INVITATION TO THE BLUES
The Terry B3+
There is nothing better than reviewing a disk which has some sort of local connection. It just seems to make the music more connected.
So it was of course with interest that I placed Terry Blankley's newest release on the old player. Blankley, a roots jazzy blues man out of Ontario actually grew up in Kelvington and attended St. Joe's in the city in 1964.
Regular readers may recall Blankley for a couple of reasons, including a review here of his earlier CD Money Talks in October 2007.
Blankley is also an artist I stayed in contact with due to the old Yorkton connection, and he actually helped recommend a series of great blues CDs that were reviewed as a series a while back.
Which brings us to Invitation to the Blues. While he might have been local, Blankley's Money Talks was only a so-so effort. This time around he has taken a major step forward in terms of the blues.
With an Invitation to the Blues, the musical mix is more sophisticated, and the instrumentation has more depth as well.
Blankley is aided here by musicians such as Bruce Gorrie who contributes flute, and on a cut such as Motherlode that makes all the difference.
Ditto Herb Knox's clarinet on Redwine and Blues.
This CD is also a nicely blended mix of Blankley's own material; Prairie Gold, God Didn't I Tell You and a few others, with some great covers.
In terms of covers the stand out is Blankley's take on Lennon and McCartney's Come Together, another cut with some sweet flute work.
The title cut of course is a Tom Wait piece and there is also a take on Ray Charles' Them That's Got.
A very nice mix, with some cool takes on the music, such as the rendition of 4/4 Time, very well done with Blankley's gravely voice.
Blankley also does our pocketbooks a favour offering up 16-songs, so this disk is a real recession fighter too.
Definitely check it out at www.terryblankley.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 1, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada