Evan Barber & the Dead Gamblers CD

Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers invoke the spirit of modern saloons and gun-play with the 12 tracks of this release.


With a sound that fuses "Southern" rock and "jam," Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers have released a striking studio debut.  The tracks on this album feature Evan Barber on acoustic guitar and vocals, Zack Gamble on guitar, Wynn Hyatt on drums, and Blane Johnson on bass.   The band currently calls Albany, Georgia its home, but has recently retooled its lineup, leaving Barber, Hyatt, and Johnson as the core of the group.  The tracks on this release benefit from a striking combination of emotionally forthright lyrics and strong guitar.  Barber writes about heartbreak and regret, about long drives home in the middle of the night, about "loners" who dot the periphery of society.  The overall effect is quite striking.

 

The disc begins with a dash of muscular swagger in "Stiletto;" guitarist Zack Gamble reminds of the great Mark Knopfler with his expressive runs down the fret board.  "Bogen Man Friday" utilizes yearning guitar and expressive lyrics, while "Ammunition" tells the story of a wandering desperado "reaching for the sky."  The pensive longing of pedal steel introduces "Perfume & Whiskey," a ballad concerned with the passing of time, and its effects on the relationships we all struggle with.  "Tuxedo" rises from these solemn ashes with a tale of irreconcilable differences, using lyrics that claim "I do not want to hear a thing about the way you feel, because I know none of that was ever real."  The plaintive honesty and charm of "Ramblin" strikes a fitting contrast with the more subdued, seemingly bitter overtones of "Tuxedo."  The voice at the center of "Ramblin" seems to acknowledge his own "foolish pride" as the reason for all his relationships crumbling, while the voice in "Tuxedo" seems more quick to point fingers.

 

"Angeleah" utilizes yearning guitar to tell the story of a lost soul dealing with the passing of time.  The character runs from his biggest fears, and loses his glory years in the process.  "Drip/Time" recounts the tales of a wandering troubadour, racing back to Georgia in the bright, unforgiving light of day.  This track, like many others on the album, demonstrates optimism that is tinged with realism, regret and heartbreak.  Life is never as simple as originally calculated.  The characters at the center of these ballads have learned a thing or two about living (and lying) to get where they are today.  "Circles" strikes more raucous sensibilities, while "Haltin Move" displays careening guitar in telling another story of bullets flying.  The album closes with the deliberate, moody "Lessons."


In reviewing the album as a whole, I am most impressed with Zack Gamble's skills on guitar, and with Evan Barber's songwriting.  Gamble demonstrates impressive facility with the guitar, while Barber's lyrics invoke the spirit of a bygone era.  The characters displayed in this collection of tracks have gained a hard-earned wisdom in their dealings with life.  Oftentimes, this leads to jaded perspectives or the flying of bullets.  Barber does a nice job in framing these "modern" desperados within the lyrics of his songs.  In doing so, he imbues these characters with a sense of honest realism and gritty determination.  In combining these colorful characters with a solid backbone of guitar-driven "Southern" rock, the self-titled debut for Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers proves to be momentous.

- J Evan Wade


With a sound that fuses “Southern” rock and “jam,” Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers have released a striking studio debut.  The tracks on this album feature Evan Barber on acoustic guitar and vocals, Zack Gamble on guitar, Wynn Hyatt on drums, and Blane Johnson on bass.   The band currently calls Albany, Georgia its home, but has recently retooled its lineup, leaving Barber, Hyatt, and Johnson as the core of the group.  The tracks on this release benefit from a striking combination of emotionally forthright lyrics and strong guitar.  Barber writes about heartbreak and regret, about long drives home in the middle of the night, about “loners” who dot the periphery of society.  The overall effect is quite striking.

 

The disc begins with a dash of muscular swagger in “Stiletto;” guitarist Zack Gamble reminds of the great Mark Knopfler with his expressive runs down the fret board.  “Bogen Man Friday” utilizes yearning guitar and expressive lyrics, while “Ammunition” tells the story of a wandering desperado “reaching for the sky.”  The pensive longing of pedal steel introduces “Perfume & Whiskey,” a ballad concerned with the passing of time, and its effects on the relationships we all struggle with.  “Tuxedo” rises from these solemn ashes with a tale of irreconcilable differences, using lyrics that claim “I do not want to hear a thing about the way you feel, because I know none of that was ever real.”  The plaintive honesty and charm of “Ramblin” strikes a fitting contrast with the more subdued, seemingly bitter overtones of “Tuxedo.”  The voice at the center of “Ramblin” seems to acknowledge his own “foolish pride” as the reason for all his relationships crumbling, while the voice in “Tuxedo” seems more quick to point fingers.

