Reviews of CRUCIBLE
Crucible, the album from Trinity Demask, is an ideal CD for any acoustic music enthusiast. The album has musical mountains and valleys, which result from expert musicians combining their creative heads to form beautiful inspiring arrangements. The production is great and each musician adds just enough to let the songs breathe.|
The opening track, "Meant to Be," carries great textures for an opening tune, and with its ever-so-popular chorus chord progression, it's easy to picture "Meant To Be" blasted from stage at a crowded People's Fair. "Black Braid (Lottie's Song)" is quite a difference from "Meant To Be," as Demask is revealing her musical arrangements quickly. It starts beautifully with an emotional acoustic guitar seeped in modern production reverse themes. On this track is where Demask showcases for the first time, her signature style unmatched, locally. Her alluring "Enya-type" background vocals haunt in the depths of the mix, while a melody similar to "Amazing Grace" hits the ears in the bridge, and then back to a Minor feeling in the verses.
"Westward Bound" is a feel-good, light Country song that offers musical clarity and reflection on one's life that is practically assumed. So is the idea of placement in a movie where a transition is occurring with the main character. Demask's take on Richard Shindell's "The Ballad of Mary Magdalen" is safe, not entertaining, however moving for those of Christian faith. It's easy to hear that Demask's arrangements are indeed better than this.
By the fifth track on Crucible, Demask is ready to let herself live in the music. "Prayer of Intention" is the masterpiece of the album and a highlight for any music collection. The arrangement is approached with incredible wisdom and a listener can taste the creative juices exuding from its heart-rending power. This is a track where one could curl up and forget about the world while listening. However, more than any other track on Crucible, "Believe" has the most honest vocal take. Extremely intimate, it sounds as if you could open your eyes and see Demask performing in a personalized concert.
Both "Dear John" and "Human Race" display the lighter side of the album, similar to "Black Braid," and offer a nice contrast in taste and in the artist's emotional control over the album. A violin widens out the sonic spectrum on "Here," while a variation on guitar solos is presented in electric distortion, other than acoustic. This works wonderfully as Demask is taking the listener down into another valley where an original arrangement of "Zombie" by The Cranberries is done to her voice and her sound - the way cover songs should be done. "The Last Goodbye" is one that should not go overlooked, as well as the final track, "This I Can Do." These two songs are gems as their melodies can stand up with anything released on any major rotation.
The two songs to watch for on this album are track five, "Prayer of Intention," and the final track, "This I Can Do." Trinity Demask's, Crucible, shows character and depth as demonstrated by all who participated in the creation of the entire album.
Reviews of VENUS IN RETROGRADE I admit it: I'm biased. This music is where I live. But it doesn't matter - anyone who hears Trinity Demask's sparkling voice and Tom Demask's expressive guitar playing cannot help but be impressed with Third Road Home's debut release Venus In Retrograde.
I, of course, immediately fell in love with it. There is a chemistry between these two people that makes for an unforgettable listening experience. Those tight harmonies give me gooseflesh. The only way they would blend better is if Trinity and Tom were brother and sister instead of husband and wife. Moreover, Trinity's sharp lyrical imagery blends perfectly with Tom's emotive guitar. The result is nothing short of sublime.
Don't try to define this duo. Folkies and rock fans alike will identify with their sound. While you may be able to say their sound is reminiscent of [insert name here], ultimately, the comparison wouldn't work. That said, if you like East Mountain South, Indigo Girls and such, you'll like Third Road Home. On "Whatever Is," Trinity's voice has some of the sweetness and timbre of Kelly Willis, but she dons a hard Pat Benatar-like edge on "Reason To Believe." Tom cites as one of his influences jazz guitarist Al Dimeola (Return to Forever). Hearing some of that icon's unique phrasing applied to acoustic folk is a definite treat.
Trinity is a competent tunesmith, well versed in structure, phrasing and melody. She takes the familiar chord changes and turns them into something new and fresh, not mundane like some over-played standards of the genre. "Awakening" approaches from the distance and seems to well up from deep inside the soul, drawing you in and rousing you from the trance of daily living as if to say "come, spirit, and soar with me." "Avalon" and "Sweet The Open Road" - my number one and number two picks, respectively - are back-to-back on this album and deliver an emotional payload perfectly sandwiched between the catchy "Come Undone" and the light-hearted love story "Here With You Today."
