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Terry Gillespie: Bios

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Band BIOS: Terry Gillespie - Singer, Guitar


In the mid 1960’s, Michigan was a very different place than it is now – and even more different than the small village of Vankleek Hill, Ontario Canada where guitarist, singer and songwriter Terry Gillespie now resides. Coming of age in the USA, Canadian born Gillespie was a crafty teen who wanted nothing more than to join in and immerse himself in the roots of American music. When he was 16 or 17, the drinking age in Michigan was 21. Gillespie was six feet tall and wore a sport coat, shades and a skinny moustache that he drew on his top lip with ink. Terry would sneak in to the bars where jazz and blues music was being played – and ultimately where Gillespie would cut his teeth as a blues and roots musician in his own right.  It was in these bars and clubs that Terry began to hone his craft by snapping up opportunities to play with legends including Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker.

1968 brought young Gillespie to Canada. Gillespie formed Heaven’s Radio – who were widely considered the best band to come out of Ottawa in the '70s. Their highly acclaimed albums of the early 80s, 'Active' and 'Uptown Babies', were re-released as a box set in May 2007.  Holger Petersen, President of Stony Plain Records and host of CBC’s long running Saturday Night Blues calls Heaven's Radio, "A highly under-rated band of that era."

From the very beginning of Gillespie’s foray in to the music industry he was never interested in being a pop star. He just wanted to play music.  His goal was to get inside the music he loved, to learn the notes and nuances of the songs. Gillespie wanted to be able to deconstruct the complexities of jazz, blues and African music in order to bring it to people and allow the listener to also get inside the music and be lost among each note, each phrase, each groove and each lyric. 

Fast forward more than 20 years and find Terry Gillespie as he is now. Some will call him seasoned, some may call him a veteran and others will call him a survivor – a survivor of the excesses of the music industry.  A survivor indeed – though Gillespie does not dwell on the past. He takes life’s lessons, trials, and triumphs and uses them to create his music. His musical influences are diverse - drawing from his love of reggae, African music, jazz, and of course, blues.

Terry Gillespie has been called a musical Shaman, Canada's King of Roots Music and Mr. Groove for good reason - his live performances are fascinating, entertaining and captivating in a way that allows the audience to pay attention and not be distracted from the music by egotistical showmanship and maniacal guitar playing. He is both charismatic and soulful. His guitar is tasteful, his vocals beautifully phrased and he is backed by an energy of sound that pulls people off their chairs and onto the dance floor. Those in attendance at Terry Gillespie shows are part of the show, with each audience member an integral part of the band; they too become one with the music.

Terry Gillespie regularly performs throughout Canada and The States. Twice he has performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in recent years; he has recorded two CDs (Big Money (2009) and Brother of The Blues (2006)) and has produced music for others. In early 2012 Terry Gillespie represented the Ottawa Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN where they were well received by new fans from across the globe.

"Terry Gillespie is one of the most sincerely talented musicians in Canada. He's a bluesman to the core, but not in the traditional sense for he has range and influences that take it to a whole new level. His blues is the truth and it comes through with every word and melody he wraps his soulful voice around. This is real."
- Sue Foley 



Frequently seen on stage with Terry

Lyndell Montgomery aka Captain Dirt - Bass

bass_hiresweb.jpgLyndell Montgomery, aka: Captain Dirt, BASS is a multi-instrumentalist touring machine. She’s toured and recorded with countless artists around the globe from India to Australia to Northern BC! She’s also a co-author of the acclaimed book Boys Like Her, Transfictions. Aside from music, writing and live performance, it is gardening and sustainable living practices that consume her.

Lyndell has recently embarked on a solo side project that is turning heads of festival directors, fans and musicians alike. As Ember Swift’s collaborative partner for the past 13yrs, fans and industry have been wondering if she will ever bust out and do her own thing. The answer is yes and that time is now!

In addition to doing her own thing Lyndell joined The Terry Gillespie band in May 2011.

Wayne Stoute - Drums, Percussion


WAYNE STOUTE ..... Trinidad/ New York/ Quebec. Drummer-percussionist: Studied at Drummer's Collective in New York and Concordia University Montreal. Specializes in light percussion, world and Caribbean music. WAYNE STOUTE comes from Trinidad, which is the most southerly island in the Caribbean. “The land of steel band and calypso”, it is situated a mere eleven miles off the coast of Venezuela, South America. Because of the cultural pot-pouri of this former British colony, WAYNE grew up listening to the British Top of the Pops, American top 40, rhythm & blues, the Bollywood hit songs, rocksteady and reggae from Jamaica, the music of Venezuela, Brazil and without a doubt, steel band and calypso music. He moved to Brooklyn in his late teens where he met Ross and Andre Whiteman and joined their band. The trio moved to Montreal, Canada and eventually evolved into, "JAB JAB". Wayne plays in Jabjab, with Lorraine Klaasen and Terry Gillespie.

