Jesse Terry Alongside Marty Balin

The nor’easter and freezing temperatures were no obstacles for opening act Jesse Terry and headliner Marty Balin, or the mixed-age crowd, on Fri., March 8 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair, New Jersey.

Marty Balin’s Airplane and Starship fly high with Jesse Terry.

The respective American, folk and classic rock tunes made everyone feel warm and cheery in such a rustic, beautiful setting, which made everyone seem to forget that the snowstorm even happened.

Jesse Terry, who is known for his songs featured on television programs such as “Hart of Dixie” and “Roadtrip Nation,”  had a nervous energy at first. However, Jesse Terry quickly warmed up. The crowd could tell that he was truly happy to be onstage and gracing them with his soulful and acoustic numbers, such as “Beekeeper” and “No Rest for the Runner.”

“No Rest for the Runner” has slightly sad lyrics, but Jesse Terry performed it in such a way that he was able to turn a sad soul into a cheery one with his  positive energy. His set was, unfortunately, a bit short, but enough to make everyone want more in the future.

All who got the opportunity to meet Jesse Terry could see that he possessed the humility of any true folk artist. Terry said he looks forward to his next shows in or near the tri-state area.

Fifteen minutes later, the legendary Marty Balin, of the popular 1960’s band Jefferson Airplane and the 1970’s supergroup Jefferson Starship, readied to play his set. He opened with Starship’s “With Your Love.”

Right after that song, he openly and ecstatically expressed his love and respect for Bob Dylan by saying: “Everything I do is Bob Dylan.” Marty Balin stayed true to that by performing with the exact same heart and soul as Dylan during “Miracles.”

Marty Balin proceeded with his audience interaction by jokingly saying how he missed the warm temperature, as he has a home in Florida. With his heartfelt soul and cheery banter, he created a warm atmosphere not only for himself, but for everyone else congregated in that sanctuary. His down-home rendition of “Runaway” only added to that warmth.

After a few more numbers, there was suddenly a dead silence. This perplexed Marty Balin quite a bit, as he could not understand why everyone just fell so silent. An audience member broke this silence by jokingly saying that they were in a church, which caused everyone in the room to laugh.

Country music background with guitar
© Geraktv | Dreamstime Stock Photos

However, the real reason could have been that the crowd, both young and old, were stunned at how Marty Balin is still going strong and seemingly defying his 71 years of age.

Marty Balin further broke the silence by, as he put it, “taking us back to the hippie days” with Jefferson Airplane’s “J.P.P. McStep B. Blues.”  After some upbeat numbers he performed completely solo during “Miracles.” He seemingly changed his tune a bit to something more reminiscent of country or folk.

While a majority of his songs are ballads, Marty Balin went on to say that his first “official” ballad of the night was “Is Everything Alright?” After this, it was back to his traditional soulful rock-and-roll sound he is most well-known for.

Marty Balin received a well-deserved standing ovation, and he made sure no one would leave the church with the cold feeling they had before heading out to this show.


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