I will admit that I know almost nothing about Terry Reid. His name is one of which I’ve only had some vague awareness the past few years, usually in the trivia context of being “that guy that was almost in Led Zeppelin.” I will say now that I was wrong not to investigate further.
In a special single release on April 1st (no, really), Terry Reid + The Jigsaw Seen Live will be released by PQF Music/Vibro-phonic. This limited release (only 500 CDs will be available with a UK-only 10-inch vinyl release later this year) features two tracks recorded in 1997 at Luna Park in West Hollywood. Legendary British musician Terry Reid is joined by Jonathan Lea and Dennis Davison of LA indie band the Jigsaw Seen, whose work we have featured previously on REBEAT.
The first track is a cover of Donovan’s “Young Girl Blues,” sounding nothing like blues as you may know it, but still carrying the spirit of the title. Unlike Donovan’s rendition, which plays very matter-of-fact in his narration and has a much more obvious folk feel, Reid adds an element of sincerity and pain. It just sounds more genuine on an emotional level. The second track features two Reid compositions from his 1969 album “Move Over for Terry Reid.” “Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace/May Fly” is the epitome of soulful music. The listener is bound to be uplifted by its cheery tempo and wanderlust cadence. You just feel free.
On both tracks, Reid’s vocals are superb, a sublime mixture of pure rock grittiness with a gentle folk passion. The song benefits from being completely guitar-driven. There is extreme beauty in the complimenting guitarwork of Lea and Davison, reminiscent of their own sound, but also emulating other acoustic-only songs. For instance, the guitar on “Young Girl Blues” had a certain “Working Class Hero” vibe, adding brilliantly to the sense of melancholy. These talented gentlemen working together have produced a truly memorable performance. And if, like me, you have never listened to Reid before, this recording certainly makes you understand why he was asked by Jimmy Page to join Led Zeppelin and why he has such an impressive repertoire to his name. He has toured with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac and has collaborated with artists ranging in genre and time from Marianne Faithfull to the Raconteurs.
If you haven’t been convinced yet to check out this topnotch upcoming single, you may be swayed by the knowledge that all proceeds from the purchase of the CD will go directly to the Pete Quaife Foundation, benefiting children on dialysis. The organization was set up in memory of the late Kinks’ bassist, who lived for years with kidney failure. Members of the Jigsaw Seen have close connections to the Kinks, having joined Dave Davies on several tours; Lea and bassist Tom Currier were on stage for the unexpected reunion of Ray and Dave Davies this past December in London.
Terry Reid + The Jigsaw Seen Live is currently available for preorder at the Jigsaw Seen’s Big Cartel store.
Terry Reid is touring the US and UK in April and May respectively. The Jigsaw Seen just played in LA in the past two weeks as well as SXSW this past weekend with more shows to come.
(Cover photo by Michelle Krupkin.)