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Reviews: Third Road Home ~ Venus In Retrograde|
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 @ 07:39:28 UTC
Artist: Third Road Home
CD: Venus in Retrograde
Home: Westminster, Colorado
Style: Acoustic Folk Rock
Quote: "Forty years from now, when the world looks back on this new age of folk, Third Road Home will be riding high on the list of genre-defining artists."
By Kenny Hart
I admit it: I'm biased. This music is where I live. But it doesn't matter - anyone who hears Trinity Demask's sparkling voice and Tom Demask's expressive guitar playing cannot help but be impressed with Third Road Home's debut release Venus In Retrograde.
I, of course, immediately fell in love with it. There is a chemistry between these two people that makes for an unforgettable listening experience. Those tight harmonies give me gooseflesh. The only way they would blend better is if Trinity and Tom were brother and sister instead of husband and wife. Moreover, Trinity's sharp lyrical imagery blends perfectly with Tom's emotive guitar. The result is nothing short of sublime.
Don't try to define this duo. Folkies and rock fans alike will identify with their sound. While you may be able to say their sound is reminiscent of [insert name here], ultimately, the comparison wouldn't work. That said, if you like East Mountain South, Indigo Girls and such, you'll like Third Road Home. On "Whatever Is," Trinity's voice has some of the sweetness and timbre of Kelly Willis, but she dons a hard Pat Benatar-like edge on "Reason To Believe." Tom cites as one of his influences jazz guitarist Al Dimeola (Return to Forever). Hearing some of that icon's unique phrasing applied to acoustic folk is a definite treat.
Trinity is a competent tunesmith, well versed in structure, phrasing and melody. She takes the familiar chord changes and turns them into something new and fresh, not mundane like some over-played standards of the genre. "Awakening" approaches from the distance and seems to well up from deep inside the soul, drawing you in and rousing you from the trance of daily living as if to say "come, spirit, and soar with me." "Avalon" and "Sweet The Open Road" - my number one and number two picks, respectively - are back-to-back on this album and deliver an emotional payload perfectly sandwiched between the catchy "Come Undone" and the light-hearted love story "Here With You Today."
Some of Tom's most impressive vocal work is found on "Sweet The Open Road." The chorus has some beautiful phrasing, particularly the lines "Soft the fading denial, sweet the open road." "The Distance Between You And I," one of three songs on the album not written by Trinity (it was written by Jim Harris and Gabe Rhodes) is likewise impressive. You can hear the difference in the songwriting, but Trinity and Tom make the song their own, and it's a surprise at first to find it's not one of their originals.
The beauty of this music is that it never really goes out of style, it just evolves. It will always have fans. Forty years ago, during the "Great Folk Scare," the "folkniks" believed you could change the world if you sang loud and long enough. And they did. And their music is still popular. Forty years from now, when the world looks back on this new age of folk, Third Road Home will be riding high on the list of genre-defining artists. Call it the "Colorado sound" if you will. I just call it great music.
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