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The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier

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Album Review

The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier was not released until 1968, about three years after the project was originally completed; while the long delay almost certainly crippled the momentum of Callier's fledgling career, the impact on the music itself was at most minimal — while not the singer's best album, it's his most timeless and inviting, adhering closely to the folk stylings addressed by the title while largely ignoring the mystical jazz dimensions which texture his later material. Surprisingly, none of the album's eight songs are originals, relying instead on traditional tunes like "900 Miles" and "Cotton Eyed Joe"; while Callier's spiralling acoustic guitar lines and the use of two bassists (Terbour Attenborough and John Tweedle) reflect his admiration of John Coltrane, New Folk Sound is for the most part stark and simple, possessed of a subtle grace which spotlights his remarkably moving vocals to excellent effect — it's a debut which holds all the promise fulfilled by his classic recordings for Cadet.


Born: 24 May 1945 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For far too long, folk-jazz mystic Terry Callier was the exclusive province of a fierce but small cult following; a singer/songwriter whose cathartic, deeply spiritual music defied simple genre categorization, he went all but unknown for decades, finally beginning to earn the recognition long due him after his rediscovery during the early '90s. Born in Chicago's North Side -- also home to Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, and Ramsey Lewis -- and raised in the area of the notorious Cabrini Green housing...
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