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Greenwich Songwriter Stays Connected to Community

GREENWICH, Conn. – If you shop at the Old Greenwich Farmers' Market, you may have seen songwriter and Greenwich native Jesse Terry strumming his guitar and singing. “It’s a fantastic experience. I had my first tip of cheese and beef in my guitar case, and I ate them both and they were spectacular,” said Terry. “I love being involved in local stuff and the community.”

Terry moved to the Chickahominy neighborhood in Greenwich at the age of 6 and lived on the same block as his stepfamily. “It’s always been home,” said Terry, who travels the world playing his music and currently lives in Mamaroneck.

Terry released his first album, “The Runner” in 2009, which he says has done well and opened many doors for him. He is now working on a new album that draws from his youth in Greenwich and his personal growth since.

“I tried to really open up on the new record I’ve been writing, and I feel that’s where the best songs come from,” said Terry, who took his parent’s divorce hard and ended up running away, going to reform school and “bouncing around a lot of different places.” “It was a pretty wild time, but it totally made me who I am and turned me into a songwriter.”

Terry worked around his father’s recording studio but didn’t begin writing music until he was 19. “My mother lent me her old Yamaha and I started writing, and I was just completely consumed by it. I dropped out of art school eventually because songwriting was just the ultimate expression for me and continues to be so,” said Terry.

In early 2010, after working as a songwriter in Nashville, Terry took a gig on a cruise ship where he met his wife, Jess, a professional photographer, videographer and graphic designer. The duo, along with dog Jackson, toured the country. While on the road he wrote many songs for his newest album.

For his next album, Terry is using Pledge Music , a platform for artists to raise funds for their records by allowing fans and friends to preorder the record for exclusives such as photo shoots, graphic design, merchandise or their name in the liner notes. “It allows indie artists like me to make records now that record labels are failing,” he said. “It’s a pretty big undertaking, but I’m excited about it.”

Terry needs to raise $12,000 to fund his new record and is nearly halfway there. However, if he doesn’t reach 100 percent in the next 40 days, he won’t receive any of the funding. “It’s all or nothing and it’s definitely time sensitive,” said Terry.

Once Terry reaches 100 percent of his goal, he plans to give any additional funds to the Connecticut Humane Society. “I have an animal rescue dog and when I met Jackson he was meek and scared," he said. "The fact that I’ve been able to give Jackson a great life is everything to me."

To reach Anna Helhoski, email ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com and f ollow TheDailyGreenwich.com on Facebook and Twitter !

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