Shifting Gears CD Review
Terry Quiett never gives anything less than his best but as he demonstrates on Shifting Gears, his best keeps getting better. As Quiett's already proven on previous outings such as Paperdoll Spokesman and JoyRide, he is a unique emerging voice in the realm of singer-songwriters but Shifting Gears suggests that we may soon remove "emerging' from that equation. It's on this record that we see the full range of his abilities and interests, whether the finely crafted but nevertheless rowdy title cut, the Mellencamp-on-Stones stomp of "You Just Might," or the Paul Westerberg-inflected "Marie."
There are times on this 15-song long player when you're reminded of past masters such as Curtis Mayfield (the longtime Quiett favorite "Long Saturday Night" and "This Train I'm On," which echoes Mayfield's "People Get Ready") and guitar master Michael Hedges ("All I Need"). And while those may be useful reference points for those not yet acquainted with Quiett's work, it won't take long for you to stop searching making such comparisons and get down to enjoying Quiett's own voice. And while Quiett can break your heart with sincere and insightful ballads, here he proves that he's got a rock jones that needs some fulfilling ("I Found My Thrills," "Everything"), suggesting that he's hard to pigeonhole as a typical singer-songwriter.
It probably helps that he's ably backed by Guinn Walker (guitars/vocals), bassist Randy Wilson and drummer Rodney Baker, as great and consistent a band as anyone could hope for and one that it's indispensable to Quiett's unique vision. (Shifting Gears is an enhanced CD, featuring several bonus goodies, including a video for "Fast Track," directed by Lonny Quattlebaum.)
By Jedd Beaudoin
Originally published December 2, 2004
TERRY QUIETT BAND BIO
Terry Quiett's music history stretches from performing solo acoustic shows (from Denver to Louisville) all the way to composing symphonic music for orchestra. After all that experimenting, it seems he's finally found his niche by returning to the pop melodies of his youth.
In the summer of 2002, tired of the lonely singer-songwriter circuit, Terry decided to put a band together - something to more closely resemble the sound of his two solo releases (recorded with local uber-talent GOODING). He wanted to combine what he'd learned about songwriting with the energy and fun of band interaction. He called on long-time friend Rodney Baker to join on drums. It wasn't long before Guinn Walker added his incredible ear for vocal harmony to the group, really taking it up a notch. It wasn't until February of 2003 that he found a permanent bass player in Randy Wilson - with the added bonus of yet another layer of harmony.
The band performed locally and regionally at clubs and festivals gaining momentum all the way. They finally decided they'd tightened the screws enough and hit Greenjeans Studios to record their first CD as a group. The results include 15 upbeat, fun, singalong songs on the Shifting Gears album.
Things have been falling into place ever since. The music video (included on the multimedia CD) was shown before every feature at the Warren Old Town Cinema in Wichita - creating great buzz about the band. Several songs from the album were included in the local film "5 Conversations" as well. Their CD release concert at Meyer Hall was also filmed and recorded for a live DVD/CD release due in fall 2005.