Terry Klein “Leave The Light On”

Independent, 2023

A classy musical self-portrait from Austin singer-songwriter.

Speed isn’t necessarily the core element in the making of a record. Many artists will spend months or even years writing and recording their material. Not for Terry Klein – definitely not. His fourth album comes hot on the heels of his well-received record – ‘Good Luck, Take Care‘ – which in itself was made pretty quickly.

Less than two years later, Klein had a selection of songs which he agonised over to ensure they were as good as they could be. He then goes to Nashville to join producer Thomm Jutz and he records the whole album of ten songs in six hours in June 2023. Six Hours! Any questions on the quality of this album are quickly squashed on listening – it’s a wonderfully rich and beautiful collection. He’s joined by Jutz on guitars and harmonies; Lynn Williams on drums; Tim Marks on Bass; Scotty Sanders on pedal steel; and Tammy Rogers on fiddle.

Klein admits that this release is his most vulnerable yet – we just get how he sounded on that June day – no autotune and no big reverb. He says – “The whole thing feels a bit like a self-portrait – and that’s scary. Which I guess is a good thing”.

We open with ‘Shimmers and Hums’, a  gentle self-reflective song with a lovely shuffle to it and some superb pedal steel. ‘Blue Hill Bay’ is an up-tempo number about a bay in Maine – presumably Klein’s home at some stage. Next up is ‘Wedding Day Eve’ is a touching acoustic number sung to a friend who’s getting married. A great tune that gradually builds with some more classy pedal steel.

Things get a little raunchier on ‘This Too Shall Pass’ – a rocky number with a James McMurtry feel. It’s good to have a variation on the feel of many of the songs here, lovely stuff. ‘Well Enough Alone’ is a chilling song about a murder and its aftermath. Knowing that Klein used to be a trial lawyer – this is familiar territory for him. Some lovely fiddle work here as well.

Fan Mary Gauthier suggests we “close our eyes, give it a listen and let his songs take you on a ride – it’s a beautiful journey”. It’s certainly a mellow and atmospheric record and whilst it was a speedy recording, it’s a wonderful and rewarding experience.


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