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The Terry B3

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The Terry B3
Even if you were looking for it, you’d be hard-pressed to find such a laid-back, refreshing, original recording as this. Terry B (Blankley) is a local warhorse, a long-time keyboard player and veteran of a bar scene that pays little to entertain loyal patrons who expect a lot. Terry plays because he wants to, however, as evidenced by this 11-track self-release. The good news is that his thankless dedication to craft is immediately audible from the first regal strains of the Band-like "Last Nations,” sounding not unlike a back porch variation of "The Weight.” With a voice that sounds like a gnarled cross between Springsteen and Tom Waits — sometimes garbled but always gruff — Blankley is blessed with a world-weary quality that underlines his experience. Equal parts jazz and blues, 11 original tracks include highlights like "I Can’t Win,” featuring killer B3, tasteful piano and some well-placed guitar (Bobby Watson) for a blues ballad that’s laidback without being lounge. "Blues is Blues” is, likewise, a high mark for its authoritative touches, lush B3 and real-world message. "Gig Blues” offsets straight blues with the band’s Steely Dan-esque jazz groove, as Blankley’s voice assumes a hint of Ray Materick. Pity the package doesn’t look like much because the contents are a welcome surprise, revealing an earnest road warrior bursting with confidence and ripe with original talent. (Independent)
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