It’s fantastic that author/songwriter Terry Kitchen has released the free CD that comes in the back of his novel, Next Big Thing, as a solo disc – Songs from Next Big Thing. The ten-song disc absolutely stands on its own as a work of art, Take track 4, “Second Glance,” four minutes and forty-eight seconds of inviting and pleasant guitar work from Brice Buchanan (also on harmony vocal) and Kitchen, who also plays bass, percussion and lead vocal. Opening with a pretty guitar and shaker accompaniment (and what sounds like a keyboard) Terry’s insightful lyric dances alongside the guitars.
Two of the tracks were recorded in the 1980’s by Terry’s notable Boston band, Loose Ties, Song 7 was produced by Kearney Kirby of the November Group at Baker Street in Watertown, 1984. The “funk mix” is four minutes and twenty six seconds of “sex so strong, just kills all else” – perfect for the 1987 James Bond flick, The Livin Daylights, which A-ha got to do (instead of Charlie Farren, whose own “the Livin’ Daylights” song is much, much better. Loose Ties band mates Bill Kuhlman (bass, vocal), the aforementioned Buchanan, Chris Peeler on synth drums and Terry Kitchen on guitar all provide a steady and intriguing blend. Find the credits to this CD on Terry’s webpage.
Track 9, “Get Out of My Novel” is, of course, complementary to the book. This is the Loose Ties as well, recorded by Jeff Shirley at the Somerville Media Action Project, Somerville, MA, 1988. It’s a perfect snapshot of 1988 Boston rock, reminiscent of Dutch Courage, another group from the region who rocked out in the 1970s.
There’s a special place in my heart for “Ghosts Of Kenmore Square” – especially having lived it since 1974. Deirdre Bergeron and Brice Buchanan add harmony vocals to Terry’s guitar and voice, Brice adding some guitar as well. It’s a slow-tempo march that tells one perspective of life down at the Rathskellar on 528 Commonwealth Ave. Superb.
Opening tune, “Killing Time,” has an eerie mood, Kitchen utilizing this feel to good effect across the CD with his guitar musings. Would actually be a nice soundtrack song to scriptwriter Danny Garcia’s 2014 movie Six Bullets to Hell, filmed on the same set in Spain as 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and other Clint Eastwood “spaghetti westerns.”
“Animal to Animal” by Shadowland (Kitchen with Chris Peeler from Loose Ties on drums) could be the long lost sequel to Lou Reed’s “Animal Language” from Sally Can’t Dance. It’s a percussive-heavy, guitar angling episode that shows Kitchen’s musical diversity and imaginative essays.
“Dogtown Rain” could be Norma Tanega (“Walking My Cat Named Dog”) meets ? & The Mysterians. Quaint, solemn Lovin’ Spoonful-ish Americana with a nice harmonica from Kitchen.
Salsa-flavored “Second Glance” is half-sung spoken word set to a pensive melodic scheme until the hook kicks in while “Same Heart Twice” has Rebecca Lynch’s vocal grooving in a country style over Kitchen’s simple strums, harmony vocal and bass work.
This “songtrack” has a multitude of styles, which is a natural, of course, for the songs accompanying the ideas in the novel…and sets the stage for filmmakers to build a movie around the chapters and each song.
TERRY KITCHEN WILL BE APPEARING AT THE NATICK NEWBURY COMICS THIS SATURDAY, MAY 17 from Noon to 2 PM. For more information click here.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.