It’s 6:15 on a weekday morning. I’m just about to begin my standard molar grind of a commute from Raleigh to the Research Triangle Park. The usual suspects are in play – tailgaters, left lane lollygaggers and Tony Stewart wannabes – all vying for a position under my skin. As I venture down the on ramp I take a gulp of coffee and slip Disc 1 of Danny Gotham’s latest album “Repast” into the cd player. I’m ready to enter the fray! Just as I crest the hill at mile marker 287, overlooking a sea of brake lights, The Delmore Brothers’ classic “Blues Stay Away From Me” starts to play. How perfect! I make a “note to self” to look up who owns those beautiful vocals. It’s then that I realize I’m not grinding my teeth. I’m not swearing, I’m not tense . . . I’m LAUGHING! The commute ain’t so bad today. Hmmmm, maybe music CAN soothe the savage beast . .
In addition to being a cure for the common commute, “Repast” is a marvelous collection. It begins and ends with Gotham playing a solo guitar track. In between are Woody Guthrie’s “Do-Re-Mi,” Steve Goodman’s “Old Smoothies,” and a Newgrass arrangement of The BeeGee’s “To Love Somebody.” Perhaps my favorite (today, anyway) is a Gotham original, “Brother Ray,” a smooth bluesy shuffle. The musicianship throughout is exquisite – recital perfect. The recording and engineering are flawless. The song selection covers Bach, The Beatles, Jazz, Blues, Traditional and originals. It’s old tunes done new ways and new tunes done old ways and it’s so much more. It’s smooth, it’s spiritual, soulful and joyful. It’s a 32 track diary of Gotham’s life with each entry a musical experience and influence. It’s a celebration of who Danny Gotham is and it’s beautiful.
When you buy your copy, (and you should!) make note of the cast of celebrants that came to Danny’s party. Listen to it during your evening meal. Listen to it late at night with your headphones on. Read the liner notes and enjoy the photos and yes, DO listen to it while you drive! Get to know Danny Gotham – you’ll be glad you did.
Dave Brainard – Grassicana
Get out and see it live
Miscellaneous Musings: I don’t know Danny personally but I get the feeling his favorite Beatle was George Harrison.
Danny Gotham is the only person other than Steve Goodman I’ve ever heard sing “Old Smoothies.” Hat’s off to both of you!
How do you pare a musical career down to 31 tracks? I’d love to hear some “Bonus Track!”
It’s nice to see an album with real liner notes! Great Job sir!