Legendary is a word too often used when writing about musicians. Takeshi Terauchi is no myth, more an elemental force and surely a nominee for the status of Living National Treasure – a first for a rock musician in Japan. While not exactly well known in the West, he has received praise over the years from artists as diverse as the Ventures and Jello Biafra.
Terauchi rejects suggestions that he was influenced by the Ventures, although they were certainly no hindrance to his rise, and he often played a Mosrite, a gift from the band. He is adamant that his music emanates from Japan, and the tracks on this collection stand as a testament to the fact. Many are versions of traditional Japanese folk songs (Minyo), a style that became much copied. Terauchi’s speedy “shredding” technique could be said to echo Tsugaru shamisen, a unique blues-like style of percussive, semi-improvised playing from northern Japan. He revisited some of these standards for his 1974 album “Tsugaru Jongara” with the re-formed Blue Jeans.
Here is a selection of some of the finest beat instrumentals, traditional-infused nuggets and later raw Tsugaru-influenced workouts from his long and varied career.