The New Folk Sound Of Terry Call
Callier, a veteran musician who released a handful of critically acclaimed jazz-folk albums in the Seventies and toured with George Benson and Gil Scott-Heron, had scant commercial success at the time, and had given up his musical career in the Eighties to raise his daughter. He was working at the University of Chicago as a computer programmer in the early Nineties when his music was rediscovered in England, sparking a career revival.
The New Folk Sound Of Terry Call
Born in the Chicago projects, Callier was a childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, and began singing in doo-wop groups in his teens. Later he became a fixture on the city's coffee house scene, releasing a debut album titled The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier in 1968. In the early 70s he released three critically celebrated "jazz-folk" albums and toured with George Benson and Gil Scott-Heron, but he had abandoned music for a job as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago until a new generation rediscovered his work in the early 90s. - [The Guardian]
Doe: I think I was surprised that it all held together as much as it did and that we were able to develop the sound that fit the subject matter. It's not as if we're doing some academic dive into what old folk music is supposed to sound like, or even '60s folk music is supposed to sound like. We just did our version, but we stayed true to the idea, the original idea. This record was definitely influenced by Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding because it invites you to go into a world that you're unfamiliar with, take a walk around, see what's happening, see it, smell it, feel it, and then you can come out on the other side. I did listen to the Mississippi Sheiks and I did listen to some other old '20s and '30s music just for guitar sounds, or Ray Charles to listen to pick out a bass sound or maybe Bill Evans to hear what a jazz drummer might do with this. So yeah.
But the band was imploding from within because of too many disparate style preferences in our now musically growing members. Terry wanted to be a rockstar. Tim wanted to play blues and jazz on bass. I was interested in folk. Plus, we played 300 concerts a year, and were expected to come up with a record annually. Truth be known, we were just exhausted. It was all too much, so we finally pulled the plug. Mason Proffit was done after barely five years.
One of our concerts included The Road Home Festival in Colorado Springs with Robbie Marshall. It included many of the name bands and artists in Christian contemporary music at that time. In an act of divine serendipity Billy Ray Hearn of Myrrh Records, the contemporary arm of Word Records, picked us up at the airport. On the ride to the hotel, he put in a tape of a new group called The Second Chapter of Acts, and played The Easter Song and Which Way the Wind Blows. We were blown away. Finally, Christian contemporary music that sounded good on record!
Not to argue with Hank Williams, but I have always considered the whip-poor-will's call to be uplifting. Perhaps I am in the minority. Who knows? One thing I do know is that according to American folklore, if you hear a whip-poor-will singing near your home, it is a sign of an impending death. Others believed it was an omen that bad luck would befall you in the near future.
I miss those that are no longer with us from the music of the past...in particular the ones that died tragically young while at the top of their game. I am enjoying the recent singer-songwriter boom as well as the reemergence of folk-rock and the Americana genre. Certainly the Allman Brothers Band has spawned great offspring such as The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Government Mule, etc. Not to mention all the great stuff coming out of New Orleans!!