Peter Measroch - Keyboards

peter.jpgOriginally a theatre and studio musician in his native South Africa, Peter has been on the road in both Europe and North America with artists such as rocker Leo Sayer, bluesman Luther Allison and guerilla theatre group; The Friends Roadshow. In the mid-70's, Peter moved to Montreal, accompanying French artists Jean-Pierre Ferland and Edith Butler and working as a session player on the local scene. He is now to be found mostly at his home studio and publishing company Electric Desert, writing music for film and television. He continues to play live with Terry Gillespie and the Granary Band.





Jody Golick - Sax

n606889071_6439.jpgJody has been blowing saxophones for over 35 years. He played with Terry Heaven’s Radio in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Since then he has travelled the world studying, teaching, performing, composing and recording. Over the years he has played with such diverse artists as Toumani Diabate, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Otis Rush and Penny Lang. When he’s not playing with Terry and the Granary Band he is a regular member of the Stephen Barry Band.







Corky Kealey - Drums


Vince Halfhide - Guitar

vince.jpgOver the last four decades, guitarist Vince Halfhide has performed and recorded in a variety of genres (blues, R&B, reggae, country, folk, jazz, African . . . ) with acts such as Heaven’s Radio, Bill Stevenson, Sneezy Waters, Andrea and the Fun Guys, the Jivewires, Larry “the Bird” Mootham, the Toasted Westerns, Missy Burgess and the Mighty Popo. Vince's musical vocabulary is eclectic but cohesive, his playing both grounded in "roots" idioms and open to improvisation in the spirit of the moment. This approach can be heard in all his work, from his early days in Heaven's Radio to his recent work with Missy Burgess, the Mighty Popo and Terry Gillespie. Selected Discography: Mighty Popo: Muhazi, Ngagara, Dunia Yote, Tamba Missy Burgess: Lemon Pie, Pour Me A Song Vince Halfhide and Larry “The Bird” Mootham: Kitchen Music The Jivewires: Jive-O-Matic, Aw Shaddup The Toasted Westerns: Out To Lunch Andrea And The Fun Guys: We’ve Got Something Good Sneezy Waters: You’ve Got Sawdust On The Floor Of Your Heart Heaven’s Radio: Rendezvous, Uptown Babies, Radio Active

Trevor Brewster - Guitar

2009_01_31_22_40_17_resized.jpgTrevor Brewster, born in Barbados, was exposed to spiritual music at a very young age and learnt to play guitar at his father’s feet. Trevor is comfortable in a vast array of musical styles; Soul, Blues, Hip Hop Combo, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Funk and Rock. He has been leader and member of a number of touring musical bands, Citric Acid in Barbados, Black Spirit, W.I. Connection, Tribal Funk, Ragamuffin Reggae Band, Star Child and Stone Soul Picnik. and has toured across Canada with reggae Juno-award winner, Lazo John-Finn. Terry and Trevor play together every chance they get and have for over 10 years.






Vitas Paukstaitis - Bass

Man of Mystery and bass player extraordinaire!

Stephen Barry - Bass

In more than thirty years on the Montreal and Quebec blues scene, Stephen has received many honours. He collected the the Lys Blues Hommage Award for 2004. In 2002 he was awarded Toronto Blues Society's "Bass Player of the Year" award; and with the Stephen Barry Band he picked up Album of the Year and Blues Group of the Year from Jazz Report Magazine, following the release of his top selling CD, Happy Man. But for a lifelong blues enthusiast like Stephen, who's Blues Anthology show traces the evolution of the usic over half a century, few honours could have matched the hours he has spent on stage with the legends. He has played with Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Big Mama Thornton, Pine Top Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, John Lee Hooker, Johnny "Big Moose" Walker, and RnB Hall of Famer (Capt'n) Vann " the Piano Man" Walls.

Cool stuff about Terry

I am Terry Gillespie
I’m a crazy guy
I was born in 1947
I am an Aries
I did all my drinking in the first 45 years of my life
I started out in orchestra
I play the blues
I dig reggae and African music
I like jazz music
I like my music funky
I play guitar, trumpet and mouth harp
I am a one-on-one kinda guy
I have 2 sons and I granddaughter
I have 2 Jaguar cars (not exactly running at the moment)
I use to own a Norton motorcycle and want another one
I was born in Edmonton, Canada
I grew up in England
I finished off in The States
I live 3 km from Vankleek Hill Ontario (pop 1800)
I like solitude
I like coffee
I like cigars
I like to read
I like CNN
I like dancing girls
I AM Music and I AM Dance

Dig-ya-later, Terry