Ernest Troost | Resurrection Blues

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Resurrection Blues

by Ernest Troost

If the Carter Family, Robbie Robertson and Alfred Hitchcock wrote songs together, they might sound like this.
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Hellbound
2:56 $0.99
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2. Dark Days
4:13 $0.99
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3. Resurrection Blues
3:19 $0.99
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4. Real Music
2:25 $0.99
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5. Sad Dog Blues
4:10 $0.99
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6. By & By
3:50 $0.99
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7. My Baby Loves Me
2:48 $0.99
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8. Switchblade Heart
4:47 $0.99
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9. Big-time Blues
2:29 $0.99
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10. Blackwater River
3:29 $0.99
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11. It Don't Hurt
4:08 $0.99
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12. Doubtin' Blues
2:17 $0.99
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13. Lonesome Gospel Blues
2:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
FOLKWORKS REVIEW
BY SUSIE GLAZE
ARTIST: ERNEST TROOST
TITLE: RESURRECTION BLUES
LABEL: TRAVELIN' SHOES RECORDS
Release Date: October 2009

2009 Kerrville New Folk Winner Ernest Troost's newest album, the aptly titled "Resurrection
Blues" is a brilliant new piece of songwriting art. Its thirteen Piedmont-blues influenced songs
tell stories of passion, lost love and regret-filled lives at a cross-roads, looking for a modern-day
answer to "how did things ever get this far?" and "when did the darkness fall?" Ernest Troost’s
existential questions run rampant in his first three songs; and then, the stories begin.
For those of you who aren't familiar with his work, aside from the new Kerrville win, Ernest
Troost is an Emmy-winning and multiply Emmy-nominated composer of more than one hundred
scores for films and television. His first album of songs, “All the Boats Are Gonna Rise,” was a
return to his musical roots, inspired by one of those "defining moments" where an event or series
of events can turn you onto a new path you didn't see coming. He writes: "I bought a Blind
Blake instructional video and learned a bunch of his songs, which led to my writing my own
songs in the Piedmont style. I had studied jazz guitar and classical guitar for years, but had never
played guitar in the open tuning that Blake used. The alternate tunings I learned were a
revelation and I now use lots of different tunings in my songwriting." Add this to solid
composing chops and you’ve got something brand new that sounds old and is just flat good.
Some background: Piedmont blues is a true melting pot of sounds, developed along the East
Coast and typically refers to a greater geographical area than the Piedmont plateau, from about
Richmond, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia. Piedmont blues musicians come from this area, as well
as Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and northern Florida, eastern Tennessee,
Kentucky, and Alabama - later the Northeastern cities like Boston, Newark, NJ, or New York.
It's noted for characteristics like alternating bass played with the thumb (some say it’s like
playing piano on guitar) and, because the black community in the Piedmont region was more
integrated into the white community than, say, the Delta region in Mississippi (producing Delta
Blues with slides and simpler melodies), it was influenced by a variety of popular music of the
day such as Ragtime, Tin-Pan Alley and other popular music forms in its harmony and rhythm.
Ernest captures the feel of the Piedmont style engagingly and gently, with an honest poetry that
is both accessible and profound.
Ernest likes to call his new work "cinematic folk" (perfect for keeping with his film and TV
work), and that's a great description, in that he writes such vivid character studies with fable-like,
morality-tale qualities. Indeed, his songs are like entire films in miniature, like looking at a
painting that tells a story in one image (or several) on one canvas. From Ernest again: "Stories
are what fascinate me…I sometimes think of myself more as a filmmaker than a songwriter…I
love to weave words and music together and create cinematic images in the mind of the listener."
And images do fly: Just listen to the story of "Switchblade Heart," where Frankie, a killer who
"kept his enemies close and his edges sharp" falls for "a girl from Tennessee." Then on one
fateful night she jumps in front of Frankie as the boys come after him and there is "the cough of
a pistol and her mournful cry." Or enjoy the whimsical "Big-time Blues" where criminals find
their just deserts, or the tale of the man who couldn't get over a long-ago transgression in "Sad
Dog Blues." Ernest captures the grand Tin-Pan Alley influence with a new classic "My Baby
Loves Me" replete with clarinet and an infectious swing:
I'm under her spell, but this ain't no voodoo
My baby loves me like no other lover do!
This is a broad and colorful canvas of Americana. But his theme I think here is in the title cut,
"Resurrection Blues" where Ernest asks something we can all understand: what happened and
how did I get here?
Sittin' in the dark, watchin' for a sign
My thoughts can hardly keep up with my restless mind
I've seen my future and my world has come undone
My gears are broken and my springs have sprung…
I got criminal blood coursing through my veins
I got addictive tendencies circlin’ my brain
Waitin’ like a pack of wolves ‘til I let down my guard
I’m doing my best, but I’m breathin’ hard…
As a writer and artist, Ernest flatly acknowledges lost youth and asks where did it go? In
"Hellbound": "If love once passed this way, all the trails are cold…All that's left is old pale
traces of tears…". Or in "Dark Days": "There are pieces of me in here/There are bits I left back
there/There's a home I cannot embrace/From beneath this shroud…." He embraces darkness
and its reflection in his own soul and in the tragic tales of others' lives, at the same time he
suspects there are answers around the next bend. You’ll find yourself chuckling at the rueful
humor while you weep for the days gone by – the endless human condition. “It’s the dark
characters that interest me,” he says about his songs. Indeed, Ernest himself is the first dark
character on this album, followed by the man with the "black Armani jacket" or Frankie, or the
boy who vows to leave his town through a treacherous black water "if it's the last thing I do."
The album has a narrative arc that works as a story line to unite the whole album, like the
journey that it is.
Then, lo and behold, his questions yield a great answer, and with the answer comes flat out
redemption! One last sad story, "It Don't Hurt," tells of a ruined childhood which he flees. He
"met a girl in Richmond, so tender and true," but he tries to leave her as well. Then, she
"unpacked my suitcase" and "said, after a while, it don't hurt." That's the savior story that turns
everything around and you can just feel the sun coming up over the mountain. Love is fulfilled
in "Doubtin' Blues" – hey: a blues song about being happy!
When black's the only color I see/And my mind keeps playing tricks on me
Darlin', all because of you/I can put aside these doubtin' blues.
The final song caps the resurrection with appropriate spiritual praise, "The Lonesome Gospel
Blues." He runs down to the river, through the valley and joins the choir:
Sing out like a choir of angels
We're gonna chase these blues away.
Blues Revue Magazine wrote correctly that "Troost's style and subject matter recall Dylan, Dave
Alvin, and (especially for his concentration on life's darker side) Richard Thompson--enviable
company indeed. Such comparisons are not lightly made: Every song here is a keeper." I also
thought of Richard Thompson as a comparison: dark stories with a beat. Ernest's melodies can
be spooky and complex, but always beautiful and beautifully rendered here, many with great
instrumental sections separating the main melody. Ernest's high and light voice can be tender,
angry, sad, bewildered and joyful, all in keeping with the story he's telling. His fine guitar work
can be moody and mysterious, then raucous and joyful. I read another neat description of
Ernest’s writing: he's been described as what would happen if the Carter Family, Robbie
Robertson, and Alfred Hitchcock wrote songs together. Sounds like something for everyone!
For me, the melodies and harmonies linger in my head and the characters haunt my thoughts
long after the songs are over.
Ernest is very nicely accompanied by Nicole Gordon and Lisa O’Kane on harmony vocals, and
joined by Richard Greene on fiddle, Rick Smith on harmonica, Ed Tree on resonator guitar, Scott
Higgins on percussion, Don Markese on clarinet and Shaun Cromwell on banjo. The bulk of the
playing is done by Ernest himself on lead guitar, bass, mandolin and some percussion. This
album, along with his noted awards, should take Ernest far. He deserves it – this work is
remarkable and important and you are sure to hear more of Ernest Troost down the line.
www.ernesttroost.com

Award-winning recording artist and critically-acclaimed Bluegrass powerhouse vocalist, Susie Glaze has been
called by BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED "an important voice on the California Bluegrass scene." Her album
"Blue Eyed Darlin'" was the winner of the Just Plain Folks 2006 Music Award for Best Roots Album and
Folkworks Magazine's Pick for Best Bluegrass Album of 2005. "One of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass
and folk music today." (Roz Larman of FolkScene). Susie's new release "Green Kentucky Blues" and additional
recordings can be found at www.susieglaze.com.

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