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SpringHouse Revival’s “Second Chance,” a Deep, Personal Album

By Katie Kohler

Writers write. It doesn’t matter where or when.

Gordon Glantz worked in journalism for twenty-five years covering a wide range of subjects. He wrote at crime scenes. He filled his notebooks from the sidelines detailing athletic feats. As managing editor, he penned a weekly column.

Today, Glantz is a freelance writer and a lyricist/producer/arranger for SpringHouse Revival.

“I get to write freelance which is fulfilling and I get to do this which is pretty close. I’ve been writing songs since high school. It’s part of who I am that I suppressed for a long time,” said Glantz. “To be able to balance both and knowing there is a format for it, even though it takes a few years, is great.”

In high school Glantz, jotted lyrics in his notebook instead of the subject matter of the class. He taps out lyrics on his iPad now, whenever inspiration strikes. It can come from the ripe tree of socio-political issues, an observation, or a feeling of empathy.

“It’s how I express myself. I think it helps me cope with things,” said Glantz.

Second Chance, SpringHouse Revival’s second album, tells a number of different stories, but not just sixteen title tracks. There is plenty going on in between the lines that beg for the listener to look beyond the surface.second-chance

The music, as with most of Glantz’s work, is close to his heart. The first track, “Time of Day,” was recorded while they were putting their debut album, Return to Nothing, to bed. It was slated to be the title song until “Second Chance” was recorded and proved to have the strength of a title a title track. Released on January 1st, 2017, “perfect for a second chance,” says Glantz, the album has folk-rock vibe with thoughtful deep undertones.

Much like his column and personal accounts on his website, Glantz does not shy away from serious issues or politics. He makes no secret what he feels about the current political administration in “Leader You Follow.”

“A lot of these songs unlike the first one are things that are happening to me now. The first album, some were songs I wrote 20-25 years ago. It reflects everything I was feeling, the highs the lows are all there,” said Glantz.

Terri Camilari is the composer/vocalist. She considers Glantz’s references and tries to merge the story and what musically tells the story

“I change very little of his words and beyond a few articles or contracting words I ask about it before I do. In the studio with the musicians, the overall vibe of my original demo and musical choices need to get the stamp from both of us; sometimes we have to hash it out,” said Camilari.

“At some point they become “our words” and the music becomes “our music.” On rare occasions he will share the inner workings behind his lyrics,” added Camilari. Usually he says ” ‘open to interpretation.’ That allows me some freedom but I try to find a common ground.”

For Camilari, Second Chance is different from their debut effort in that many of the songs speak from a “certain age”, some experience under the belt, and starting again.

“SpringHouse Revival through Gordon’s words points out the reflection that comes from loss, experience, hypocrisy faced in smaller, more personal ways than in the debut CD, Return To Nothing,” said Camilari.

Glantz’s and Camilari’s both respect the craft and pay homage to their musical influences.

If you read Glantz’s work or know his musical taste, or even if you listen to Second Chance multiple times it’s easy to identify their musical influences of classic rock.

“Dylan is my head. Springsteen is my heart,” admitted Glantz. He added that one goal for this release is enhancing SpringHouse Revival’s digital presence. In addition to a web site (springhouserevival.com) and Facebook page (SpringHouse Revival), there is a YouTube Channel featuring of all the bands songs – including the single “Reality Is Fiction” that was withheld from “Second Chance” because it didn’t quite fit the vibe and a presence on Reverb Nation.

Glantz is also hopeful for more listeners/followers on Spotify, and the CD can be purchased at iTunes, CD Baby and multiple other online sources (Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Sony Music, etc.).

SpringHouse Revival is rife with Montgomery County connections. The tracks are recorded at Morningstar Studios in East Norriton. Bass player Chico Huff (Norristown), Piano/keyboard John Conahan (Ambler), Camilari (Lansdale), and Glantz, (Blue Bell) are among the contributing talents.  Peggy Becker-Dellisanti, longtime owner of now-closed Main Street in Norristown mainstay, Main Changes, lends her vocals to the “Ballad of It.”

My Picks for Top Tracks

“Ballad of It” – Stellar prelude, sets up rock ‘n roll duet with Camilari and Becker-Dellisanti.

“Million Dollar Words” – Love those drums.

“Recovery Road” – Nice driving tune.

