Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Woodward Avenue
July 16, 2021

Currently emerging in the contemporary urban jazz world with his infectious debut single “Free Fall,” Grammy-Award winning producer Shane “Terry-O” Theriot is asserting his identity as an artist with a nickname reflecting the phonetic pronunciation of his oft-mispronounced French surname. The moniker also marks a unique fresh and soulful sonic start in an illustrious career that’s found him playing blistering Louisiana fueled blues/rock on several previous acclaimed albums, touring eight years with his homies The Neville Brothers and serving as Music Director for Daryl Hall’s long-running internet and TV series Live from Daryl’s House.

After years of serving the music of legends, Terry-O is focusing for the first time on the magic of the acoustic nylon string guitar – which, he says, has “a more naked and raw sound…a darkness in the tone that creates a classic mellow sound.” When you listen to Terry-O’s crisp and precise, yet balmy and breezy approach throughout “Free Fall,” you’ll understand why the track’s producer, Paul Brown, encouraged him to record it based on his distinctive tone.

For purposes of comparisons for those new to the Terry-O experience, his vibe is along the lines of those of other genre greats focusing on the acoustic, Peter White and Marc Antoine. Yet Terry-O’s got his own cool, confident and strutting personality, snapping and sparkling through a powerfully expressive melody and creating a timeless conversation and duality (on the instantly hummable chorus) with guest saxophonist, Najee, over a buoyant clapping light funk groove. After the second chorus, Terry-O and Najee treated us to multiple bars of back-and-forth sax and guitar soloing that further develop their sizzling rapport.

Many of Brown’s #1 hit recording for other artists feature a regular rhythm section crew – but Terry-O is the complete package, impressively playing all the other musical parts here, including electric guitars, bass and keyboards, and doing the drum programming and arranging. Terry-O says that one of the deciding factors leading him to record “Free Fall” after a lengthy career on a totally different axe was the fact that guitar legend Slash scored an enduring instrumental hit with the flamenco oriented “Obsession Confession” shortly after his heyday stint with Guns N’ Roses. “Free Fall” has that same cross generational potential, and hopefully its success will inspire Terry-O to dig into his catalog of compositions and keep the momentum going. – Jonathan Widran

“The nylon string is a very expressive guitar, and recording ‘Free Fall’ was an opportunity to use that to express myself in a different, more pop-oriented way,” says Terry-O. “In a technical sense, the strings are more responsive to vibrato and touch, with a more naked and raw sound. The string itself vibrates in a different way, and there’s a darkness in the tone that creates a classic mellow sound that people love. The lack of sustain may seem like a limitation but it’s actually a strength which forces you to express yourself in a very different way from the electric guitar. I presented it to Paul as a fully produced demo with me playing the melody on top. It was his great idea to add Najee to it.” - Shane 'Terry-O" Theriot

Shane “Terry-O” Theriot - Nylon String and Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Drums and Percussion
Najee – Tenor Saxophone