ALLARD, "Loose Change and Spare Parts"
(Reckless Abandon Music)
defines Americana style on her latest release
With a robust
voice and an intimate, personal songwriting style, Virginia based
singer songwriter Terri Allard brings a strong and authentic voice
to the Americana music scene. 'Americana" is a word that
is usually used to describe a radio programming format that plays
primarily acoustic based, song oriented music leaning heavily
on country sounds. Where there is a radio format, though, there
are artists and Allard is Americana through and through.
On her recent
independent release "Loose Change and Spare Parts"
Allard defines the Americana sound over the course of 11 tracks.
That means taking guitar oriented songs and spicing them up with
decidedly American musical influences including .. blues, folk,
pop, jazz and, most certainly, country. While starting from the
same place -a guitar and a voice - Allard's music demonstrates
the true breadth and richness of Americana with flair.
the opening track on "Loose Change and Spare Parts,"
is a heartfelt acoustic ballad. The title song features a smoldering,
jazzy shuffle. The song "The Television" has
an easy zydeco feel to it while "Squeaky Wheel"
is some deep, bluesy rock. "I Don't Want To Know"
is a gentle, smooth pop song.
on "Loose Change and Spare Parts" is not the mix of
musical styles, however, but the strength of AIlard's original
songs. Her lyrics, in particular, show both a strength of character
and a love for words. From the restless woman eager to hit the
read in "We'll Have Elvis" to the storyteller
who observes the fate of a housewife in "La La Rosie Goes,"
Allard comes on with a voice of a compassionate and ambitious
human being. She admits to passionate desires on "Forbidden
Fruit" but won't settle for leftovers on "Loose
Change and Spare Parts." She has the strength to not
only confront a lover's cold shoulder in "Words You Cannot
Say," but also her own fears of growing and aging in
than the attitude of Allard's songs on "Loose Change and
Spare Parts" is her attention to the lyrics. "Borrowed
Time" especially reveals an artist who can hear a lost
loved one's voice in the wind and their warmth "in stranger's
smiles." Everything Allard puts into her songs as a writer
is matched by her talents as a performer, and the album features
a smoky alto voice that easily rises and falls with the lyrical
content - and the shifting patchwork of musical styles.
Change and Spare Parts" is Allard's third album release.
Her first, self titled album was released in 1994. Since then,
she has established herself as one of the brightest new talents
on the Americana and contemporary country circuit. That includes
playing at the Kerrville New Folk Festival in Texas, the Rocky
Mountain Folks Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in
Colorado and the 1998 AM JAM Festival in Washington, DC. She was
an entertainer at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and a main stage
performer at the 1999 North American Folk and Dance Alliance Conference