TERRY "BUFFALO" WARE
Man With Guitar And Amp
(OkieMoton Records)

 

Oklahoma-based guitarist / composer Terry Ware is firmly rooted in the spirit of 1960s guitar bands like The Shadows and The Ventures and he continues breaking new ground for the guitar with his 2016 CD Man With Guitar And Amp. The follow up to his 2011 CD, Reverb Babylon, the twelve track Man With Guitar And Amp features Terry at work in the studio with the aid of several fine musicians including Michael McCarty (drums) and Jim Hoke (pedal steel, vibes, bongos). Speaking about his 2016 album, Terry tells mwe3.com, "I got to work on the new one right after Reverb Babylon. I'm always writing and recording. Yes, I've been on some other albums since Reverb Babylon, including Joel Rafael's Baladista and Smokey and The Mirror's Thin Black Line. I also released an album with another Normanite, Gregg Standridge, who I've been writing with for the last seven or so years. It's called Everybody's Got One. It's an album of vocals, which Gregg and I both sing." The coolest thing, besides Terry’s impressive electric guitar sounds are the all-original songs which blend influences from every era of classic guitar instrumental music. Guitar fans will find sonic signposts throughout this immensely influential album, which closes things out with Terry Ware’s fab instro cover of the 1960s pop classic “To Sir With Love”. Guitar fans into the classic twangy guitar beat sound of the 1960s, must give Man With Guitar And Amp a few spins around the block. www.facebook.com / www.TerryBuffaloWare.com

 





mwe3.com presents a new interview with
TERRY “BUFFALO” WARE
The Man With Guitar And Amp interview




mwe3
: What’s new in Oklahoma? You’ve been out on the road doing shows with who?

Terry Buffalo Ware: I guess what's new in Oklahoma is that we've become the earthquake capital of the USA. I've been on the road mostly with John Fullbright. I've been working with him for just over six years now, but the last three have been quite busy. His debut album was nominated for a Grammy in 2013, and he and I performed at the afternoon pre-telecast part of the show. Another highlight with John was performing on Late Night with David Letterman in 2014. I've also done some work with Joel Rafael, Eliza Gilkyson, and Smokey and The Mirror the last few years. I'm actually going dial back on my road work after the first of the year.

mwe3: Your 2016 CD Man With Guitar And Amp is being called your best solo album yet. Is there a story behind Man With Guitar And Amp and what other things have kept your busy since the 2011 CD release of your Reverb Babylon album? Have you recorded other albums since then, solo or with other artists?

Terry Buffalo Ware: I got to work on the new one right after Reverb Babylon. I'm always writing and recording. Yes, I've been on some other albums since Reverb Babylon, including Joel Rafael's Baladista and Smokey and The Mirror's Thin Black Line. I also released an album with another Normanite, Gregg Standridge, who I've been writing with for the last seven or so years. It's called Everybody's Got One. It's an album of vocals, which Gregg and I both sing.

mwe3: Man With Guitar And Amp kicks off with “Jesse’s Eyes”. It’s a great driving number. Was it written for someone in particular? There’s a lot going on yet it’s only you and drummer Michael McCarty. When were the album tracks written and is “Jesse’s Eyes” one of the more recent ones?

Terry Buffalo Ware: "Jesse's Eyes" was one of the last ones I wrote for the album. I didn't have the title until we were in the studio tracking the drums. Michael made the comment that he thought it had a similar feel to "Doctor, My Eyes" by Jackson Browne. The guitar solo on that song was played by Jesse Ed Davis, who is one of my favorites of all time and a big influence, and the second after Michael made that remark, I said, "Jesse's Eyes." The rest of the tracks were written over the course of the last five years.

mwe3: Is the title Man With Guitar And Amp a self-deprecating, purposely simplistic title? I was thinking it might hav harked back to your native American roots.

Terry Buffalo Ware: The idea for the title came from my friend, Dennis Meehan a.k.a. Clovis Roblaine who I played with in the 1970s in Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Cowboy Twinkies. Dennis has also made some great instrumental records with his band, The Plungers, and has a classic power pop album, The Clovis Roblaine Story, that was recorded in Norman in the late '70s and which I also played on. The idea behind the title is that it's like the title of a painting. You know, like when you see a painting with a title like "Man with Umbrella" say or "Woman with Scarf." No, I don't have any Native American blood that I know of. I do love my Native brothers and sisters though and have an affinity toward that culture.

mwe3: Tell us who plays with you on “Hand Me That Hootis”? What is a “hootis”? Jim Hoke plays some mean sax on that. Does the song get back to your Booker T / King Curtis influences? Is that track one of the more roots-rock type numbers you’ve written? Is that Booker T / Steve Cropper sound underrated in the guitar instrumental world in your opinion?

