Terhune | Forward Motion

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Forward Motion

by Terhune

Breakthrough Americana -- oh, yeah. True, American music with great instrumentation and vocals.
Genre: Pop: California Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wrong
2:37 album only
2. Float To The East
2:10 album only
3. Paint The Town
3:32 album only
4. True Lovers
2:26 album only
5. Wheeling
2:55 album only
6. Satan Sneaks
2:57 album only
7. Summer and Smoke
3:25 album only
8. Forward Motion
4:00 album only
9. Don't Doubt
1:23 album only
10. Bye-Bye Love
2:21 album only


Album Notes
Traditional, Hank Williams-type instrumentation of lap steel, pedal steel,dobro, acoustic guitar, snare and bass, along with some banjo, mandolin and accordion, provide the backdrop for Seattle's Terhune.

The lyrics are purely American stories.

If you like: John Prine, Steve Forbert, Elliott Murphy, Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, Son Volt, Wilco, Jayhawks, America, The Eagles, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, or anyone sounding like anyone just listed, you'll love Terhune.

Note: This is a DIY CD made by the band. Each CD is digitally copied directly from the hard drive from which it is recorded onto using Pro Tools.


Check out Terhune's other releases:

Southern Breeze
Kentucky Pearls
Drives You
Jacob's Ladder
Fairmount Quakers
High Ground/Buckeye


Interview with Al Terhune by Peter Willis of Nu Music Express, Seattle, WA.

Peter: "Forward Motion," your sixth release so far this year, has some nice surprises on it - beginning with the opening tune, "Wrong."

A: Nice surprises? Were you not expecting much from this one?

P: To be honest with you, your last release, "Drives You" seemed to really hit everything on the head that you'd done on the previous four. "Forward Motion," though starts right off with a simple, but pleasant turn on a theme you've really worn out, but can still keep fresh. Someone's leaving someone. How many songs can you write about someone leaving someone?

A: In all honesty, I'm just as surprised as you. When we write songs, it's not even a matter of "Let's write another 'someone's leaving' song." I think that there are few themes in typical relationships, whether you're married or not, and one of those is that someone's getting left. Someone's moving on. But let's not get caught up in the message. We try to be all about music, feeling, and keeping things unique, which is hard to do with "country" music. To some, it all sounds the same. "Wrong" is another one of those songs that took 15 seconds to write, and if you hear it by itself on an acoustic guitar with just one voice, it's such a nothing song. I don't want to over glorify "Wrong," but the way the pedal steel and accordion came together was pretty neat. When we record, we don't do a lot of preproduction. We just play, and the steel and accordion really jelled that day. Add the backing vocals, and when you sit back and listen, you think to yourself, "Is this the same song?"

P: Production is an ingredient that separates a Terhune CD from a typical alt country release.

A: By the way, I don't even like the term alt country for Terhune stuff. There's really nothing alternative about it. It's really just country/folk/bluegrass/American music. But, thanks for the compliment. Just as a nice arrangement can help something like "Wrong, "the less-is-more approach with the second tune, "Float To The East," is just as important. We had all the instruments ready to go on "Float," but it didn't happen. We normally record rhythm guitars first, then all of the vocals and build around that. By the time we had baritone ukuleles on both sides and added the vocals, it sounded done. With a little lap steel to add a lead, it was just a matter of knowing that that was that.

P: "You've been walking 'round just like you're Jesus. Holier than thou and a smugness to your walk. Crucified and putrefied among us. It's you against them and you're even moved to talk." This is you?

A: I guess so.

P: And the answer is: "Float to the east and go back home to Grant County, to Fairmount Indiana. There as a boy you had something I know you dreamed, from Fairmount Indiana." Is it all about going home?

A: Not literally, and not in every case. I think what I mean is that you can't forget your innocence and roots and where you came from. Being young is about being naïve, but with that comes hope and inspiration. It's easy to lose hope and inspiration and just accept getting cynical with age.

P: "Now the tears are there and every day you've fought them. Where's the boy who loved? Well, just a trace..."

A: That's getting a little dramatic, but I'd like to think I'm not the only one that gets a little blue. And it's not like there's any reason to be depressed, but sometimes I do. I've got a great wife, nice job, a house, a truck that runs. Sometimes you just wonder what it's all about. And no, the answer isn't "float back home." I don't know what the answer is, but I know that there's some safety in retreating to your childhood and young dreams.

P: Before we go on, you were going to tell me what happened to your Doberman -- she's on the cover, with only three legs.

A: Our poor baby! Okay, listen to this: It was 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday. I was using the dustbuster and all of a sudden, my wife, who was in bed, came running towards me and asked me what weas wrong with Bodhi. She said our dog was in the back yard just screaming. I went running back there, and here she comes limping up to me, her right, rear leg all twisted around, and I just went sick to my stomach. We didn't know if she stepped in a trap, or if her leg went out of joint. It looked awful, though. No blood. We took her to an emergency room, and they took x-rays, and her leg had broken completely in half. I mean for the most part a clean break. When we took the x-rays to a specialist, he said that what caused it was a tumor in her bone. The bad news was that she probably had about six months to live, if it was the most common type of bone cancer. The decision he suggested was to have her leg amputated, and just give her the best life we could until then. The news went from bad to great, though, when after the tumor was tested, she actually had a benign tumor! She was cancer-free.

P: Damn. Sorry to hear about that.

A: Hey, she's doing great!

P: Bravo to Bodhi. Let's get back here. "Paint The Town" almost qualifies as a stalker song, don't you think.

A: I guess it could.

P: "At the farmer's market, I brushed against you. You turned and looked, but I walked away from you." That's close to getting a restraining order.

