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 Terrys 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
Wares 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
mwe3.com presents a new interview with
TERRY BUFFALO WARE
The Man With Guitar And Amp interview
Whats new in Oklahoma? Youve 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 Jesses
Eyes. Its a great driving number. Was it written for someone
in particular? Theres a lot going on yet its only you
and drummer Michael McCarty. When were the album tracks written and
is Jesses 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.
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 youve
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.
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?
Its 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 Yesterdays Promise a kind of Ventures
inspired melody. Even with its 1960s overtones, Jim Hokes 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
mwe3: How about Destination: Telesto? Was it influenced
by Joe Meeks 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?
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 Im 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 its 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, Youre 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
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 theres 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 Hokes 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
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 Frenchs 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 Hokes 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.
Everyone is raving about the CD closing cover of To Sir With
Love. I assume youre old enough (like me) to remember
the Lulu original from the movie of the same name. Seems like a lifetime
ago. Déjà vu! Its 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? Youve done all sorts
of great covers, from Zappa to Dusty Springfield, so its far
from being an unpleasant (or unexpected) surprise and Jim Hokes
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
mwe3: So you continue to be one of the Americas great
unknown guitar heroes. Is it too late for you to revolutionize the
guitar world? If theres an album that can change the music world
its clearly Man with Guitar and Amp. Have you given any
thoughts for what you might like to do next, including future musical
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.
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