The Terry B3+ Invitation to the Blues

There's something incredibly soothing about a Terry Blankley disc; his extremely laidback approach is instantly audible, complemented by superb musicianship, bullet-proof confidence and an ear for arranging that triggers countless musical flashbacks. A clear progression from his last release, Blankley throws caution to the wind, underlining his unbridled passion for playing, singing and writing. Stylistically, Blankley frames his blues with elements of jazz, his big B3 sound wrapping each composition like a warm, friendly blanket. And he enjoys taking chances: "Come Together" is a sumptuous cover, Blankley breathing new life into a tired original. The opening track lifts the Lonnie Mack original higher with its soulful and supremely heartfelt vocal while Jack de Keyser's solo burns brightly. Blankley's craggy, gruff vocals are sounding more J.J. Cale-like across many of these 16 tracks. His keyboard prowess is best realized on the rich flourish of jazz phrasing shooting skyward from his piano on "Boxcar." Like a Randy Newman, Blankley doesn't necessarily hit all the notes he shoots for but he doesn't have to. A dedicated journeyman who wears his heart on his sleeve, he releases exactly what he wants to, confident in the knowledge that good music played with love and passion will always prove itself. (Rootetoot)