Some of Tom's most impressive vocal work is found on "Sweet The Open Road." The chorus has some beautiful phrasing, particularly the lines "Soft the fading denial, sweet the open road." "The Distance Between You And I," one of three songs on the album not written by Trinity (it was written by Jim Harris and Gabe Rhodes) is likewise impressive. You can hear the difference in the songwriting, but Trinity and Tom make the song their own, and it's a surprise at first to find it's not one of their originals.
The beauty of this music is that it never really goes out of style, it just evolves. It will always have fans. Forty years ago, during the "Great Folk Scare," the "folkniks" believed you could change the world if you sang loud and long enough. And they did. And their music is still popular. Forty years from now, when the world looks back on this new age of folk, Third Road Home will be riding high on the list of genre-defining artists. Call it the "Colorado sound" if you will. I just call it great music.
Independent acoustic music can sway back and forth from creative juggernauts (see: Bright Eyes, early Bob Dylan) to ho-hum (see: the thousands of acoustic artists that struggle to hit the right key everywhere in the world). Third Road Home is amazing however. Their beautiful female voice coasts atop a well-produced acoustic and sparse instrumentation. You can easily picture the songwriting process -- one that's relaxed with laid back arrangements that surprisingly pop out at you. Gleefully catchy, "Venus in Retrograde" is soon to become an essential in anyone's indie acoustic collection.
Editor's Pick - J-Sin,Smother.net, 8/05
Third Road Home is the husband and wife duo Tom and Trinity Demask who have been performing in Colorado for the past three years. Their CD, Venus In Retrograde is a lovely and poignant work filled with the quiet reflections of love and relationships.
Each time I listened to this CD, I found another layer of meaning, another memory surfacing. The lyrics of each song told a story, but I found that each story was also my story. Trinity Demask's poetic lyrics are the stories we've all lived and felt.
'Spaces In Between' sings the questions we run through our minds when a relationship ends, asking if there were something more we could've done to save the relationship: "Were my arms not open wide enough to catch your fall?"
And when we've changed and grown, the song 'Not the Same' asks "Will you know me in the end/Between what is and might've been?/Will you even know my name?/'Cause I am not the same anymore/No, I am not the same anymore."
Much of this CD reminded me of a blend of folk and country music. Each song told a story and I particularly enjoyed how the guitar and drum actually accompanied and underscored the lyrics. Trinity's voice, clear and soulful, stood out on each track. I would recommend this CD to anyone looking for gentle music with well-crafted lyrics. It is a great CD to play while you're enjoying a cup of tea after a hectic day, or when you feel a bit reflective.
Karen Phillippi, FacingNorth.net, 11/06 (review originally appeared in the Beltane Papers in 2004)
Third Road Home gives the world a wonderful, peaceful sound. The lyrics are inspirational and the delivered dewdrop sound is a beautiful sunrise after the rain. They bring a message of new beginnings for anyone starting over again.
Five Star review - Roots Music Report, 6/05
Acoustic folk rock has never sounded so good! In their debut CD, husband and wife duo Tom and Trinity Demask, along with Brandy Stewart on drums, prove that this trio can burn bridges, take names and keep on hitting the road. Their music is like a smooth ride, complete with soothing vocals from Trinity and songs about fresh starts, dreams, love, and journeys. Each lyric has been handcrafted to a certain element of rock capturing the rare beauty of pure folk music. Any die-hard folkie will appreciate the approach Third Road Home has taken with their music. They close the gap in the song "Spaces In Between" describing a relationship that could have been. They range their music on the boundaries of folk and rock, creating a relationship similar to the likes of the Indigo Girls and BoDeans. Catch this group now, they are soaring down the road to stardom at a fast speed and they are not slowing down!
The gift we receive may not be the profoundness of the words, but the simple yet elegant way it is delivered. Third Road Home is unassuming, yet stands out, modest yet valorous. These songs are poetry and imagery of the luxurious kind... a group of artists that paint with their instruments, sculpt with their emotions, and write with their love of life. Friendly, fun and inviting, if feeling good is on your agenda Third Road Home is opportunity knocking. We say open the door and let them in. Beautiful and cool!
