building stringed instruments almost 20 years and if I have one
regret it’s that I didn’t start earlier though I guess that things
happen when they do for a reason. My earlier interest was primarily
as player and so guitars especially, have been my passion from
childhood and the days of Skiffle, followed by a wild adolescence as
a bass player/vocalist in the local rock bands of the 1960’s, much
to the delight of my parents whose unswerving opposition was the
finest motivation a kid could have wished for.
The Folk revival of the post-war era finally caught up with me in
the mid to late 1960’s when I heard the steel string acoustic guitar
played finger-style for the first time - a “Damascus” moment for
which I am forever grateful and which has shaped the course of my
life ever since. Soon after graduating in Geology in 1972, from
Queen’s, Belfast, I went off to the States to play music
professionally before returning to the UK and Cumbria, more folk
clubs, the recording of Fellside Recordings first album in 1976,
(Teller of Tales FE001) interspersed with periods of proper jobs and
alongside decades of learning, playing and developing (see
discography) until I finally got around to building my first guitar.
It was as rough as the roads but it played and sounded well enough
and so the rest is history.
I’m often asked “how did you learn to do that?” – my stock answer
being that if you want to do something badly enough then learning is
easy. The truth is that I taught myself over several years and that
I’m still learning through reading, experimenting, and trying out
new things. I’ve built more instruments than I care to count and I
enjoy variety though having been away from it for several years, I
began making just for pleasure about 18 months ago and quickly
discovered just how much I missed it. So, the rumours of my
retirement circulating on Mudcat, were only partially true and you
can't get rid of me that easily, I'm afraid.
Prior to that, I’d built violins, F-style mandolins, mandolas and
bouzoukis, but my passion is guitars and always has been. One of the
reasons for starting up again was to set myself some new challenges
and build those instruments that I'd always promised myself I would,
but never got around to and as a consequence, I've added both a
carved top cittern and guitar-cittern to what is now a fairly full
range of largely my own designs. I still have a career as a
Fostering Agency Manager but hope to retire in a couple of years so
all of this is forward planning for the day when I can concentrate
wholly on what I enjoy doing most. I still play though not nearly as
much as I used to and my last excursion into the realms of
professional folk music was as a member of the Great Northern
Roadshow alongside Tom McConville and Pauline Cato.
Leave a message in the Guestbook
Fiddler” – Several
accompanying tracks to Geoff Purvis.
Dreams” - Terry
Docherty and Robin Dunn- Wots Dat Recordings
Company” – A
celebration of 25 years of recording 1976 – 2001. Fellside
solo CD available from Terry Docherty.
Pauline Cato, Tom McConville, Terry Docherty. Tomcat Music
for samples of Terry Playing