Anybody who has been reading my reviews on my blogs over the years, knows that I have reviewed most of Gary’s albums. Gary’s music doesn’t have a specific genre. It tends to bounce around between many kinds of music. Gary writes all of his own songs that he records, as well as featuring in a covers band regularly. Gary was a footy player in the VFA and is still ranked in the top ten goal kickers of all time. His number was 26. There is an interesting video on Gary, I think that it is still on Youtube which looks at his footy, his life and his music.
I love Gary’s songwriting. He is never afraid to tackle big issues or controversial ones. His views are similar to mine, so it is easy to connect on that level. His songs go down easy, like a fine cognac (or how I imagine a fine cognac to go down if I wasn’t on a beer budget!)
If you have listened to Gary’s music before, you will recognise a few of these songs – like Would You Marry Me Again, which I have played a few times on 2GLF and the single Have You Seen Ruby? The opening track is quite uptempo for a Gary recording. I really like it, it is a good way to start. Rolling Hill is beautiful, apparently, from what I have read, it is about Gary’s parents. It will definitely find a way onto my new playlist.
We are gifted with a baker’s dozen on this recording. There are some gentle, celtic like tunes, some soft swing, some blues, and yes some country. There are some folkish songs and they are all good, whatever the album. I have often thought that Gary is like Dylan and Kristofferson, his voice fits his songs. It Amazes Me is one of those soft swing songs and it is almost making a crooner out of him.
Each song has a unique fade out to it. You have to be a little bit prepared for it, but once you get used to it, it just adds to the ambience. I liked Have you seen Ruby? from the moment that I heard it. It almost has a 50’s sound to it. Over the Hill goes back even further, it is a fusion between a few bluesy/jazzy styles.
Caught in the Rain has a touch of Gilbert O’Sullivan about it from the seventies but it also has trombone representing that 40’s sound. That is the beauty of Gary’s songs, they not only represent different genres, they represent different decades and eras.
Any train song is good by me. All Aboard the Train almost sounds like Peter Gabriel. There…another one.
I have already mentioned Would You Marry Me Again…it is a slightly different version from the original, but it still cool. I really like this song.
In their shoes has a touch of the George Benson about it, Father has some beautiful harmonies and the musical arrangement is spot on. It is a sad song in many ways….old softy here had a few tears….but that’s not a bad thing.
I think that Travelling is the most country kind of song that Gary sings. It is catchy and has some cool twangy guitars. This one would go down very well at Tamworth.
Holy Man has a touch of Paul Simon’s Gracelands about it. It also has a bit of a doo wop feel about it as well.
Typical of Gary, he finishes with something that most people would probably start with, “In the Beginning”, however, it is a good fade out song, instrumentally and a launching pad….as well as being a reflective piece in many ways.
Gary and I have never met. We have been facebook friends forever and we have shared thoughts and “we have to catch up” but we keep missing each other in real life. His wife has become a good pen pal too! One day we will get our act together. If you like a bit of everything, this is a thinking person’s artist and a thinking person’s music. You can also just mellow out to it.