T. Warren’s latest album “Never had a clue” is a musical journey through all the “highs” and “lows” of his life. Songwriting is an art and somehow “T” manages to take a tragic period in his life and turn “Never had a Clue” (the album’s title track) into an up tempo number but the lyrics (written by T’s daughter Shanna are a sobering reminder of what it was like for a child to watch her father trying to kick a very serious heroine addiction.
As the title of this review says, “T Warren’s been around” part of his journey consisted of following his father and uncles into the oil fields of Illinois , Ohio , Alabama , and Louisiana , among other places. These experiences along with John Russell’s steel guitar Blue Dunlap’s lead guitar and young gun fiddle player Dylan Hawf are the perfect ingredients that give this album such a “Red Dirt” feel, which is prominently featured in songs like “Tore up Inside and Blue”, “Painfully Remember” and “When I get Home to Dixie”
Of course T., veers off the Red Dirt path a few times on his latest project. Such is the case with “Song for Lizzie”, “Oh Lizzie, My Green eyed gypsy, I miss you more with each passing hour, I crossed over, the aurora, twice, in one day, for some unknown reason, it didn’t get its way and I’m comin’, home to you”…
Then there is “Echoes of Silence” written by T. Warren and Michael Cushman of South Carolina both Michael’s lyrics and T’s music are equally haunting. If you listen closely you can almost feel the ghosts in this story, and if you watch the video (which was produced by Mr. Cushman and filmed on his land) you might notice a few ghosts hanging around. (The “Echoes of Silence” video can be viewed at this YouTube address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Db4FKPdnAQ )
T. explained that when the “Echoes of Silence” video was posted to YouTube, Michael Cushman started receiving comments on the video, a woman who barely allows you to get a glimpse of her before she disappears back into her ancient structure that perhaps, once upon a time, served as her happy home. Then there is a tree that magically transform into the image of a woman, of course, only for a second. T. also added that during the Civil War, General Sherman’s “bummers” had come through Michael’s land where the video was filmed. Maybe still, after nearly 150 years since Sherman made his infamous “March to the Sea” there are some who still haven’t found peace.
“The Real Me” also strays from the “Red Dirt” path of “Never had a Clue”… “The real me, the one you never see, is the one that wishes to be seen, but that will never be, it’s not my destiny, I try to be free, but it’s not meant to be” , T sings to Blue Dunlap’s Clapton-esque guitar , accompanied by solid drum work provided by Mike Akers. We may never know the “real” T. Warren but occasionally, he is generous enough to give us snap shots through his songs.
– Clint Lacy , Marble Hill , Missouri , Jan. 31, 2011
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