David Gans and Friends tour the SouthEast this week with shows in in Asheville, HotSprings & Tucker GA!
Joining David for a few shows is Asheville’s Bobby Miller on Mandolin (Virginia Daredevils.) Bassist Jay Sanders (Acoustic Syndicate, The Invisible III, The E. Normus Trio) will join in on the fun on Thursday, May 3rd’s show in Asheville at the One Stop Deli and Bar along with The Galen Kipar Project!
David Gans is fully hip to the fact that all roads lead to the river. He wanders those many roads, guitar in tow, a modern renaissance troubadour, a hippie minstrel — make that a honky-tonk hippie minstrel — carving out intimate spaces along the way to stop a while and play his music for all who will listen, music that beckons the attention, engages the mind, excites the senses, enchants the heart, all of it calling you to join him in his journey to the great flowing water. David Gans’ music is that river itself: lyrics that hug the earth with currents and cross currents, melodies that flow insistently onward, eddying loop-jams that provide a recursive subtext to every ripple in the stream. Set a spell and lend your ears to a captivating storyteller.
“I’m the hero of my movie just like you must be in yours,” sings Gans in his moving portrait “An American Family,” signaling the universality of his themes, particularly that of the heroic outsider. The Gans pantheon is populated by a wide variety of character types, all of whom share in common a longing for some kind of honest connection to other human beings. Whether steadfastly mainstream or out on the freakazoid fringes, the people who speak these songs know that there’s something unbearably artificial and unsatisfying about the life they (and most other folks) seem to be living and so devote themselves to authenticity (or at least to dreaming of it).
In a voice that communicates at once the bliss and the heartache of being alive in the world, David Gans croons like the warmest invitation, like a soulful bear hug, but with a sardonic edge at times and the unmistakably wry gleam of the trickster. Swift with allusions and wordplay yet always heartfelt and real, David doesn’t need to hide behind irony. He’s not afraid to say “I love you” and mean it. ”Looking for a melody to sing a simple song… I find my inspiration where it’s been all along,” he sings as a kind of invocation of the muse, a dedication to straightforward communication and the revelation of the familiar.
A Gans performance promises the listener a brilliant constellation of beautiful melodies and well-crafted, truthful lyrics sung by a sublimely earthy voice to the accompaniment of a one-man jamband capable of trippy grooves and exquisite precision. In addition to his own compositions, David also pays homage to other great songwriters, from Townes Van Zandt to Bruce Springsteen to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, graciously and gratefully acknowledging the tradition that chose him to be part of its lineage. If you’re sniffing around for this kind of wisdom, I suggest you seek out the next David Gans show immediately. He’s easy to find. All ya gotta do is “get out on the highway and follow that sound… “
–Barry Smolin, host/producer “The Music Never Stops” on KPFK 90.7 FM–LA