Any CD that starts with "I came home one Saturday night stinking of whiskey and gin" has got to be worth listening to. Mike Gorman takes the blues solidly into a folk context a la the early 60s, even to the extent of a noisy Dylan harmonica. The entire CD is a one-man show and embraces the period just before folk took its turn into a new era. That alone marks it as a disc worthy of the listen.
Gorman's lyrics are close to the bone, no pretension, no class conflict, no materialistic woes, just the simple concerns of the common man. Soldier's Blues signals a protest song of refusals to play the patriot game and is so simply put that it gains no-bullshit power just in not waxing overly poetic. Short and to the point, it hits the mark…though I'd nonetheless like to hear an extended version of the cut.
Everything on Bridge out of Town is downtone. "Knock (I'll Let You In)" is a love paean of hopeful redemption seemingly ill-fated just for its forlorn approach; Outside My Window is surprisingly Dylan-esque, Gorman's scratchy voice and dissonant harp echoing the master in perfect synchrony; so it comes as a weird shock, then, when The High School Dance turns out to be a mordantly humorous almost-graveyardy song of psycho small town doings, Andy of Mayberry on acid…and of course my favorite cut.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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