CD Review: Aqueduct – Or Give Me Death

Barsuk Records

You would think that being a one-man band would keep you pretty busy most of the time, but it seems David Terry of Aqueduct has a few things on the side as well. According to the Barsuk Records site, he is the sole member of Aqueduct and comes from Tulsa, OK although he currently resides in Seattle, WA. But aside from basically telling me over and over again that he is a musician, their site gave me nothing else to work with.

Google was much more helpful. A quick search and I learned that he is in fact a busy man…a very busy man indeed.

David Terry is a little-known cartoonist for the website Terry was born in Bellflower, California in 1989 and currently resides in Victorville, California. Well that doesn’t seem right, but if the internet says its so…

David Terry’s drawings and paintings range from evocative landscapes and portraits to intricate, multi-image montages. In addition to Terry’s work in Fine Art, he illustrates regularly for a number of national magazines and newspapers. Since 1997, he has completed 26 published book covers, many advertising pieces, and numerous privately commissioned works. All of the work is done solely in pen & ink on paper. Tinting is done with watercolor and gold inks. No computers or animal-experimentations are involved in the process.

Is that a bit of a joke? Animal-experimentation? Seems perhaps “comedian” should also be listed as one of his careers.

While Terry’s rural eastern Tennessee roots are obvious in the nature imagery and Southern iconography that permeate his work, his grounding in Literature is perhaps even more apparent—he holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of the South and graduate degrees in Literature from both Middlebury (the Bread Loaf School of English), and Duke, with additional graduate studies at Oxford and the University of Virginia.

Very good, sir.

David Terry, born 1958, lives with his wife and two sons in Dallas, Texas. He received his B.A. from Colorado College in 1981, where he began his formal study of art and photography. David began exhibiting his photographic work in 1977, with a solo show in 1978. He began painting in 1980. His study continues to include: extensive life drawing, anatomy, perspective, color, art history, art theory, as well as copying the work of masters. His portraits and landscapes hang in private and public collections, including Colorado College, and portraits of two retired Texas Supreme Court Justices in the Gallery of the Supreme Court of Texas.

David is also a lawyer, having received his J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1986. Though currently a full time artist, David practiced trial law for 15 years, and his legal work involved scientific and medical litigation. David is a member of the Portrait Society of America.

I’ve saved the best for last. David Terry can time travel. But first the facts. It seems that “he was a California politician…(I know you’re thinking, “Who cares?” Wait for it…)perhaps best know for his having killed United States Senator David C. Broderick in a duel.” Well, hot damn. Again, it gets better.

David Terry was always known for his fiery temper. In 1856, he stabbed Sterling A. Hopkins, a member of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance and was arrested, but was not tried.

Terry was an advocate of the extension of slavery into Kansas, and the slavery issue proved to be divisive to the California Democratic Party. Although he had been a close friend of David Broderick, he accused Broderick, a Free Soil advocate, of having engineered his loss for re-election in the 1859 state elections. Terry issued inflammatory comments at a state convention in Sacramento, which offended Broderick. On September 13, 1859, Terry and Broderick met just outside San Francisco city limits. The pistols chosen for the duel had hair triggers and Broderick’s discharged early, leaving him open for Terry’s shot. At first Terry thought that he had only wounded Broderick, but the Senator died three days later.

Although Terry was acquitted of murder, he left the state and went to serve in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He came back when the war was over, but was unable to re-enter politics.

Terry became entangled in a mysterious divorce case in the 1880s. A young woman named Sarah Althea Hill claimed that she was the legal wife of silver millionaire William Sharon. Sharon denied that they had ever married, but Hill wanted a divorce and a share of Sharon’s treasure. She lost her case and eventually wound up marrying Terry. The Terrys appealed, and federal judge Stephen J. Field, a former friend of Broderick’s, heard the case.

Artist, lawyer, runner, politician, killer. The fact is that none of that matters. What does matter is that Aqueduct’s Or Give Me Death is a damn good album, so buy it…or he’ll kill you.