The Terry Quiett Band, which will perform Saturday at Wichita’s Cotillion, has played throughout the country. The blues band has jammed in Chicago, Memphis and Colorado. But the act made considerable noise playing Austin, Texas, which will host the massive music festival South by Southwest again later this month.
“You get revved up when you play a great music city like that,” Quiett said. “But we get excited about playing every city. It was fun playing Austin. The fans there take music seriously. You do what you can to put yourself on the map.”
The band, which also includes bassist Aaron Underwood and drummer Rodney Baker, is emerging thanks to tight play and virtuoso turns by Quiett, a gritty vocalist and accomplished guitarist.
When Quiett covers Jimi Hendrix, he takes familiar and pleasing tunes to another place.
“There’s no reason to play a cover just the way a recording artist recorded it,” Quiett said. “You may as well make it your own.”
Quiett, also known as the “Kansas Tornado,” is a gifted player who works hard at his craft.
“I don’t know any other way to do it,” Quiett said. “You have to go all out.”
The group is a blues act but boasts a contemporary sound.
“We’re a blues band, but we’re happening now,” Quiett said. “You can’t get around that. We love the blues. We live for it, but we’re doing this today.”
There has been a resurgence in the world of blues with acts such as the Quiett Band, young ax-slingers including Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd and throwbacks such as the underheralded Popa Chubby, who recently completed an old-school album.
“The blues isn’t going to go away,” Quiett said. “People love the blues. It might not be like country or rock in terms of audience, but there is an audience out there, and we put out albums for the fans.”
In 2011, the band recorded “Live at The Orpheum” in Wichita.
“I’ve always enjoyed live albums, and I thought it would be fun to make one,” Quiett said. “I think we’re at our best when we play live. So why not make a live album? We have our most fun when we’re out there playing in front of people who love the blues.”