Terry Hanck – I Still Get Excited
11 songs time-54:03
Terry Hanck can do no wrong in my book. In release after release he continues to display his abilities as a saxophonist, singer, songwriter and producer. His saxophone skills are far and above greater than many average players out there. He must be doing something right because Elvin Bishop employed him in his band for just over a decade. Melody isn’t a foreign concept to him, although he can honk it up when necessary. His music takes elements of blues, R&B, jazz, fifties’ rock and roll and God knows what else to get you moving and moved. Musical elements drift in at times that trigger a musical memory. His singing isn’t an afterthought. Terry’s wonderfully gravelly voice and delivery ooze with super coolness. His own band, augmented by some of the best blues has to offer guarantee superb results. They aren’t here for name recognition, but for the talented performances they bring to the proceedings. With people like Kid Andersen, Jim Pugh, June Core, Rick Estrin, Tracy Nelson and Chris Cain how on earth can you go wrong? That’s not to say his core band of Johhny Cat Soubrand on guitar, bassist Tim Wager and drummer Butch Cousins along with the background singers are anything to sneeze at.
The title song proclaims the vitality he and others feel at an older age and the raging jump blue blues meets fifties’ rock and roll vibe portrays that feeling. Johnny Cat Soubrand delivers Chuck Berry-ish riffing and Jimmy Pugh beats the daylights out of the “88s”. Terry overdubs his own sax section at times along with his solo wailing. The backing vocals of Kid’s wife Lisa Leuschner Andersen and Whitney Shay complete the picture. “Smooth Tyrone” harkens back to Louis Jordan’s way cool hipster jump blues. Needless to say Terry’s and Johnny’s playing are right on the mark.
The band with guitar ace Chris Cain, Jim Pugh’s masterful jazz organ and Terry’s sax raising all melodic hell take your ears on a pleasurable journey as they breath new life into “Early In The Morning”, an iconic blues “chestnut”. At over seven minutes you just don’t want the goodness to stop. The music of “Here It Comes” dredges up memories of the beach with its’ “Under The Boardwalk” musical vibe. Terry trades licks with harmonica master Rick Estrin on “Come On Back”, an enthusiastic Hanck original.
To change up the pace we get a slow dance sax and organ instrumental sans guitar in “Rosita(No Wall Can Hold Our Love)”. The words beautiful and lovely don’t sound over used in this case. The lights are low and you and your girl are easing across the dance floor. For some unknown reason the “Are” is taken out of Bobby Charles’ song and it’s called “Why People Like That”. Thankfully nothing else was removed and in fact Terry updates some of the lyrics to make them relevant to current times in this charging version.
If this hasn’t all been enough the guys deliver a great version of my hero Howlin’ Wolf’s “Howlin’ For My Darlin'”. Johnny manages to closely replicate the original guitar riff. The inimitable Tracy Nelson joins Terry for a duet on the slow and simmering R&B of “Spring”. Two songs that I first heard by the now defunct jump blues band Big Dave & The Ultrasonics from Ann Arbor, Michigan close out the album. Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s “Hold It Right There” is given an appropriately sax driven rendition along with Johnny on guitar and Jimmy on organ. Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Feel So Bad” receives a nicely stretched out treatment including Kid Andersen or Wurlitzer piano. What a song to go out on. Terry Hanck and his cohorts can do no wrong. Oops said that earlier…sounds so good I said it once again.
There ya have it sports fans! For my money music just doesn’t get any better than this. It all works. The players here definitely have the right tools for the job. Boy Howdy, I could just go on and on. This is absolutely something your music collection needs.