It is some of the best alt-country/alt-folk I've come across. Third Road Home is a versatile band with a varied repertoire. The disk begins with acoustic-based tunes featuring gorgeous harmonies (a personal weakness of mine) and sing-along melodies, and showcasing Tom's gifted guitar work. They also offer haunting ballads, particularly "The Distance Between You & I" which features a beautiful cello accompaniment. Then, just when you think you've got them pegged, Tom picks up an electric guitar and sets the tone for the rest of the CD. Probably the most noteworthy on 'Venus In Retrograde' is, however, Trinity's voice. When the first notes of 'Awakening' played, I immediately thought of Alison Krauss with that crystal clear fluidity and flawless presentation. I must admit I haven't stopped listening to this disk since I got it and eagerly await Third Road Home's newest release, due out sometime this year.
Kristin Hubbard, Vigilance Magazine, 3/05
Their unusual band name honors the magical and mundane. Third Road Homes' music is enchanting as it looks at the everyday events of life and love. Trinity Demask is the exquisite, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player for the group. Her husband Tom Demask is dynamic on guitars, bass and the bouzouki. Tom also handles backing vocals and his singing blends well with Trinity's versatile voice. Gig Sassano aptly handles drums and percussion on the album. Venus in Retrograde is their thirteen-track debut. Third Road Home travels heavily on the acoustic rock trail but other musical genres are explored on their journey. Their lyrics are poetic and the instrumentation is soft yet vibrant. The self-produced CD soars from the opening intro 'Awakening' to the colorful, closer 'Radio Waves'. 'Avalon' is an insightful visual song enriched by striking guitar work and a gentle beat. I liked the snappy, subtle rhythm and rich riffs in 'Reason To Believe'. Trinity's vocals are mesmerizing as she sings about fulfilling your dreams no matter what others may say. It could be a personal song or presented from an insightful observer. Third Road Home is crafting songs with substance that are sung and played from the heart and the earthy Venus in Retrograde is out of this world!
Third Road Home is definitely a part of that whole neo-folksy Colorado scene that threatening to spill out and take over the country. Mixing a little bit of country, a little bit of folk, and little bit of bluegrass, and the occasional dabble into voice-distortion technology, the duo of Trinity and Tom Demask create beautifully intimate music that makes one think of dancing barefoot in grassy fields or hanging out in your local college town coffee shop. This, their debut album, is just chock full of songs about sunsets and love and loneliness, with borderline corny lyrics that are sung with such sweet, honest sincerity that it makes one question one's jadedness.
Trinity has a wonderful voice and the lyrics are some of the best that I've heard in a long time. A folksy pop CD filled with great songs.
Stewart Marcantoni, Weekend Environments, 9/04
Back before I unemployed myself, I would sit at the computer at work and listen to RadioIO Acoustic on the internet. Whenever a song would strike me I would click on the program details to get information on the song and artist playing. That’s where I first heard “Avalon” and first heard of Third Road Home. The vocals are lovely, the guitars intertwine beautifully and the songs are well written with just enough percussion to not be offensive. Upon receiving this cd for review I found the vocals and guitar work familiar and realized the RadioIO connection after hearing “Avalon” the second time. Trinity and Tom Demask comprise the core group with the majority of the songs penned by Trinity who also plays guitar. Tom handles acoustic and electric guitar, bass and bouzouki and backs Trinity on vocal harmonies. Trinity’s way with words are poetic without being contrite, “Let the days roll by like thunder, let the night fall down like rain, there is one sure thing you can count on, whatever is, is gonna change,” (“Whatever Is”) and is full of imagery, “And I hold your memory like a gambler holds his bluff when faith in his hand is not enough.” (Spaces In Between”). The music is sincere and heartfelt with “Venus In Retrograde” offering plenty to both the poet and musician in you
Stew's Reviews, Black Rose Acoustic Society, 7/04
"soft the fading denial, sweet the open road!" great lyrics, crystal clear pitch-perfect vocals, superb instrumentation, great variety, perfect production, what more can you ask? third road home duo trinity and tom demask have been radioio subscribers for six months, and have been holding out on me! finally this week they have sent in their own acoustic masterpiece venus in retrograde - and i could be wrong - but it sounds like to me that every single song is created specifically for play on radioioACOUSTIC! i've put every track from this cd into my BUZZ category (heavy play) this week, it's absolutely *essential* for your acoustic collection!
Zoe Montana, radioioAcoustic host, radioio.com, 3/04