TERRY BLERSH - PLAY IT ALL DAY
“an outstanding merger of personal expression and lyricism with expert craftsmanship”
That’s how DOWNBEAT magazine described Terry Blersh’s songwriting on his self-titled debut album.
He hasn’t lost a step here with his latest release, PLAY IT ALL DAY.
Once again, Terry brings a lifetime of experience and a unique and wry perspective to his wonderfully diverse songs. While rooted in the blues, like any great songwriter, he is not confined by the form. Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Tex-Mex, Reggae and Jazz influences all find their way into the mix.
His guitar playing throughout is unadorned. His tone is warm and expressive, his touch responsive and dynamic. And best of all - you know it’s him. It easy to hear why Terry is considered one of the most musical, and what we call “tasty” guitar players in Canada.
Terry's voice is warm and moving on the Chet BAker-esq ballad 'Only One', showing a vocal reach not heard on his previous album.
His duet with the multi-talented Jimmy Bowskill (The Sheepdogs) on Gordon Lightfoot's classic "Early Morning Rain", earned a shout out from the composer himself. "Really like your version of Early Morning Rain, keep up the great tunes".
Other highlights include 3 more tracks featuring these great vocalists: soul man John Mays (Fathead) on The Girl Outside My Window; R&B/Jazz dynamo John Finley (The Checkmates, Rhinoceros) on It’s All Right; and the soulful Quisha Wint (Jacksoul, Matt Dusk) on Play It All Day.
Self-produced and arranged, Terry has assembled some of Canada’s top musicians, each with a specific song or feel in mind. They all deliver in spades.
Masterfully recorded and mixed by Grammy and Juno nominated Jeremy Darby (Eric Clapton, Lou Reed) at The Canterbury Music Company, the sound is nothing less than world-class.
"I’m honoured and blessed to have some of the finest musicians in the world on this record. Thank you, I love you all!"
TREAT ME RIGHT - How cool to have a drummer that played with The Bar Kays and Albert King to kick things off on this blues rhumba! Love you Shamakah Ali! Maple Blues “Keyboard Player of Year 2013” Lance Anderson (Shakura S’Aida, Anderson/Sloski) is on piano and the legendary Michael Fonfara (The Checkmates, Rhinoceros, Downchild) works the Hammond organ. Now for some Albert licks!
IT'S ALL RIGHT (feat. John Finley) - Al Cross (Big Sugar, Jane Siberry) on drums here, nails one of my favourite grooves. This one features one of the greatest R&B, soul and jazz singers around, John Finley. Canadians will remember him fronting one of the country’s top R&B groups, The Checkmates, and later, on the international stage with Rhinoceros. Sax-man extraordinaire Gene Hardy (Johnny Reid, Pip Squeek Orchestra) is on fire on this one!
PLAY IT ALL DAY (feat. Quisha Wint) - Quisha Wint (Jacksoul, Matt Dusk) lends her sultry vocals to this breezy feel-good tune. That's Michael Fonfara again on Hammond organ with Lance Anderson, this time on Rhodes electric piano. With Collin Barrett (July Black, Holly Cole) laying down some funky bass and percussionist Art Avalos (Manteca) adding congas and tamborine to Shamakah Ali's deep pocket, it can't help but groove!
IT'S JUST YOU - Check out Lance Anderson’s wonderful New Orleans style piano, Garth Vogan’s (Chuck Jackson, Shirley Eikhard) deep bass groove, and Al Cross’ funky half-time backbeat. Gene Hardy shines again with his tasty fills and soulful sax solo.
(MAYBE) IT AIN'T TOO LATE - Jazzy/Blues/Rap protest song? I love how Denis Keldie’s (Etta James, Jeff Healey) Hammond organ flirts with the vocal as well as delivering a killer solo.
THE GIRL OUTSIDE MY WINDOW (feat. John Mays) - My favourite soul singer and dear friend, the late John Mays, lead singer of the Juno award winning band Fathead, joins me on vocals here. Such an honour to have John on this record. I believe this was his last recording. One-man sax section Simon Wallis (Lighthouse) provides the perfect counter-point to Denis Keldie’s accordion on this reggae/tex-mex feel.
KING CREOLE - I’ve always been a huge Elvis fan. I wrote a song for him (Tryin’), on my first record. That’s Simon Wallis again providing the horns, while veteran blues/roots bassman Dennis Pinhorn (Danny Brooks, Downchild) makes his first appearance, laying down the bottom.
EARLY MORNING RAIN (feat. Jimmy Bowskill) - I love Gordon Lightfoot and Early Morning Rain is one of my faves. I sent him my CD. I got a message back, “really like your version of Early Morning Rain, keep up the great tunes, keep making great music”. Wow! Jimmy Bowskill (currently with The Sheep Dogs) adds some sweet harmony on this one along with some tasty mandolin. The multi-talented Denis Keldie does triple duty here, beautifully blending piano, Hammond organ and accordion.
JAMMIN' II - Just a little jammin’ in the studio with, Lance Anderson and Tom Griffiths (Cameo Blues Band, Colin Linden). I love the false start!
ONLY ONE - You might be surprised to know that I’m a big fan of the old standards. I’ve written a few more like this (stay tuned). I wrote this one with Chet Baker in mind. Tom Griffiths' fretless bass is right on the mood, and Denis Keldie’s piano solo is sublime.
I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS - I spent many long hours trying to get close to Merle Travis’ picking style on this, one of his signature tunes. Check out Jimmy Bowskill’s virtuoso mandolin playing, just superb! Rhythm section Al Cross and Dennis Pinhorn can’t be beat.