We are devoting this week to the music of Hamilton, ON soul-blues rocker (and guitar-shredder) Terra Lightfoot, who very recently shared an online performance to coincide with the release of her fifth album, “Consider The Speed.” Recorded live at The Bridgeworks in her home city by videographer Mat Dunlap (Andy Shauf, Rose Cousins), this exclusive event saw Terra livestream her new tunes worldwide courtesy of Side Door Concerts and Zoom.
Gracing the stage alone for her opening track, “Stars Over Dakota,” Terra (lead guitar/vocals) would invite her bandmates to join her following this performance, opting to concentrate on a few established tunes from her “New Mistakes” and “Every Time My Mind Runs Wild” albums before focusing on the new material. Accompanied by her long-time touring bassist and friend, Eli Abrams, the band also included drummer Glenn Milchem (Blue Rodeo) and keyboardist Jesse Whiteley (his first appearance with Terra – no pressure).
Following a rousing rendition of “No Hurry,” Terra appeared to make an on-the-fly adjustment to her set list, possibly removing what may have been a slower paced number. “So, I thought about playing my acoustic guitar for a song tonight, because it’s on Zoom, and we’re doing a whole intimate situation,” she announced. “But then I also thought, I don’t wanna do that, I wanna keep rockin’, so that’s what we’re gonna do.” Launching into a loud and lively version of “Hold You,” the tempo was quickly established, as was the camaraderie of the band. “I never expected to see Eli with a broken foot … in the year of 2020 … doing a bass solo,” Terra shared, following the song. “On a friggin’ online show … during a pandemic … but he did it!”
Although her acoustic guitar was relegated on this particular night, Terra was excited to share news about a very special addition to her growing six-string collection – a vintage 1971 Fender Telecaster. “I was just gifted this guitar … [by] my great Aunt Theresa, who is a shredder in her own right,” she explained, a proud smile on her face. “I played a guitar just like this on the [new] record, but I was borrowing it from Luke Doucet, and borrowed another one from Colin Cripps, and she gave me one not knowing that.” And with the performance of “Called Out Your Name,” the lead track from the new album, the Telecaster officially got the new-tunes-party started. “This record release party is starting with this beautiful new piece that has a great vibe and has family value,” Terra added.
Having heard both “Paper Thin Walls” and “It’s Over Now” over the last few weeks in heavy rotation on SXM radio, it was great to witness the band crank out these tunes live, and stay true to the studio vibe. Terra would also share a sweet tale about the origins of “Midnight Choir,” one of the stand-out tracks on this album. “[The] back story to this song is that I wrote the riff when I was on tour opening for Bruce Cockburn across Canada, and it was like one of the most inspiring things ever to hear him warm up backstage before shows,” she recalled. “I would just kinda sit there trying to listen to what he was doing. So here it is – it used to be called Bruce Song, and I always play it for Bruce ‘cause I love him – but now it’s called Midnight Choir.”
The four musicians would eventually draw the show to a close with a stellar performance of “One High Note,” before congregating at center-stage to take their bows, and their leave. And for those keeping count, there was still one song as of yet un-played from the album, which Terra would ultimately perform as her encore piece. Returning to the stage, she would also close the evening in similar fashion to how it opened – just herself, her guitar, and her beautiful, soulful voice. “This song came to me…on a writing trip to Nashville, and I didn’t get any songs that I wanted to put on the record, and I was so frustrated and down on myself, and questioning my belief in me as a songwriter,” Terra would share during this intimate moment. “I was out for a drive…on the Franklin Pike, which is a very busy rural highway where cars are flying by…in the middle of the night, on a Saturday. I had to slam on the brakes because there were these two wild horses in the middle of the Franklin Pike…and it totally freaked me out.”
Having laid the groundwork for “Two Wild Horses,” Terra would add a few more words about self-reflection before closing the show with this beautiful song. “Anyway, the horses eventually ran off into the night, and what happened five days later is that I realized I need to be in the present, and I wasn’t in the present,” she continued. “I was thinking about the past, I was thinking about the future, I was questioning everything except being where I was at that exact moment.”
Photo Credit: Nathan Nash (used with permission – our gratitude to the teams at Sonic Unyon Records and Killbeat)
- Stars Over Dakota (solo)
- Two Hearts
- No Hurry
- Hold You
- Called Out Your Name
- It’s Over Now
- Empty House
- Love You So
- Consider The Speed
- Lost You Forever
- Midnight Choir
- Ramblin’ Rose
- Paper Thin Walls
- One High Note
- Two Wild Horses (solo)