Follow us on Facebook
Blues Festival Guide Online: Directory of Blues Festivals Around the World

Subscribe to FREE Blues E-Newsletter

Terry Gillespie :: BLUESOUL

Posted: January 30, 2014

Bluesoul was recorded live at the 2012 Maxville Musicfest, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. It’s not cliche blues but kind of old school, kind of trippy, like Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale or JB Lenior, Terry is a player whose comfortable voice perfectly suits his economical deep guitar grooves. Terry Gillespie, a sixtysomething bluesman, feels he’s getting close to his ideal musical hybrid by playing the music of the earliest Blues players and mining back to the roots of what inspired them, you will note ‘not a lot of guitar’ features in Terry’s tunes and what you hear is inspirational.

“Going back to the beginning’ Terry Gillespie has been a soulful groove master. Terry says: ‘ getting inside the groove is where it’s at’. Like Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale or JB Lenoir, he is a player whose comfortable voice perfectly suits his economical deep guitar grooves. Nothing’s wasted and nothing’s missing. “ says Holger Peterson, CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, CKUA’s Natch’l Blues and Stony Plain Records  

 Terry is a musical risk-taker. His shows are always endearing, dynamic and tender, intense and relaxed, confident and intimate, fresh and mature, above all very-musical & a-little-crazy. A performance absolutely without pretense, yet completely engaging. The set-list includes classical roots/blues/Americana and delightful original tunes.

“Sue Foley credits Terry Gillespie as a major influence in her career. Terry Gillespie possesses a magic that seems to occur right in the middle of each song. It's what causes the hairs to rise on the back of your neck.” says Richard Ludmerer, Vice President, New York Blues and Jazz Society.

Coming of age the USA, Canadian born Gillespie was a crafty teen who wanted nothing more than to join in and immerse himself in the roots of American music. When he was 16 or 17, the drinking age in Michigan was 21. Gillespie was six feet tall and wore a sport coat, shades and a skinny moustache that he drew on his top lip with ink. Terry would sneak in to the bars where jazz and blues music was being played – and ultimately where Gillespie would cut his teeth as a blues and roots musician in his own right. It was in these bars and clubs that Terry began to hone his craft by snapping up oppor -tunities to play with legends including Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker.

1968 brought young Gillespie to Canada, in a successful bid to dodge the draft. Gillespie formed Heaven’s Radio – who were widely considered the best band to come out of Ottawa in the '70s. Their highly acclaimed albums of the early 80s, 'Active' and 'Uptown Babies', were re-released as a box set in May 2007. Holger Petersen, President of Stony Plain Records and host of CBC’s long running Saturday Night Blues calls Heaven's Radio, "A highly under-rated band of that era." From the very beginning of Gillespie’s foray in to the music industry he was never interested in being a pop star. He just wanted to play music. His goal was to get inside the music he loved, to learn the notes and nuances of the songs. Gillespie wanted to be able to deconstruct the complexities of jazz, blues and African music in order to bring it to people and allow the listener to also get inside the music and be lost among each note, each phrase, each groove and each lyric.
Fast forward more than 20 years and find Terry Gillespie as he is now. Some will call him seasoned, some may call him a veteran and others will call him a survivor – a survivor of the excesses of the music industry. A survivor indeed – though Gillespie does not dwell on the past. He takes life’s lessons, trials, and triumphs and uses them to create his music. His musical influences are diverse - drawing from his love of reggae, African music, jazz, and of course, blues.

Terry Gillespie has been called a musical Shaman, Canada's King of Roots Music and Mr. Groove for good reason - his live performances are fascinating, entertaining and captivating in a way that allows the audience to pay attention and not be distracted from the music by egotistical showmanship and maniacal guitar playing. He is both charismatic and soulful.

More Info:  •  •

"The highly regarded critic Tim Holek has called him Canada’s “King of Roots Music.” He has indeed been a bit of a Canadian blues legend for 40 years."- Mark E. Gallo- Blues Bytes

" Terry has been the driving force behind many successful musical configurations over the years including the legendary Ottawa roots/blues/reggae band Heaven's Radio. His current collaboration in the Terry Gillespie Trio with fiddler/bassist Lyndell Montgomery (formerly with Ember Swift) and drummer/percussionist Wayne Stoute (originally from Trinidad) is spectacular." Chris White, co-founder and AD 1994-2009 Ottawa Folk Festival

Opens Your Default Media Player