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“One of New Englands best songwriters”
- Craig Harris, Boston Globe
“Terry Kitchen is definitely a cut above with his eye for detail and unique song ideas. With a keen sense of melody,
Terry’s songs truly deliver and take the listener on an emotional ride!”
- Jeff Pearson, The Bluebird Cafe
“Terry Kitchen's songs are portraits of ordinary people and emotions, captured with extraordinary compassion, honesty and humor. A talented writer.”
- Richard Middleton, Victory Review
“Terry tackles tough personal subjects with generosity of vision.”
- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
“Terry Kitchen's songs deftly reveal the human heart in all its grace and contradictions.”
- Si Kahn
“Terry Kitchen picks up where Elvis Costello and Tom Waits merge and leave off.”
- Vance Gilbert
Terry Kitchen is a musical storyteller, and more.
Award-winning Boston singer/songwriter Terry Kitchen has always written songs
that didn't quite fit. His career as a folksinger began when he was
dissatisfied with the constraints of writing for a rock band, and ever since
he's written songs that have defied and expanded musical genres, while keeping
his keen sense of character, language and nuance intact. His latest album
Lost Songs collects new recordings of sixteen unreleased songs from all
phases of Kitchen's career, including some brand new ones.
Despite the limitations of life during covid, Lost Songs features a talented
array of guest musicians and singers, many recorded on Kitchen's backyard patio,
with mic cables running out the window of Terry's home studio. Players
include Jackie Damsky (violin), Norman Zocher (pedal steel) and, from Kitchen's
'80s band Loose Ties, Barry Singer (piano and saxophone). Singers
include Sarah Telford, Deede Bergeron, Brian Middleton and, notably,
Rebecca Lynch, who takes the lead on the jazz/blues torch ballad Brand New
Laces (Same Old Shoes). Kitchen himself adds electric guitar, mandolin,
bass and melodica to his supple acoustic guitar playing and intimate vocals.
The result is a rich listening journey, from romance (Here's to Us) to
realism (Hard Time for Love), from topical character sketches
(Nickel Bag) to misty nostalgia (Thirty-One Flavors), incorporating
bluegrass, '60s folk-rock, acoustic swing and even a polka, all delivered with
Kitchen's ear for concise storytelling.
Lost Songs follows 2020's Next Time We Meet, which reached #5 on the national
Folk-DJ chart (with its wry broadside Party on the Roof reaching #4 on the
song chart). The album is a celebration of life and love, especially that
of Terry's longtime friend and bandmate Bill Kuhlman, who passed away from cancer
in 2018. (The cover photo shows the 2 of them at an early gig, Terry in red,
Bill in blue.) The album's title song illuminates the hard truth that we're
just not programmed to accept that we only get one chance at life. Luckily,
within each life we get countless opportunities to live, love and grow.
The album also includes How Many Horses (about not learning life's lessons)
and the ironic Empty Mansion. Closing the album is an open-tuned
arrangement of the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, also a nod to Kitchen's deep
musical history with his childhood friend.
In 2019 Kitchen released the live/covers collection Rubies in the Dust,
which reached #23 on the national Folk-DJ airplay chart, and includes live recordings
of some of his best-loved songs including Life Is Hard Enough and
Heaven Here on Earth as well as unique covers of Brian Wilson's In My Room, the Stones'
Ruby Tuesday and Dylan's Knockin' on Heaven's Door.
Kitchen's 2017 CD The Quiet Places includes
Enjoy It While It Lasts, which reached #8 most-played song on Folk-DJ.
Featuring Mara Levine on harmony, Bob Harris on mandolin, Don Barry on bass, Roger Williams on Dobro,
Sam Dechenne on trumpet, and Barry Singer on clarinet, the album also includes a timely cover of the
ecologically-themed Nature's Way, originally by the band Spirit. Kitchen's 2015 album
The Post-American Century (#19 on Folk-DJ) features Sequel, Kitchen's update of Paul Simon's
America, and Eternity, his touching duet with Mara Levine.
In concert, the intensity of Kitchen's subjects and songcraft is offset by his quietly
engaging stage presence and ironic humor.
In addition to his music and songwriting, Terry is also an occasional author.
COPING MECHANISMS, his first collection of short stories, is now available as an ebook from Amazon.
His debut novel NEXT BIG THING (2013), which received 4 stars from the San Francisco Book Review, is available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
Terry Kitchen was born in New Jersey, and grew up in Easton, PA on the music
of the 1960s before moving to small town Findlay, Ohio in the '70s. He attended
Occidental College in LA (with Barack Obama) and G.I.T. in Hollywood, then moved to Boston where he
played in the '80s rock band Loose Ties (the basis for his novel NEXT BIG THING)
before realizing that acoustic music was the most natural setting for his
distinctive narrative songwriting.
For the past twenty-five years he has performed on the New England and
national folk scenes at clubs and coffeehouses including Club Passim and The
Nameless Coffeehouse in Massachusetts, The Postcrypt Coffeehouse and Cafe
Lena in New York, Godfrey Daniels in PA and The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville,
and at festivals including Falcon Ridge, the South Florida Folk Festival, VT
Solarfest, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. He's appeared in 20 states,
including Texas, California and Alaska, and Canada. He's released twelve CDs,
and his songs have appeared in numerous films. His songs have won the Mid-
Atlantic and USA song contests and been runner-up in the John Lennon Song
Contest and been recorded by Barbara Kessler, Mara Levine, Rebecca Lynch, Andrew Dunn, and Janet Feld.
Terry also leads songwriting workshops and is the coordinator of the
NSAI Boston workshop.
In addition to performing as a solo artist, Terry and New Jersey folksinger
Mara Levine perform as the contemporary folk harmony duo Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine.
Together they perform an eclectic selection of Terry's songs, songs from Mara's solo recordings,
and songs they love from the folk and folk-rock traditions.
They began performing together in 2008 and released a duo EP in 2012.
They've appeared together at the Troubadour Acoustic Concert Series, the Hurdy Gurdy Concert Series, Godfrey Daniels,
the People's Voice Cafe, the Borderline Folk Music Club, the Rockwood Music Hall
(as part of John Platt's On Your Radar series), and the Falcon Ridge and South Florida folk festivals.
For more on Terry and Mara, visit terrykitchenmaralevine.com.
Terry Kitchen is a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Touring
Artists Program. The MCC, in partnership with the New England Foundation for
the Arts, makes funds available to organizations that present Touring Artists.
www.creativeground.org for how to apply for funding for a Terry Kitchen performance.