“Greasy Soul Rockin’ Blues”
Tenor Sax Man, Singer and Songwriter, Terry Hanck is a Rare Breed– a Triple Threat Musician.
“Hanck wails like a big dog on sax and vocals…” -Paul Libertore, Marin Independent-Journal
“The cover of this disc states “Greasy Soul Rockin’ Blues” and for once, there is truth in the advertising. This is the kind of stuff that the King Record label was built on – the kind of records you used to hear all day long in the 1950’s to early 1960’s… the 66 year-old Hanck is playing and singing with energy level of musicians several decades younger. His brawny tenor sax calls out like a voice in the wilderness, one minute soothing your soul and the next beckoning you to the dance floor. Equally impressive is his singing throughout the disc. This one is a party from start to finish. The joy and passion that Hanck brings to this project will win you over. When you add in the outstanding contributions of his band, it is easy to see why I include Look Out! among the handful of exceptional recordings I have heard so far this year. It may be old school but it sure sounds good !!!!”
-Mark Thompson, BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE/Chicago, August 2011
From San Francisco to Chicago to Washington D.C, superlative reviews are flooding in for Terry Hanck’s new 2011 album, LOOK OUT!, his first on Delta Groove Music. As a saxophonist, singer and and songwriter, Terry Hanck is a rare breed, a triple threat musician– and at an unbelievably youthful 66 (what is in that water he has always lived near??) — his singing and playing, along with his tough band, is on fire. Twice recognized in recent years with Blues Music Awards nominations for 2009 and 2011 for “Best Horn”; a favorite of blues societies worldwide, this nice guy is finally finishing first–on national blues charts and fans’ hearts.
Writer Joseph Jordan/San Francisco says: “Just a little past half way through 2011 and we have the lead contender for album of the year. Terry Hanck has put his very best on this recording, and that’s saying a lot… superb and serious saxophone chops…from his fiery reed work, beautiful tone and effortless, inventive melodies to his crack band and his song selection, there’s not a track of filler on the album. But there is something intrinsically fresh to his sound as well. For a 66-year old cat, he sure plays like an unbridled and fearless youth….Hanck’s voice is a marvel. He can make it growl, ache, croon, moan and tease, and then some. It is a superb instrument in its own right. Listen to “I Keep Holding On” and tell me I’m wrong….I also can’t say enough about the emergence of Johnny “Cat” Soubrand as a lead guitarist of originality, fire and consummate grace. He proves here he is among the emerging great ones. Hanck wrote or co-wrote five of the 13-cuts on the CD, and they show his musicianship isn’t limited to stage-presence and playing alone.”
–Joseph Jordan, Golden Gate Blues Society Newsletter/July 2011
TERRY HANCK BIO
Blues and roots fans know that the soundtrack to early rock’ n’ roll ran on three-minute instrumentals with sax in the lead, and was directly related to 1950s and 1960s New Orleans R&B hits, along with that deep-fried wildness that came from Memphis. With this history lesson, old school rock ‘n’ soul saxophonist and singer Terry Hanck makes perfect sense. Clearly, Hanck has worshipped at the right Southern altars–those of such iconic R&B brothers as Fats Domino, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Lee Allen and King Curtis. “I write songs that you think you’ve heard for years,” says the South Florida-based Hanck, who’s got suave movie-star looks and a good time presence that immutably anchors the old-style R&B he adores. His level of expertise on this, his 6th album, makes for an unbeatable workout on his debut for Delta Groove, LOOK OUT!
As Living Blues writer Lee Hildebrand testified, “Hanck is one of the most formidable saxophonists in the blues and soul business. He has a virile tone and attack and an uncanny command of upper-register notes.” But, whether it is a joyous jump blues romp or a steamy slow dance of a stroll–this is the kind of music that has mattered to the tall tenor man all his life…
It took one cross-country journey in the early 1960s for California to ensnare the Chicago-born Hanck. The sun-drenched lure of surfer life spoke oceans to the landlocked Windy City teen. “The whole California lifestyle thing–it just blew me away! There was never any doubt in my mind, once I got out of high school, where I was gonna end up.”
Cut to Orange County, 1964: Surfing, diving, partying. And KBCA, one 24-hour AM jazz station in Los Angeles, that played everything from Muddy Waters to John Coltrane. For Hanck, that was it. As he slyly remembers: “All of a sudden, I needed something to do with my mind.” He picked up a sax. “The tenor was the voice.”
Six years later, in 1970, Hanck moved north to the East Bay. His first band was called Grayson Street. “We played Bo Diddley, R&B, simple stuff,” he says. “We were too bluesy for the funk crowd, too funky for the rock ‘n’ roll crowd. They all hated us, except the musicians: That is always death, you know” Hanck says with a large twinkle in his eyes, “when you have real musicians coming to see you.”
One real musician who did come to see Hanck was Elvin Bishop, an alumnus of seminal American blues-rock group the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. “He heard the band in 1972,” Hanck recalls, “and asked both the harmonica player and I to join, knowing he was only going to pick one guy. So I said no. And the harmonica player said yes.” In 1976, Bishop brought Hanck to Miami to play on what became his classic album, Struttin’ My Stuff, and which included his chart-topping smash hit “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Hanck was asked again to join the band, and as Hanck reveals “I said ‘no’ again, like an idiot. I had a single out with my band and I had a false sense of security. But in 1977 he asked one more time and I said ‘yes,’ finally. I joined when the band was on top. I went from riding around in a potato-chip truck to limousines.”
For over a decade, Bishop provided Hanck a worldwide stage to growl, squonk, soar and soothe on his tenor. In 1987, Hanck bid adieu to his friend, and formed his own group.”Terry Hanck is a fine vocalist, an amazing showman and my favorite sax player,” asserts Bishop today. That fact is borne out on the just-released May 2011 Delta Groove live album, Elvin Bishop’s Raising Hell Revue, where Hanck re-joined his boss and friend on the 2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise where the great vibin’ on the good ship was captured.
Thank Hanck too, for also on that cruise and album is Chris “The Kid” Andersen. Around the turn of the millennium, Hanck was in Norway, saw the young and talented Norwegian guitarist, and brought him to America, when he held down the guitar chair in Hanck’s band for four years. The strongly developed bond between the two has lasted, as Andersen has appeared on and co-produced all Hanck’s releases (including this one), since 2002’s I Keep On Holdin’On. Andersen has also produced a CD by Grammy-winning legend Charlie Musselwhite and multiple Blues Music Awards -nominated CDs by Terry, John Nemeth and Rick Estrin & the Nightcats.
Many accolades on LOOK OUT! are coming to guitarist Johnny “Cat” Soubrand, who replaced Andersen back in 2004. Reflecting upon Johnny’s role in the band these past few years Hanck affirms, “Johnny really works best for me. He’s right there with the sound.” Rounding out the tough rhythm section is long time drummer Butch Cousins (younger brother to Richard Cousins, currently playing bass for Robert Cray), and newest member bassist Tim Wagar, a stalwart of the San Francisco blues scene, replacing Terry’s longtime friend and bandmate Michael “Fly” Brooks who passed away in September 2010. Additionally the album features Nightcats’ bassist Lorenzo Farrell, the multi-talented Bob Welsh on piano and B-3 organ, and Dennis Dove who contributes on background vocals as well as playing drums on “Girl, Girl, Girl.”