“If the Carter Family, Robbie Robertson and Alfred Hitchcock had written songs together, they might sound like this.” That’s how singer/songwriter/guitarist Ernest Troost sometimes introduces a set, when he plays a club. But the Los Angeles-based composer is primarily known for his work creating scores for TV and movies. His Emmy for scoring the miniseries The Canterville Ghost is just one of five for which he has been nominated for Outstanding Music Composition, and his score for the cult horror film Tremors won him accolades from such movie-trade papers as the Hollywood Reporter.
So it’s no wonder that the words that Troost chooses to describe his personal songwriting style are “cinematic folk.” Tunes like “Disturbin’ Blues, “Dark Days” and “Switchblade Heart” fall solidly into the gentle folk/blues genre sonically, but the stories that they tell are often packed with lurid imagery. Yet this is the same guy who arranged and produced two albums of songs for kids for Judy Collins, won the New Folk songwriting competition at the 2009 Kerrville Folk Festival and recorded a live CD at the venerable Santa Monica acoustic venue McCabe’s Guitar Shop in 2011.
The versatile Troost, who studied jazz guitar and classical music at the Berklee College of Music, doesn’t tour outside the West Coast very often, due to the steady demand for his work scoring films. But family business will bring him to the Hudson Valley this weekend, so you’ll get a rare opportunity to catch his solo act at the Empire State Railway Museum in Phoenicia on Saturday, August 17.
The doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. Admission costs $13 in advance by e-mailing [email protected], $15 at the door. For more on the artist, visit https://ernesttroost.com; for more on the gig, call (845) 688-9453.
Ernest Troost in concert, Saturday, August 17, 7:30 p.m., $15/$13, Empire State Railway Museum, 70 Lower High Street, Phoenicia; [email protected], (845) 688-9453.