If I only had three words to describe this album they would be an alliteration of Authentic, Almighty, Americana; luckily I have a few more words so can delve deeper into the artistry that is Gill Landry.
Gill Landry is a multi-instrumentalist and phenomenally talented singer/songwriter who uses every element of his skills in producing an album full of interest with nooks and crannies filled with musical gems. This is his third solo release and he is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the foundations of every track are laid solid so that the elements can be built to shape and form a complete sound on this ten track album full of ballads with a twist of country, a dollop of Mexico and a lot of classy phrasing and a story to unfold. These are ballads with texture and have a swampy Americana grainy quality, if grunge did ballads these would fit the bill as both sides of the argument are explored against full organ chords and soaring fiddles as found on Lately Right Now.
Opening with acoustic chords the tune has a jaunty never-may-care feel and then the lyrics, “Everyone is dressed in black / With chrysanthemums and voodoo dolls trying to bring you back / As the lonesome hearse rolls slowly to the graveyard of my mind / Other than that I’m feeling fine” as he explores loss with instrumentation that has a precision not often heard.
Sprinkled among the album are tracks that click including Fennario this has a desperado feel of Tex Mex straddling the borders and equally spicy and at home in Mexico or Texas. We have tears and religious iconography on Emily where the vocals take the centre stage so it is poetry set to music and you pick out more of the powerful imagery with every listening and the yearning heard when he sings, Emily catches your music soul every time the hurt is felt through to your spine. Half way through the album is Take This Body with the vocals of Laura Marling with whom he tours, adding another layer of emotion and texture and the words develop like the album this song is more than “flesh and bones”; within the elegant phrasing, crisp production are emotions that are teased and explored so that the listener becomes emotionally engaged. Closing the album, with Bad Love, we are still mourning lost and grieving but you are left feeling warm with the wonderful vocals and guitar work and the hope of Take Me Home so all is not loss.
This is not and album to listen to once and get the music especially the lyrics, like a pair of new shoes they become more comfortable with every outing and after a few walks are old friends, thus it is with Gill Landry an album that builds with every hearing and once acquainted like old friends will oft be re-visited.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….