Archive for the ‘music’ Category

“The Town That Still Believes in Magic”

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Last month, Scott Guberman and I got together and wrote a song, “The Town That Still Believes in Magic.” We recorded it on March 16, and finished the mix yesterday.

The Dead to Me podcast premiered the track in this week’s episode, “Zen of the Dead” (And I was interviewed in last week’s episode).

And here is the finished song, uncut.

Scott Guberman: piano, organ, vocals; David Gans: guitar, vocals; Robin Sylvester, bass; Greg Anton, drums. Recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Oakland, March 16, 2019.

We spent $935 making this recording; we’re offering it on a “pay what you want” basis (including free!) – we’d love to recover that money so we can invest it in another session!

THE TOWN THAT STILL BELIEVES IN MAGIC
by Scott Guberman and David Gans. ©2019 Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI)

In the town that still believes in magic
Children play and laughter fills the air
It’s a trip beyond imagination
A lovely place to have your soul repaired

In the town that still believes in magic
Music is the language of our peace
Every day is cause for celebration
Harmony, perspective, and release

Celebrate the ties that bind
Leave your fear and dread behind, and rise
You will see it and believe it
It’s revealed to you when you arrive

In the town that still believes in magic
People still buy records in the store
The concert hall is filled with people listening
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore


Photos by Stuart Steinhardt

Kind review of a recent live show

Monday, April 1st, 2019

David —

can’t remember the last time I looked up a performer’s lyrics the next morning.

quality, thoughtfully written stuff that I happen to culturally agree with. . .

and exactly the stuff that needs reinforcing in this particularly weird time. you gave a ton — very genuine and complete performance — the content of the lyrics, the fingerpicking, the cosmic loop music — really terrific assortment of sounds and feelings, all from one musician. plus a good message of firmness, resolve, and hope.

Rob Catterton

(He attended my house concert in Santa Rosa CA on Saturday, March 30)

Review of DROP THE BONE

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

Derk Richardson reviews Drop the Bone in the March 2019 issue of Oakland Magazine.

‘…the superbly produced Drop the Bone captures his eclectic range and deep Bay Area relationships….the openhearted, good-time feel bends through several genres in the original songs, instrumentals, and renditions of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” and George Harrison’s “Here Come the Sun,” with stellar contributions by Thompsonia, Terry Haggerty, Lorin and Chris Rowan, and many others.’

More info and ordering links here.

video from the recording session

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Not much to look at, but you can hear what the song and jam sound like! The full story is here, with song lyrics.

In the town that still believes in magic…

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

I just had one of the highest experiences of my life, musical or otherwise.

Three weeks ago, Scott Guberman and I got together at his house in Fairfax to write a song. I had a line of lyric and three lines of music, and I said: “This song could be about Fairfax.” Three hours later, we had a new song.

“The Town That Still Believes in Magic” sounded like a folk song with a Pink Floyd bridge when I left Scott’s house with a rudimentary demo. We thought about it and conferred a little while later, and agreed that it should be speeded up some. Then we made a plan to record it. We recruited Greg Anton on drums and Robin Sylvester on bass, and we met on Saturday, March 16 at Megasonic Sound in Oakland.

This is one of the best rhythm sections I have ever worked with! I have played with Robin, onstage and in the studio, a lot in recent years, but Greg and I have not done much together. His playing on this session blew my mind.

I had suggested to Scott in a text the night before that we start with a keyboard-based groove. I had in mind a chunkier, more rock’n’roll rhythm than we had come up with on the day we wrote it. Scott showed us an intro that reminded me of Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender,” one of my role-model records for both composition and execution. That led us to an entirely new tempo and atmosphere – a most welcome one.

Our bridge had struck us as dangerously Pink Floyd-ish, and my initial impulse was to downplay that and alter the melody a bit. But we all arrived at the session ready to Go There, so we had a conversation about the arrangement and the vibe and then started playing, going from “The Pretender” to Pink Floyd.

On the second (?) take, the post-jam reprise had a nice bouncy “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” feel to it, and I loved the way that setting served the (decidedly self-serving, as you’ll hear in the song) lyrics of the last verse.

I think it was the third take that we kept. I had expected we would need one more, but we reviewed it over Beauty’s Bagels and cream cheese and determined that we had a keeper. The Neil Young feel was gone, but we were all very happy with what we had.

I was literally laughing out loud at the end of each take, from the pure joy of the experience. Robin is always magnificent, and Greg was just brilliant while bringing feels, textures and grooves unlike any other drummer I know. Scott and I discovered a nice way of playing instinctively together, sometimes doing very conscious conversation, other times just feeling our way along and trusting the synergy.

Some punch-ins, new vocals, some double-tracking – and then Greg suggested that instead of taking turns singing a solo verse in the first half, we do both verses as duets to match what had evolved in the rest of the song.

Once we had all the pieces we needed to complete the song, we set it aside and went back in the studio to jam. After a short throat-clearing thing that didn’t develop, we played a ten-minute jam, which came to an easy stop; without saying a word, we paused for a few seconds and then launched into another jam. That one was about six minutes, and then – again, with little to no discussion – we went into a third jam, which evolved into “Cassidy’s Cat”; we wound up with nine very satisfying minutes of that.

I’m going back in on Tuesday with engineer Jeremy Goody to finish the mixing of “Town,” and we’ll “release” the song and “Cat” on Bandcamp as a digital-only “single.”

