Gill Landry – Skeleton at the Banquet: Album Review

Release Date: 24th January 2020

Label: Loose

Formats: CD, DL, vinyl

Skeleton At The Banquet is the fifth solo offering from ex-Old Crow Medicine Show Alumnus, Gill Landry.  Multi-instrumentalist Gill is backed on this latest collection by Seth Ford-Young on bass, Josh Collazo on drums, Stewart Cole on trumpet and Odessa Jorgensen on violin and, together, this ensemble produces a very pleasant sound indeed.  The album’s press release states that the songs are “a series of reflections and thoughts on the collective hallucination that is America, with a love song or two thrown in for good measure.” 

Amen to that, and it’s a formula that works very well.  It would be tempting to classify the album as ‘Americana’, but it isn’t a simple as that, as the album also features veins of country, jazz, ballads and a strong gypsy flavouring from the combined inputs of Stewart’s trumpet and Odessa’s violin, to deliver a set of high-quality, well-balanced songs that are a pleasure to listen to.

Opening track I Love You Too is notable for Gill’s wonderful, soaring pedal steel licks, as is my favourite track, The Wolf.  A Different Tune is a waltz-y number, built upon a tasteful violin intro, very reminiscent of a Richard Thompson song.  On Nobody’s Coming, and The Refuge Of Your Arms, two more of the album’s outstanding pieces, the trumpet and violin combine wonderfully and atmospherically and Trouble Town plods along splendidly in a manner that evokes Al Bowlly, to a solid backing of plucked bass and brushed drums and sprinklings of yet more gypsy violin.  There are also sprinklings of Dylan-flavoured harmonica and Warren Zevon-like wordy rants added to the mix, most notably in Angeline.

The album was recorded and produced in Los Angeles by Gill and Seth and they have done a first-class job; the mix is perfect, with each instrument given the appropriate amount of presence and the vocal clear and up-front.  The album is out now on Loose Music and is well worth checking out.

It’s also worth noting that Gill is currently undertaking a UK tour to promote this album, with dates in a number of cities throughout February.  Check out Gill’s website for more details.

Listen to I Love You Too here:

Gill Landry online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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