The not-so-foolish fellow

The not-so-foolish fellow

Starving in the Belly of the Whale celebrates CD release at Blind Bob’s

By Kate E. Lore
Photo: Ricky Terrell of Starving in the Belly of the Whale celebrates the release of new album on April 27 at Blind Bob’s; photo credit: Zac Fisher

If you were to think about it, quite literally, Starving in the Belly of the Whale implies being eaten whole. It implies that you are trapped inside a cage of bone and blubber. There you are dying of need while another creature will slowly absorb your body into its own. You’re hungry while he eats. This fits well to the word “irony” as people use it nowadays.

Starving in the Belly of the Whale is the musical creation of Ricky Terrell. A local by way of Germantown, Terrell has been making music since 2008. The Foolish Fellow will be his fourth full-length studio album. This will be released publicly on Saturday, April 20 as part of National Record Store Day. On April 27, there will be a CD release show at Blind Bob’s to celebrate the album. There will be five openers all doing 20 to 30 minute sets. This will be an all-acoustic show, so the transition between musicians will run much faster than is typically seen with full band performances. Starving in the Belly of the Whale heads the show, of course, and will be performing a full set.

The Foolish Fellow is set to showcase Starving in the Belly of the Whale in its prime. This has always been Terrell’s band and his level of hands-on creative control has only increased with this album.

“I’ve always sort of been the front guy. I’ve always had musicians, like a different band for each album,” Terrell said. “It started out rocky, but it’s gotten more and more acoustic. This is the first album where I’m the whole instrumental demand so I’m kind of proud of it from that aspect. I had some other people helping me but it was never a band together. It was all done singer/songwriter style where we used only the instruments in the studio.”

With a fourth album that fully embraces this new genre, stepping into the singer/songwriter world which welcomes it, you may question the title, The Foolish Fellow. 

“I was actually reading the J.M. Barrie novel ‘Peter Pan,’ said Terrell. “It was in one of the last chapters when Peter flies back after Wendy, John and Michael are all grown up. He wants to take them back to Neverland and Wendy tries explaining to him how they’re all grown up, like she has grandkids and stuff, but Peter can’t understand why she won’t go back with him and she refers to him as a foolish fellow. That’s where I got the name of the album. It kind of fit the theme of the whole album. Endings of things – like in your life there can be these big things but then they’re finally over, it’s sort of altering and you don’t entirely understand why. It was totally unrelated, I’d already written the song, but when I was reading the book and I discovered that passage I realized, ‘Oh this sort of fits what all the songs on the album are about.’ Not really about relationships ending, but in general your life moving into adulthood – how it’s difficult for some people.”

Inspiration can come from less direct sources. It can be general as a theme, or as specific as an emotional reaction to a sound. One could easily wonder what sorts of things inspire someone who could produce several albums in such a relatively short amount of time.

“I know it sounds sort of cliché but life [inspires me],” said Terrell. “Whenever I want to write, I just sit down and I think about things that happen in my life. Like, what are some things that have happened and I’ll write songs about that,” Terrell paused, perhaps thinking about the faces buried within the sounds of his music. “Family members, I guess people in my life inspire me,” he said. “I’m always [mentally] writing songs. Whenever I see something that catches my interest, I make a note of it. And when I go to write that song I try to get back into that mindset.”

Starving in the Belly of the Whale will be going on a tour this summer to promote the new album. Information on that will become available as the tour is planned. It will appear on the same website where you can also find all of Starving in the Belly of the Whale’s music, available for free, at starvinginthebellyofthewhale.com.

For a musical enterprise with such an ironic name, no sense of the meaning is left behind. From starting as a full band with a rock influence and progressing into the more elemental world of acoustic singer/songwriters, to the name of this new album that encompasses the idea of ends, growing up and progressing with no solid understanding of why. Starving in the Belly of the Whale is a one-man machine that keeps producing albums, about one per year. Terrell himself is an organic songwriter who keeps evolving his band along the way, and so far he shows no signs of slowing down.

Starving in the Belly of the Whale will play an album release show for Foolish Fellow on Saturday, April 27 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Jeremy Rosen, The Repeating Arms, Brett Hill, The New Old-Fashioned and Denny Cottle. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for 21 and up. Attendees will receive a free copy of The Foolish Fellow. For more information, visit starvinginthebellyofthewhale.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Kate E Lore at KateLore@DaytonCityPaper.com


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