Screwed on Right

Terri Hendrix is a country crooner with her head in place

a

 

2) Hendrix runs her own record label from home. Hendrix's newly refurbished house also serves as the headquarters for her own recording label, Willory Records, which she started in '96 in response to fans' growing demands for records and merchandise. "My mailing list includes 50,000 people; it's been building for 15 years," she says. When she's not touring, which she does mostly from March to November ("I try to be back in

Texas

before it snows"), she's hard at work on her label.

" I

5) Hendrix adapted an LL Cool J song for her new album . That's right. She manages a pseudo-rap on "I Need Love," which on first listen comes across as somehow wrong , disconcerting as it is. In time, the song becomes something one might want to put on repeat. "The song is really about respecting someone else, and I thought it was so elegant," she says. Hendrix says she knows she's on to something when night after night, city after city, audiences gravitate towards the same song. "The LL Cool J song is definitely one of those songs. One night, a woman came up, she looked like she may have been in her early 80s, and she'd specifically come to buy that song."

Hendrix's widespread appeal leads one to wonder whether she has the clout for a big-time career like Alison Krauss or Diana Krall. In her thoughtful, Southern drawl, Hendrix says that's not something she pines for.

Maines

Like an exotic dancer, Terri Hendrix seeks permission to take it all off. Standing bare-boned before her audiences, her guitar does little to shroud her, much like Venus' strategic seashell does little to mask her magnificence. Actually, we're not talking about the literal shedding of clothes. Hendrix just wants to cut the crapola, and quick. She wants to strip it overhead like a post-workout sports bra and sling it into a corner.

At a relatively young age, Hendrix has already gotten a lot of the important things figured out, and she explores these musings in her lovely, twangy songs. These songs often fit into an empty place inside the heart, a place that might need reaffirming, a place that needs hope or cheer.

Though country singers are often pummeled with stereotypes, this Southern crooner is really, truly nothing you'd expect. Here are five things about Hendrix that might surprise you:

1) Her Grammy win isn't her biggest "rock-star moment."  

She calls her Grammy recognition "thrilling," but co-writing the Dixie Chicks song "Lil Jack Slade" with Natalie Maines' father, Lloyd Maines, doesn't rank as her biggest accomplishment. "I'm happiest whenever...I'm able to communicate 100 percent and [the audience is] able to receive it 100 percent. Sometimes we'll play these festivals, and the crowd is roped away from me, so far away. I like it when the audience can prop their elbows right up on the stage, and you can see their heads between the monitors."

The Grammy did enable Hendrix to start a handsome retirement fund and to purchase a ramshackle old house that she's slowly renovated room by room. Hendrix has done most all of the fix-'er-uppin herself, peeling away the yellowed wallpaper by hand. That experience evoked her sixth album, The Art of Removing Wallpaper, released last summer. Hendrix says her other inspirations were "the conglomeration of the media, the regulation of radio, and how our government right now is really worried about one person's healthcare but not ours, things like that, questions I have about politics in general."

2) Hendrix runs her own record label from home. Hendrix's newly refurbished house also serves as the headquarters for her own recording label, Willory Records, which she started in '96 in response to fans' growing demands for records and merchandise. "My mailing list includes 50,000 people; it's been building for 15 years," she says. When she's not touring, which she does mostly from March to November ("I try to be back in Texas before it snows"), she's hard at work on her label.

3) Hendrix is not a fan of "W." Though her music leans squarely on the country side of things, this born-and-bred Texan (currently residing in San Marcos) says, "I don't know if all [Texans] voted, but there are definitely a lot of people here that are not content [with Bush]."

4) Hendrix is single and loving it . When asked if she's married or has children to fill her new house, she gives a self-assured no. "I have a really rich life with a lot of friends, and I just never really liked the idea of marriage for myself. I like the way I have my life set up, and I'm real happy with it. I'm 37 now, and it's hard to date." Even though Hendrix tours constantly, she says she never attempts to pluck potential love interests from her crowd. "When I play music, I really don't see gender with other people. I don't think about meeting anybody that way."

But, she says, " I have two dogs."

5) Hendrix adapted an LL Cool J song for her new album . That's right. She manages a pseudo-rap on "I Need Love," which on first listen comes across as somehow wrong , disconcerting as it is. In time, the song becomes something one might want to put on repeat. "The song is really about respecting someone else, and I thought it was so elegant," she says. Hendrix says she knows she's on to something when night after night, city after city, audiences gravitate towards the same song. "The LL Cool J song is definitely one of those songs. One night, a woman came up, she looked like she may have been in her early 80s, and she'd specifically come to buy that song."

Hendrix's widespread appeal leads one to wonder whether she has the clout for a big-time career like Alison Krauss or Diana Krall. In her thoughtful, Southern drawl, Hendrix says that's not something she pines for.

"I'm really lucky. I feel like I have a really good career. But I wouldn't turn my back on [big success], because the more people that know my songs, the happier I am because I'm getting a message out there."

Who: Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines w/Louise Mosrie

What: Writer's Block Performance Series

When: Friday, April 1, 6:30 p.m.

Where: One Vision Plaza

How much: $7

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.