A: Yup. But come on, it's just a simple innocent story. He's just a shy little shit who can't get the nerve to approach this pretty girl.

P: You never know. An interesting note, though, is that you write: "I heard you playing banjo with your mother. I sang along when you played 'True Lovers.'" The next song on the album is "True Lovers."

A: Well, we had to create one and turn it into a real song. In "True Lovers," I think it's the third time I've used the theme where the guy happens to come home for lunch and catch some boys trying to get his woman. But these things happen all the time, don't they?

P: "Wheeling" is about a scurvy.

A: And it's actually about a scurvy who doesn't pounce on the young girl. He actually tells her to just go back home.

P: And "Satan Sneaks" is about a woman who's a scurvy...I take it.

A: Yeah, it takes all kinds. Maybe she's the woman who left in "Wrong."

P: Who leaves more, a man or woman?

A: I really don't care. What I do care is to not always make the woman the victim. It's funny, or maybe it's not, but in all the old country tunes, like Hank Williams, you're led to believe that it's the man that always gets shit on. But I think they wrote those songs for their women that they shit on, but Hank couldn't sing from a woman's point of view of all the wrong he'd done to his women. But he could sing it from his point of view.

P: So far, though, you're writing from the same point as him.

A: Maybe so. I guess so. And this is starting to sound like a concept album of someone leaving someone left and right. And the next two tracks are no exception. "Summer and Smoke" is actually a pretty personal song.

P: It appears this one was written in 1987.

A: It was written around the same time as "So Hard To Find" from "Drives You." Another one about my prior relationship with my first wife. She was really confused on what she wanted to do. She was depressed, and I was smoking a lot weed.

P: "I wonder where she's going to...through that door, leaves this hazy room. I don't understand it, summer and smoke."

A: Yeah, it literally was like that. I had the song in mind - and isn't horrible how instead of trying to work on a relationship, you just write a fuckin' song about it? Anyway, I was looking through T.V. Guide and saw Tennessee Williams' movie "Summer and Smoke." Well, it was summer time, and there was generally always a smoky room. Very sad and surreal.

P: In the title track, there are many things to contemplate. I don't even know where to begin.

A: This is a pre-Cotton Bend song. I really don't want to disect this to much, because I want it to mean what it means to whoever is listening to it. It's not like "Wrong" where nothing is hidden or complex. This really is a good example of how my writing has changed. I used to be, I guess, a little more poetic, and now I just want to write it in traditional style.

P: "Challenges need a challenge, the daylight shows the sin. Last night I saw that woman, she wouldn't let me in. Oh, but leaving is so easy, I've gone from town to town. A girl's born every minute...they're everywhere to be found..."

A: Well, that verse is really laid out naked. I think it's a pretty honest look what, in part, this song is trying to say.

P: Are you, going to try to explain it?

A: Okay, no, wait. You tell me what you think it's about.

P: Irony, truth, fate, trust, distrust.

A: I'll buy that.

P: "Don't Doubt" is really your salvation at not making every song a tune about someone leaving.

A: Hey! You're right. It's actually a "Babe, trust in me -- I ain't gonna leave ya, even if the devil tries to take me away."

P: And it's really a nice little production.

A: I do like the way it starts off slow and then hits double time.

P: Let's talk about the closer, "Bye-Bye Love." Definitely not a heavy song, but - it's another someone's leaving someone song. What's going on here?

A: But, gee, the guy obviously was married or living with a very mean girl.

P: "I'd like to hear you talk to the President, the way you talk to me, and I'd like to have as witnesses, the whole country. Cause it's just down right abusive, the words that burn from your mouth. And even though this is my hometown, I'm going to move down south."

A: And you just gave us the only versage in this song.

P: My, that's right. You just kind of do a chorus, instrumental bridge, the chorus out.

A: Damn, good memory, Peter.

P: And this one is probably the most fun I've had while listening to this theme. It's one of your best up-tempo songs on any of your CDs. A good closer.

A: Golly, thanks. You're slipping, though, and losing credibility as an unbiased reporter. This is a fun song, though.

P: You must be taking a break now.

A: We are taking a break. We're going to relax from recording new stuff, but we're going to go back and re-record "Jacob's Ladder," our debut CD as Terhune, which we did on a four-track for friends over a year ago.

P: I've got a copy of that, but mine's called "Outpost Café."

A: Yeah, my Dad's favorite eating spot in Fairmount. Some got given away as that, and some were given away as "Jacob's Ladder."

P: When should that be done?

A: In about a week.

P: I look forward to comparing the two versions. Should be interesting.

A: Thanks, again.



to write a review

Ty Underwood

If only to hear the last tune, "Bye Bye Love," this CD is bound to go down in history. There's just too much to comprehend even in ten listenings. It's full of wit and philosophy and pure country. I mean country, not Nashville. Terhune rocks, man.

May Embry

It's a ride I want to take every day....
This music is about everybody. Incredible character studies set to music. Bravo and let's hear more!

Tina Sherman

The best in contemporary American music.
This is a rare gem that draws you in the from the first song to the very last, and you find yourself playing it over...and over...and over...

Eric Payne

Yes! Yes! "Forward Motion" has raised the bar.
Don't go another day without ordering this CD! It's without doubt my favorite CD. My understanding is that this is Terhune's fifth or sixth CD, and I'm ordering those first four or five right now!

Carlos Juarez

CD of the year!!!!
When you hear the first song, "Wrong," you know you're in for something special here. The magic doesn't stop until the last song finishes -- and even then you start it right back up. It's quite a ride, and I'm serious as this music is. It's fantastic. I urge you to buy it!