Some Yuletide blues? Perhaps.
The audience at David Gogo’s show Oct. 13 in Prince George may be in for a treat.
“Oct. 13 may be a little early,” the Canadian blues artist says, “but the stores have already got their Christmas stuff up.”
Yes, Gogo is going to release a Christmas blues album, probably in a about a month, he figures.
“I wasn’t jumping up and down originally when we came up with the idea for a Christmas album. Then I started going back through the blues from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and there was a lot of cool stuff.”
So he took a look at his timetable, which showed Soul Bender, his last album, had been released over a year ago, and his next album won’t be out until next summer, so there was a gap.
So, no promises, but the audience at the Kinsmen Community Complex on Oct. 13 amy hear some Yuletide blues by a Western Canadian Music Award winner.
Gogo’s Soul Bender won the award for Blues Recording of the Year at the awards, held last weekend in Regina.
“It’s been a busy month and a half or so,” he says. “I’ve been doing some touring, the awards show, just keeping busy.”
Gogo says the blues have always been where his musical head was at.
“It’s weird, but I always have been a blues fan. My dad had some blues albums that I like to listen to, but then I got into Elvis and other bands in the 1960s.”
Unlike a lot of young listeners, though, Gogo looked at who was writing the music.
“I kept seeing these songwriting credits for peoples named Muddy Waters or Howlin’ Wolf, so I started to find out more about them.”
Then came what he called “the ‘Aha’ moment.”
“I had the chance to see Stevie Ray Vaughan and meet him when I was about 15. He was the first contemporary blues guitar player I had seen. He showed me you could be young and play the blues.”
Gogo has one thing in mind any time he plays a show.
“I try to pride myself on putting on the best show possible every time. If I’m playing with a band, I want the best players possible.”
The Prince George show will be a solo gig, which means things will be a bit different.
“When I’m playing with the band, usually about 75 per cent of what we do in a show is my stuff. They’re tunes people want to hear, and it separates us from the pack, the bands who just do cover versions.”
Gogo knows that when he plays a show, some of the people come just to see his guitars.
“I’ll be using a 1930 National Steel guitar for the show in Prince George. It’s really recognized as a blues guitar. It has a resonator and it’s made of metal, not wood, so it’s got a louder sound. In the old days, guys liked it because it made you louder if you were playing on a street corner or in a club.”
One of the songs off Soul Bender causes some confusion in some listeners, Gogo has noticed.
“They’ll hear the opening, and they’re like ‘I know that song, but I don’t recognize it’. Then we get to the chorus and they know it.”
The song is The Way You Make Me Feel, a hit for Michael Jackson.
“I was listening to the song and I realized it had a real shuffle beat, which is a blues beat. So when we went into the studio I told the band, ‘Try to think of this as a song you’ve never heard before. Somebody just came in and dropped this off as a blues song.’”
The way David Gogo makes audiences feel is good about the blues.
David Gogo will be doing a solo acoustic show at the Kinsmen Community Complex, 777 Kinsmen Place) on Oct. 13. The opening act will be P.G. Idol finalist Paige Marriott. Tickets are on sale at Books and Company.