Play It All Day
Terry Blersh is a Canadian guitarist who formed his first band in 1992. He also worked with both Rita Chiarelli, and the Cameo Blues Band. His self titled debut album, released in 2008, received three stars from Frank-John Hadley of DownBeat Magazine. Blersh while Blues orientated is not confined by the form as one can hear an assortment of influences.
The core band includes Blersh, guitar and vocals; Lance Anderson or Denis Keldie, keyboards; Al Cross, drums; and either Garth Vogan, Tom Griffiths, Dennis Pinhorn or Collin Barrett, bass. Produced by Blersh the album is recorded and mixed by the Grammy nominated Jeremy Darby who worked with Eric Clapton.
This time Blersh has written nine diverse originals, and opens with “Treat Me Right”. As he sings “I’m in love with you baby but you just don’t treat me right” his vocal and guitar tone are warm and expressive.
“It’s All Right” is a duet featuring John Finley who worked with both The Checkmates and Rhinoceros. Another duet “Play All Day” follows, this time sung with the soulful Quisha Wist. These are well written songs with great production.
“It’s Just You” features Gene Hardy on saxophone and Anderson on piano. “Maybe It Ain’t Too Late” features Keldie on organ. Blersh surrounds himself with some really fine musicians.
“The Girl Outside My Window” has got a reggae beat and is another duet this time with soul man John Mays from the band “Fathead”. Keldie is on accordion while Simon Walls wails on sax.
On “Only One” Blersh displays his own impressive vocal range as his lofty voice reminds one of Chet Baker. “Jammin’ II” is an instrumental with organist Anderson.
Also included are three covers. “King Creole” was a hit single, written by Leiber and Stoller, from the soundtrack of the 1958 movie of the same name, a musical drama, starring Elvis Presley.
“Early Morning Rain” was written by Canadian Gordon Lightfoot and first recorded by him in 1966. It was also recorded by the popular Canadian folk duo Ian & Sylvia; and by Peter, Paul and Mary. Blersh gives us a wonderful Dylanesque version, another vocal duet this time with Canadian Jimmy Bowskill who also plays mandolin.
The closer “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, written by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Khan, was first recorded in 1924. It spent 16 weeks on the pop music chart and seven weeks at number one. It has been recorded by many including Django Reinhardt, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Mario Lanza. It is beautifully sung and played by Blersh with Bowskill again featured on mandolin.
This is a delightful album from Blersh who is not only a “tasty” guitarist but also a fine vocalist and producer deserving additional recognition.
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