Comer once billed himself as "your local hippie dude" and he seemed to live the part - at least to some extent. Comer's songs mentioned partying and earthly pleasures. His new disc, "Trails of My Town," is from an artist who is more focused and serious.
"If you listen to this second CD you'll get an idea of where I grew up and what matters most to me," says Comer.
With "Trails of My Town," Comer says he has matured as an artist and as a person. He recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in mathematics and elementary education. His new album probably contains no themes or words that the kids he oversaw as a student teacher would be shocked by.
Several of the songs are about Knoxville itself.
" 'Golden Ghetto' refers to Sequoyah Hills," says Comer. " 'Meet Me Down at the Boulevard' is Chreokee Boulevard and my experiences going down there. There's another song called 'Wright's Ferry Road.' "
Most importantly, Comer says he's finally developed the sound he wants to stick with on the new album:
"The first CD was there was a rock tune, a love ballad, a folky tune, a rap-diddly kind of thing. This second CD is just one genre."
Another change on the album is the addition of local mandolin virtuoso Cruz Contreras on several tracks.
"Cruz adds a lot," says Comer. "He just walked in and got it."
Whether Comer ends up as an elementary school teacher or a full-time performer, he has at least gained notoriety.
-Wayne Bledsoe, Knoxville News Sentinel-
On his second CD, Trails of My Town, he’s given up the party tunes and written a mash letter to Knoxville—“Meet Me Down at the Boulevard” is a bluesy ode to the park at the end of Cherokee Boulevard, and there’s a song called “Wrights Ferry Road.” Comer’s also recruited local mandolin whiz Cruz Contreras as his recording partner.
-Matthew Everett, Metropulse-