Get Ready To Be Revived -By Michael Morsch

 

SpringHouse Revival is the songwriting team of lyricist/producer/arranger Gordon Glantz and composer/vocalist Terri Camilari.

Their aesthetic is built on the core belief that words need music to come alive and that a well-constructed tune needs the right words to create original material with resonance.

Glantz, though into the classic rock of his older cousins at a young age, was instinctively intrigued by lyrics and their deeper meaning.

With a voice that “would make Johnny Rotten sound like Caruso,” Glantz fronted some garage bands in high school and college, before deciding to play to his strengths and hone his songwriting skills. He eventually transitioned over to journalism and made his living as an award-winning writer of sports, news and political commentary.

Camilari grew up “surrounded by music.” Whether it was Gershwin or Steely Dan, the Mills Brothers or Joni Mitchell, she always had an appreciation for all genres. She spent her early years as a vocalist, singing wherever she could find an opportunity – at church, school productions, around the campfire, on family trips, etc.

That led her to pursue a career on stage, and she earned a degree in theater from DeSale University. While choosing a career in education, she stayed involved in music by learning to play guitar and composing. While teaching, she continued singing professionally.

Meanwhile, on the other end of Northeast Philadelphia, notebooks upon notebooks full of lyrics provided the foundation to Gordon’s first garage band, The Last Wave, which took on water early on and sank without making much of a splash.

Friends, during their college days, Glantz (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Camilari (Lansdale, Pa.), reconnected on Facebook and shared thoughts on where music may have taken them. Glantz sent some lyrics and Camilari tried her hand at putting them to music. From there, SpringHouse Revival was born.

Their long-awaited debut CD, which has been three years in the making, is titled “Return to Nothing” and has 14 original songs, featuring fan favorites “You Won Me At Hello (Bye Goodbye)” and “Prayin’ Kind.”

They enter the musical world with the goal of getting air play as a new act while also marketing their songs to other artists.

They started recording with Glenn Barratt at Morningstar Studios (East Norriton, Pa.), with the idea of putting a collection of songs together for other artists but the project grew larger.

The new release has a mainstream folk-rock feel, kind of a Joni Mitchell meets Crosby, Stills and Nash and The Eagles and a hint of Creedence Clearwater Revival. It features top-tier local studio musicians - Grant MacAvoy (Philly International Records) on drums, Tom Hampton (Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Prairie League) on guitar and mandolin and Michael Ronstadt (Ronstadt Generations) on cello.

Said MacAvoy: “Terri and Gordon have merged the best of two worlds -- Terri's use of contemporary musical nuance entwined with the tradition of classic rock and Gordon's lyrical insight of an individual's journey overlaid with a social protest of the highest order. The stylist approach to each song was a mining of ‘feels,’ to marry the appropriate musical interpretation to the lyric. Nothing was left untried in this artistic endeavor to find the best fit. I think they were successful.”

Key tracks include first-person dirges about the Holocaust (“Tell Me Why”), drug abuse (“My Son”), both of which feature Larry Zelson on Viola, that are balanced by the driving “Come On With It” and the mainsteam pop-rock sound of “(They’re Gonna) Spin You, Baby.”

Barratt, who said it was “inspiring” working with the duo: “Reflecting back to the great radio stations of the 1970s, this group spans multiple genres with infectious hooks and passionate sincerity, and the combination of words and music brings to mind everything you loved about your favorite songs through the ages.”

Other songs – “Stumblin’ On The Run” and “’Til I See The Sun” and “Silent Witness” and “Heart On My Sleeve” – have a heartland rock feel that would be pleasing to the ear of fans of John Mellencamp or Bob Seger.

The title track -- as well as the likes of “Voice Of My Heart” and “Silence of Peace” and “Chameleon” - are in the vintage introspective singer-songwriter tradition of the early 1970s.

As critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Lizanne Knott noted, “(SpringHouse Revival) is bringing a fresh perspective to the folk era” adding that there is “something here for everyone to enjoy.”

Gordon draws from a variety of lyrical influences, with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen topping a list that includes U2’s Bono, REM’s Michael Stipe, Peter Gabriel, Natalie Merchant, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Steve Earle and many others ranging from punk to folk to country.

“Gordon and Terri have a creative empathy reminiscent of some of popular music’s great songwriting teams,” said Hampton, after a recent session for the group’s second CD. “Their songs are both unique to their own experiences and universal to the human condition.

“You should check them out.”

-By Michael Morsch