Gavin Glass

Another week with a poor posting record. I’m still blaming my daytime occupation which sadly doesn’t involve listening to Irish-americana bands. Someone needs to make that a position in some company and then employ me in it.

Today’s post is on one of the giants of the americana scene in Ireland: Gavin Glass. Much like that bottle of 1961 Cheval Blanc that Paul Giamatti character in Sideways wants to save for a special occasion but ends up drinking in a fast-food restaurant, I too wanted to save this post for the right time but sure why not now. The timing seems appropriate now though because Gavin is due to release his new album “Sunday Songs” soon. His name has been mentioned on this blog quite a number of times already. That is due to his excellent production abilities. He has produced for Steve Young & the Union and The Quicksand band amongst others. However in his own right, he is one of the best artists producing americana music in this country. The man is kept busy. He has been a full-time member of Lisa Hannigan’s band for a number of years. As well as this he runs the Orphan recording studio in Dublin. And since 2004 he has released three solid albums. The music of Gavin Glass might be described as easy going americana. His first album “I’d Like the World to Teach Me to Sing” was a lo-fi effort. The second “Gavin Glass & The Holy Shakers” was more of an old-school feel. Here however I will concentrate on the most recent album “Myna birds” released in 2010 and some of the songs from the upcoming “Sunday songs”. A good indication of the strength of his song-writing and talent is the musicians he assembled for the “Myna Birds” album. Former or current members of Wilco, Black Crowes, Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks all contributed to the album. Sounds like a fantasy festival line-up! The title track off the album is a beautiful uplifting almost hymn-like song. The extended organ parts and the prominent drums would remind one of The Band on top form. Gavin seems to be a bit of a purist in terms of recording (or just likes the vintage sound). His own studio is filled with an array of vintage gear. A list is here if you are curious. It might come as no surprise that “Myna Birds” was recorded on analogue tape then. He describes recording on tape as “making you a better musician”. I couldn’t agree with him more. If ever I was a producer I would insist on live recoding. I think you get a much better feel for music that was laid down live. The video for the song “Sunday Song” presumably the title track of the new album is a great example of this. (Yes I have noticed not all the parts are live) The video below of the track has a hypnotic, lovely sauntering pace to it. I think I actually prefer it to the work in progress version on Soundcloud . It’s the breaks in the song with those steel guitar licks over the top. A sparse arrangement but a warm song. To here more from the man, the when and where; you can check out his official Facebook page site here. The soundcloud page is also worth a gawk. Lots of lovely music there.

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