David Gogo

David Gogo
Skeleton Key

Cordova Bay CBR-0262

By Art Tipaldi
August 2006

Who is David Gogo?

He started playing the blues on his guitars when he was a teenager and heard Howlin’™ Wolf and Son House. Once he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gogo’s die was cast.

In the past 10 years, Gogo has released four records. He’s a perennial nominee in Canada’s Blues Music Awards, including copping Canada’s 2005 Blues Guitarist of the Year award. He has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, Jimmy Vaughan, and Roomful of Blues.

And Real Blues magazine named this record, Blues-Rock CD of the Year.

Take it from me, this is one disc worth owing. Gogo divides the record between his catchy originals and obscure covers.

“Just Ask Jesse James,” a Gogo original, opens the record with blues rock at its best. Here, Gogo distinguishes himself as not only a fiery guitarist, but also as a world class slide player. Other originals include the title cut, “Skeleton Key,” which explores the R&B side of the street; “Stay Away From Me,” which has a Willie Dixon groove;, “I Can Still Hear You Crying,” which is a slow blues grinder, and “Things Are About To Change,” which is Chicago blues shuffling at its finest.

He covers include a flyin’ Albert Collins’s “Backstroke,” and a very different, gospel-like testify on Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed and Delivered.”

There is also Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” done blues rock style.

When he reprises “Reap What You Sow,” from the old Butterfield band, Gogo shows that he’s as soulful a singer as he is a guitarist. That same vocal conviction closes the record on Curtis Mayfield’s “Fool For You,” where the touches of piano and choir in the chorus invoke the requisite spirit.

Because music does not stop at any border, American music lovers should travel over that arbitrary line on maps and, in this case, discover a very talented and devoted lover of American blues.

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