John’s Blues Picks September 2015 – David Gogo Vicksburg Call (Cordova Bay/Fontana North/Universal)
David Gogo “Vicksburg Call” (Cordova Bay/Fontana North/Universal) | davidgogo.com
Nanaimo’s favourite bluesman David Gogo wanted album #14 to rock out and he has succeeded admirably. “Cuts Me To The Bone” has a powerful opening riff and it takes off from there, a breakup song maybe but you can lose yourself in this one. For all the years he’s he’s been doing this, it may be his best song yet. “Fooling Myself” is a blues grinder with a couple of excellent guitar solos, one of them by guest Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown fame.
“The Loner” is the early Neil Young song with Gogo’s guitars taking the organ part in the original but I do think Neil would like this version. “There’s A Hole” is a doom-laden acoustic country blues with some marvellous harp by Shawn Hall of the Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer. Gogo’s guitar work on slide and finger picked is exceeded only by his vocal about his departed lover. His multiple awards and nominations are for his electric guitar playing but he’s put a country blues on the last few discs now and I hope he continues to do that, they’re top notch stuff.
The title song, “Vicksburg Call”, is excellent, a highlight among highlights, a song about meeting a girl on a trip down south and what happened after that. Must have been quite the girl. “Coulda Shoulda Woulda” channels Chuck Berry in a song about saving his romance – this one’s a keeper too.
Steven Stills‘ “Jet Set (Sigh)” and Annie Lennox‘s “Why” are fine performances in a varied program. He also wanted Vicksburg Call to be more of a band album and Jay Stevens on bass & Bill Hicks on drums rose to the task as they obviously contributed a great deal.