Terri Hendrix’s spirited performance at Sam’s Burger Joint last June made San Antonio Express News writer Jim Beal’s list of the Alamo City’s best musical memories for 2012.
Here’s Beal’s blurb on the show, which featured Terri’s full band along with opener Adam Carroll:
The Terri Hendrix Experiment, Adam Carroll: Native daughter Hendrix, a singing songwriter with an international following, is known for crafting lovely, gemlike folk/rock/Americana/etc. songs aided and abetted by stringed instrument wizard/producer Lloyd Maines. At Sam’s Burger Joint June 15, Hendrix, Maines, bass ace Glenn Fukunaga and drummer John Silva delivered a rousing show that kicked folk and Americana into overdrive. Hendrix even danced with audience members.
Jim Beal Jr. of the San Antonio Express News catches up with Terri Hendrix to find out the latest projects she’s been working at Wilory Records Headquarters in San Marcos, Texas — including the release of “The Art of Removing Wallpaper 2012″ (a remixed and remastered edition of her 2004 album) and her plans to launch her OYOU (“Own Your Own Universe”) community arts center.
Terri Hendrix remembers exactly when she became a bona-fide independent artist and the honcho of her own record label.
“It was June 1996 at Gruene Hall,” Hendrix said. “I had a crew lined up at the old wooden tables stuffing artwork into jewel boxes. I had no assets at the time, but I did have my ‘Two Dollar Shoes’ CD.”
Since ’96, that volunteer assembly line has evolved into Hendrix’s Wilory Records and a career that has kept the San Antonio-born, San Marcos-based singer-songwriter busy working festivals, nightclubs, listening rooms and house concerts. Hendrix has moved from playing open-mike sessions, songwriters’ gatherings and restaurants in San Antonio and New Braunfels to venues such as the Kerrville Folk Festival and historic theaters. Remaining fiercely independent has its pluses and minuses.
“Doing it yourself is valuable,” she said. “No matter what the industry does, you don’t have to wait around to get things done. You can proceed with no corsets or seat belts on your soul.
“You also have total control of your finances. Five years from now, no one is going to say I didn’t pay royalties for songs I covered, because I’m paying them right now. No one charges drinks and rooms to me during South By Southwest. I can make choices, including not having a publicist or a radio promo person.”
But there is a downside.
“I recently read a great quote from Terry Allen (the West Texas-bred visual artist, songwriter and singer). He said if he’s not producing art he’s waiting for the inspiration to come. For me, sometimes when the inspiration comes, I’m on the computer calculating royalties or thinking about the next wave of music distribution, such as download cards. It’s taken a toll on my art, but if I had gone with a record label, I wouldn’t have my house.”
Since ’96, Hendrix has released a string of Wilory Records discs – studio albums, live albums, a disc for kids, a Christmas CD, authorized bootleg CDs, compilations and collections just for fans. In 2010, Hendrix released the “Cry Till You Laugh” CD and a book, “Cry Till You Laugh – The Part That Ain’t Art.” The book and Hendrix have been introduced into the world of higher education via professors at Schreiner University in Kerrville and Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La.
This month Hendrix reissued a new edition of her ’04 CD “The Art of Removing Wallpaper.” Hendrix and her performing/producing partner Lloyd Maines (her not-so-secret weapon) remixed “Art” tracks. Hendrix also tweaked some lyrics and re-tracked some vocals. The result is “The Art of Removing Wallpaper 2012.”
Maines is a perfectionist. Hendrix is no slouch when it comes to being particular about her art and her business. When “The Art of Removing Wallpaper” was recorded in ’03, Hendrix was not at her peak. She’s epileptic. The sessions came at a particularly bad time for her.
“I was on medication for my seizures,” she said. “I was overmedicated and had flulike symptoms constantly. I was singing too hard, I developed vocal nodes, and I was never satisfied with my vocals. I was proud of the songs, but there were some, such as ‘Judgment Day,’ where I wanted to redo some lyrics. I felt like this record was the result of me not being in the driver’s seat because I didn’t have my wits about me.”
While Hendrix is open about her epilepsy and is feeling good these days, all is not exactly smooth sailing.
“There’s definitely still a stigma about it,” she said. “At a show in New Mexico, a sound man told the light guy, ‘Don’t flick that light or Terri will flop all over the stage.’ I tell kids with epilepsy, ‘You have to own up to the problem, and you can’t drive, but you can still have a life.’ I want to work so the stupidity will decline and empathy – not sympathy, empathy – will rise.”
To that end, Hendrix has been working to establish a community art center in San Marcos, OYOU (Own Your Own Universe, named for a line from Hendrix’s song “Wallet”). The mission of OYOU is “to develop and implement educational and therapeutic programs related to enhance spiritual growth and expression effectively and creatively in all media.”
“OYOU is well in motion,” she said. “For me, it all started in 1989. I would get so angry when I had an episode. If there had been some kind of support system, it would have helped.
“Now I’m trying to hook people up with other people who have the same condition, whatever it is, so the two can start talking to form a support group. With the center, I want to use music as a way to break down barriers. There’s an organization called Guitars Not Guns that helps prevent violence by getting kids into music. OYOU will be 100 percent handicap accessible. It will be small: capacity about 100 people.
“There’s such a beautiful thing that goes on with music when you have good intentions.”
HoustonMusicReview.com published a glowing review of Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines’ recent performance for the Almost Austin concert series in Pasadena, Texas. “Terri writes lyrics from the heart and delivers them in a style that blends folk, country, blues and jazz with a vocal range rare in the Americana genre,” notes writer James Killen. “Oh, and she plays a mean harmonica, as well.”
Here’s the full review and a link to the site …
By James Killen
Sept. 7, 2012
I’ll start this off by admitting to be a dyed-in-the-wool Terri and Lloyd fan, having spent a good part of the last decade positioning myself in front of their festival stages and getting out to the cozy venues that they frequent. Their appearance at Almost Austin had been one that I had been looking forward to for some time, because nothing is cozier than a house concert. Additionally, this show was special because we were celebrating Almost Austin host, Kenny Pipes’, birthday of 9/6 and, more personally, my lovely wife, Barbara’s, birthday of 9/7. The show had been sold out for a month and every chair was filled with anticipation.
For those that are not familiar with Terri and Lloyd, Lloyd Maines has been playing around Texas since the 1970’s and is proficient on the guitar, pedal steel, dobro, mandolin and banjo. Over the last couple of decades he has been one of the most sought after music producers on the Texas music scene. With all of the opportunities open to him, he chooses to spend a great deal of his time touring with the ultra-talented singer-songwriter, Terri Hendrix. Terri writes lyrics from the heart and delivers them in a style that blends folk, country, blues and jazz with a vocal range rare in the Americana genre. Oh, and she plays a mean harmonica, as well.
The duo began the evening getting their stage bearings with “Life’s a Song”, before doing the first of two Woody Guthrie tunes of the evening, “Pastures of Plenty”. Up third, was one of my personal favorites, “Wallet”, with that contradictory phrase, “…I’ve got a need to be wanted and a need to be free…” and featuring Lloyd stretching out a bit on some great mandolin work.
Throughout the evening the songs were separated by Terri’s stories and Lloyd’s jokes. At this point, Terri shared that when she got her first (of fourteen) disc of songs together she sent it out to three record companies and got rejection letters from all three, so she decided to self-publish. Today, she says that those three companies are out of business and she is still here. That’s a tribute to her indomitable spirit and energy.
The show continued with Guthrie’s “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key” and “The Spiritual Kind” Which Terri turned into a sing-a-long accompanied by some of Lloyds dobro musical acrobatics. Terri showed off her blues voice with the title song from her first disc, “Two Dollar Shoes” and the more sentimental “Hand-Me-Down Blues” and the wishful “Einstein’s Brain”.
After Lloyd joked about Terri only keeping him around for his AARP discounts on the road, he tried to introduce the next song as “Mean People Suck”. Terri corrected him with the introduction of “I Found the Lions”, which some of you might recognize from Carolyn Wonderland’s cover of the tune on her disc, “Miss Understood”. Lloyd really stretched the strings for the solo on this version, slowing it down into a “raga”, which is the chord that dominates Middle Eastern music. Lloyd joked that in some places around the South, anything remotely Arabic makes some listeners a little uneasy, but if it’s followed by a few notes of “Dueling Banjos”, the crowd can be retrieved.
To play out the first set, Lloyd and Terri began the first lines of “Bottom of the Hill”, but after a couple of stanzas, Terri began to improvise lyrics (a talent that amazes me), turning the song into a custom birthday wish for Kenny and Barbara. They both were beaming at having been so honored.
