Terry Gillespie review…January 19, 2014…

TERRY GILLESPIE

BLUESOUL

TEK 1303-01

THE DEVIL LIKES TO WIN–WHAT WOULD BO DIDDLEY DO–EARLY IN THE MORNIN–MY TIPITINA–YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME CRY–LET’S GET TOGETHER–MY MAMA–IT WASN’T ME–HER MIND LEFT FIRST–16 DAYS–SHE WALKS RIGHT IN–MAGNOLIA TREE–THE DEVIL LIKES TO WIN (REPRISE)

As a youth, a tall, lanky, (underaged)  Terry Gillespie would sneak into bars in Michigan to be able to immerse himself in the blues, the music he loved.  In the process, he played with some of the greats, such as Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, and John Lee Hooker.  In 1968, he returned to his native Canada, and formed Heaven’s Radio, one of the best blues outfits to ever come from north of the border.  Some forty years down the road, Terry is still playing his vintage brand of blues-roots music.  His latest release, “Bluesoul,” is a live set from the 2012 Maxville Musicfest, at the St. andrew’s Presbyterian Church.  He is joined by Peter Measroch on keys, Lyndell Montgomery on bass and violin, and Wayne Stoute on drums.

Terry’s music is indeed vintage, as he strives to break down his songs into their base elements, to allow the listener to experience literally each note, and to better appreciate the subtle nuances that Terry blends into his amalgam of African rhythms, blues, rock, and jazz.  As such, the arrangements on these thirteen cuts are sparse, further allowing the listener the opportunity to enjoy each song to the fullest.

Terry is also a master of the unexpected, as evidenced by his trumpet lines mixed alongside his harp in the Elmore James-inspired set-opening (and closing) cut, “The Devil Likes To Win.’  The trumpets return as Terry sings of “My Tipitina,” a love story of sorts about a “little girl ’bout ten feet tall,” augmented by Peter’s organ work.  “Early In The Mornin” is an excellent slow-blues, and Terry reaches into his trick bag for the vintage soul of “You’re Gonna Make Me Cry.”

We had two favorites, too.  The trademark “shave and a haircut” beat is prominent throughout the shufflin’ “What Would Bo Diddley Do?,” while Peter rocks the 88’s eight to the bar on the amped-up story of Susan Brown, who “wobbles when she Walks Right In!”

Terry Gillespie continues to thrive as a bluesman because he has incredible musical chops, and he’s not afraid to push the envelope with his material.   He’s got one of those blues-worthy voices that is a cross between Dylan and Mark Knopfler, and “Bluesoul” is just that–a shot of blues that’s good for your soul.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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