When he was a boy, Ernest Troost's father would read aloud dark tales such as Coldridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Poe's "Raven." When he started writing songs, it's not surprising, then, that Troost would write story songs about gamblers, small-town dreamers, and murder.
"I think the musicality and dark romantic nature had a powerful effect on me," he said. "It's storytelling that really excites me. I call my songwriting style cinematic-folk. I try to create a vivid world of images and music that envelops the listener." But he also writes beautifully of love and hope, as well.
Ernest Troost will perform at Fiddlers Crossing Saturday, February 22, at 7 p.m.
Troost has only been focusing on songwriting and performing for the last seven years or so. He has had a successful career as a composer of movie and TV scores first, winning an Emmy Award and numerous Emmy nominations. He also composed, arranged and produced two critically praised albums for singer Judy Collins.
"Songwriting was something I had put in the trunk and sat on for 20 years because it was an impractical thing to do," he said. "I hadn't done it since high school."
Then, about seven years ago, he had an epiphany while in McCabe's Guitar shop in Santa Monica, and he resolved to bone up on his Piedmont blues guitar style and write more songs. He played McCabe's Open Mic night, and the reception he received gave him the confidence to focus on songwriting. In 2004, he released his first solo album, "All the boats are Gonna Rise," which won accolades both for the songs and his guitar playing. In 2009, he was the New Folk Winner at the prestigious Kerrville Festival in Texas.
His song, "Evangeline," was performed by Susie Glaze at Fiddlers Crossing last December.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or with a credit card by calling 661-823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30p.m.