Normally, I wouldn’t say much about an intermission, but Terri Hendrix is so warm and attentive to her fans as they peruse the merchandise; she makes everyone feel like an appreciated customer and friend.
After intermission, Terri introduced “The Dana Blues”, which featured some animated dobro licks that Terri matched note for note with her jazz styled voice. She stuck with the old time jazz vocals, showing off her range on “Sometimes”, and a low down Dixieland voice on “My Feet’s Too Big”, after which Terri pulled on every heartstring in the room with, “If I Had a Daughter”. Following a demonstration of the Oklahoma bagpipes (patent pending) to lighten the mood, Terri and Lloyd pulled off an intense rendition of “Old Joe Clark”.
They continued the evening with a tribute to quiet courage in “Walkin’ on the Moon”, followed by the natural sing-a-long “Hole in my Pocket”. The second set ended up with the fluid lyrics of “Wind Me Up” flowing into a special Texas edition of “Dead Armadillo”. Lloyd and Terri stepped away from the mikes and turned down the amps for the encore, “This is my Prayer for You”, making the song sound all that more personal to the listeners in the room.
Having the opportunity to see these two great talents in this small venue was a great experience. While both artists still exhibited their high energy and honed skills, there was a laid back feel to the evening that I hadn’t experienced at any of their other shows. Kenny Pipes ended the evening with a promise to bring them back soon. That is a promise that he will be held to, the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.
Terri Hendrix’s Saturday evening (July 14) set at this year’s Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Okla., is featured in this review of the festival by Arkansas’ The City Wire.
“Terri Hendrix, accompanied by Lloyd Maines kicked off the Saturday evening performances and covered a wide range of tunes. One of Hendrix’s contemporary contributions to folk causes was the song ‘Monopoly.’ The song begins: Supersize my fries/bring back two apple pies/on your way out/turn on the radio/goodbye originality/say hello to conformity/in the name of change/we’re at an all time low.” It ends with ‘Hey FCC don’t you turn your back on me!'” — Daniel Maher, The City Wire
You can read the full review here:
In a recent edition of her “Answers to Go” column in the San Marcos Daily Record, Susan Smith of the San Marcos Public Library assured a curious reader/library visitor that yes, Terri Hendrix is still a “San Martian.” The San Antonio-born singer-songwriter, who just last week performed in front of an estimated 1,300 music fans as part of the city’s Summer in the Park concert series, has called San Marcos home since 1989. In fact, she is currently working towards launching a San Marcos-based non-profit arts center called the OYOU (“Own Your Own Universe”), which you can read more about here: www.ownyourownuniverse.org.
Here’s the “Answers to Go” column on the Terri:
— Each week hundreds of people call or visit the San Marcos Public Library to find information. “Answers•To•Go” highlights recently received questions. Please visit the library at 625 East Hopkins, call 393-8200 for information over the phone, or e-mail us through our web-page at www.ci.san-marcos.tx.us/library.htm.
Q. Terri Hendrix is one of my favorite Texas singer/songwriters. I know that she had a San Marcos connection at one time. Do you know where she lives now?
A. Hendrix still lives in the San Marcos area. In fact, she promoted her 2005 children’s album, “Celebrate the Difference,” with a free concert at our library. She also sang at our Texas Author Day celebration last fall. I hope you caught her at last week’s Summer in the Park concert.
Hendrix was born in San Antonio. She started college at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene and then transferred to Southwest Texas State University. She is based in San Marcos and operates her Wilory Record business here.
Here are some quotes from the biography on her webpage: “Hendrix is a veritable pioneer in the running-your-own-label revolution sweeping the music industries… She is one of very few artists who can lay claim to having always owned all of her master recordings…
“A classically trained vocalist and deft multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, and harmonica), Hendrix dodges musical pigeonholes by weaving folk, pop, country, blues and swinging jazz into a eclectic style all her own…”
I’d like to recommend her recent book: “Cry Till You Laugh: The Part That Ain’t Art.” The library has several copies.
Her website offers these details: “It’s only fitting that this Texan trailblazer who lives by the motto ‘Own Your Own Universe’… decided to make her first book two books in one.
“It’s part companion piece to the album with which it shares part of its name. Hendrix includes lyrics, photos, and essays linked to new songs as well as several others from throughout her career.
“It’s also part how-to guide for going your own way in the music business; that’s the section she calls “The Part That Ain’t Art.”