- Stranded

Terry Draper’

Terry Tunes

If Terry Draper’s former band Klaatu were, in fact, the Beatles as the media claimed back in 1977, then Draper would represent George Harrison: a late bloomer with a back catalog of post-band material that recalls the orchestrated melodicism and lyrical vision of his equally prolific band mates.

1997’s “Light Years Later” was a prog-rock house-cleaning of reserved Klaatu material while 2001’s “Civil War…And Other Love Songs” was released, unfortunately, to a post-9/11 world where ‘War’, even as a historical talking point, made commercial success wishful thinking.

“Stranded” marks Draper’s third official stand-alone solo release. And in the decade since his last, he has grown into a wiser, older musical sage.

“(If I Could) Change The World” (featuring the Porin String Quartet and The Dr. GW Williams Secondary School Stage Choir),  “Turkish Delight” (complete with tour guide rap), the lilting “Go On”, the Rudi Valee-esque “Abigail”, “Be Here Now” (with Zen interjections), the Moody Bluesian power ballad-turned-history lesson “I Was There”, “Call The People” (the true stand out ‘hit’ on this CD) and the title track are straight up signature pieces in Draper’s arsenal of dense, lengthy and lyrically engaging productions.

Any or all of them feature strings, horns, harps, xylophones, mellotrons, “found sounds” and every kitchen sink-styled accoutrement Draper has made his trademarked style. He even manages to squeeze a traditional guitar solo out of David Henman (ex-April Wine), piano from John Woloschuk (ex-Klaatu) and parade drum patter from son Adam Draper.

No longer the falsettoed 20-something who sang lead on “Calling Occupants”, Draper has cleverly enlisted the aid of other lead vocalists on several tracks such as Helena Kameka contributing to “Thanks Giving”, “Old Man Willow” and the poignant fallen soldier tribute “Highway of Heroes”; Jeff Naworynski turns in Gilbert & Sullivan caricatures with great abandon on “The Pirates of Port Royal”; Draper even brings in legendary Toronto R & B vocalist Virgil Scott for a detour on “I Just Got the Blues”.

Fans get a musical buffet “Stranded” and bonus artwork from Klaatu’s original graphic designer Ted Jones.


Jaimie Vernon