“With a voice as evocative as Emmylou Harris’s and songs as inventively pushing the boundaries of country music as Lyle Lovett’s, Teresa Storch is an engaging performer and writer” – R2 Magazine, UK
Review of “COME CLEAN” in No Depression Magazine
by John Apice
“Emmylou Harris would a find a wealth of inspiration in these songs if she listened to this collection. However, Teresa’s original version would be hard to top.”
“…someday this artist will be in the league with Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Roseanne Cash.”
“…That brings me back to the wilds of Colorado and Teresa Storch. While the music I describe was first performed — to my knowledge — by a Irish-Celtic band The Moving Hearts with Christy Moore in their tune “No Time For Love,” the concept of country-jazz was fully realized in a thrilling manner in this brilliant political song. I thought I would never hear the likes of it again.
But somewhere in the depths of this new album – Teresa further explores this music concept whether she knew it or not. And she succeeds. She may “sound” a little like other female folk-country artists but in reality her approach has her definitely walking down a separate, though parallel road. Not all of her songs are country-jazz – but when she does scrape the edges of this rare genre she is a fine example of what this music could be. She has brass coupled with violins, fiddles, violas, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, mandolins – wow. It’s like salty potato chips with dark chocolate. It’s like prosciutto on a slice of cantaloupe. It’s a cup of hot Earl Grey tea with Irish Whisky.”
“The music is where the focus should be: On the first track “Come Clean” – the subdued brass with its subtle touches drive the song subliminally as this Colorado-native sings in a clear, contagiously soothing voice. I was pleasantly surprised — as mentioned earlier — to find folk songs with brass coupled with older more traditional acoustic instruments…. The arrangement keeps the music sophisticated and makes it a pleasant curiosity. It’s genius lies in the balance of fiddles, violins and acoustics with the waves of trumpet, trombone and saxes blending seamlessly and arousing the ears. It’s an invigorating blend of melodic energy.”
“Happy Girl” is stunning. Teresa, in a lower, sad and sexy register, trickles her voice down into your ears with compelling words. It’s like looking at a painting and every time you return to it you see something you missed. It’s poignant — and though she is singing about being a Happy Girl you wonder by the vocal if she is telling the truth, trying to convince herself and others that she is…really is…when there are moments when she probably believes otherwise. Powerful subject, and a beautiful approach that listeners will relate to if they listen closely. Emmylou Harris would a find a wealth of inspiration in these songs if she listened to this collection. However, Teresa’s original version would be hard to top.”
“Before I Go Home” confirms that someday this artist will be in the league with Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Roseanne Cash. This has a nice warm Deborah Holland type-vocal. A ballad with a confident country approach. But, Teresa’s magic is in how her vocals are supported by little flourishes of her brass section. Non-traditional folk-oriented instruments and arrangements. Balanced on a fence between country and jazz like no other since the fiery Moving Hearts song “No Time for Love,” which at seven minutes encapsulated the country-jazz prototype. A new approach at music for certain. Seldom explored by others. Teresa’s continuing this here brilliantly.”
“Teresa’s CD shines through its words, the variety of its sounds and Teresa’s unique voice …the sophisticated arrangements so perfectly give an extraordinary musicianship to this album, a wonderful and soulful musical exploration”
COME CLEAN: Roots Music Report Review by Duane Verh
“Teresa Storch here subtly moves from warm-hearted folk flavorings to bluer moods and melodics, aided by exceptionally well-tailored arrangements- particularly the horn charts. The continuity in this transit is the Colorado-based singer/songwriter’s skill in meeting her lyrics of substance head-on with ideally measured vocals. The title track makes for a splendid leadoff. Standing out as well are “Happy Girl”, “Before I Go Home” and “Sympathy”.
Maverick Magazine: ‘Stream of Concrete’ Album Review *4 out of 5 Stars* 3/2009
Funky and soulful folk songs, seeped in jazz infused vocals, dirty guitar riffs and often backed by brass. This record offers a variety of music from an artist who seems to know what she likes…and what she likes covers a lot of different styles. The openerYour Story is a brass infused funk song that’s upbeat and comes across as fun loving but following that you have the sentimental guitar/piano/vocal track Bullet Proof Vest that resides in the genre of singer-songwriter tinted folk. It’s substantial, enormous in content and talent, musicianship, vocals and writing skill and it all comes through on this record. It’s honest, it connects with the audience and the songs are heartfelt–soothing at times and at others uplifting. I like this record and it is certainly a promising debut. –LB
PopSyndicate: ‘Stream of Concrete’ Album Review 1/20/2009
Teresa Storch brings some refreshingly vibrant soul to her blend of folk-rock on Stream of Concrete. The Boston singer-songwriter delivers 11 original songs like she’s been singing them for years. “Your Story” starts the album with a catchy R&B tune that you can’t help but groove to.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Storch traversed the country in 1999 to settle in the Northeast. Writing to remind us of what’s real and really matters. Her rich, engaging voice provides a satisfaction and a sense of home, plus a peek into the struggles of love, life and dreams. Combined with intense, percussive acoustic guitar, she accomplishes well what she set out to do from the very start: entertain.
