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Terry Hanck - Always

Vizztone Records

12 Original Tracks 45 min 18 sec

Style: Jump Boogie Woogie Rocking Blues

Rating: Suggested

Sax Attack! Bam! Who doesn’t love a good sax man? From the golden days of Junior Walker and Charlie Parker to today’s Eddie Shaw and beyond, it seems like lately I’m gravitating more and more to bands with a rocking talented horn section.

Fuse together African American rhythm, blues, soul, early rock and gumbo mambo with a hint of Chicago-to-California American Bandstand and you have Terry Hanck’s latest release, Always. I have to admit at first I didn’t think I was familiar with the music of Terry Hanck until I realized he was Elvin Bishop’s sax man for 10 years and that I had also seen him perform live in Memphis at this year’s Blues Music Awards where he was a Best Instrumentalist-Horn nominee. Hey Terry, we can use you in the Carolina’s a little more often!

So in case there are others who don’t realize he’s shared the stage over his 30+ year career with the who’s who of blues, you might want to learn more about Terry through his CD Always and by checking out his website. Pop in one new release after the other, but it’s when you go behind the scenes to get to know the person behind the music that the music presents the energy and life of its owner and all that they’re feeling and trying to give us. Terry’s personality just shines through. You don’t have to be in the studio to hear the fun him and his buddies are having on this one!

So gather up your laid back blues-funk sense of humor don’t-take-life-too-seriously demeanor and enjoy Terry’s original 12 tracks. Terry comes out of the gate with track 1’s in-your-face sax and vocals in “Cupid Must Be Stupid” with friend/ band mate Elvin Bishop’s signature blues guitar rifts. And keep on smiling and swaying right on through to track 6’s “When I Get My Shit Together” which opens with some trash talking by Chris “Kid” Andersen (of Charlie Musselwhite, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats), drummer Butch Cousins, and Michael “Fly” Brooks. It’s a witty upbeat tongue-in-cheek poor-mouth bluesman anecdote about the grandiose spending of some new-found cash, once he gets his shit together, that is. And let’s hear it for those great guitar rifts by Johnny “Cat” Soubrand (his last name should be SOULbrand) that lay nicely on top of the rhythm section’s steady drive.

Jump in music time to the 70’s sound mixture of Stones, Eagles and War for Terry’s track 7 “Quicksand”, soundtrack for 2005 motion picture Forty Shades of Blue. Screaming on-the-money sax notes roll us right on into track 8’s jazzy swing stylings of the 50’s, punctuated with Jimmy Pugh’s Hammond B3 solo, Steve Berlin’s baritone sax and Cat’s soulful guitar licks. And of course, Terry brings it all back around with a sax ending like only he can do.

Track 9 takes to me that R&B beach rock era with Terry’s “Always” title track with the vocal help of Tracy Nelson and keys of Bob Welsh. Again, whether he takes it down or jacks it up, you can count on Terry delivering on the sax. His vocal ability is drawn from a veteran deep down passion for his music--playful, confident and real. Elvin Bishop lends his signature sound to Terry’s sax where the entire band gives us a much desired blues jam on track 11’s “Peace of Mind”. And boogie woogie right on out of here with the carnival west coast boogie blues of track 12’s “Deep Fried Twinkies”.

This is a fun and energetic CD which further validates the years of fan following Terry’s enjoyed at festivals, fairs and music venues along that great American Music Highway. Check it out, support live music and get your sax attack on!.

Reviewer Belinda Foster is a Columnist and Contributing Writer for Greenville SC Magazine “Industry Mag” and former manager of Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues. She currently books blues-rock-jam musicians and is a devoted promoter and supporter of live blues root music and history, making frequent trips to “The Crossroads” and Clarksdale Mississippi, birthplace of the blues. Her column “The Upstate Blues Report” can be found on line at 

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