Electric Blues
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  David Gogo
Dine Under The Stars
Cordova Bay/DixieFrog - 1997
Visit the official David Gogo website
AMG Artist Bio/Discography/CD Reviews
Review Published Jan 19, 2001

Discography / Soundclips
Track Listing
  1. Don't Lose Your Cool
  2. You Belong To Me
  3. Tell Me
  4. Sweet Little Angel
  5. Hoochie Coochie Man
  6. Death Letter
  7. Sad And Beautiful
  8. I Feel So Good
  9. Western Coast
  10. Fine Young Thing
EB Rating - 4.5+

  • David Gogo
  • Rick Hopkins
  • Dennis Marcenko
  • Billy Hicks
  • John Forrest
    acoustic bass
  • Gerry Barnum
    Canada's David Gogo is a tremendous guitarist who somehow had escaped my attention unitl now. It's surprising to me that a CD this good could go undetected by myself for any length of time, given the nature of my primary hobby (operating Electric Blues). There was but one lone rating for this CD in EB's database for the longest time, a 4.5. Eventually a second rating of 5.0 trickled in and my curiosity was eventually aroused. I ordered the CD without ever having heard a sample or anyone's direct recommendation. I was very pleasantly surprised... no, make that blown away, when the CD arrived. "Dine Under The Stars" is a live CD, recorded in David's home town of Nanaimo, BC at the Queen's Hotel, and was originally distributed only by David himself between sets at his shows. It was later reissued by the Canadian label Cordova Bay as well as the French based label DixieFrog. It's still not in major distribution, but a with a little effort it can be found at some online music stores, and is also available through David's website.
    This is a highly energetic performance, as Dave and the band burn through impressive versions of mostly popular cover tunes, including melt-down renditions of B.B. King's "Sweet Little Angel" and Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man". Gogo's playing is quite intense and precise, yet at the same time somehow exudes joyous abandon. There's a lot going on within Dave's lead breaks. I'm no expert on guitar technique, but at a minimum I'm certain there's frequent use of a wah-wah pedal and wammy bar, manipulation of various audio controls, and occasional physical abuse of the guitar's structural components. While that's a lot of activity, I'm not sure these techniques alone can account for the wild variety of tones and sounds heard during Gogo's solos.
    Vocals, also handled by David, are very good and his vocal style works well with the music and the band. Hopkins on keyboards is also very good, and some fine keyboard backing and lead breaks are featured throughout the set. The band is dead-on tight, and the recording quality surprisingly good. I have the DixieFrog release, which consists of eight live songs plus two acoustic studio cuts that are tacked onto the end, which come somewhat unexpectedly considering what preceeds them. I guess they're meant to be bonus tracks. I believe the Cordova Bay release contains only the eight live songs and rearranges the song list, placing "Hoochie Coochie Man" as the set's closer, definitely a more appropriate finish. I'm going to track down a Cordova Bay release copy of this CD... With its rearranged set list and absence of the studio cuts, I just might give that version a 5.0 rating.
    I've listened to David's other recordings since hearing "Dine Under The Stars". I have a message for those who have heard one or more of David's other CDs but have not heard this disc. Each of David's CDs celebrates a different style of blues, and a different style of play. In addition to this disc, he's recorded an all-acoustic blues CD, a more traditional and restrained electric blues flavored CD, and a basically rock CD. These CDs all have their own merrits, but it would be a big mistake to prejudge "Dine Under The Stars" on the basis of any of his other CDs. It's quite a bit different from all the others, as Dave and the boys really raise the bar and bring down the house on this one. "Dine Under The Stars" is a "must have" CD for blues/blues-rock guitar fans.

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