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Guitarist Garland brings blues touch to broad selection

Edge of the Valley
Edge of the Valley
By Terry Garland

First Warning Records; 1992

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This review first appeared in the Spring 1993 edition of Blues Revue Quarterly magazine (now Blues Revue).

Terry Garland has a basic, straight-ahead approach to the blues, as evidenced on "Edge of the Valley."

Playing mostly National steel and other acoustic guitars, Garland runs through a mixed set of bluesy originals, traditional blues numbers (Jimmy Reed's "It's a Sin," "Love in Vain" by Robert Johnson), and blues-tinged covers of some pretty interesting songs you might not expect to find here (John Hiatt's "Mercy," Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands").

Garland's talent and taste are such that every cut works with his minimalist approach.

His guitar picking is top-notch; he brings both blues and country-western influences to his playing, and combines them with an imaginative sense of improvisation for a unique musical voice.

Jon Dee Graham's backing and co-lead guitar pushes Garland to his best, as does Danny Barnes' mandolin and banjo. And George Raines, who's only played behind everyone from Tracy Nelson to Robert Ward to Lou Ann Barton, is as solid and swinging as ever on drums.