Chicago music icon TERRY CALLIER (who died in 2012) only found real success late in his career. Terry was a childhood friend of people like  Curtis Mayfield and Major Lance, and so music was always going to be his career. His ambition and home-spun sound found him a deal with Prestige and despite a critically acclaimed album his  folksy take on the soul genre never quite caught the public’s attention.

Terry then teamed up with Jerry Butler at his Chicago Writers’ Workshop and he soon had his songs taken up by artists like the Dells. This led to an artists contract with Chess and the fruits were a trio of acclaimed but (again) commercially unsuccessful LPs. The singer/songwriter then moved over to Elektra but the major leagues still refused to beckon. Disillusionment  and family issues meant Terry retired from music in 1983 a to begin a career in computer programming!

However in the late 1980s Callier was “discovered” by hip British DJs ever searching for elusive oldies to play out to their demanding, savvy congregations. Acid Jazz reissued some of his early recordings and with regular visits to Europe the self-effacing computer programmer became a cult music icon.

In 2008 Terry wowed audiences at Massive Attack’s Meltdown Festival and the trio quickly took him to the studios to record an album… ‘Hidden Conversations’. The album was released  to wide acclaim in 2009 but it’s  never been out on vinyl … till now. To coincide with Record Store Day (April 23rd) Mr Bongo Records will be reissuing ‘Hidden Conversations’ on 180g black vinyl with new cover art work and design by Mr Krum.

If you  don’t know the album, it’s a concise ten tracker produced sympathetically by Robert Del Naja. The soundscape is haunting  with highlights numbering the autobiographical ‘John Lee Hooker’ and ‘The Hood I Left Behind’ . The music is never less than emotive and  though it’s a little  different to things like ‘You Don’t Care’ , ‘Keep Your Heart Right’ and ‘Ordinary Joe’, it’s still, for sure, ‘The “Soulful” Folk Sound Of Terry Callier’ .