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Sax Appeal

Terry Hanck kicks brass.

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After years of touring with the Elvin Bishop Band, Terry Hanck may be known best for his hard-charging approach to blowing the tenor sax in a dynamic R&B style, but his secret weapon is his singing voice.

He'll visit Tucson to sing and play saxophone with his San Francisco-based band on Thursday, May 15, at the Boondocks Lounge.

Hanck proves his versatility as a singer on 2002's I Keep On Keepin' On, his second album as a bandleader. Adept at everything from jump blues to Stax-Volt-style soul, from New Orleans funk to Chicago blues, Hanck can essay Willie Dixon's playful proto-rock growl, Louis Prima's energetic shout or the classic soul-blues bark of Big Joe Turner or Wynonie Harris.

Born in Chicago, Hanck fell under the swoon of the blues, soul and jazz in the 1950s and early '60s before heading out to San Francisco in 1967, at the height of Flower Power. Apparently, he eschewed the love beads and incense for the siren's call of 12-bar blues in a smoky nightclub. In the Bay Area, Hanck hooked up with Bishop and spent most of the 1970s and '80s in his band.

Horn men such as Lester Young, Lockjaw Davis, King Curtis and Big Jay McNeely influenced Hanck's style on the tenor, a style more suited for juke joints and roadhouses than the concert hall.

Hanck's music is the sound of rock 'n' roll when it had as genetic connection with the blues and R&B as it did with folk and country, a sound of the 20th century when it was barely middle-aged, a time when this country was a touch more innocent but just as rowdy and raucous.

With authentic American roots rock often more popular overseas than it is on these shores, Hanck and his outfit have been honing their chops with incessant touring and appearances at festivals all over Europe. Back in the United States, they can't stay off the road.

When Hanck hits Tucson, his back-up band will include guitarist Chris "Kid" Anderson, bassist Michael "Fly" Brooks and drummer Butch Cousins.

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