Review: David Gogo – Vicksburg Call

Posted on: Monday, Oct 5, 2015

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David Gogo – Vicksburg Call

(Cordova Bay Records: CBR-1322)

Canadian blues rocker David Gogo’s 14th release, “Vicksburg Call”, is a highly recommended ‘listen’, as the guitarist, singer and writer has put out a fine 10-track set that combines his own songs and some hand-picked covers – which showcase his virtuoso guitar playing and rugged vocals.

The album was recorded in the studio, but with a ‘live’ atmosphere, and it’s all the better for that. When Gogo was putting it together he had suffered some personal losses and some of the songs deal with the situation he was in, as well as exploring themes of love, hope and reconciliation, as well as new horizons.

He is helped out here by a fine group of musicians, with guest spots from Kim Simmonds on guitar, and the harmonica of Shawn Hall, from fellow-Canadian outfit, The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer. His core band features Jay Stevens on bass, piano and harmony vocals; together with Bill Hicks on drums and percussion.

The music gets off to a muscular start with the gritty rocker, “Cuts Me To The Bone” – a most impressive opener indeed! The covers here are perhaps unusual choices for what is primarily a blues-based album, but Gogo’s interpretations of both Neil Young’s “The Loner” and Stephen Stills’s “Jet Set (Sigh)” both work in fine style.

The stripped-down “There’s A Hole” reminded me of Johnny Cash’s later material, and it boasts some lovely harmonica from Shawn Hall and slide guitar work from Gogo himself, with it’s mournful vocal. “What’s Not To Like?” is another crunchy rocker – Gogo’s guitar underpinned by the Hammond organ of Rick Hopkins.

Even more striking as choice of covers go is the album’s closer, Annie Lennox’s dramatic and sweeping, “Why” . . . a fitting closer to a most enjoyable release.


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