Terry Lee Spencer
Terry Lee Spencer's debut EP, Dream, sticks to standard country topics, as is obvious from such track titles as: "American Dream," "Measure of a Man" and "Nashville." Spencer is clearly following in the footsteps of country superstars like Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith, but despite the obvious imitation, he does the modern-country icons proud. He's a talented guitar player, and within his genre, he's a good lyricist.
The first track, "American Dream," is laced with the expected twangy guitars and dramatic pauses. Spencer sings about "That new red, white and blue American Dream" and dismisses the Internet, politicians and "them damn cell phones" (which kind of makes him sound like my grandpa, but in a not-so-crusty way).
"Measure of a Man" is probably the strongest of the three songs on Dream -- an upbeat but sentimental song about his family, decisions and dreams. It highlights Spencer's classic-country voice and down-home values.
The EP's last track has Spencer singing, "Yeah, I'll found all I've ever need in Nashville, Tennessee," which seems a bit odd since he's from, and currently lives in, Western Pa. But in the very last refrain, he twists the plot and declares that in fact all he needs "ain't" in Nashville after all. A bit confusing, but with a nice melody and emotional singing, it's a likable track all the same.
All in all, Terry Lee Spencer has his act together, and we can tip our cowboy hats to that.
Terry Lee Spencer, opening for David Allan Coe with The Beagle Brothers. 9 p.m. Sat., July 17. Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $25 ($30 day of show). 412-263-2877 or www.altarbarpittsburgh.com