REVIEW: Greg Keelor – Gone (1997)

KEELOR_0001GREG KEELOR – Gone (1997 Warner)

On Greg Keelor’s solo debut, he kicks back with some mellow tunes and invites the listener in on a personal trip. Blue Rodeo has always done some slow material, but this album is even slower, to an extreme. For example, the lead track “When I See You” starts with some extremely sluggish brush drums, before some spare piano chords come in. When Greg’s voice comes in, he’s whispering.

There are several tracks that play with this tempo on Gone. The first song that breaks pace is “Blue Star” which has some nice mellow tremolo guitar and a typically sweet Greg vocal melody. The next track, “Home” is A capella, a track that I have seen Greg sing live with Blue Rodeo (on the 1998 Tremolo tour). It’s an amazing performance. Greg’s voice, while imperfect, is full of character. It’s the best song on the album, just due to sheer passion. A personal favourite.

“No Landing (Lucknow)” is what you would expect for a Blue Rodeo ballad, another strong track. “White Marble Ganesh” is the one that might leave listeners scratching their heads. As the title suggests, Greg is experimenting with Indian sounds and tabla drums. Very strong vocal hooks abound. This should have been a huge hit! Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Of note to Sarah McLachlan fans: Sarah appears on vocals, piano and even lead guitar on several tracks!

So why only three stars? This CD has five very good songs, those being “Home”, “No Landing (Lucknow)”, “Blue Star”, “Star Of The Show”, and “White Marble Ganesh”. The rest are all in the slow mode, and are just too similar. It’s a great album, a powerful statement, and a glimpse into what Greg Keelor is all about, but unless you are in the right mood you may be bored with the slow stuff.

3/5 (blue) stars

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11 comments

  1. I’m no Blue Rodeo guy,there just not my deal but good on em for still slogging it out etc. But I have to tell you a good story….
    Currently reading Carl Dixons biography and tells of the time that when he done touring with April Wine they were to hand over the tour bus to Blue Rodeo. Once the Rodeo found out that April Wine had it Keelor and company refused the bus as they said it would smell like old men! Hahaha….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHAHAH that’s funny!

      If they’re up there and playing a gig for cheap try and go and see ’em. Fucking great live band. Keelor doesn’t play electric anymore so they got Colin Cripps in the band on electric guitar.

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  2. Me, I’m a big BR fan (who only owns a few albums, go figure) but I never got this. Why? I DON’T KNOW! Maybe it was the Sarah McLachlan thing. I believe I’ve mentioned my experience with her and her fans before. Anyway, if I ever saw this (or any of the others I don’t have) at a decent price, I’d get this for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a really interesting release. In the early days Greg was kind of the rocker and Jim the crooner. Now Greg has really stepped back much more into mellower sounds. It might be due to hearing loss, but I know that he doesn’t play electric guitar live. Which is too bad, because the extended solo that I saw him take in ’98 on “Side of the Road” would have made Neil Young shit in his pants, it was so good.

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