Review: Terry Hanck – Look Out!

Posted on: Monday, Oct 24, 2011


“Look Out!”
(Delta Groove Music – DGPCD146)

This cd has been patiently waiting for a review for a good while now . . . and what a treat it is, perfectly summed up by the description on the cover . . . ‘Greasy Soul Rockin’ Blues” . . . a hugely enjoyable collection from the Chicago-born, West Coast-based tenor saxophone player, singer and bandleader Terry Hanck, and his very fine collection of musicians.

The album was co-produced by Hanck himself and ace Norwegian guitarist Chris ‘Kid’ Andersen, who way back in 2000 actually relocated from his native country to the USA for a four-year stint in Hanck’s band . . . he looms large here with the project recorded at his Greaseland studio, and apart from the afore-mentioned co-production he also recorded and engineered and of course lends his excellent and distinctive guitar work to some six tracks, also chipping in with bass, piano and organ!

Hanck himself brings decades on the road to the plate here, a fine player and singer who has picked some great covers to accompany his orginal tunes. The rest of the band features the also superb guitar of Johnny ‘Cat’ Soubrand, with bass duties shared between Tim Wagar and guest Lorenzo Farrel, and Butch Cousins on drums – the younger brother of bass player Richard Cousins, who has been associated with Robert Cray for many years. Keyboard player Bob Welsh is also present on piano and Hammond B3 organ.

Apparently Hanck said he went for a ‘live’ sound on a lot of the tracks, and the album certainly has that feel and energy to it . . . kicking off with his own new “Here It Comes”, sounding like an old rhythm and blues tune but with funky feel and nice background vocals from Lisa Andersen and a snarling, biting solo from Kid Andersen. Chuck Willis’s “Keep A Drivin'” has a nice laid-back swing to it, with some sharp saxophone  playing from Terry Hanck. The old tune “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” is a joy and swings like crazy, driven by Hanck’s sax and some delightful guitar from Johnny Cat . . . who definitely comes from that Junior Watson and Alex Schultz school of guitar players.

The seven minutes of “You Could Have Let Me Go” is an old Hanck song that is updated here, a slow blues with more ace guitar from Johnny Cat, who also stars on a sparkling take on Freddie King’s “Side Tracked”, with Bob Welsh’s fine Hammond B3 organ and crisp solo from Hanck. The shuffle “Appreciate What You Got” is a new original and a wry look at the current state of the USA economy, with Kid Andersen cooking up some guitar fireworks on this one.

The often-covered Tiny Bradshaw tune “Train Kept A Rollin'” is another gem, with the whole band sounding as if the are having a ball! Hanck has also delved back to bring his “I Keep On Holding On” to this album, a lovely soulful tune with sweet vocal and a fine band performance with more top work from Bob Welsh. “You Give Me Nothing But The Blues” is another great cover with length sax intro from Hanck, the driving, funky blues also sees Johnny Cat deliver a superb lengthy guitar solo.

As ever with a Delta Groove recording the whole things sounds just marvellous . . . and at 66 it sounds like Terry Hanck is having a ball to go with some well overdue recognition, well done to all, a most enjoyable release and highly recommended.


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