Terry Buffalo Ware: First off, there's a terrible mistake/oversight in the credits. I did not play bass on that track. The bass track was done by my friend, Susan Holmes, from Santa Fe New Mexico. She also did some bass tracks on my album, Reverb Confidential, and I've recorded a couple of her instrumental tunes on previous albums.

Yes, the tune is absolutely influenced by those artists. And I guess it is more blatantly rootsy than some of my stuff. I consider Cropper a huge influence also, and I do think that style is underrated, not by other players necessarily because they know if they've been paying attention. I gravitate to that kind of tasteful, musical playing much more than flashy shredding. And yeah, Jim's sax is killer! Hootis is a miscellaneous piece or part you can't recall the name of.

mwe3: Have there been some new developments in the guitar and gear world for you since Reverb Babylon and what guitars and amps are you using throughout Man With Guitar And Amp? Last time around you were telling us about your Jaguar guitar and also your Les Paul and Wilson Brothers guitars.

Terry Buffalo Ware: If there have been any new developments they've slid past me. Ha! I basically used all the same guitars and amps I used last time. There's a bit more of the Tele and Strat along with a custom Jazzmaster my friend Bruce Harvey put together for me. I used a bunch of different amps, including my Princetons, Vibro Champ, Gibson GA-20, Magnatone Troubadour and Bell & Howell, and of course the trusty Fender Reverb tank.

mwe3: “Bob And Buster Make A Plan” has a bit of mid to late 1960s Shadows influences on it. How did you arrive with the title for that song? Do you like coming up with humorous song titles? It’s interesting that you flavor your guitar sound with the banjo of Bob French. It adds a bit of the unusual to the song. Do you like layering strange instruments under your guitar lines?

Terry Buffalo Ware: Well, I've always had what I call "Bob" songs and "Buster" songs and sometimes they converge like that one. It started with a theme song I wrote and recorded for the lone episode of a local cable tv show called "Bob's Funhouse." Since then if I write something that has a certain feel and harmonic sense, I'll determine that it's a "Bob" song. Same thing with "Buster" songs. Buster was a great dog I used to have with a unique personality. Bob did a great job on that song with the banjo, and it was a lot of fun and some work doubling it on guitar. I do like layering different instruments like that. My Brian Wilson influence coming into play.

mwe3: Is “Yesterday’s Promise” a kind of Ventures inspired melody. Even with its 1960s overtones, Jim Hoke’s pedal steel adds so much to the final result. And his vibes add even more touches. Is Jim primarily known as a pedal steel player, a vibes player or a sax man? You have some truly diversified musicians on Man With Guitar And Amp!

Terry Buffalo Ware: The melody was inspired by the great Ventures' original "Tomorrow's Love" off The Ventures Knock Me Out album. Jim's work on that song really made it happen. He's without a doubt the best musician I've ever known. He's an A list studio player in Nashville. He used to live here in Oklahoma, which is where I got to know him over 40 years ago. He plays just about any instrument you can think of and as good as or better than anybody. He's played on tons of records of every style you can think of and I'm really lucky to have him as a friend and collaborator. I feel like his contributions on this album really took it to a higher level. He also wrote a track I recorded on Reverb Babylon, called "Subway Surfin'."

mwe3: How about “Destination: Telesto”? Was it influenced by Joe Meek’s “Telstar”? Are those melodies easier to write than the more Americana inspired numbers with the pedal steel and sax or is it just another flavor in your kitchen?

Terry Buffalo Ware: You spot my influences well. I don't really find those kind of melodies any harder to write than any others. They just kind of fall out of the sky and I'm grateful they do.

mwe3: Do you keep up with all the amazing guitar instrumental albums coming out all over the world. Do you take pride in that the whole thing basically sprang out from the American music explosion of the 1950s and Les Paul and his sound on sound inventions?

Terry Buffalo Ware: I try to keep up the best I can, but I'm sure a lot of great stuff gets past me. And yeah, I think it goes back to Les. If it hadn't been for him and his genius we wouldn't be doing any of this.

mwe3: Is “Moonlight Skies” another Shadows kind of influenced track? It could also be a Ventures inspired number too. Might it not also make a kind of Buddy Holly like vocal number? Not that I’m suggesting to add words! Do you like working with vocalists or just not on your guitar albums?

Terry Buffalo Ware: I'd say you're spot on with the influences once again. I do like working with vocalists as well and I like to think I'm using guitar as a voice when I write an instrumental melody, or when I play a guitar solo for that matter. I think a solo, whatever instrument, should be something that you can sing.

mwe3: “Another Seltzer, Please” is a very funny title yet it’s also one of the highlights of Man With Guitar And Amp. Is that kind of the Booker T / Mgs influence coming around again? I was also thinking of the great T-Bones classic “No Matter What Shape, You’re Stomach Is In”, which was used in an Alka Seltzer commercial in the 1960s! Also you switch guitar sounds mid through the song. Is that a Leslie effect on the guitars? Scintillating ending.

Terry Buffalo Ware: Bingo! The guitar riff is an absolute tip of the hat to Steve Cropper, and the melody is partially a nod to the melody from "Time Is Tight." And it is also a tip of the hat to the T-Bones, or should I say The Wrecking Crew. The Leslie effect my baritone guitar through a Hughes and Kettner Rotosphere. The fuzz part is also my baritone through a FUZZbrite and both going through my Vibro Champ.

mwe3: “Cloud Dancer” reminds me of the early 1960s and there’s a cool kind of “Auld Lang Syne” intro feel. How did the title come to you?

Terry Buffalo Ware: The title came from a dream I had.

mwe3: “Lonely Dreams Of The Silver Sparkle” has another interesting title. Jim Hoke’s pedal steel immediately brings to mind rolling hills and the lonesome prairie in his countrified sound. Trading off licks with Jim shows just how masterful you both sound together. Is Jim one of your favorite steelers?

Terry Buffalo Ware: That song is an homage to Don Rich, another of my heroes and influences and was completely inspired by his instrumental, "Sad Is The Lonely." The title refers to the silver sparkle Tele he played. Yeah, Jim's steel is great and yeah, he's one of my favorites.

mwe3: “Bob And Buster Join The Circus” is sort of son of “Bob And Buster Make A Plan”? Is that the U.K. kind of Hank Marvin sound again? Again, Bob French’s mandolin adds so much to the mix and what about that carnival keyboard sound?

Terry Buffalo Ware: To be totally honest, the inspiration for this song was The Nairobi Trio from the old Ernie Kovacs TV show. I realized that as soon as I started writing it. Bob's mando really gave it a great texture, as did the keyboard work by Dennis Borycki.

mwe3: “Black Mesa Sunset” features another pedal steeler, called John Egenes. Tell us the difference between John and Jim Hoke’s pedal sound. Where is Black Mesa? The song is very powerful, just like the sunset right?

Terry Buffalo Ware: John's got more of a Southwestern feel to his steel playing, I guess you'd say. He's an old friend from Santa Fe, who's been living in New Zealand for the last several years. He's also the person who introduced me to long distance recording a few years ago when I played on an album of his. And yes, if you've ever seen a sunset on the Black Mesa, they can be pretty powerful.

mwe3: Everyone is raving about the CD closing cover of “To Sir With Love”. I assume you’re old enough (like me) to remember the Lulu original from the movie of the same name. Seems like a lifetime ago. Déjà vu! It’s such a moving melody, maybe one of the best of the 1960s right? When did you first hear it and when and why did you decide to cover it? You’ve done all sorts of great covers, from Zappa to Dusty Springfield, so it’s far from being an unpleasant (or unexpected) surprise and Jim Hoke’s harmonica seals the deal!

Terry Buffalo Ware: Oh yes indeed. I remember the original. I've had this habit of covering older pop songs on my albums. I really wasn't sure I would on this one, but then about two years ago or so I followed a link on a Facebook post that took me to a YouTube video of Lulu performing the song live from a few years ago. I hadn't heard the song in a while and it really floored me and by the time she was halfway through the first verse I knew I wanted to do an arrangement of it. Once again, Jim is great on it and deserves as much arranging credit as I do on the track. I sent it to him and said do whatever you want. That's his son, Austin, on the cello tracks which are just great.

mwe3: So you continue to be one of the America’s great unknown guitar heroes. Is it too late for you to revolutionize the guitar world? If there’s an album that can change the music world it’s clearly Man with Guitar and Amp. Have you given any thoughts for what you might like to do next, including future musical plans?

Terry Buffalo Ware: I really don't think in "heroic" kind of terms. I honestly think that the truly revolutionary stuff has already been done and probably ended with Hendrix. The rest of us are just swimming in the waters and that's not a bad place to be. I'm already busy on new projects, including a new instrumental album. This one's gonna be more stripped down and likely will be nothing but guitars, bass and drums. And, in all likelihood will be released in only a digital format.

One last thing I'd like to point out about the new album is that I dedicated it to Ray VanHooser who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. Ray played drums on my other instrumental albums and had a great spirit that helped make them what they are…



 

 
   
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