When looking for a true, authentic blues show in Halifax, the only place to run to is Bearly’s House of Blues. This past Friday night I was lucky enough to find myself amongst the few who ventured out to hear Miriamchi’s own Terry Whalen.
Starting the show off with slide on his left hand, The Terry Whalen Band spent the first forty five minutes banging out a nice blend of original material, sprinkled with the odd cover song. It’s easy to see that Terry has spent the past 30 years honing his guitar skills. Sliding from one end of the neck to the other, with the greatest of ease, Terry performed for the small crowd (I blame the lack of people at this show on the fact that it fell on a holiday) as if the bar was filled to capacity. Switching back and forth between finger picking, slide guitar and the classic blues strum, the combination of the great musicianship and verbal exchange, with the few who attended, provided for a very entertaining evening of rocking blues.
All of that aside, my favourite aspect of the night was the twenty minutes I spent chatting with Terry pre-show (not as an interview, but simply as a musician speaking with people in the crowd). It was during this time that I learned how great of an individual Terry really is. From his early beginnings as a construction worker, up until his current role as a teacher, Terry spends a lot of his time helping everyone around him, in anyway he can. He particularly enjoys mentoring and playing music with the students in his school. The positivity in which he spoke, was a welcomed change of pace and something that is all to often lost on people.
With the first quarter of 2013 already on the books, expect to see Terry hitting the stage in some of the upcoming summer blues festivals, starting with The Fox Mountain Smokin’ Blues Festival on July 13th, 2013 in Aylesford, N.S.
(photo by Ed Boulter, come check out his photos @ http://edboulterphotography.ca/)