Jesse Terry

Where It All Began

jesse terryWhen I began Goodnight Hestia, I didn’t have a lot of grand aspirations. This blog was born more out of necessity than anything else. I knew when I heard Jesse Terry’s sophomore album Empty Seat On A Plane that I would write a review of it; I just didn’t know how the piece would turn out.

I did realize that I would need a decent amount of space for my thoughts. However, I had deleted my first music blog, Melodic Sunburst, and stayed away from blogging for two years.  In fact, I had barely written anything during that time, but the upcoming release of Empty Seat On A Plane seemed like an opportune time to begin again. As a warm-up, I recorded my thoughts about the Steel Wheels’ Lay Down, Lay Low. I thought the entry turned out relatively well, but I still approached the review of Empty Seat On A Plane with nervousness.

You might wonder why I felt nervous. Truthfully, every recommendation/review makes my stomach knot. I always want my pieces to be fair, accurate and carefully composed. This particular review also felt a bit more personal because several of the songs on Empty Seat On A Plane revolve around a crucial time in Jesse’s life: meeting and marrying his wife Jess. (For those wondering, Jesse and Jess recently celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary.)

That said, I never tell an artist that I plan to write a review. I worry that speaking to a musician prior to writing a review would somehow compromise my honest reaction to the work. And while I only have the patience to post about music I enjoy, I want to make sure that my reviews genuinely reflect the way the music affects me.

Looking back at the original post, I think it still holds up well, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ve learned I’m rarely satisfied, but that’s okay. Writing for Goodnight Hestia is alternately draining and therapeutic, but that’s all part of the process. I firmly believe that good songs must take listeners on a journey, and I hope my blog entries will take them on a journey as well.

The original entry: Album Recommendation: Empty Seat On A Plane – Jesse Terry

Check out some other reviews here.


“Shine” – Jessie. T

Over the past few days, I’ve been listening to Jessie Treneer’s (Jessie. T) debut album Reckless Heart, a generally sunny country-pop affair interspersed with shreds of darkness. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who’s honed her craft under the guidance of producer J. Richard Hutt, composes songs that are uplifting, but not overly treacly. Treneer’s supple vocals soar as she relates tales of people coming into their own.

Part of the appeal of her songs is that Treneer is quick to acknowledge the uncertainty her characters experience, even as they must stand firm in the midst of life-altering decisions. “Shine” revolves around a young woman’s discovery of her own self-worth, but also chronicles the way the protagonist second-guesses her choice.

Change, of course, is rarely without hiccups. Personal empowerment does not occur solely from a position of strength; it is also born from weakness. Treneer’s emphasis on the value of giving oneself time to heal is a welcome reminder that emerging from the shadows can be a long process, but it is one worth undertaking.

Jessie. T: Official site | Facebook
Purchase Reckless Heart: Bandcamp

Michael Lesousky

Three Favorites: Michael Lesousky, Jessica Rhaye, The Trebuchets

Bandcamp is a treasure trove of established and up-and-coming musical acts. It’s also one of my daily go-to destinations on the Web.  While the site’s stature has grown in recent years, it’s usefulness is sometimes undervalued.

From a consumer perspective, Bandcamp is my favorite site for discovering and supporting musicians. When I visit the site I can stream full tracks/albums before purchasing, sift through releases using a system of tags, and browse the music collections of other users via their fan accounts. As a result, I can determine which artists have produced work that I want to explore further. I also have the option of following those artists so that I am informed when they release new music or other merchandise.

I’d love to see more independent musicians engaging with an audience through Bandcamp. Fans will undoubtedly find much to appreciate as well, particularly in the variety of sounds available. Whether you favor plaintive, pensive traditional country (see The Lonesome Doves’ Waiting For Stars); bluesy, soul-soothing pop (Hadley Kennary’s Momentum EP); or poignant and wrenching folk (Logan Vath’s In the Presence of the Kingdom), there are a plethora of albums waiting to be unearthed by curious listeners. Below you’ll find a few recent favorites.

Deep Shade of BlueMichael Lesousky

Blues, folk, country, and bluegrass converge on the Grassland String Band member’s solo debut, a moody acoustic affair anchored by his soulful vocals. Lesousky is an immensely gifted songwriter who doesn’t mind making his audience a bit uncomfortable. However, on a spine-tingling rendition of Bill Browning’s “Dark Hollow”, the newly arrived Nashville resident demonstrates he is equally adept at inhabiting and reimagining classics by paying homage to those who contributed to his formative years.

Purchase Deep Shade of Blue.

Song In MeJessica Rhaye

Fifteen years and five albums into her career, Rhaye is still exploring new facets of her written voice. For her latest release, the Canadian singer-songwriter made a purposeful decision to co-write with others, including Matt Andersen, Matt Epp, Hilary Anne Ladd, Bill Preeper and Brent Mason. However, don’t mistake the collaborations on Song In Me as an example of songwriting by committee. Instead, these compositions provide fresh insight into both Rhaye’s own life and the outside world. She makes observations without judgement, infusing her subjects with dignity and humanity.

Purchase Song In Me.

Through The WindowThe Trebuchets

It would be a disservice to refer to the members of the Trebuchets as old souls. While the Tennessee-based band writes and plays with great maturity, it is arguably their youth that allows them to tackle issues of mortality, isolation, and fear with vitality instead of weariness. Mixing elements of pop, rock, and jazz with a vigor that should leave listeners shaken, Through The Window offers the audience a glimpse of the world through the eyes of narrators who (based on one’s perspective) are either on the outside looking in or on the inside looking out. Compellingly voiced by lead singer Rebecca Upchurch, several songs offer room for interpretation. This is an album worth revisiting multiple times.

The Trebuchets are: Rebecca Upchurch (vocals), Dillon Matheny (lead guitar and piano), Jared Grubbs (drums), Gregory Boe (bass guitar) and Alex Noreiga (saxophone and rhythm guitar).


“Am I Drunk Enough” – Jennie Curran

I’ve mentioned Jennie Curran before, so I was quite pleased to see a music video released for “Am I Drunk Enough.” The song is featured on her recently re-released EP This Is Me. One of the things I like best about Curran’s vocal delivery on this song is that it never feels forced. She’s an emotive singer who conveys her lyrics purposefully without excessive embellishment.

The “Am I Drunk Enough” video clip was directed by Jeff Swafford. Here’s hoping we hear more from Curran in the near future.

Jennie Curran: Facebook
Purchase This Is Me: iTunes |  Amazon