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Former Elvin Bishop saxophone player Terry Hanck possesses an uncanny ability to climb pitches above the instrument's intended register.

Hanck, known for his hard-blowing sax and incredible range, will perform at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 35 N. Main St., Ashland.

Hanck, a 2009 Blues Music Award nominee, favors swamp pop (old New Orleans rock 'n' roll), blues, jump and soul music of the 1950s and early '60s. In 1977, Hanck began touring with bluesman Bishop, which allowed him the opportunity to hone his craft. Bishop describes Hanck as "a fine vocalist, an amazing showman and my favorite sax player."

In the late '80s, Hanck split from Bishop and formed his own band, which comprises guitarist Johnny "Cat" Soubrand, bassist Tim Wagar and drummer Butch Cousins.

In October, Hanck will rejoin Bishop as a featured artist for the 2010 Pacific Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.

Hanck exhibits gusty vocals and a command of upper-register notes attained by mastering complex fingering techniques.

A songwriter for many years, Hanck released his first all-original album, "Always," in 2008. The album showcases boogaloo sounds in "Stingy," an instrumental title track, a Rolling Stones-sounding "Quicksand" and lots of blues.

Cover to Hanck's show at Alex's is $5. For more information, see www.terryhanck.net or call 541-482-8818.

Terry Hanck exhibits his sax chops on the 2006 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. - Photo by Joseph A. Rosen