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Austin American Statesman Feature


Quotes on the book: “Cry Till You Laugh — The Part That Ain’t Art”

" ... Get an autographed copy of Terri Hendrix's terrific new book "Cry Till You Laugh- The Part That Ain't Art," which is equal parts spiritual and practical... it's honest, funny, useful, revelatory and moving. Well worth the wait."
— M.C., Austin American Statesman 
"No, this is not Terri Hendrix’ latest album, but a book about her climb through the music scene and how she got to where she is today. It’s full of memoirs and snippets of her life from her first guitar (stolen from her sister) until present day. Hendrix gives us a window into how she started writing songs (her system clearly isn’t for everybody) and who she is when no one is watching. The book is also chock-full of her songs from the entire catalog, which when read, seems a bit like a book of poetry, but even for the more die-hard anti-poetic types, it works on a strange level. Cry Till You Laugh is funny, sad and many times profound. There are a lot of pictures covering her tours and so many laugh-out-loud moments, but what really grabbed me was the raw truth in her writing. She does not sugar coat her life to make it sound as though she is an angel fallen to earth, but lets us into her ‘real Terri’ with some of the substandard living conditions she has endured, some of the uglier sides of touring and performing as well as her inspirations for many of her songs. Anyone who is already a Hendrix fan should add it to their library without a second thought and if you enjoy reading comedy, poetry or just wants something to fill a quiet Sunday on the couch, Cry Till You Laugh is a great read." — Amy Addams, Oklahoma Current 

Quotes on the CD: “Cry Till You Laugh”

“Terri is a truly self-made woman. With 12 albums in release on her own label since 1996, she makes me jealous. Playing mostly in the Texas-Louisiana cradle, she eventually moved on out and has traversed the US many times now. I love this track [“Slow Down”] – great song with a fine backing track featuring plenty of mandolin (one of my fave instruments).”
  — Al Kooper (Guitarist, Writer, Producer), #6 Track of the Year “Slow Down,” Boston Herald
 
Part of the beauty of Terri Hendrix’s music is she’s among the best at recognizing, writing about and celebrating resilience and common ground, the things we can all cry, and laugh, about.” 
— Jim Beal Jr., San Antonio Express-News

“ ... She is the consummate triple threat, excelling as a songwriter, performer and recording artist. With more than a dozen albums in her catalog, she seems equally comfortable with blues, folk, story songs, ballads, folk-rock, country and a surprisingly fresh take on New Orleans-style jazz and jazz swing.”
— Jim Lipson, Feature: Owning Her Own Universe, Tucson Weekly 

“With a stylistic sweep that encompasses country, blues, jazz and practically everything in between, Texan Terri Hendrix has created a flourishing cottage industry with a consistent string of albums hailed by fans and critics alike.” 
— Lee Zimmerman, M: Music & Musicians

USA Today spotlighted the song “Einstein’s Brain” as a “Playlist” top 10 pick of the week, calling it “a bittersweet reflection on life’s limits, rendered with Hendrix’s usual rootsy grace.” 

“Hendrix has some very dark moments in her lyrics, even though, as anyone who’s seen her can attest, her constant smile lights up the dimmest room …  Terri Hendrix takes life’s lemons and turns them into fresh-squeezed lemonade.” 
— John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music


“Cry Till You Laugh is quite simply a 100% Terri Hendrix tour de force.” 
— Arthur Wood, Maverick Magazine 

“Her supple voice is absolutely sublime on ‘Automatic,’ and the torchy, bluesy ‘Sometimes,’ proves she could go toe-to-toe with any jazz singer on the planet.” 
— Lynne Margolis, Colorado Springs Independent

“The belle of San Marcos, TX, has outdone herself on [Cry Till You Laugh]. It covers a lot of ground musically and lyrically, and it’s just one of those things you can put in the CD player for anyone and they’ll enjoy it.” 
— Shawn Underwood, Twangville

“With elements of folk, rock, country and such jazz flavors as Dixieland and big band, [Cry Till You Laugh] is a genuinely masterful set of 15 tracks that are sure to be enjoyed if not treasured by music fans who have yet to discover this wonderful artist.” 
— Rob Patterson, Populist Picks

“Terri Hendrix’s Cry Till You Laugh is her best release since, well, her last one, because no Texas artist has consistently taken their game up another notch with each new musical offering like the spirited soul of San Marcos.” 
— Gleason Booth, Texas Music

WXPN’s Gene Shay, founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival
, raves, “Cry Till You Laugh is wonderful, with some of the best songs I’ve heard in ages. One moment she’s bluesy, the next, refreshingly cool and pure. That takes oodles of talent and musical know how.” 

“What I’m most proud of on this record is Terri’s writing. She sometimes gets pegged as being too happy. Happy songs. Well, the folks who say that are not listening. She always strives to be positive, but, always happy? No. Listen to her lyrics. They are deep, hopeful, thought provoking and sometimes even positive and happy. Life’s too short to always be in a funk. There’s no future in “staring at your shoes.” Check this record out [Cry Till You Laugh]. I’m proud of it.” 
— Lloyd Maines, producer

“[Cry Till You Laugh] feels like the boldest of the esteemed songwriter’s collections yet. A solid set that is just waiting for the new incarnation of Dixie Chicks to swoop in and grab some left of center hits, this is singer/songwriter work at the top of the game. Singing from the heart throughout, Hendrix doesn’t waste a syllable in getting her point across and the points stay with you. A real under-the-radar winner.” — Chris Spector, Midwest Record

San Marcos Record, San Marcos, TX
December 26, 2010
Top 10 Personalities of 2010
By Jeff Walker 

Features Editor

San Marcos — Some of the following 10 people are recognizable public figures, some are just everyday residents in and around San Marcos. But they all inspired us in one way or another.

… “Terri Hendrix: When Terri Hendrix released her newest album “Cry Til You Laugh” earlier this year, she did what long-time Hendrix fans have come to expect from her music: And that’s strictly the unexpected. The San Marcos singer/songwriter continues to do things her own way by releasing a jazz-heavy album that features some of the work of local musician Ike Eichenberg. “Cry Til You Laugh,” released earlier this summer, is a fitting title: The album covers a wide range of moods and a lot of musical ground, from the heavy and dark (”Berlin Wall”) to the down-right hilarious (”Whatachoice”). And, yet again,  it’s 100 percent Hendrix at her best.”
"... Visualize Sheryl Crow in overalls, or maybe Ani Difranco with a down-home Texas perspective: that’s Terri Hendrix, the singer-songwriter-entrepreneur-czarina, in a nutshell. Born and raised in San Antonio and now living in San Marcos, Hendrix is a walking advertisement for sunny confidence and boundless enthusiasm, qualities that she’s been polishing along with her bright, sassy vocals and accomplished guitar playing over the course of three albums. Places in Betweendemonstrates how she’s taken those talents one step further, exuding an innate sense of street smarts and a keen eye for detail on all fifteen tracks, particularly “It’s a Given” and “Places in Between”—tunes that are simultaneously intimate and universal, telling stories that hold a listener even when the melody might not. Besides, how can you not love a singer who pines for a flush toilet and central air in her dream home, as she does on “My Own Place”? To pull that off suggests quite a career in the making. Keep your eyes and ears open as she whizzes past." — Texas Monthly 

Quotes on Performances:

“ ... Best Festival Moment at Old Settlers Music Festival 2011 – Part of what makes a great festival set is not just playing the music, but playing to the crowd ... This year’s winner was Terri Hendrix.  She was a last minute addition to the Sunday afternoon show in the campground, but by the end of the set she owned Camp.  She played old songs and new songs and even made up an Old Settler’s rap on the spot.  Leaping around the stage, playing harmonica and guitar with long-time conspirator Lloyd Maines, she would have been crowd surfing if there had been a mosh pit.  There was no place else in the world she’d rather be for any reason, and the audience was all aboard that train.  A fabulous ending to a great weekend.” 
Shawn Underwood — Twangville
 
"Terri Hendrix ... played an extraordinary acoustic show for a few hundred of her 'closest friends.' She combines her classical vocal training with her skillful multi-instrumental talents, blending folk, pop, country, blues and jazz into her own eclectic style. It was Hendrix' vocal virtuosity that really stole the show. Her masterful storytelling and self-effacing humor made every song a highlight." 
Kevin Yeanoplos — Tucson Concerts Examiner 

“… Terri Hendrix’s boundless heart effortlessly energized Lone Star Music magazine’s party Friday evening. The San Marcos-based folksinger, a pioneering independent artist who has had her own record label since the mid-1990s, sparked good cheer with equal measures storytelling (“Slow Down”) and observation (“Mean People Suck”) ... Hendrix’s 30-minute study in authenticity unarguably proved her worth on Corpus Christi’s South Texas Walk of Fame. Potent and priceless.” 
— Brian T. Atkinson, SXSW 2011 Austin360.com 

“Terri Hendrix is a classic Texas texture: tough enough to never fold, strong enough to cut her own path, woman enough to smile in the face of fate and keep going. She’s been doing it her way for over a decade, and she don’t look back. She just writes her songs, makes her records and stays with her program … You don’t tell a girl like Terri Hendrix what to do. And that’s what makes her so engaging. People stand there, listening, nodding, knowing that she knows how they live, too. It doesn’t need to be said, it’s a given.
— Holly Gleason, SXSW 2011 No Depression/Blog 

“Trailblazing independent musician, who lives by the motto “Own Your Own Universe,” Terri Hendrix brought her music, new book, and stage presence to the Old Town Center for the Arts … Hendrix is a classically trained vocalist and deft multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin and harmonica), who has a charismatic stage presence and reputation for always delivering an energetic and spiritually uplifting live show – she lived up to her reputation, delivering a powerful performance on Friday evening.”
— Jon Pelletier, Cottonwood AZ, Verde Independent

“The first time I saw Terri Hendrix perform, I was taken by how different she was. Folky, jazzy, bluesy; a genre jumper with a sense of timing all her own. It was at a KNBT Americana Jam a decade ago, and she was just such a breath of fresh, unpolluted air.” 
— Jessie Scott, MusicFog.com

“Hendrix has, through a combination of pure talent and hard work, grown into a first-class writer and a top-flight instrumentalist.” 
— Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News

Folk, pop, country, blues, Latin, and country swing. None of it evades Terri Hendrix, who has a fresh enthusiasm and a divine voice, which equals an electric stage presence.
— Mary Skilton, Chicago Sun Times

For 75 minutes Hendrix and Maines made the Texas stage [of the Houston International Festival] the place to be and created a tough act for [Steve] Earle to follow. 
— Michael D. Clark, Houston Chronicle 

Terri Hendrix is an amazing performer and a great writer. Her storytelling has a certain kind of believability that is natural, and she can turn on a dime and twist it around where it’s as unexpected and as funny as anything you could imagine. All combined, it’s pretty amazing.
— Joe Ely, Texas singer-songwriter

Terri Hendrix is a gifted songwriter and performer. Her ability to reach people with music and her positive attitude amazes me. Listen to her music, see her, and then . . . you’ll understand.
— Helen Leicht, Music Director, WXPN-Philadelphia 

Saturday’s Newport Folk Festival stage offered numerous discoveries. Leading the way was Terri Hendrix, a voluble folk-scat singer.
— Steve Morse, Boston Globe

Terri Hendrix entertained a crowd at the Newport Folk Festival with upbeat fare. Accompanied by veteran Texan producer/guitarist Lloyd Maines, Hendrix mixed sunny humor and sparkling melodies with striking instrumental and vocal chops, displaying a particularly keen talent for finger-picking and full-on scat singing.
— Rolling Stone.Com

Hendrix’s Live in San Marcos, recorded before a hometown crowd, is an effervescent charmer. The ever-upbeat Hendrix is a wonderful live performer. With her crack band, this release is a can’t miss proposition.
— Michael Tearson, Sing Out!
 

Other Quotes:

“Though the Texas troubadour’s matter-of-fact whimsy keeps her message from becoming overbearing, a seriousness of purpose underscores this song cycle about the ways in which spirituality informs everyday life.” 
— Don McLeese, Amazon.com (The Spiritual Kind review)

“Simply put, Terri Hendrix creates the kind of music that makes you feel good, conceived and delivered with utter sincerity.” 
— Richard Skanse, Texas Music Magazine (Fall ’07 cover story)

“The music of Austin songwriter Terri Hendrix has long validated the idea that our inner search matters — and moreover, that it's essential. Within the lines of her songs, Hendrix chronicles the experience of seeking that quiet, grounded, true place in a world filled with so much nonsense and noise.” 
— Brad Buchholz, The Austin American Statesman
“San Antonio native Terri Hendrix seems to have been hovering on the brink of “making it” for several years now. Her albums are always well received—everyone from the Washington Post to Rolling Stone has raved about them—and in Texas she’s highly regarded. But Hendrix didn’t really catch on with the national scene until recently, when she won a GRAMMY for penning ‘Li’l Jack Slade,’ a song adopted by the Dixie Chicks. On her own, Hendrix plays smart blues/pop/folk/rock, sings thoughtful lyrics and always displays subtle guitar work with thought provoking lyrics and attention to detail."
– AOL

"anyone with a heart is hooked...candid, good-humored and intelligent singer-songwriter...a strong and unaffected singer."
– Rick Allen, Harp
 
"gutsy... Terri Hendrix has remained steadfastly independent." 
– Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald
 
"Politically and emotionally charged as the lyrics may be, Hendrix is in fine melodic form...while getting her message through with her clear singing and impeccable timing." 
– Buzz McClain, No Depression
 
"With her musical partner, Lloyd Maines (father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines), Hendrix presents her songs in stripped-down country arrangements that keep her appealing voice in front of the music...Hendrix really makes her mark on a cover of rapper L.L. Cool J's 'I Need Love,' bridging the gap between The Bronx and Nashville." 
– Dan Aquilante, New York Post
 
"stunning, breezy, smart Americana..."
– Performing Songwriter

Hendrix's music showcases a brace of tuneful, sharply observed roots songs that cheerfully defy easy stylistic pigeonholing.
— Chris Morris, Billboard

Places in Between is brimming with smart, insightful ballads and small-town, big-dream tales. Hendrix’s voice, intimate and expressive, is reason enough to keep listening, and the combination of Lloyd Maines’ musicianship and production savvy seals the deal.
— Mike Joyce, Washington Post

In a world where brats who know three chords can score million-dollar deals, an artist such as Hendrix is a welcome alternative to the alternatives. She's a considerable guitarist with a chameleon of a voice, who sounds right whether she's singing swing or folk.
— Justin Wolske, Houston Press

As fans enamored of her first two albums can attest, Hendrix’s souffle of a voice belies her ability to get under the skin of sensitive subjects, whether the subject is her own fears, wanderlust, romantic betrayal or profound surrender and acceptance. Ultimately, Places in Between is about acceptance of the terrors and joys the world throws at you. "Life," as some street corner philosopher once noted, "is what happens while you're waiting around for something else." And while it happens to Hendrix, the rest of us get to hear about it.
—John T. Davis, Austin American-Statesman

Hendrix is an unqualified success story down in Texas. Much like Ani DiFranco has done marketing her own music and basically running the whole she-bang by her lonesome, Hendrix has done much the same with her homespun Wilory Records label. A San Antonio native who has built an incredibly loyal following, Hendrix is now beginning to break beyond Lone Star lines. Places in Between is a collection of honest, well-crafted slice-of-life songs devoid of any of the trappings that mire all too many recordings in the contemporary folk vein. Rather, it’s a collection of tunes with grit and a groove and on which the voice of Hendrix is one of believability.
—Dan Ferguson, Time Out New York

Places in Between is easily Terri Hendrix’s best album yet. The songs reach farther, and the writing and production are both sharp throughout. Hendrix and Maines call upon a whole lot of different textures and instruments to help the songs take flight.
—Michael Tearson, Sing Out!

Charming doesn’t quite capture the appeal of Terri Hendrix’s Wilory Farm. There’s something far less contrived and inescapably likeable about the San Marcos resident’s second album for it to be merely charming. With a voice as effortless and delicate as Alison Krauss’, Hendrix runs through an array of styles: folk, country, pop and country swing.
—Michael Bertin, Austin Chronicle

 


News Clippings 

 

MAVERICK MAGAZINE (U.K.)

Hendrix conducts some self-exploration in song
When Terri began work on this recording last autumn she intended cutting a jazz collection, composed of covers and Hendrix-penned originals, with the working title TERRITOWN. Time passed, change occurred and here we have the musically diverse fifteen-selection CRY TILL YOU LAUGH produced by long time musical partner Lloyd Maines. While there’s a few jazz touches, more of which later, in terms of delivery this effervescent and harmony-rich song collection is totally Terri Hendrix.

A while back fellow San Marcos, (Texas) based musician Adam Carroll loaned Terri a book of Dorothy Parker poems. Much attracted to the short works Wail and Theory, she merged most of the former and all of the latter into album opener Wail Theory. Interlaced with short bluesy harmonica bursts (I guess they could be wails), Terri delivers Parker’s words a cappella. The uptempo Slow Down — for openers, there’s a contradiciton in terms — is the first of this album’s five Maines writing collaborations. Two decades ago Kerrville New Folk Song Contest winner Mike Sumler composed Automatic. Propelled by jazzy shuffle, it delivers commentary on the “automatic, democratic, chromatic, acrobatics of the blues.” You know, music written and played by real musicians!
The fourth selection, Hand Me Down Blues, penned by Hendrix, is reflected by the later, shorter, almost Eastern sounding Hand Me Down Blues Reprise. Lloyd plays dulcimer on the latter and shares the writing credit. The album title, albeit paraphrased, turns up in the highly personal Einstein’s Brain lyric. Therein Hendrix reflects on a recurring health issue with fortitude and her infectious smile. A live version of Ike Eichenberg’s You Belong in New Orleans surfaced on LIVE IN SAN MARCOS (2001) while CRY TILL YOU LAUGH album closer Take Me Places, co-written by Ike and Amy Hall, appeared on TERRI HENDRIX LIVE (1999). Here, on both tunes, Hendrix indulges in some high-energy scat singing.

Sometimes, co-penned with Maines, is a beautiful smooth jazz ballad that follows and neatly balances the energetic New Orleans. The thoughtful Berlin Wall explores the obstacles that life thrusts in our path. Whether many miles apart or simply close by, 1000 Times urges constant contact with loved ones be they blood relations, lovers or simply acquaintances. While fulfilling a musical engagement on the Virgin Islands, Hendrix/Maines met a patron of a local watering hole who was adept with a hula hoop, hence the fun-filled Hula Mary. As for this collection’s musical gem, that very well might be the optimistic Come Tomorrow. As I mentioned earlier, CRY TILL YOU LAUGH is quite simply a 100% Terri Hendrix tour de force. 

— AW

 


POPMATTERS
Magic Can Happen

Terri Hendrix sings the blues in a sweet, sweet way. One could easily forget the Texas troubadour mostly croons about life’s troubles, because she sounds so dang pleasant about it. The singer-songwriter understands that tears are meant to roll off one’s face, that even those with two left feet should dance, and the promise of tomorrow may just be a fantasy. Hendrix doesn’t let the disagreeable facts of life get in the way of living a rich life with a smile. The vast majority of the 15 tracks on her latest disc reveal she’s satisfied just singing and swinging. As the album’s title says, Cry Till You Laugh, what better choice do you have?

While Hendrix may be more Pollyanna than Cassandra, she doesn’t shy away from the truth. Hendrix details the distance between what’s real and what we want on the autobiographical “Einstein’s Brain”. We all know that the things we desire do not come easily, if at all. Hendrix reminds us that we can still dream about them. Magic can happen, even if only for a brief, incandescent interlude. We can taste the sweetness in our minds and imagination—and maybe that’s enough.

This concept has a negative side. If we can’t always get what we want and don’t get mad about it, are we simply crazy, like the title character of “Hula Mary”? Mary is lost in the ’60s and finds solace in dancing, much to the amusement of those who watch her get lost in the music. The listener may sympathize, but presumably not want to be like her. Hendrix is aware of the limitations of crying until you laugh, because she also notes in “Sometimes” that sometimes it’s enough “to lay down and cry.” Or sometimes crying without laughing is comfort enough when there are reasons to be sad.

Maybe that’s why the most compelling song on the record is “”The Berlin Wall”, which acknowledges the two sides of emotional well-being. Told as the story of a relationship, Hendrix shows that one can have radically different feelings of freedom and entrapment when in love. Self-doubt and self-confidence live together in one’s mind when one looks for his or her self reflected in the eyes of another.

None of this would matter if not for the music. Hendrix writes songs, not poetry or stories. Still, she starts the album with a set of Dorothy Parker poems turned into song on “Wall Theory”, and she has turned Cry Till You Laugh into a book that’s due for release less than two months after the record.

Despite Hendrix’s venerable last name, she’s no guitar wizard. Her playing is competent, but her accompanist on a slew of instruments and producer makes the music shine. Lloyd Maines plays acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, papoose, steel, mandotar, Gitjo, banjo, dulcimer, and percussion in addition to providing harmony vocals. Maines really knows how to set off Hendrix’s voice and lyrics, letting the rhythms carry the songs when needed, getting out of the way and setting the atmosphere on other tunes. The music ranges in style from hot jazz to funky blues to desolate country without ever sounding disconnected from the whole. The variety adds up as a way to showcase Hendrix’s musical diversity.

There are a few missteps here. Her version of Ike Eichenberg’s “You Belong in New Orleans” in particular comes off as forced. Hendrix’s vocals sound more affected than sincere, and the scat singing falls flat. Still, this is the exception rather than the rule. On the vast majority of tracks, the Texas singer offers compelling vignettes of life in a voice that compels one to believe she means what she says. That’s no small task.

— Steve Horowitz

 

 

TWANGVILLE

Running on all cylinders. In the groove. Hitting the sweet spot. All are descriptors about when everything comes together and suddenly the sum is greater than the parts. They’re also good descriptions of the latest album from the queen of San Marcos, Texas, Terri Hendrix. Her latest release, Cry Till You Laugh, with long-time collaborator Lloyd Maines, has a combination of songwriting and instrumental prowess that just seems to match perfectly with Terri’s vocal range and ability.

Her twelfth album started as a jazz project, but morphed into something more akin to a jazz attitude set to music. There are several songs that would be perfectly at home on a Blue Note album. Automatic, for example, has a smoky jazz lounge kind of feel, with a chorus line that’s hard to get out of your brain (…automatic, democratic, chromatic, acrobatic, southern blues…). You Belong In New Orleans is a serious swing number, complete with scat singing and those muted Bourbon Street horns and a wailing clarinet. Take Me Places is also heavy with scat singing, but is presaged with Whatachoice that’s a dialog about ordering a cinnamon roll at the drive up. Don’t ask me how, but back-to-back it just works.

That attitude I mentioned earlier manifests itself in a couple of numbers that are sort of beat poetry set to music. Folk rap, if you will. Wail Theory comes from the a poem by Dorothy Parker, while Come Tomorrow is a Hendrix original but adds steel guitar and blues harp, influenced by Charlie Musselwhite and Norton Buffalo, to the verbal dance. The harmonica also makes a strong appearance on Hula Mary, a quirky (she’s got a hula hoop, and knows how to use it) and fun song. And for just an overall musical arrangement I find compelling, check out the neo-Balkan feel of The Berlin Wall.
With those dozen albums under her belt and the incomparable production of Maines, Hendrix has never been someone easily categorized. Cry Till You Laugh stretches her boundaries even further. She notes this record is a little like a mix tape, and maybe that’s the best description for the synergy of sound, words, and production that make this her best album yet. 

— SHAWN UNDERWOOD

 

FREIGHT TRAIN BOOGIE

This is her 14th CD release, which means she’s averaged an album a year since her 1996 debut, and she’s one the very few completely independent artists who’s always maintained ownership of all of her own masters. Terri’s songs reveal her belief that it takes just as much courage to embrace and celebrate the light as it does to wallow in the blues. Hence the title of her latest album, Cry Till You Laugh. The way she sees it, life’s too short for one genre which is why her songs range in style from folk to pop to blues to jazz and all points in between. A vast collector of music, her depth and knowledge of all styles and the origination of their roots run deep. So, it’s not surprising that she covers just as much expansive ground in not only her music, but in her writing as well, exploring both joy and struggle in equal doses. On her blistering new album, no matter what the genre, the positive energy within Terri’s melodies and writing sizzles just beneath the surface, keeping her music and message artistically focused. Acclaimed producer Lloyd Maines produced this recording, as always. 

— BILL FRATER

 


 — Amazon.com Editorial Review 

"Don’t rush me," Hendrix asserts on her unflinching new CD. "I’m coming along." Judging from the sound of it, Hendrix has arrived, with a collection of songs driven by a survivor’s grace and an optimist’s soul. An album of extraordinary depth and stylistic diversity, The Ring serves as an apt—and for some unexpected—culmination to the first six years of Hendrix’s journey as an independent artist. From the opening notes of "Goodbye Charlie Brown," the songs here affirm Hendrix’s revered strengths as a writer and performer while serving notice that times have changed. On her last studio album, the eloquent Places In Between (2000), Hendrix struck a reflective chord that suited the often highly personal subject matter; on The Ring, she takes a considerable step forward: her ambitious vocals, melodic instincts, and expertly crafted songs are unified as never before, supporting the album’s clearly delineated focus and showcasing a voice at once mature and unabashedly honest, confident and courageous. "I’ve been who I am, and I’ve been who I’m not," Hendrix sings. "Both have led me to find my own point of view." Along the way, she’s discovered much about herself—she’s wiser now; stronger too—and she’s gained an appreciation for the enduring truths that anchor us: the need for love; family and friends; and undying faith—in oneself, in each other, in the universe. On The Ring, Hendrix reminds us that the cycles of our lives lead us into territories both familiar and unknown, changing us in unexpected ways, forcing us to consider and reconsider our place in a shifting universe. And yet, in its permanence, the ring reminds us that even as we grow and change, with grace, we’ll ultimately arrive back where we started—knowing the place, perhaps, for the first time.

New York Post 

You might think country singer Terri Hendrix's new album is about stripping away the masks we hide behind, but the real theme here is even more basic: It's about being truthful with yourself. With her musical partner, Lloyd Maines (father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines), Hendrix presents her songs in stripped-down country arrangements that her appealing voice in front of the music. She opens with the powerful "Breakdown," a song that wrestles with personal angst and emptiness. That might sound gloomy, but the melody lends an optimistic air. Hendrix really makes her mark on a cover of rapper L.L. Cool J's "I Need Love," bringing the gap between The Bronx and Nashville.

— Dan Aquilante

 

Associated Press

Promotional material accompanying Terri Hendrix's new CD says she studied opera in college before dripping out to milk goats and pursue music. Now that would make a great song. Not that there's any shortage of appealing tunes on "The Art of Removing Wallpaper," the latest set from Texas singer-songwriter Hendrix. The title refers to peeling away the layers that hide true feelings, and Hendrix shares hers on a variety of subjects with a nudge, a wink and rat-a-tat lyrics. "I'm underpaid, undersexed, overworked, overtaxed, spammed, slammed, wham-bammed, and thank-you ma'am'd," she sings. The quality of Hendrix's writing is high from start to finish, but the most confessional tune is actually one she didn't write but embraces as her own-- LL Cool J's engaging "I Need Love." Hendrix is a folk singer first, but there's a tinge of country thanks to her Texas twang and stellar instrumental accompaniment provided by co-producer Lloyd Maines, father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. The versatile Hendrix also borrows from pop, bluegrass, gospel, and R&B, with one cut-- the clever "It's About Time"-- finding a grove reminiscent of the Pointer Sisters. All that's missing is opera.

MOJO

Continental Sound City

Third album from scarifying breezy Texan cowgirl songwriter.

 

HENDRIX wears denim overalls and looks like she’s never had a worry in her rosy-cheeked life. She’s worked on farms, waited tables, is good at sport and uses the term ‘big ‘ole’ to indicate something large. Hell, she’s way too wholesome to have made an album as invigorating as this, but the evidence is plain to hear. Her voice is compounded of roughly equal parts Nanci and Emmylou, but with a boho spark of Rickie Lee in there, too, and her songs quickly etch themselves in the brain, courtesy of smart hooks and well-observed slice-of-life lyrics. Her band handles swing and Tex-Mex as easily as it does country-rock, there’s some sparkling mandolin and fiddle interplay and, yes, that really is a sitar among those twangy guitars on Gravity. You need something to play when the sun shines? Look no further. - Johnny Black.