I didn’t know much about Chris Gaffney. But from what I’d heard he was the epitome of the unsung roots rock musician. What I do know is that whenever I heard his signature mix of roots, country, tex-mex and blues music I was impressed. He died this past April of liver cancer (LA Times obit here). Now all his friends have gotten together and recorded a tribute record to his songs that’s out in March on Yep Roc. Dave Alvin was one of the driving forces behind the record and it’s quite a bunch of guys he rounded up to contribute and that’s as much a testament to Gaffney’s skill, humanity, and friendship as anything else. Artists include Joe Ely, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Alejandro Escovedo, Big Sandy, Tom Russell, Calexico and Los Lobos.
The record has a great flow with each artist putting a different spin on a Chris Gaffney song. There are some rockers, some country soul, plenty of latin-tinged rock and a few honky-tonk numbers. Of course it’s the honky-tonk we’ll concern ourselves with this (and every) Friday. In particular Robbie Fulks’ rendition of “King Of The Blues”.
“In The Gardens”
P.S. I went out on a limb and declared the song “Klass 6b” the standout Swedish single of the year so far on Swedesplease here.