Stream of Concrete is Teresa Storch’s second album to date, proceeding Muscle Memory, her first highly proclaimed dive into music. She used to perform alone with only her guitar and microphone but has since gone the band route, enjoying the adventure into sounds that make the audience sit up and listen. She can be found playing coffee houses in Cambridge or on a subway platform.
With her evocative voice, Storch sings “Mr. Moon” in a melancholy way that’s almost bluesy. She doesn’t fit into any special category like many folk singers do. While her unique voice blends with the others singers on the tracks, she can’t be compared to anyone else. Yes, she has all the accoutrements that go along with folk singing, i.e., tambourine, guitar and occasional piano blends, but Storch brings her incredible talents to the party. All the songs on the album were written by Storch and she delivers well on her promise to fill the needs of what the audience wants to hear.
Des Moines CityView ‘Stream of Concrete’ Album Review 10/30/2008
Teresa Storch brings some refreshingly vibrant blue-eyed soul to her funky blend of folk-rock on “Stream of Concrete.” The Boston singer-songwriter delivers 11 original songs like she’s been singing them for years, though she has only been performing professionally since 2003. “Your Story” starts the album in fine form with a catchy R&B tune that you can’t help but to groove to. It is the first of many “folk” songs that avoid the trappings of most new folk records by dwelling too much on the lyrics and not enough on arrangements… just listen to songs like “Bullet Proof Vest” and “Time is Yelling.” Then there’s the jazzy ballad “Mr. Moon,” alongside the Allman Brothers Band-inspired title track and “Tongue-Tied,” complete with Commodores-like horns, to remind you of Storch’s expansive artistry. — Michael Swanger
Teresa Storch swapped her computer for a guitar
By Jay N. Miller Patriot Ledger Posted Oct 08, 2008 @ 10:06 PM
Losing her job as a software developer was the best thing that ever happened to Teresa Storch, who then swapped a computer for a guitar.
“I began playing in the subways and around town, and making music my main focus,” said Storch, who lives in Boston. “Now I still enjoy part-time software jobs to make ends meet, but my music is the main thing.”
Storch’s debut CD, “Stream of Concrete,” has just been released.
Of course, engineers and software developers make a pretty good living, while the income for young musicians on the way up can be scarce. Storch, who grew up in Omaha, said she has no regrets, despite her mother’s warnings.
“She was very concerned, worrying about me, and what I was going to do if the music didn’t work out,” Storch said. “It just seemed so clear to me, and overwhelming, that now I’m so happy with what I do. Working on software is not a bad life, but with music and creativity, I’ve discovered a part of me I never knew.”
The first song on “Stream of Concrete,” in fact, spewed out a conversation Storch had with her mother. The song, “Your Story,” is a remarkably vital and rock-inflected, horn-fired bit of musical caffeine, and it has a companion piece in the rock/funk “Time Is Yelling.”
The latter is a paean to seizing the moment, delivered with the kind of sizzling arrangement you’d find on a Tower of Power record.
Clearly, Storch is not your average folkie, and the guest list on her album includes musicians like T. Lavitz of the Dixie Dregs on organ, David Goodrich on guitar, and brothers John and Scott Aruda on sax and trumpet, respectively.
“I always write with funky rhythms,” she said, “and I put a lot of soul and energy into my shows. I still can get people kind of grooving, even solo, and that is my goal.”
In other cuts on the CD, Storch achieves a twangy feel (“Stream of Concrete”), jazzy R&B as Steely Dan might’ve done it (“Tongue Tied”) and classic Tin Pan Alley (“Mr. Moon”).
“My brothers were Steely Dan fans, but I was not of that era,” Storch said. “A friend told me that ‘Tongue Tied’ sounded like them, and played me one of their records. I said ‘Oh my God.’ It’s actually just a song about me flirting with a guy. People say ‘Mr. Moon’ is my Hoagy Carmichael song, which is a huge compliment. I wrote it when one of my brothers got married, and it’s about choosing to love one person the rest of your life.”
Storch has a full-band CD release show scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Mass. In the meantime, she’s built a solid fan base around three areas: Boston, Colorado and Omaha.
“I love touring,” Storch said, adding she has 200,000 miles on her old Pontiac. “I love driving alone for long distances, and I’ll go out to Omaha and Colorado four times a year.”
