This is a tribute disc that shows the respect for the man it honors, Chris Gaffney, by his former bandmate (Dave Alvin and The Guilty Men), Dave Alvin and the love and esteem of the entire musical community at large. Look at diversity of genres and styles of those who stepped forward to honor this man and lend their support to a disc in his memory; Joe Ely, Boz Scaggs, Los Lobos, Calexico, The Iguanas, Dave Gonzales (his bandmate in the Hacienda Brothers), and Dan Penn to name but a few. There are 18 tracks on this disc and 18 different artists, 17 of the songs are ones Chris either wrote or had a hand in writing; track 18 is Chris doing a song he didn't write, however is particularly poignant and an appropriate closer for the disc. As gifted as he was as a singer who could turn songs from such different writers as Fred Neil, Frank Sinatra, and Jerry Butler into his own; he was equally talented as a songwriter, accordionist, and storyteller. Chris was a person you might meet in the neighborhood tavern and he could keep you entertained for hours as you sipped your drinks and you would come away a whole lot richer for the time spent.
Chris grew up in the Arizona and Southern California and his songs reflect the music of these areas. His songs reflect his view of everyday life and the travails of just going through life, the day-to-day problems that occur and his way out of them. Often you find a number of weak cuts on a disc like this, however all the cuts are strong and the songs are well done. Listen to what Peter Case does with Six Nights A Week," or the smoldering The Garden which best reflects the Southwestern Latin influence, done by Freddie Fender & The Texas (the original group, think Flaco Jimenez, Doug Sahm, Augie Meyer and Ry Cooder). There are so many highlights on this disc that each cut is capable of stopping you in your tracks and making you just grin. Most of the material here was cut for this disc and members of Chris' group, The Cold Hard Facts, Danny Ott and Wyman Reese are featured on several of the tracks along with Dave Alvin who put this all together (thank you for taking the time Dave). This is one tribute disc that won't disappoint in any way; it will probably introduce you to a new songwriter who will enrich your world.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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