David Gans - Solo Acoustic CD

Perhaps the centerpiece of this live record by America's best known Deadhead (he hosts the nationally syndicated Grateful Dead Hour and has written several books and numerous articles on the band), is its one studio recording, a song about Jerry Garcia called "Who Killed Uncle John?" The melody and talky, bluesy style is lifted directly from Bob Dylan's classic, "Who Killed Davey Moore?" and it is every bit as acerbic and biting a look at the cultures of the Grateful Dead and Deadheads as Dylan's was about boxing. It is just one of a bunch of strong songs on the disc, which also includes a Robert Hunter - David Gans collaboration ("Shut Up & Listen"), some of my favorite of David's compositions including "River & Drown" and "Sovereign Soul." (As a writer Gans has clearly learned a few tricks from Robert Hunter, but also from folks like Richard Thompson, as well.) There are also a few well-chosen Dead covers, but Gans was a singer, songwriter and guitarist before he even began seeing the Dead. That too is reflected here, as Gans turns in very solid covers of Gram Parsons' "Return Of The Greivous Angel," and a great take on Martin Mull's hysterical classic, "Normal." Gans' guitar playing and singing are strong throughout as well, the one exception to that being his cover of Gillian Welch's "Tear My Stillhouse Down," which is somehow just out of his vocal range. Even with that caveat, Gans' record is very good, and is worth owning for the "Who Killed Uncle John" alone! - Timothy Lynch, pauserecord.com

1- Ask Your Dog/Bid You Goodnight
2- Return Of The Grievous Angel
3- An American Family
4- Down To Eugene
5- Lady With A Fan/Terrapin Station
6- River And Drown
7- The Minstrel
8- Shut Up And Listen
9- Sovereign Soul
10- Normal
11- The Nightmare/Blue Roses
12- Black Peter/Dear Mr. Fantasy/Trying
13- Elvis Imitatiors
14- Brokedown Palace
15- Who Killed Uncle John?
16- Tear My Stillhouse Down