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Reviews - Gabriel Gordon - Campus Circle Magazine

Every few years, the Blues goes through another popular resurgence. Sometimes, it goes thundering and electric; other times its reawakening has been slower, refined and acoustic. The man currently delivering a touch of Blues (and the Blues' country cousin, American Folk) is singer-songwriter Gabriel Gordon. At his recent gig at West Hollywood's comfortable and casual Genghis Cohen, Gabriel Gordon increased his growing fan base with a soulful voice, accessible acoustics and intelligent songwriting. Gordon helped the audience rediscover what makes music enjoyable, offering emotive tonality, catchy melodies and dynamic arranging.

Gordon has toured with Natalie Merchant, fronted blues-rockers Global Refugees and worked with many well-known artists. His influences are numerous, but he distills them into a singularly expansive sound.

Gordon started his solo, acoustic performance with "People of the World," the first cut on his debut album Frequency (available via Surprise Truck Entertainment). The hippie flavor recalled Richie Havens, particularly with an open guitar tuning and urgently rhythmic chord changes, Gordon then showed a darker, more brooding quality with the Frequency title track, which evoked spacious vistas due to the lyrics' visual imagery.

Gordon played energized, stinging guitar, and popped strings with his finger-picking style. He stretched into a funky, future-blues technique on pieces such as "Standing on a Mountain" (which borrowed a line from a Beatles tune on Magical Mystery Tour). Elsewhere, Gordon embraced a simple, straightforward execution that echoed Paul Pena or Ben Harper. Gordon does not preach, but his spiritual awareness is honestly rendered in attractive, charismatic compositions. By evening's end, it became evident that Gordon is a songwriter and performer waiting for the right moment to move into universal recognition, a time that will not be long in coming.

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