 

“Angeleah” utilizes yearning guitar to tell the story of a lost soul dealing with the passing of time.  The character runs from his biggest fears, and loses his glory years in the process.  “Drip/Time” recounts the tales of a wandering troubadour, racing back to Georgia in the bright, unforgiving light of day.  This track, like many others on the album, demonstrates optimism that is tinged with realism, regret and heartbreak.  Life is never as simple as originally calculated.  The characters at the center of these ballads have learned a thing or two about living (and lying) to get where they are today.  “Circles” strikes more raucous sensibilities, while “Haltin Move” displays careening guitar in telling another story of bullets flying.  The album closes with the deliberate, moody “Lessons.”


In reviewing the album as a whole, I am most impressed with Zack Gamble’s skills on guitar, and with Evan Barber’s songwriting.  Gamble demonstrates impressive facility with the guitar, while Barber’s lyrics invoke the spirit of a bygone era.  The characters displayed in this collection of tracks have gained a hard-earned wisdom in their dealings with life.  Oftentimes, this leads to jaded perspectives or the flying of bullets.  Barber does a nice job in framing these “modern” desperados within the lyrics of his songs.  In doing so, he imbues these characters with a sense of honest realism and gritty determination.  In combining these colorful characters with a solid backbone of guitar-driven “Southern” rock, the self-titled debut for Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers proves to be momentous.

- J Evan Wade

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With a sound that fuses "Southern" rock and "jam," Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers have released a striking studio debut.  The tracks on this album feature Evan Barber on acoustic guitar and vocals, Zack Gamble on guitar, Wynn Hyatt on drums, and Blane Johnson on bass.   The band currently calls Albany, Georgia its home, but has recently retooled its lineup, leaving Barber, Hyatt, and Johnson as the core of the group.  The tracks on this release benefit from a striking combination of emotionally forthright lyrics and strong guitar.  Barber writes about heartbreak and regret, about long drives home in the middle of the night, about "loners" who dot the periphery of society.  The overall effect is quite striking.

 

The disc begins with a dash of muscular swagger in "Stiletto;" guitarist Zack Gamble reminds of the great Mark Knopfler with his expressive runs down the fret board.  "Bogen Man Friday" utilizes yearning guitar and expressive lyrics, while "Ammunition" tells the story of a wandering desperado "reaching for the sky."  The pensive longing of pedal steel introduces "Perfume & Whiskey," a ballad concerned with the passing of time, and its effects on the relationships we all struggle with.  "Tuxedo" rises from these solemn ashes with a tale of irreconcilable differences, using lyrics that claim "I do not want to hear a thing about the way you feel, because I know none of that was ever real."  The plaintive honesty and charm of "Ramblin" strikes a fitting contrast with the more subdued, seemingly bitter overtones of "Tuxedo."  The voice at the center of "Ramblin" seems to acknowledge his own "foolish pride" as the reason for all his relationships crumbling, while the voice in "Tuxedo" seems more quick to point fingers.

 

"Angeleah" utilizes yearning guitar to tell the story of a lost soul dealing with the passing of time.  The character runs from his biggest fears, and loses his glory years in the process.  "Drip/Time" recounts the tales of a wandering troubadour, racing back to Georgia in the bright, unforgiving light of day.  This track, like many others on the album, demonstrates optimism that is tinged with realism, regret and heartbreak.  Life is never as simple as originally calculated.  The characters at the center of these ballads have learned a thing or two about living (and lying) to get where they are today.  "Circles" strikes more raucous sensibilities, while "Haltin Move" displays careening guitar in telling another story of bullets flying.  The album closes with the deliberate, moody "Lessons."


In reviewing the album as a whole, I am most impressed with Zack Gamble's skills on guitar, and with Evan Barber's songwriting.  Gamble demonstrates impressive facility with the guitar, while Barber's lyrics invoke the spirit of a bygone era.  The characters displayed in this collection of tracks have gained a hard-earned wisdom in their dealings with life.  Oftentimes, this leads to jaded perspectives or the flying of bullets.  Barber does a nice job in framing these "modern" desperados within the lyrics of his songs.  In doing so, he imbues these characters with a sense of honest realism and gritty determination.  In combining these colorful characters with a solid backbone of guitar-driven "Southern" rock, the self-titled debut for Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers proves to be momentous.

- J Evan Wade

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