunting. It is about things from his past that he feels needs to be revealed. There is some fantastic string music in the song.

Hymn Of A Summer Night is a remembrance of youth and times gone by. It has nice, mellow vocals and great backing music.

Hanging The Stars is a faster paced, toe-tapping song. Jesse sings about feeling helpless and wanting to hide. But that if one life can be changed by what he's doing then maybe it's just enough.

If I Were The Moon is a beautiful ballad about being there for someone.

What I got from the song Little Fires is that he has issues and he's doing the best he can to make through the day and into the next. It is a poignant song of self-discovery and moving forward.

Pretty Good Hand has a kind of country flavor to it. It is about not having all the perks and other things, yet having just what and who he needs

Is There An Answer deals with the negativity and darkness in the world. And is there an answer that will make the world a better place?

In Spite Of You is an interesting song about overcoming anguishing things of the past.

Innocent Ones has some great backing vocals. It is a heartfelt song about needing to get to a place in life where you trust the ones around you and the love they have for you.

The last song on the album is Just Out Of Your Sight. It has wonderful music and mellow vocals.

In writing about recording the album, Jesse stated “This music was created in the moment & it feels spontaneous and full of emotion.” Listening to the album, I heard that emotion. Sometimes with a hint of despair, other times more positive and uplifting. The emotions in the vocals definitely fit the lyrics and the music in each song.

When We Wander will officially be released on May 14th. You can pre-order the album now. You can also hear the title track from the album on Spotify.

As the loss of touring and expenses mounted, Jesse began what he calls a fanraising campaign. That campaign is still going on for a short time. There are many different levels and perks for donating, If you're interested in the campaign, the details are on this page of Jesse's web site

And to learn more about Jesse and his music, here is the main page for his web site

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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers