“One of New Englands best songwriters”
- Craig Harris, Boston Globe
“Terry Kitchen is definitely a cut above with his eye for detail and unique song ideas. With a keen sense of melody,
Terry’s songs truly deliver and take the listener on an emotional ride!”
- Jeff Pearson, The Bluebird Cafe
“Terry Kitchens songs are portraits of ordinary people and emotions, captured with extraordinary compassion, honesty and humor. A talented writer.”
- Richard Middleton, Victory Review
“Terry tackles tough personal subjects with generosity of vision.”
- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
“Terry Kitchen picks up where Elvis Costello and Tom Waits merge and leave off.”
- Vance Gilbert
Award-winning contemporary folk singer/songwriter Terry Kitchen is a performing artist who's as much storyteller as musician. His keen eye for detail, fearless emotional honesty, and knowledge of and empathy for his subjects combine with his skills as a composer, singer and guitarist to take the listener on a journey to the heart of each song. Live, his engaging stage presence and ironic humor connect with every member of the audience. His latest full-length CD is summer to snowflakes, released in March 2009.
summer to snowflakes, Kitchen's 9th solo CD, reflects the continued refinement of his songwriting skills. Opening cut "Listening to Summer" effortlessly evokes a small town summer evening, with its gentle guitar and images of cicadas amid the cheers of a baseball broadcast. A harder edge surfaces as "Rainbow (in the Middle of the Night)," inspired by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, vividly describes a young girl's encounter with a 1930s lynch mob. The positive "reach out" message of "Build a Bridge from Both Sides" is enhanced by its authentic reggae groove. The poignant closing ballad "Snowflakes" turns the tragedy of a drug overdose into a universal plea for acceptance. While the album is anchored by Kitchen's dexterous acoustic guitar arrangements and understated vocals, it also includes enough surprises (a brass choir, bossa nova flute solo, mountain banjo, melodica, stinging electric guitar) to keep the listener hungry for more.
summer to snowflakes follows Kitchen's 2007 CD heaven here on earth, which reached #25 on the national Folk DJ airplay chart, 2004ís ecological-themed thatís how it used to be (which spent 3 months on Folk DJ, reaching #29), 2002ís Right Now (which contains the award-winning title song), 1999ís blues for cain & abel (a deeply personal collection of songs of doubt and faith), 1997ís blanket (which was voted #21 best CD of that year by Folk Digest) and 1995ís I Own This Town (a collection of songs about Kitchen's adolescence in small town Ohio).
Born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Kitchen grew up first in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and then on Easton, PA's College Hill (home of Lafayette College, setting for thatís how it used to be's "The Greatest Game They Never Played"), where he was surrounded by the music and spirit of the 1960s. As a bored teenager in the '70s, Terry roamed the small town streets of Findlay, Ohio (the setting for "I Own This Town" and "The Seven Eleven Overture") before escaping to Los Angeles for college (Occidental, which he attended at the same time as Barack Obama) and music school (The Guitar Institute of Technology - walk down Hollywood Boulevard til you get to Elvis Presley's star, and it's the first door on the right...). He moved to Boston and fronted the '80s original pop/rock band LOOSE TIES (who are memorialized in heaven here on earth's "Magic Days," co-written by Kitchen with former bandmate Bill Kuhlman) before settling on the intimacy of acoustic music as the most natural setting for his songs.
For the past twenty years Terry has performed on the New England and national coffeehouse and folk festival circuits (including Club Passim in Cambridge, Cafe Lena and the Postcrypt in New York, Godfrey Daniels in Pennsylvania, and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and the Falcon Ridge, Telluride and South Florida folk festivals) and shared the stage with such artists as the Roches, Richard Shindell, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Dan Bern, Vance Gilbert, the Nields, Susan Werner, Holly Near and Michelle Shocked. He was a finalist in the 1992 Falcon Ridge songwriter showcase (and a featured performer ever since), a '94 Telluride Troubadour, a finalist in the 2003 South Florida Folk Festival's singer/songwriter showcase and a Top 40 finalist in the 2006 Kerrville Music to Life competition. His songs have won Grand Prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, First Prize in the USA Songwriting Competition, Runner Up in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and Third Prize in the WUMB Mockingbird Song Contest.
Terry Kitchen is often accompanied by a female vocalist, both in performance and on record. In the New England area he is often accompanied by singer Deirdre Bergeron, and in the NY/NJ/Mid-Atlantic region he is often joined by singer Mara Levine. Kitchen and Levine recently collaborated on a limited edition 4-song CD, Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine, which features her interpretation of Kitchen's "A Perfect Rose" as well as duet versions of "One by One (Song for Trayvon Martin)" and "The Favor."
In addition to his songwriting Kitchen has written 2 plays and is currently working on a novel about the Boston rock scene. He's worked as a summer camp counselor, union steward, ice cream scooper and bicycle messenger, has a brief but distinguished FBI record for anti-nuclear protests, has finished last in a Boston Marathon, and was once mentioned in a Harlequin romance novel.
Terry Kitchen has been writing songs since his school days as a way of making sense of himself and the world around him, and he often leads songwriting workshops in conjunction with performances. He is the coordinator of the Boston workshop of the NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), and is a member of The People's Music Network, an organization devoted to music as a force for social justice. He is a veteran of the Boston "Songos" writers group and the Kerrville songwriting school. His songs "Snowflakes" and "Christmas Is Homeless" were recorded by Barbara Kessler (on the Our Finest Gifts and 12 Steps of Christmas CDs), his song "Inside" was recorded by country singer Dale Allaire, and his song "Finders Keepers," co-written with Janet Feld, is featured on her CD Pulling on Strings.
Terry Kitchen is a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Touring Artists Program. The MCC, in partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts, makes funds available to organizations that present Touring Artists. Please click www.matchbook.org for how to apply for funding for a Terry Kitchen performance.