Interview and Photos by Scott Preston
Known far and wide as the light behind the widely syndicated Grateful Dead Hour radio program, several books on the Dead and a number of intriguing CDs relating to the band and its music, David Gans has in recent years blossomed into a compelling performer in his own right, touring nationally and releasing several albums, the most recent of which is the critically acclaimed Twisted Love Songs. The seventeen tunes on Twisted Love Songs offer a wonderful glimpse of the breadth of this modern troubadour’s musical gifts.
Armed with his sturdy baritone, an electro-acoustic guitar and a pedal-controlled looping setup that allows him to layer multiple guitar parts into a complex contrapuntal weave, David makes the term “solo artist” seem woefully inadequate – surely we’re hearing other unseen guitarists in this glorious stew! But no, the folks who were witness to the live performances from which the album was culled can tell you there were no other players in the shadows or pre-recorded tape legerdemain involved – just a marvelous right brain-left brain synergy that allows David to conceive of and execute his loop collages in real-time and in perfect rhythm; no easy feat, to be sure. On the instrumental “Cassidy’s Cat,” he deftly interlaces melodic figures from a trio of beloved Grateful Dead songs – “Cassidy,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “Bird Song” – to fascinating effect: it unfolds like some steadily moving audio collage. Other songs on the CD use looping to different degrees, some not at all. This isn’t the gimmick of some one-trick pony, but a carefully conceived approach to song construction that has evolved with David’s own songwriting. (from bio on dgans.com)
Cincy Groove: Why did you choose the title "Twisted Love Songs" for your most recent cd?
David Gans: I originally wanted to call the album Twisted Love Songs and Workplace Travesties. This particular collection of songs has those kinds of themes in it. There are actually a couple songs that are both a twisted love song and a workplace travesty. Because sometimes work is a twisted love situation. Naming albums is one of those weird things. My last couple of cds were very plainly named, Solo Acoustic and Solo Electric. I thought I needed to display my character and wit a little bit.
Read the Full Interview Here