Text by Stephen Johnson
It’s hard to describe the late/great Ted Orr as a compact, modest and Catskill Mountain dwelling musician, because when I met him back in 88 in Woodstock NY he was more a mighty ‘Thor’ high on guitar extrapolation and gig tech.
‘Bizzy’ in every capacity, he was gigging, sessioning, studying, engineering, composing and thoroughly road testing new applications for guitar, liberally brandished Passac midi guitar systems to fill our listening ears with guitar synth funk and punk. I was bowled over by his colorful, animated and ‘kick ass‘ approach to guitar rhythm and licks, I think this was because he was definitively ‘Woodstock tribal’
Let’s be clear that he was an ally to many greats in the original funk movement like: Peewee Ellis, Gorge Clinton, Sly Stone. When I first caught ear of Ted. He was playing with and coleading a group of wonderful musicians in a World music/ Afro funk band called Futu Futu. This was just the tip o’ the berg to me and I’d go on to be amazed by his major contributions to world music and beyond.
Delving into Ted’s past proves quite trippy (without any precipitants) Teds production involvement in all things Woodstock and NYC spanning from: Carl Berger’s The Creative Music Studio to The Apollo Theater, he has an absolutely massive CV, just treat yourself to a peak at this link: www.soundhivestudio.com/Ted-Orr
Ted’s love and groove thang.
Apart from respecting Ted’s expression and commitment for social justice and musicians rights, I came to appreciate Ted as a loving family man who’s courage proceeded him and now follows him in through the work of his artistic talented offspring James and Alana Orr and grand children.
Ted was a classic Woodstock musician and will remain an icon.
To the late, great Ted Orr. 11/06/56 -08/01/20.
R.I.P In Sanctuary at Woodstock