incapable of a false note or a forced emotion
Posts Tagged: Phil Gammage
the brooding intensity of a Johnny Cash circa Rick Rubin added to post-punk
They kept the momentum always, straight forward, and swinging and hitting. It seems like a decision was made to rearrange the sound so it was more of a rock and roll fervor than a blues jazz discipline.The price we paid for some gorgeous workouts was a loss of nuance.
This is pure artistry and alive pop art: it covers the bases. And it is New York, watching the traffic flow in a true blues greatness. “It’s gonna be alright”, Phil claims in the midst of the concrete jungle that is Blueslands. I believe him.
I haven’t listened to it in months and so for this review the album was fresh again and it sounds better than I remember it, Gammages voice? A gorgeous Isaak blues and rockabilly thing, the tempo putting the laid into laid back, and the playing a concise evocation of punk discipline (not sound) and Chicago blues (not Southern) momentum.
I’ve been waiting to catch Phil Gammage on stage all year, his January release Adventures In Bluesland remains one of my favorite albums of the year and the man has some pedigree. Great on the harp, bluesy rootsy voice, and the aesthetic of an art rocker, this is a big gig for him. BB King’s on Thursday. And a four hour gig!!! For ten bucks.
The Take Off And Landing Of Everything – Elbow – A sort of uncool, unelectronic, art band on their sixth album and first post-major breakthrough and they manage to top just about anything they’ve even done with the possible exception of “My Sad Captains”
Burn Your Witness For No Fire – Angel Olsen – With her sophomore album, Angel redefines her singer songwriter loner folk Billy “Prince” Billy approved experimental classic songs for electronic full band and it works on nearly every track. High five.
Adventures In Bluesland – Phil Gammage – A New Wave stalwart continues his career trajectory through Americana to an East Coasts rock and blues sound uniquely his own. Add to that one of the best rock and roll singing voices you’ll hear and a mean harp, Gammage’s album stands as an organic response to synthetic emotions.
With January’s best album under his belt, the Phil Gammage Trio are playing a record release part on Wednesday January 29th at No Malice Palace on 197 East 3rd Street in the village on Wednesday, January 29. Expect harp, bass and blues and Phil’s beautiful baritone.
Not a bad week and if we have many more albums as good as Adventures In Bluesland and Post Tropical, it might end up being a very very good year. If you include the yet to be released Half-Life and last years Bernie Worrell and Angel Haze it is absolutely a better year than last year.
On Adventures In Bluesland, along with producer Kevin Tooley, Don Fiorino on lap steel guitar and banjo, Richard Demler on bass, Tooley on drums and percussion, and Joseph Nieves on backing vocals, Phil doesn’t have a bad song on in the bunch on this perfectly executed faux-blues album
Tomlinson broke through as Mr. Banks in David Tomlinson, and cemented his position as the villain in “The Love Bug” and the flim flam man in “Bedknobs And Broomsticks”. The latter brought us this song for the best named UK patriot, a catchy little ode to a two way magic show – B+
Adventures is a great album and I plan to give it a full review soon but till then, Phil is playing Wednesday, January, 29th 9pm in New York at No Malice Palace 197 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009 (212) 254-9184. I’ve yet to see Phil live but plan to get to this one.
A Feather’s Not A Bird – Rosanne Cash – I am not sure the central conceit works because the metaphor is too mixed, but it is such a strong image (“a river runs through me”) on a certain level it doesn’t much matter – A-
Let’s Get Lost – Elliott Smith – Some obscure reference to the legendary Chet Baker –another guy gone before his time and another hard time druggy, and another little boy lost – A
Two albums rule here, Margot’s which is finally on Spotify and Blood Oranges’, a huge leap forward for Dev. Except for them it is the usual shift of a song here and a song there.
Gammage should cover Bowie by the way, including this terrific remix. Springsteen? I haven’t felt this strongly about a Springsteen song in years. One more thing, if I had the time I would love to give Luscious Jackson a long listen.
Bad Girl – Avril Lavigne – With Marilyn Manson and I realize I may lose my rock writer credentials for this, but I quite like this meeting of two sounds in one, it’s like ultra bubblegum Marilyn – B-
With the recent passing of Lou it stands as a tribute and more than a tribute, it is like Phil took an old black and white picture from the 1920s and gave it color and life.