Phil Gammage – Used Man For Sale
10 songs time-36:23
Phil Gammage is a singer-songwriter ensconced in Americana music that draws from roots music, country, blues, honky-tonk, etc., an amalgamation of these in every song. The over all result is melodramatic, sometimes a tad too much. Phil provides dramatic and commanding vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards and vibes along with writing all the tunes. Additional musicians contribute drums, bass, keyboards and backing vocals. It’s a pretty stripped down and basic approach that gives the album a clean sound.
The first song regales us with the comfort of being in the “Arms Of A Kind Woman” via a mellow and jazzy vibe. Phil’s heartfelt vocal, guitar and the piano playing of probably Johnny Young set up the mood in fine form. Phil and Johnny are listed as playing keyboards, but on which song they play isn’t specified. Someone delivers really nice Floyd Cramer-ish piano on the country influenced “Maybe Tomorrow”. Frank DiNunzio III’s upright bass kicks off “I Beg Of You”. The song features jazzy guitar styling’s and voodoo references, a recurring theme in blues music, although nothing here is a straight blues song.
The title track includes more of the nice Floyd Cramer style piano is a melancholy tale of weariness. “Ride With Railroad Bill” takes a character sometimes used in country blues and creates a solid bit of Americana. More of that piano imbues the smooth ballad “Feeling The Hurt”. Electric piano gives the sound a change of pace on the earnest “Before I Leave”, that also includes some prominent electric bass playing. “Tenderloin” takes place in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, no it isn’t a tribute to steak. Jaunty harmonica and nifty snare drum propels the toe-tapping “Lost In Loserville”. Slide and standard guitar along with organ contribute to the hip groove of “Staring Out Our Window”.
Phil Gammage presents an enjoyable and creative slice of rootsy music in a bare bones approach that is truly satisfying. His musicianship along with that of his cohorts is top notch. Everything here works right down to the production by drummer Kevin Tooley. If you are in the mood for earnest and yearning lyrics supported by appropriately atmospheric music, this is the place for you.