The Town That Still Believes in Magic
Scott Guberman and David Gans
February 12, 2019; ©2019 Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI)

In the town that still believes in magic
Children play and laughter fills the air
It’s a trip beyond imagination
A lovely place to have your soul repaired

In the town that still believes in magic
Music is the language of our peace
Every day is cause for celebration
Harmony, perspective, and release

Celebrate the ties that bind
Leave your fear and dread behind, and rise
You will see it and believe it
It’s revealed to you when you arrive

In the town that still believes in magic
People still buy records in the store
The concert hall is filled with people listening
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore

Photo by Stuart Steinhardt

Fragile Thunder Trio update

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

The Fragile Thunder Trio is about halfway through our Indiegogo campaign! The record has been mixed, and now we’re looking for pre-orders etc so we can get it mastered, packaged, pressed, and on the market! Here’s a link to the campaign – click through, take a look at the video, and see what your options are for contributing.

Here’s an audio montage of moments and textures from the record.

Contributors of $50 or more can sign up for a two-set live recording of Stephen and David (with Marty Pell of On the Bus joining in on keyboards in set 2), from a house concert near DC in November of 2018. Here’s an excerpt: jam into Days Between

The Fragile Thunder trio is:
Anela Lauren – harp and vocals
Stephen Inglis – guitar and vocals
David Gans – guitar and vocals

We appreciate your support!

Fragile Thunder duo – live!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Here’s a piece of the live show I was mixing today – Fragile Thunder Duo 11/17/18 jam->Days Between

We’re offering the complete two-hour live recording (mixed from multitrack) to contributors of $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign.

Find us on Facebook

Fragile Thunder Trio – new crowdfunding campaign

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The Fragile Thunder Trio (Anela Lauren (harp and vocals), Stephen Inglis and David Gans (guitar and vocals)) went into the studio with bassist Robin Sylvester a few months ago, and emerged with a record that includes two long, exploratory “Dark Stars,” a “St Stephen” with a jam in the middle, and a sweet rendition of David’s song “Jacqueline.”

Here is an audio sampler of the final mix.

We have just launched an indiegogo campaign to get it out. We’re looking for a heap of presales – options include downloads, CDs, a bonus live recording of Stephen and David from November of 2018, and more. Please click here and contribute if you can!

indiegogo.com/projects/one-afternoon-long-ago–4/x/1623294#/

DG’s upcoming California gigs

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 8pm: DG with Nate LaPointe (Cubensis) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Ave, Altadena CA. $20./ Call (626) 798-6236 to reserve your seat!

Thursday, January 10, 7pm: Piazza’s Pine Cone Inn, 13383 Sierra Way, Kernville CA. $20

Saturday, January 12: Jerry’s Middle Finger and DG at T-Bar Social Club, 2588 Highway 158, June Lake CA. Advance tickets here

Wednesday, January 16, 8-10pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra at the Iron Springs Pub, Fairfax CA. Free! Yerba Buena Orchestra is a new band with Joe Burke and DG on guitar and vocals, Dave Jess on bass, Neil Hampton on drums, and Jeff Hobbs on a variety of instruments!

More info at http://www.dgans.com/gigs.html

Kickstarter reminder

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Reminder: we’re running a Kickstarter campaign for Fragile Thunder’s studio album One Afternoon Long Ago!

Please click through and at least watch the video. We need your help to get this sweet record out into the world!

Here’s a photo of bassist Robin Sylvester (and Stephen Inglis in the background) at our April 23 recording session in Oakland, California.

Kickstarter for FRAGILE THUNDER studio recording

Friday, October 19th, 2018

We’re raising $$ to complete a new album, titled One Afternoon Long Ago!

FRAGILE THUNDER:
Anela Lauren – harp and vocals
Stephen Inglis – guitar and vocals
David Gans – guitar and vocals
Robin Sylvester – bass

Track List:
Dark Star (acoustic) 23:53
Dark Star (electric) 34:33
St Stephen 14:09
Jacqueline 3:29
(Stephen played electric guitar on one “Dark Star” and acoustic on the other)

We recorded it in April, at Megasonic Sound in Oakland.

Please help us get this record out into the world! We are planning to release it (and do a tour) next April, debuting the project at the Skull & Roses Festival in Ventura

Kickstarter project link

Summer sale continues – free shipping!

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Most of David’s CDs are available for $10, with free shipping! Free shipping on books (paperback and hardcover), too.

Click here for more info and ordering

Summer sale – free shipping

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Most of David’s CDs are available for $10, with free shipping! Free shipping on books (paperback and hardcover), too.

Click here for more info and ordering

Newspaper article about DG

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

David Gans continues to honor the Dead
Musician, writer, historian plays Buchanan Common
by Jeremy D Bonfiglio 7/26/18

Excerpt:

“One of the most important things that I learned from the Grateful Dead was to treat all material equally,” Gans says by phone from his home in Oakland. “The Dead were amazing songwriters and really, really brilliant interpreters of other people’s music. Then, of course, there is a lot of improvisation in there as well, so I consider myself a spiritual child of the Grateful Dead in that I treat all material equally and just try to tell a story without favoring one or the other.”

Carnahan on “Drop the Bone”

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Got a nice email from Danny Carnahan, founder of Wake the Dead, who recently bought a copy of Drop the Bone:

“I’m enjoying the heck out of the new CD. Your singing has never been more relaxed and fluid. Well done! And I was amused at the shoutout for Haight and Buena Vista*. I lived at that corner for nearly two years in the early ’80s. And today’s favorite rhyme is ‘Marco Polo’ with ‘just a solo.’ Ha! The bonus CD was a fun listen as well. The trimmed-down radio mixes were well-considered and retained the fun and the punch of the full-length versions.”

*in “Summer By the Bay

You can order the CD and/or the bonus disc here!