David Gogo Soul Bender

David Gogo Soul Bender
It's no surprise that this album is already receiving a warm response from Canadian blues fans, as Gogo plays the kind of hard-driving, meat'n'potatoes blues rock that goes over big at summer festivals. He first made his mark as a sizzling guitar player, but both his vocal and songwriting chops have been honed since he burst on the scene with his self-titled debut album in 1994. Gogo mixes things up with his choice of covers, ranging from Elmore James ("Please Find My Baby") to the Doors ("The Changeling"), Procol Harum (fiery album closer "Whiskey Train") and even Michael Jackson (a rocked-up take on "The Way You Make Me Feel"). A tune by fellow BC songsmith Wyckham Porteous ("Was It Love") is one of the strongest here. A horn section beefs up the sound on three of the tracks, while his able accompanists include the Odds rhythm section (Pat Steward and Doug Elliott), and the production (by Gogo, Michael Burke and Rick Salt) effectively imparts a live feel. There's certainly nothing genre bending or strikingly original, but Gogo mines familiar terrain with skill. (Cordova Bay)