Terry Blersh handles accounting for many in the music community here. He is also a much sought after guitarist on the club scene. For the second time now and ten years later, he has decided to release some original songs he’s recorded with a most amazing guest list of players to help out. The set starts out with a fine rocking blues, “Treat Me Right”, showcasing Terry’s singing, guitar playing and songwriting. Veteran Toronto singer John Finley (of Checkmates & Rhinoceros fame) duets with Terry on “It’s All Right”, another wild rocker with Gene Hardy soloing furiously on sax. The title song is an R&B groover, with Quisha Wint (Jacksoul) joining in. It’s the kind of song that could be played all day. Climate change and several other pressing issues are the subject matter of a rather attractive and jazzy “(Maybe) It Ain’t Too Late”. The late John Mays (his last recording) sings with Terry for the Tex-Mex/reggae flavoured “The Girl Outside My Window” with Denis Keldie on accordion. One of the few non-originals is a bluesy version of “King Creole” by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, from the Elvis movie of that name – Terry does it up just fine, Simon Wallis adds the saxes. In what may be seen as an unusual choice, Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” is a duet with Jimmy Bowskill, who also solos on mandolin partnered with Keldie’s accordion. This version apparently has its composer’s approval. There’s also a Chet Baker-inspired vocal in “Only You” and a concluding “I’ll See You In My Dreams” that features some excellent guitar picking from Terry and more mandolin from Bowskill to round out a varied and successful program. There are quite a number of players who haven’t quit their day jobs and I’m glad one as talented as Terry has perservered, releasing a most satisfying CD. This review would be double in length if I listed all the players but you can go to www.terryblersh.ca for that, plus a song-by-song commentary and streaming/downloads.

Blues In the Garden with Gavin McLeod
September 2018 - Carolyn Fe