Shakespeare Pub presents Sonny Boy Terry.
As the years go on and his resume deepens, Houston, Texas bluesman Sonny Boy Terry is now being recognized as one of Texas' – if not one of America's – top harmonica players and devoted blues recording artists. But Terry wasn't always Sonny Boy and it didn't happen the way many would imagine.
Born Terry Jerome in the unlikely place of Van Wert in northwest Ohio on the state line near Fort Wayne, Indiana, he picked up a harmonica as a teenager in the 1970s , mostly, he says, "because I wanted to jam with my friends, who played guitars". "I didn't know anything technically about music. I was just a huge music lover," he claims, "I didn't even know you needed more than one key of harmonica".
But that didn't last long. Terry realized he may actually have a knack for the instrument. He practiced day and night, driving all his friends crazy. Childhood friend and guitarist Mike Sowers mentored Terry on music basics. He taught Terry about playing in different keys and how to learn rock songs the right way. In 1981, after winter broke, a friend in Houston had a job for him, so Terry hit the road in a '66 Chevy Impala SS, his album collection and blues harps never looking back. Little did he know what was in front of him. Arriving in Houston, Terry instantly began checking out the blues scene. And oh what a scene it was! Terry thought God dropped here in Texas for a reason – for a chance at having a life doing what he truly loved. Right in the middle of a roots and blues boom in the early 1980s, Terry could see any band he wanted on tour while checking a vibrant local scene.
Each experience Terry has had as a musician has always lef to a richer, more rewarding one. Now, an established session musician, solo recording artist, and an artist who has deep tied to Houston's rich blues history, Sonny Boy Terry is pushing his career to another level.