Terri Hendrix – Are You Inexperienced?
At the Kerrville Folk Festival this year, Terri Hendrix looked out at the Texas Hill Country crowd and saw a lot of familiar faces. “I saw ten years worth of people who have been supporting me,” she said. “It was one of those priceless moments. I felt this great connection, and a coming full circle. Some of those people saw me when I used to play shaking and terrified” at open mikes in nearby San Marcos.
Hendrix is a confident musical pro now. She and musical partner Lloyd Maines will do 150-200 shows this year, and she’s building a solid reputation in Texas, the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Northeast, as well as Europe.
Hendrix and Maines still play the occasional smoky bar, but they gravitate toward festivals and coffeehouses where the audiences are more likely to listen than to trip over empty beer bottles. “If my audience is louder than I am, how am I going to connect?” she explains. “We like to draw people in, to play to people and have them leave feeling like we made a connection.”
Onstage, Hendrix brims with energy while the stoic Maines — one of the world’s most accomplished pedal steel players — seems content in the background. While the live shows are mostly high-energy, fun performances interlaced with a few serious moments, her genre-defying fourth album, Places In Between, is a serious collection with a few light moments.
The sound ranges from Appalachian roots to the edge of country to pop to world music to a hint of classical. It all fits, showing why Hendrix, Maines, bassist Glenn Fukunaga and percussionist Paul Pearcy were named best folk band at the Austin Music Awards. (Hendrix also took home best singer-songwriter honors.) Bukka Allen adds accordion and keyboards, Riley Osbourn keyboards, Richard Bowden cello and violin, Danny Barnes banjo, John Mills horns, and George Morgan pennywhistle.
As a singer, Hendrix uses a variety of vocal styles on songs such as the Irish-fashioned “Joy Or Sorrow” to the oft-recorded blues traditional “Motherless Children” to the upbeat “My Own Place” to the ballad “Moon On The Water”. Her personal lyrics and vocals work well with the genre-crossing musical accompaniment, particularly the playing of Maines.
“Lloyd and I have merged musically,” Hendrix said. “Lloyd can play all of his instruments with me, including dobro and guitar. He’s always been known as a steel player, but he masters other instruments, too. And he likes the variety in the music and the creative process we’ve started.”
Maines also contributes years of experience, Hendrix said, while “I bring inexperience to the table, which makes it fresh for him.”