Country singer produces unique, appealing sound

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

Some dreams can be followed from anywhere, be it Clovis, Anchorage, Alaska, or Punxsatawney, Pa. If one is a writer, one can send one’s work to where it needs to be for publication consideration. If one is an artist, unless the work is site specific, it can go anywhere; the creator doesn’t have to go with it.

Other dreams and aspirations — well, you need to follow them; they cannot be handled long distance. If you are Cisti Greenwalt, you have to shoot for the stars by trying out where the women’s basketball league is holding camp. If you are Hank Baskett, you have to go for the goal by showing up where they try pro football hopefuls. (Yes, those puns are intentional.)

Or perhaps your name is Kene Terry, and you are a talented young musician form Logan, by way of ENMU, who produces a unique and poetic sound. Call it Austin sound, call it Texas music, call it alternative country … whatever you choose. Let’s say, in the words of his friend Ernie Kos, that you face the decision to “take the risk, or to continue to do what you are doing — which is not what you want to do with your life.”

You have to follow your dream, and to do so … well, you have to take the chance. It’s not a dream you can pursue from anywhere. You have to go to where the music is. Yes, we have a rich musical history here, but you have to expand on that.

Terry, whose brand of music is a sort of metamorphosed country rock, will have his CD-release party on Thursday at the newly open Civic Center. This concert and social event, well worth the ticket price, is scheduled for 7 p.m.

How do I know it’s well worth the price? I had an advance listen to the CD. I don’t know the technical side of music, but I know what I like. By the way, this isn’t the Montgomery Gentry style of country rock. As mentioned above, this is more the Austin sound, with complex guitar arrangements, lyrical themes and stories. Don’t get me wrong — I like Montgomery Gentry, too. But …

This is music you can dance to. Waltz, one-step or slow dance, depending on the cut. This is music you can road-trip to, hearing the stories Terry tells as you eat up the miles to Santa Fe, Taos or someplace equally fitting.

This music, these compositions, could not have been birthed in New York. They could not be mistaken for beach music. Thank God, they have no rap element. Neither are we listening to a good singer cover someone else’s songs. Like past music focus columns, we are talking about original music, born on the High Plains and mesas.

Observations of life, like the “Keystone Cowboy,” a fellow we will all recognize when we hear the song. Ironic twists on familiar themes, like “Here in Spoon River,” maybe an allusion to Edgar Master’s anthology. Love ballads that immortalize relationships we can identify with — love at first sight and love lost.

It takes a lot of courage to step out, making the move, putting yourself on the line musically by exposing your heart and spirit with original work. It takes another spoonful of courage to hit the road, going where you can actually make your dream happen.

Desire — that might be the motivating factor to courage. Wanting to make it happen badly enough to move it along yourself, overcoming the roadblocks. Kene Terry is just such a highly motivated young man.

I loved the music. I love the (for lack of a better word) Austin sound. I love alternative country music in general. However, don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. Show up at the Civic Center on Thursday. Bet you’ll be glad you did.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: