Terrence in new role as a recording artist

IT'S 6:30 P.M. on a Friday in Los Angeles. The car ferrying actor Terrence Howard has just left the landmark Orpheum Theatre, the downtown backdrop for such movies and TV shows as 'Dreamgirls' and 'American Idol.'

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Published: Sun 10 Aug 2008, 7:44 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:49 PM

It's where Howard will return the next morning to direct the video for 'Sanctuary,' the soulful love ballad/lead single from his debut album, 'Shine Through It.'

Racing through a day that segued from taping a segment of the PBS series 'Independent Lens' to a video production meeting and then this interview, a subdued Howard revs back up when the subject switches from his jam-packed schedule to music.

"This album is about bringing back the nostalgia for musicianship," the 'Iron Man' co-star says of the September 2 Columbia release. "Young kids are being inundated with a watered-down version of what used to be music; an electronic idea of what used to be a feeling."

The Academy Award-nominated actor made it clear that the album would not be a takeoff on his role as Memphis rapper DJay in the 2005 film 'Hustle & Flow.' As to what it would be, Howard says he simply went where the mood took him. "I didn't know going in if the whole album would be just me on guitar and completely acoustic," he recalls. "Then I heard other possibilities, like putting a bass here or strings there."

Recorded live in 11 days, 'Shine Through Itª'reflects his diverse musical tastes, ranging from pop and rock (Bread, Don McLean), world music (Buena Vista Social Club), jazz (Nina Simone) and R&B (Impressions, Dramatics). Working with a five-piece band that included co-producer/bassist Miles Mosley (Lauryn Hill, Herbie Hancock), Howard wrote, arranged and produced the set in addition to singing and playing lead guitar.

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