‘Mind Blow’ is the opening track on ‘Terryfirma’, the new album from Birmingham Alabama native, Wes McDonald. It’s released under McDonald’s performance name, Terry Ohms. The track is set for release on January 16.
With a stage name like Ohms, one would expect the music to be full-blown electronic. But it’s quite the opposite. McDonald moved to Athens, Georgia, in the late 1990s, and this is where his musical journey began. He released his debut album, ‘Alarm Clock Recordings’, in 2000. McDonald joined forces with fellow musicians Jeff Buckley (not to be confused with the ‘Hallelujah’ singer), and Mark Evces, both from Tuscaloosa, and Andrew “The Fiddlin’ Heatwave” Heaton, from South Carolina. The group named themselves “The Ohms” to reflect their divergent musical roots, and performed in many venues around Athens, as well as the South East of the US. They released two albums, ‘Electrical Reistance’, and ‘If You Don’t Think I Love You’, both of which were alt-country in flavour, with an electric guitar twist.
McDonald continued to release albums under his own name, including ‘Chandelier’, in 2001, and ‘Cutting Up Rocks’ the following year. 2002 marked the end of The Ohms, and McDonald returned to Birmingham, where he grouped together with local musical friends, including Matthew Jackson, Drew Davis and Jake Waitzman. They formed The Wes McDonald Plan, and fell headfirst into the Birmingham music scene.
“Terry Ohms” emerged as part of McDonald’s continuing solo work. Releasing ‘Terry Ohms Plays Wes McDonald’ in 2006, it’s as though the pair are two separate entities. A glutton for punishment, he moved on to form yet another band, Vulture Whale, all the while releasing solo work under his own name, before finally giving way to Terry.
McDonald recorded the album in his basement, and plays all the instruments, created all the artwork, and handled the visual duties for the videos which go with it. He spent a lot of time in a creative bubble, as it were, trying to get the sound just right. At nearly 5 and a half minutes long, there’s plenty of room for all his musical influences to come to the forefront. At first we’re struck by how much it reminds us of early Fleetwood Mac (the rhythm guitar, drums, and sometimes mystical sounding lyrics – references to “a real unicorn” among them – and the general trippiness of it (not to mention the length of the track itself) are just some of the reasons for this feeling. Other inspirations such as The Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, and Hüsker Dü are less obvoius but still there in the extended guitar solos and experimental vibe of the track.
‘Terryfirma’ is set for release on January 19 from Terry Ohms’ bandcamp page. You can find out more about Ohms online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, and YouTube, as well as his official website.