Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Vancouver Island's Gogo is hands-down one of the very best Canadians at getting the big, groove-fueled blues sound, whether it's the flat-out rockers or smooth mid-tempo sounds.  His expert guitar playing always slices through, and there's a joy and a party vibe to his sound, especially on this new album, his 13th.

A savvy interpreter as well as a high quality writer, Gogo splits the difference here, with six of each.  The covers give you a good insight into where he's coming from, covering Fleetwood Mac twice, once from the earlier blues incarnation ("Spare Me A Little Of Your Love") and again from the LIndsay Buckingham time ("World Turning").  His ear for sophistication brought him to Robert Palmer's funky Looking For Clues, and the classic rock sound is heard on a strong version of The Faces' "Bad 'n' Ruin".  It takes some guts to lay down a Ray Charles classic, but Gogo does "Lets Go Get Stoned" justice by adding his slick guitar licks. The only let-down is a rote "So Into You", which needs a broader interpretation since its so hard to better the vocals on the Atlanta Rhythm Section original.

The big applause should be saved for the originals, as Gogo delivers strong numbers equal to the task of matching the prime covers.  The title cut has a dark Gospel blues feel, vintage and right.  "Call Your Name" is a big, fun cut, what would have been a hit single back when this kind of classic groove was allowed on radio.  This is the one that will get the hands waving at outdoor festivals this summer.

Oh yeah, luckily Gogo's playing a bunch of them, as well as club dates:
July 14 – St. Catharines, ON – Blues in the Vineyard – Henry of Pelham Winery
July 15 Toronto, ON – Hugh’s Room
July 19 – Peterborough, ON – Holiday Inn – Blues Series
July 20 – Ottawa, ON – Rainbow Bistro
July 26 – Stevensville, ON – Safari Niagara (w/ Colin James)
July 27 – Arnprior, ON – John Street Pub
August 2 – Tahsis, BC – Rock The Dock – Westview Marina
August 10 – Burnaby, BC – Deer Lake Park – Burnaby Roots & Blues Festival
August 23/24 – Nanaimo, BC – Nanaimo Blues Festival


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