“Rose colored glasses; I prefer that lens. Makes the world feel better than it did back when…”
The opening lyrics of the title track of the new opus from Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, Rose-Colored Glasses, Vol. 1, out today via Blue Heart Records, captures the spirit of love, perseverance, strength, and joy that inhabits the Los Angeles-based group’s 12th album.
She prefers that lens.
Singer and keyboardist Teresa James and her husband, producer, and bassist Terry Wilson share many reasons for their rosy outlook. After many years on the international music scene, recording and touring with artists including Eric Burdon, Levon Helm, Delbert McClinton, Randy Newman, and more, their 2019 album, Here in Babylon, received a GRAMMY nomination in the Contemporary Blues Album category.
A family affair.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Teresa grew up around music, studying classical piano and learning guitar from her father. From her first performance at age eight with her dad, she knew she wanted music in her life. It’s no surprise that she would later discover both a music and life partner in Terry Wilson. A prolific songwriter and producer, Terry has supplied much of the soundtrack for Teresa’s impassioned, soul-drenched vocal performances in addition to his work writing and producing for other artists. Their daughter, Lucy, is married to Richard Millsap, drummer in the Austin, Texas-based Band of Heathens. In 2017, their son, Jesse, joined the Heathens on bass and vocals. Not long after, Jesse introduced Terry to the talented Nicki Bluhm, who co-wrote “Rose Colored Glasses” with Terry and sings background vocals on the track. “I had started a ghost track and sent it to Nicki,” says Terry. “She made some suggestions for the lyrics and melody and she absolutely nailed it.”
Teresa and Terry saw a unique opportunity during the pandemic while all of their touring musical friends were grounded to invite a coterie of musical greats as guests on the tracks. Featured artists include Kevin McKendree and Yates McKendree; plus Anson Funderburgh, David Millsap, Dean Parks, Lee Roy Parnell, James Pennebaker, Johnny Lee Schell, and Snuffy Walden, all hailing from Texas. They wound up with a veritable treasure trove of new music, so much that there will ultimately be two volumes of the album. Volume One was mixed and mastered by two-time Grammy nominee, John Porter. “The bottom line for me is that I just really love to sing more than anything in the world. It’s my passion. It’s my therapy,” says Teresa. Her sentiments shine throughout this live performance of “Rose Colored Glasses,” recorded at Room 41 in Burbank, California.