It will be a rare and special treat when Flying Cat Music presents Los Angeles based songwriter and Emmy award winning composer Ernest Troost at the Empire State Railway Museum in Phoenicia. His highly acclaimed screenplay scoring talent tends to keep Troost anchored close to Hollywood, leaving little opportunity for extensive touring. TheSaturday, August 17, performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 advance and $15 door. For information and reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-688-9453. The museum is located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia, NY.
Troost’s most recent CD, Ernest Troost LIVE at McCabe’s, was recorded at one of the Los Angeles area’s premier accoustic and Americana music clubs, one of the few venues where Ernest regularly finds time to perform. Both that show, and the CD that subsequently came from it, were reviewed by Folkwork: “The luckiest fans of acoustic music on the night of January 7, 2011 in Los Angeles were smack dab in the audience of McCabe’s Guitar Shop for a concert from one of this country’s landmark and pre-eminent songwriters of our generation, the great Ernest Troost . . . Now in hand as Ernest Troost LIVE at McCabe’s, this stellar new CD is the wonderful take-away from that evening’s performances of Ernest’s brilliant songwriting, amazing guitar work, and fabulous accompanying players and singers.”
Trained in classical music and jazz guitar at the Berklee College of Music, Troost came to be a folk artist by way of an unusual path, one that took him through the heart of America’s leading film and television studios. Ernest is a five time Emmy nominee and the winner of that award for Outstanding Music Composition for his work for the miniseries The Canterville Ghost. Troost’s range as a composer is extraordinary. He composed, arranged and produced two critically praised albums for Judy Collins, for example, but is equally renowned for composing the score for the cult classic Hollywood horror film, Tremors, for which he won accolades such as this: “Special praise . . . to composer Ernest Troost for the surging musical score. Troost’s rousing, western-style sounds smartly fit both the film’s geography and its thematic points of horror and comedy.”— Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
Film critics frequently make note of Ernest Troost’s gift for enhancing the story line of movies he composes for. This comment in Soundtrack Magazine about his score for the film Beat is typical: “. . . another example of Ernest Troost’s perceptive handling of filmic subtexts and his ability to reach beneath the surface of a scene and echo musically the sensibilities that lie dormant beneath the surface.”
Troost brings that sensitivity, and a visual sense of story telling, to the songs he writes as a folk artist. He describes his personal songwriting style as “cinematic folk,” saying, “I sometimes think of myself more as a filmmaker than a songwriter…I love to weave words and music together and create cinematic images in the mind of the listener.”
Troost credits his second career as a singer-songwriter to “an epiphany,” saying, “One Saturday I wandered into McCabe’s Guitar Store. It’s just a great place to be. I saw the music I’d been into before when I was younger.” In biographical notes published on his web site Troost confesses: “Songwriting was something I had put in the trunk and sat on for 20 years because it was an impractical thing to do. But I said, ‘OK, the scariest thing I could do in my life is write a song and go up on stage and play it.’ I had not done it since high school. So I decided, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’”
He returned to McCabe’s for an open mic night. In 2004 he released his first album, All The Boats Are Gonna Rise, and in 2009 Ernest Troost won the prestigeous Kerrville New Folk competition. A piece published at nodepression.comcaptures his songwriting well: “He’s one of those rare songwriters who can gently seduce the listener into the pleasantries of his melodies while his subject matter subtly engages and disturbs with stories that tread closely to the dark-edge of the American dream revealing the nightmares of our hidden history. All of this is wrapped in the skill and craft of acoustic instrumentation with the seemingly magic intricacies of finger-flat-picking that sing of the long lonesome ragtime blues scattered through the musical highway walked by kindred spirits like Geoff Muldaur, Jerry Garcia and David Grissom.”
Not all of Troost’s songs are dark, many are remarkably tender, but all of them dip below life’s surface to something raw and real. They are powerful vignettes framed by Ernest’s clear world wise and compassionate vocals. It is the work of a still under appreciated master of his new, old craft.