PLAY IT ALL DAY
TERRY BLERSH - PLAY IT ALL DAY
Terry Blersh, Play It All Day (Self-Release; 35:37 ***1/2)
...singer and guitarist Terry Blersh hits all the bullet points...Beyond the Albert King licks on “Treat Me Right” and his other blues moves, Blersh takes creative flight into neo-soul (“Play It All Day” with singer Quisha Wint) and Chet Baker-type balladry (“Only One”). His reach even extends to a rebooting of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” and a celebration of country great Merle Travis’ distinctive fingerpicking technique on the evergreen “I’ll See You In My Dreams”. DOWNBEAT
“ a delightful album from Blersh who is not only a “tasty” guitarist but also a fine vocalist and producer deserving of additional recognition. The closer “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, written by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Khan, was first recorded in 1924. It spent 16 weeks on the pop music chart and seven weeks at number one. It has been recorded by many including Django Reinhardt, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Mario Lanza. It is beautifully sung and played by Blersh with Bowskill again featured on mandolin". Richard Ludmerer
"His tunes are mocha-latte smooth, and they range from robin’s-egg blue to indigo...jazz-influenced blues...he combines the best of both genres and adds fluid, melodic vocals as a bonus. Perhaps the most notable thing about Terry Blersh, beside his avant-garde fusion of jazz and blues, is his association with renowned genre artists. His resume includes sharing the stage/studio with Harrison Kennedy, Garth Hudson, John Mays, Paul Reddick, Chuck Jackson and several others". Rainey Wetnight - Blues Blast Magaziine
"If you are going to do Presley then you had better bring something original to the table. Terry certainly has changed the approach to "King Creole" with a shuffling rhythm honky tonk piano and horns which is nicely done. Production values are high, not overly fussy allowing the class of the musicianship to shine through. I have no hesitation in recommending that you seek it out."
"Terry’s warm and easy voice gives the songs an agreeable vibe, and as a guitarist he’s considered one of the tastiest, most musical players in Canada. It took me a couple of spins to hear that- as you know I prefer grimier blues- but once it became apparent I thought “how did I miss that?" The Rock Doctor
"The set starts out with a fine rocking blues, “Treat Me Right”, showcasing Terry’s singing, guitar playing and songwriting. The title song is an R & B groover, with Quish Wint (Jacksoul) joining in. It's the kind of song that could be played all day. "I’ll See You In My Dreams” features some excellent guitar picking from Terry and more mandolin from Bowskill to round out a varied and successful program". John Valenteyn - Maple Blues
"This meat and potatoes blues rocker turns in a Canadian party platter that has loads of chops on parade. The only frills are the gravy on the potatoes, and that's all that's needed as his command of the basics seem to serve them up in a fresh new way that doesn't stray far from their roots. Simply a slamming good time where nothing goes wrong and it's all a gasser. Well done". Midwest Record
“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 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 liked your version on Early Morning Rain, keep up the great tunes, keep making great music".
Other highlights include 3 additonal 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; 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.
Terry Blersh: Terry Blersh ( 39:05 ) *** Toronto-based singer-guitarist Blersh is like the ideal fifth starter on a pitching staff. He goes about his work with confidence and efficiency, not concerned about his lack of recognition south of Ontario. Not beholden to a particular blues style, this veteran writes good bluesy songs that even reference antecedents like '70s white-soul and toned-down, dreamy Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. "I Don't Need No" is an outstanding merger of personal expression and lyricism with expert craftsmanship. His reliable sidekicks include organist Garth Hudson of The Band. Frank-John Hadley DOWNBEAT