Terry White has been entertaining audiences for decades, but it feels like this master of music is just getting started, performing on the Veltway and beyond with local band favorites: the YellowHammers, Cannonball, and the Zimmermen. White's monthly solo gig at the Friendly Tap (every third Thursday, so mark your calendars accordingly!) is a treat for musicians and listeners alike, and once again, we can hear Terry White (taking the stage with Andon Davis and Chris Neville - June 4 @ 11pm) at the 2016 Friendly Folk Fest. You don't want to miss this! (Check out his website!)
How did you get started in music?
I got started in music listening to my dad play piano and sing songs in the basement of our house in southeast Oak Park. Then I heard the Beatles when I was five, and that seemed like a good way to spend time. Loved the music and seemed like a good way to meet girls.
Who were your influences?
Influences were really a handful of records my dad, brothers and sisters had. My dad liked Hank Williams, and I fell for that right away. My older brothers both were into Dylan, and by the time I was 8, I was pleasantly baffled by "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again." I felt like his tone of voice was his way of sharing something important, but I couldn't understand. Still don't. My sister Maureen had Hot Rocks by the Stones and my sister Michaeleen got Elvis Presley's greatest hits from a TV commercial compilation. I listened to that double LP over and over. Hank, Beatles, Dylan, Stones, Elvis. Same as everybody else I guess.
How do you describe your style?
Sloppy singer songwriter
What is your favorite part of performing?
Favorite part of performing used to be about talking to women after shows. Now it's reduced price liquor.
What is something surprising about you?
Something surprising about me is that I was not asked to leave St Ignatius high school and actually graduated. I kept trying to get booted, but the principal wasn't gonna let me off that easy.
Want a taste of Terry's music? Here's a video for "Roosevelt Road" (music and lyrics by Terry White, performed with the band Cannonball).
A Fan's Two Cents: I have to disagree with White's style response. I'm not a musician, but I do appreciate a talented artist who knows how to create a tune worth sharing. I'm not a songwriter, but I do appreciate solid lyrics that create vivid images and make the listener want to sing along. That's how I feel about Terry White's 2012 album, Cannonball Fodder. In "Godmother," the story is sad but sweet as hell (oxymoron intended), "Yourself in History" blows me away with its understated message and beat, and "What's Her Name" has me thinking that Johnny Cash couldn't do a better job. White's music is artful, and art demands more descriptive depth than White's humble reply. Replace "sloppy" with folk-hearted; replace "singer" with crooner; replace "songwriter" with composer. That's it. In my opinion, Terry White's style is that of a folk-hearted crooner and composer. Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment below.