Crossroads sign

The Artists

Click picture for individual info

  Jerry Mack
Jerry Mack
Al Kalaf
Al Kalaf
George Eberhardt, Jr.
George Eberhardt, Jr.
Jim Merte
Jim Merte
 

Prepare yourself for a memorable trip down the entertainment highway. THE TERRAPLANES promise a swingin' music show guaranteed to have your feet stompin' and the house rockin'. Their diverse repertoire of tunes includes not only original and classic R&B favorites, but authentic renditions of swing, Motown, Chicago blues and roots rock covers. The band's tenure as a popular club act with Ann Arbor/Detroit area audiences has earned them regular performance spots not only on the bar scene but in a whole host of community events, including the Ann Arbor Art Fair and the Summerfest Top of the Park.

So hold on tight as THE TERRAPLANES take you on the music cruise of your life!


Al Kalaf Al Kalaf - electric bass: Al's bass playing forms the spokes of the rhythm wheel that connects to the drumming hub to roll the band down the musical highway. His five string bass approach allows the Terraplanes to call on those places they visit on any given night's performance; jumpin' Chicago blues, funky Memphis grooves, Motown, West Coast swing, New Orleans bounce,and Texas backbeat. Al has over twenty years of performance experience in the area including ten years playing with the likes of the Glen Eddy Band, the Steve Somers Band, and Joe Leabau and the Cool Flames band. He was the house bass player for the Steve Somers jam session at TCs for over a year. His influences include Don(Duck) Dunn, Ralph Armstrong,Walter Becker.



Jim Merte Jim Merte
keyboards
This Ann Arbor native brings fluidity, diversity and experience from blues, jazz, rock and soul influences that round out and accelerate the bands driving sound. Jim remembers Monday nights at the Blind Pig hanging out and learning from the master, Boogie Woogie Red on the piano and cites Ray Charles as inspiration and aspiration. He began studying classical piano at age 5 and continued through his teens. His skills at classical instrumentation give him a keen ear for notation, pitch and tempo.

He lost a bet in the early 80s and learned and started playing fiddle in several country, bluegrass, and western swing bands. Over the ensuing 20 years Jim has played in several orchestras, Ann Arbor, Plymouth, and Allen Park symphonies, played in rock and roll bands, and honed hjis skills for country, blue grass, wedding, soul, Motown, and jazz,. "What some might call a short attention span in musical styles I like to think of it as an eclectic love of all music. Influences have been numerous depending on the genre but if I could acquire the talents and musical genius of just one person it would be that of the late Ray Charles."

  

George Eberhardt, Jr. George Eberhardt, Jr. - Drums: DRIVETRAIN of The Terraplanes - The Terraplanes are honored to welcome drummer George Eberhardt to the band's core composition. Currently considered the "drive train" of this region's favorite blues and roots band, George contributes an incredible breadth of experience to The Terraplanes. His unique and valuable personal philosophy enhances the band's continued success and commitment to the heritage of roots music.

Aside from his formal academic training at WCC and MSU, George has spent many years in experiential training as a professional drummer. His diverse repertoire includes the area's most popular Jazz and Blues bands, as well as community gospel and improvisational groups. George's musical influences include Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, and The Chick Corea Band. His prominence as a leader and importance as a major performer in The Terraplanes has recently been confirmed at major events at Conor O'Neill's Tavern in Ann Arbor and Guy Hollerin's Pub at the Holiday Inn of Ann Arbor.

George's commitment to educating and furthering the promotion of talented young musicians is captured in his motto of "always help others". He furthers contributes to the mission of all blues musicians with his profound "Be flexible, take what the song gives you. Sometimes, we play drum fills, solos...but most of the time we have to be keepers/traffic directors. Most importantly...great pocket."

With the addition of this experienced musician as an essential component, The Terraplanes continue in their dedication to providing the best of roots and blues performances in the region.





Jerry Mack Jerry Mack - guitar, percussion, vocals:  The founding member of the band has performed with various groups around Ann Arbor for more than 20 years.  He fills double roles as songwriter/arranger for many of the group's original tunes.  Jerry is also known regionally as the writer of a blues review column for Current Magazine, Ann Arbor's Entertainment Monthly.  He maintains an excellent reputation as the host of "Nothin' But the Blues" and "Yazoo City Calling", two radio shows featured on WCBN-88.3FM. His history as emcee of these shows since 1981 has enabled him to interview some of the greatest blues artists of all time, including Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Blind John Davis, Koko Taylor, and Luther Allison. 

Jerry has also organized, managed, and performed as host of several open-mic blues jams around the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, including such venues as The Blind Pig, The Tap Room, The Arbor Brewing Company, and The Apartment Lounge.  His diverse vocal range permits him to contribute not only a barrelhouse growl at the bottom end of the blues spectrum, but to assist in the higher notes of the group's back up harmonies. 

Jerry's breadth of experience on the music scene as well as his vast knowledge of the history of the blues has earned him the reputation of a true "blues authority" in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area.  His many years of performing in the music world brings a depth to The Terraplanes sound which is often lacking in contemporary blues performances bands today. 

In Memory of our good friend and master of the drums for five years with the Terraplanes, Mike Adams, who passed away November, 2009. We will miss him.

Mike Adams Mike Adams
drums, percussion: The Terraplanes owe in part their "foot-stompin'" beat to the band's highly talented drummer Mike Adams. Mike has a vast and impressive history as a lifelong student of music and as a performer, composer, arranger, and teacher. Beginning his experience in music at the mere age of 6, he later achieved the prestigious position of First Chair in the Interlochen National Concert Band. He then continued his serious music studies as a student of all percussion instruments as well and the piano and musical composition. Beginning his private teaching career in 1964, Mike has earned the reputation of being one of the area's very finest instructors of technique, theory, harmony, and ear-training.

While perfecting his methodology and writing abilities he was fortunate to be chosen as a member of the prestiged New York Touring Company for their European tours. Mike spent several years studying drumming under the very finest of professional musicians, including Joe Morello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Steely Dan's Bernard Purdie, Elvin Jones of John Coltrane fame, Gene Krupa and the highly regarded author Alan Dawson, whose independence books on drumming technique are respected by all in the field. Mike's big band history with The Supremes and The Doc Severinson Band give him the big professional sound enjoyed today by The Terraplanes fans everywhere. The band now benefits from Mike's experience as the composer and arranger of over 400 original pieces and as the author of many published articles in Modern Drummer magazine.


Photos by Mike Gould, MondoDyne Photography