Engineering a singing career
By Ed Symkus/ Chronicle Staff
Thursday, February 2, 2006 – Updated: 08:18 AM EST
Never mind the degree in engineering physics. Never mind the musical career that’s moved from open mikes to subway platforms to clubs and to the recording studio. What’s really important is whether Cambridge singer Teresa Storch is related to gonzo actor Larry Storch, who played Corporal Agarn on “F-Troop” and was recently seen in “The Aristocrats.”
“I’ve never looked into it,” says Storch, who packed up a U-Haul and moved to the area from Colorado almost seven years ago. “My dad’s family is from the Czech Republic. The only Storches I know in this country that I’m related to are my dad’s family. I think I watched ’F-Troop’ when I was a kid, but I only remember seeing Larry Storch on ’Love Boat’ when I was little.”
While the Teresa-Larry Storch connection will remain a mystery, she’s an open book about singing and playing her own music. The songs on her first CD, “Muscle Memory,” certainly have a lot to say about her range, from the defiance of the poppy “Hand Against My Fist” to the spare sadness of the ballad “Gone Away” and the smooth, swinging shuffle of the title track.
“This is strange to me,” she says, not only of her upcoming show at the Nameless Coffeehouse on Saturday, but also of the fact that she’s just returned from a tour of clubs in Colorado and her home state of Nebraska. “I didn’treally think I’d end up doing this.”
It’s not that she hadn’t been thinking about it. A look back in her childhood diary reveals that she was impressed by a singer she saw perform, and that she was acting in some children’s theater performances and dancing ballet.
“I was in a singing and dancing troupe in Omaha in junior high,” she recalls “We did show tunes and performed for retirement communities and talent contests. We were called the Sunshine Revue.
“We quit when I was around 13 because it wasn’t so cool anymore,” she adds, laughing. “And that’s when I switched to focusing on ballet. I did that all through high school. And I came to Boston when I was 14 for a Boston Ballet summer program.”
But as parents sometimes do, hers pushed her in a different direction, in her case to pursue math and science because that’s what she excelled at. But after graduating from the Colorado School of Mines, and working as an engineer for a while, she found time for lessons in guitar and voice.
“I lived in Boulder and had a roommate who had come from Boston and who knew a lot of local musicians,” recalls Storch. “She moved back home, and I decided to walk away from my engineer-ballet dancer life. And I started over.”
She started over with music on her mind.
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she admits. “I came out, pretty frightened. I had a nice, high-paying software job here to support myself. But it was like, ’How could I go from being an engineer to being an artist?’ I started finding voice teachers and guitar teachers. I was going to the Burren and the Kendall open mikes, to get my courage up. I started meeting some musicians.”
Then, in 2001, she was laid off from her software job.
“And that was really the beginning of my subway career,” she says happily. “That gave me a reason to get up in the morning. I was living on unemployment and my severance pay for a while. But I realized at that point that I wanted to keep doing music, so a part-time job was more useful to me, and I’ve only had part-time jobs since.
“Right now I do editing of technical books. But the goal, of course, is to make my living with music.”
Although she was used to performing alone – accompanied only by a microphone and her guitar – when Storch went about putting her CD together, she decided to go the band route, so some players were brought in to back her up.
When she performs at the Nameless on Saturday, it’ll be solo, and she promises, again with a laugh, that the show will feature – as always – “my personal folk rock anthem ’Hand Against My Fist,’ and I have a lot of new tunes I’ve been working on.”
She’s also looking into new producers for a new CD and thinking more and more about playing out with a band.
“It’s been more economical to tour alone,” she says. “I love being solo because I really get to connect and interact with the audience. But a band is great, too. It’s a totally different experience. And my goal is to have a band. In fact, I have a band show coming up at the Burren on Feb. 22. So I’m putting one together for that.”
Teresa Storch plays at the Nameless Coffeehouse in Cambridge on Feb. 4, along with Tastes Like Gravy String Band, Frank Critelli and Rebecca Katz. Lloyd Thayer is the host. The show starts at 8 p.m., and suggested donation is $8. Call 617-864-1630.
Ed Symkus can be reached at email@example.com.
Teresa Storch debuts her promising singer/songwriting talents on Muscle Memory. Her Vega/Merchant-esque vocals…set of 6 fabulously catchy folk-genre’d tunes. We’ll be keeping an anxious eye on this newer talent and look forward to her next effort.”
— TC Krentz, Boston Girl Guide
“Teresa Storch is another impressive member of the Boston Music scene with a wide range in vocal flexibility, as heard on her first CD, ‘Muscle Memory’. Going from rock, to folk, to smoky blues (title track) Teresa stays true to the music she sings. With the well crafted music [on] ‘Muscle Memory’…I believe there are some really good things ahead.”
–ZSid WXRV The River, Boston