steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Gabe Lee

"Haunted Hollowbody" CD

Tight Lip Tunes

Genres: alt country, folk rock

Tight Lip Tunes
589 Wellington St. West
Toronto, ON
M5V 163

Feb 28 - Mar 6 2005

As a proud Canadian, I'm always tickled by the amount of good alt. country that emanates from our nation's West Coast.  In fact, the Mint Records roster alone accounts for a great chunk of that material.  But check this out - Gabe Lee hails from my home province of Ontario, and he's proliferating some darn good country/blues of his own.  Haunted Hollowbody, a reference to Lee's guitar, is a strong collection of sometimes-uppity-sometimes-downcast alt. country tunes that all share a common melodic simplicity.  I can hear connections to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen here, as well as a bit of Chris Isaak and Blue Rodeo as far as Canadian content goes.  This wouldn't feel out of place on Mint, though it is a bit derivative at times.  Still, one can enjoy a lot about this collection of songs - be it the laidback melancholy of "Sea of Love" and "Pretty Baby," or the romping energy of "Bring the Boss Down" and "Double Entendre."  "Waiting at the Station" falls somewhere in the middle, with relaxed grooves complemented by an inspiring liveliness - its unique atmosphere makes it one of the record's best moments.  So take what you will from this review; however, if country-blues-rock gets your beans jumping, Gabe Lee will likely give you your money's worth.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2004]