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Reviews - Gabriel Gordon - Cosmik Debris

Gabriel Gordon has taken a circuitous route to solo performer status. From record store clerk to studio management (at NYC's Electric Lady Studios) to guitar tech to road manager to member of the Soup Dragons and Natalie Merchant's Lilith Fair band to leader of 12th Planet to, well, to right here.

Frequency is a Gabriel Gordon solo effort for the most part. There's a bit of percussion added by others on a trio of tracks and some vocal support from Merchant and Gordon's father, blues vet Ashford Gordon, but Gordon plays nearly everything on nearly every track, with only one, "Angelika," featuring a full band. No matter who or how many help out, though, the sound is always full and the songs are always strong.

Equally influenced by sounds like Joni Mitchell's jazzy folk groove and Jimi Hendrix' spacey blues-rock, Gordon has fashioned an original sound, possibly the rarest commodity in pop music today. Fuzz laden solos push through curtains of acoustic guitars while Gordon's voice soars, wails and croons over and through the mix. Something like that, anyway. Truth is, words fail.

Gordon has taken a lot of twist and turns on the way, but he's seen the music business from just about every angle it offers, so he's probably found some keys to survival. That's good, because breaking through as a performer requires some serious survival skills. He's got the tunes, he's got the chops and if he's been paying attention, he's no doubt got the smarts. Gabriel Gordon should be around for awhile, and that's a real good thing for people who like real good music.

© 2000 - Shaun Dale

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