FIRST TAKES & MISTAKES - REVIEWS
New Review from France:
" GARY GRAINGER First Takes & Mistakes - 4 Stars
This is British player, Gary Grainger’s debut album. Thirteen tracks that range from old blues standards such as ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ and Bo Carter’s ‘All Around Man’ to the Americana takes of the old Doc Watson favourite ‘Goin’ Down The Road’ and ‘Goin’Up The Country’. There is even a closing accapella track, featuring the old Janis Joplin wishful special, ‘Mercedes Benz’.
Grainger is the sole performer here, with good vocals and guitar picking and occasional Harp flourishes. The album is what it says on the tin: no overdubs or fancy production techniques, just simple first takes of all tracks. In reality, it’s hard to pick out the so-called mistakes and the whole thing has the feel of a neatly captured live performance to it.
There is some good, crafted slide guitar work and an overall balance to the release that belies a debut appearance. Grainger is based in the North East of England where he is an award winning presenter of local blues radio and gigs extensively. He is attracting increasing critical acclaim and this CD should help secure a wider support for the man and his music on the national and international stage.
First Takes & Mistakes is a fine album of cool acoustic blues and traditional music. The whole package is accomplished, relaxed and authentic; a very fine debut indeed. I look forward to hearing the next one."
Iain Patience - Autrement Blues
Gary Grainger is an award winning DJ on Bishop FM 105.9 FM. in Bishop Auckland. and on KCOR (Kansas City Online Radio). He was a member of the Black River Blues Band who played around the Durham and Newcastle areas, and has played in several other blues bands in the North East.
One afternoon Gary went into The Forum Studio, Darlington armed with a number of guitars, a neck rack, some harmonicas and a bundle of talent. In the space of a few hours he laid down thirteen tracks and with minimal post recording production, produced this delightful CD.
Showing his skills at slide work, finger picking and flat picking, Gary has selected a range of songs from Down Home blues, to country music:. ‘I Know You Rider’ (Grateful Dead et al), Jimmy Reed’s ‘Big Boss Man’, the John Phillips (Mamas and Papas) via Judy Collins and the Grateful Dead, ‘Me And My Uncle’ (signs that Gary is a deadhead?), Jerry Garcia’s ‘Friend Of The Devil’ (QED!), and on to a surprising version of Janis Joplin's ‘Mercedes Benz’ with some nice little updating of the lyrics - like the original (recorded three days before Joplin died) recorded acapella.
The playing is precise, the singing is tuneful and the selection of songs masterful. Fabuloso!
This one is strongly recommended to all fans of acoustic blues. More please Mr Grainger
Ian McKenzie - Blues In The South
Here's a review of one of the first solo acoustic gigs I played at Maggiefest 2008:
"First up was Gary Grainger with a solo acoustic set of mid-west/deep-south blues style tracks including Grateful Dead, Lowell George & Kris Kristoffersen. A cracking start to the event. Vocals were crystal clear and the sound was fantastic all night. My little entourage enjoyed this set as it was stuff you just do not hear that often in the local pub scene. Definitely one to watch out for if that genre is your cup of tea."