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Originally published by Edmonton Journal on Sunday, August 23, 2009. All rights reserved.

David Gogo: New twists on old themes

By Peter North, Freelance


David Gogo

Where: Edmonton Labatt Blues Festival, Heritage amphitheatre, Hawrelak Park

When: today at 4 p. m.

Tickets: At The Gate

It's been 20 years since David Gogo first strode onto an Edmonton stage and bombarded a University of Alberta pub crowd with hard-driving interpretations of classic blues-rock tunes.

At the time, the guitarist, singer and frontman of the Perpetrators was turning young crowds onto nasty and at times bombastic blues-based material as grunge rock was taking hold on campuses.

Gogo's take-no-prisoners approach to building an audience was obvious, earning him return engagements at campuses and putting him in showcase rooms like the Sidetrack Cafe.

It wasn't long before Gogo's name replaced that of the Perpetrators on club marquees and he started making a name for himself as a recording artist as well as a performer.

Now, just in time for the Edmonton Labatt Blues Festival, Gogo has released his 10th recording, one that finds him putting new twists on old themes. It's titled Different Views. It's a collaborative effort on many fronts, with Gogo teaming for the first time with both Wide Mouth Mason's Shaun Verreault in the writing department and Russell Broom as a producer. Broom is best known for his long association with Jann Arden, both in the studio and on the road.

"Russell I first met playing one of those annual Guitar Works shows at the old Kaos Cafe in Calgary where the proprietor would put all these guitar players together in different configurations. Then some time later, I bumped into Brent Cooper from Huevos Rancheros on a ferry ride to Nanaimo and he gave me one of their albums that Russell had produced. I was really impressed."

With Verreault, the musician found that after one writing session, things came together quickly for the two and that his fellow guitarist "has lots of ideas and is open to all sorts of ways of going about putting a song together."

Before Gogo entered the studio with Broom, he and Verreault had finished three tunes, including the plaintive Erase Any Trace, which effectively announces its arrival with the chime of a 12-string acoustic guitar.

A couple of choice covers also made the final cut, one being a slippery yet muscular take of the Gerry Goffin/ Carole King classic Don't Bring Me Down, a hit for the Animals in the mid-'60s.

The other cover is a radio-friendly remake of Gold, the John Stewart/ Stevie Nicks hit Gogo recalls "being drawn to as a kid, and then hearing again years later while touring Europe."

For the blues festival, Gogo figures he'll "draw on material that cuts across his 10 albums."

"We had a blast when we played the festival five years ago and I remember we spent an hour and a half signing albums."

Copyright © Edmonton Journal

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