Celebrating his 70th birthday and fifty years of performing, Terry Gillespie assembled his various players for a series of concerts last summer at The Granary Beizle in his hometown of Vankleek Hill ON. Gillespie’s musical tastes have always been wide ranging, specializing in establishing a groove, at which he’s become an acknowledged master. The bulk of this album is blues and he starts out here with a fine one of his, “New Mown Lawn”, a one-chord groove on the tribulations of moving to a rural town. Niagara’s Brant Parker gets a nice guitar solo. For us radio hosts, Gillespie kindly provided a shortened version at the end of the disc. “Tijuana” appears to be a new addition to his repertoire and this JJ Cale song benefits from actual street noises from that city. Longtime keyboard man Peter Measroch shines here. A more straight-ahead original blues about living on the edge, “Monkey Hunger” is up next. One of his finest tunes, “Brother Of The Blues” gets a dramatic performance here – a powerful song about terrorism that should be heard by everyone. Gillespie’s wide-ranging tastes show most clearly in his arrangement of the New Orleans standard “Junco Partner”, his years of playing reggae very much in evidence. Gillespie channels Elmore James for his own “The Devil Likes To Win” with Jody Golick taking JT Brown’s role on sax. Interspersed with his originals are several Chicago standards by this fine band: “Little By Little”, a version of Lowell Fulson’s “Black Night”, “Another Black Night” taken at a much faster tempo. Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man”, Willie Dixon’s rarely-performed “Businessman” and “Killing Floor” are here too. He ends the program with a fine boogie, “New Orleans Wobble”, Measroch just rocks. He’s in town to celebrate the release at Gate 403 on May 17 (5-7pm), Junction City Music Hall (May 21) and The Dakota Tavern (with Brian Blain opening) on Saturday May 20 (7-9pm). More out-of-town dates at www.terrygillespie.ca.

John's Blues Picks May 2017 - Boogie Patrol
John's Blues Pick May 2017 - Harrison Kennedy