Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pat Terry

I once drove up with Christian Brother's Sound to hear The Pat Terry Group for the first time at Berry College in Rome, GA.  I wasn't an official part of the crew, but didn't mind hauling some of the equipment that night.  We weren't in a concert hall, it was a rather large meeting room that was packed.

The Pat Terry Group's 'hit' song at that time was 'I Can't Wait to See Jesus'.  Hearing them live, to me, was better than what was on their LP.  It was a good concert, three guys on guitars, plenty of harmony.  I never purchased any of their albums because they weren't my cup of tea.  A lot of my friends liked their music and their music was always playing at the old coffeehouse.  They also came to play at one of our Christian Brother's No Jive Jesus Is Alive Falls Festival back in 1979.   I was very familiar with their music even though I didn't own any of their albums.

Something really happened that caught my interest when the 1980's rolled around.  At a time when I was tuning out to the new CCM.   Along came a string of incredible solo albums by this Pat Terry guy.  Humanity Gangsters, Film at Eleven, and The Silence were each incredible albums.  This just wasn't the Pat Terry I remembered, that caramel apple Christian music that was a little to sticky sweet for me.  These new albums had punch, had an edge, nothing sugar coated folksy about them.  They were not only what I consider the best of Pat Terry, but among my favorite Jesus Music albums.  Great songs, great sound, great musicians, great production ~ nothing weak. Terry had teamed up with Mark Heard on these albums.  Mark co-produced all three with Pat and they made a terrific team.

During that time Christian Brothers Coffeehouse, SKYLIGHT, booked Pat Terry to come play.  He lived a few hours away and tossed his guitar in his Volvo and drove on over.  The contract I have states Christian Brothers paid him an honorarium of $200.00 (plus hotel expense) to do a concert at SKYLIGHT coffeehouse in 1984.   He came out about three times all together.  He's a very nice fellow, a quite spirit about him.  There was one night we ended up having a small turnout.  Pat started up behind the microphone and then asked if he could just sit down in the carpet pit area with us and do his thing.  That was a good moment in time. His songs were just as good played by the songwriter and his guitar as they did on the albums.

Pat quit touring in 1986 as a CCM artist and started pursuing hawking his songs in Nashville.  I purchased his most recent CD Laugh for a Million Years in 2009.  This is nothing like any of his earlier work.  Don't buy it expecting it to be.  It's good stuff and it was great knowing he's still out there creating and playing.  
Keep up with him at his website and maybe you'll get a chance to see and hear him live.

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