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Gypsy Living

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Album Review

"In this place between magic and memory" is just one excellent line from Gypsy Living, a refreshing and contemporary work from New York singer/guitarist Gabriel Gordon released on the German Trocadero label. Gypsy Living begins with "Watch the Sky," sounding like the product of some unholy marriage between Robert Cray and Tracy Chapman. The blues meeting modern-day pop works just fine, even better on "Easy With You," a joyful voice-over bubbling keyboards and guitars, and a hook that comes back from out of nowhere. "No one said it would be easy," concludes that hook. And it takes a moment to realize what the singer means: "No one said it would be easy with...you" — the emphasis on the "you" — no doubt one of those types people fall in love with who are both a dream and a difficulty. Great tune. The title track also exudes the charm Gordon effortlessly drops between the grooves. The journeyman vocalist, who has worked as part of Natalie Merchant's touring band, has professional players who have sterling resumés. The production reflects their travels and the reprise of the title track has lots of funky charm and exciting sounds, perhaps a pop nod to the Jimi Hendrix ensemble Band of Gypsies, since Hendrix is such a serious influence on Gordon — the singer having worked at the guitar star's Electric Lady studio. "Home" is co-written by guitarist Joel Shearer and it closes out the album with a majestic elegance, an important work by an artist with lots of creative heart. Outside of "Home" and a tune co-written with bassist Andy Hess, "We're Moving," the entire album was penned by Gordon. It is adult rock that is glossy and accessible, but smart enough to pull back when it is about to get too slick. Good stuff with staying power.

Gypsy Living, Gabriel Gordon
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