Singer/songwriter Terry Klein’s fourth album, Leave the Light On, will arrive in November of 2023. Produced in Nashville by Thomm Jutz and recorded live over six hours on June 22, 2023, Leave the Light On is described as his “most personal and vulnerable work yet”, building on his first three albums. The track “That Used To Be My Train” from the album is out now.
Here’s what Terry Klein has to say about the record and the process that brought it to life:
“There’s the record and then the process of creating the stuff that goes on the record. The record is the part of the iceberg that’s above the water. Leave The Light On comes less than two years after my last record and that’s a pretty quick turnaround I guess. But man did I agonize over some of these songs, whether they were good enough, what tempo to play them at, things like that. It got to the point early in January of 2023 when anytime anyone asked me how I was doing, I’d tell them that I was okay but I was waiting on a couple of more songs and that had me stressed out.
Those two songs came in April. There was Shimmers & Hums and then Starting at Zero, which I wrote with Aaron Smith. I hunkered down and recorded a bunch of demos. Then I recorded them again. And I sent them to Thomm expecting to have to wait for a while until we could schedule something. I think it took us about 24 hours to set dates for tracking and line up the players. Everything about this record, other than that hulking part of the iceberg below the surface, was fast. I showed up in Nashville on Wednesday, June 21 and sat with Thomm for a couple of hours and talked through the songs. The rules were the same as Good Luck, Take Care. We weren’t allowed to conceptualize (I think I got a text from Thomm at some point the previous week that said “no thinking” and that was it) and we weren’t allowed to tell the players what to play. I got some Thai food and went to sleep and I think I actually really did sleep.
Tracking started at ten the next day, Thursday, June 22. We did seven songs with the band between ten and one or so. The band was the same as GLTC. Thomm playing acoustic and electric guitars, Tim Marks on bass, and Lynn Williams on drums.. It was basically over before I even knew we’d started. We broke for about an hour and then Tammy Rogers came and me and Thomm and Tammy recorded the last three songs and we were done by 4PM and my general bearing at this point was “what the hell just happened?”. Scotty Sanders came and added steel in about an hour the next day, on Friday. The tracks on this record are about as close to pure live takes as I think you can do in the folk/Americana world at this point. Thomm has his studio dialed in so there’s not a whole lot of nit picking about pre-amps or microphones or microphone placement or whatever. And there’s no comping of vocals, which I guess is rare these days. That, I guess, is how you make a record as fast as we made this one.
Thomm mixed the record on Friday. We listened to it again on Saturday. I left Nashville on June 25 and I had the master on July 4.
I’ve said to a lot of people that this is my most vulnerable album yet. I think that’s right both in terms of the song selection – six of the ten are about me or people very close to me, not characters that I’ve imagined – but also in terms of how we made it. You just get me, the way I sounded on June 22 between 10 and 4. No autotune, no big reverb. There’s only harmony vocals on one song and that’s for like five seconds. That creates a cohesion and a continuity that I will always think is really cool, regardless of what ends up happening with this album. The whole thing feels a bit like a self portrait. And that’s scary. Which I guess is good.”