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  • Gordon Robert With Danny Gatton - The Real Humbler (CD)

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    The singular status of ’The Humbler’ is well-known among rock music aficionados, most notably due to the virtuoso guitar work by the late Danny Gatton. Reportedly, a soundboard tape from a ‘81 Robert Gordon gig in Berkeley, CA. was passed around amongst musicians in the eighties, and quickly became highly revered. Most guitarists who heard the tape were humbled by Gatton’s exceptional playing, hence its title. The recording was finally released in ’96 by Danny Gatton’s mother on her own NRG label. And even though it’s not mentioned in the liner notes, that release is actually a composite of two different soundboard tapes, one from ’81 and the other from ’83.

    The tape that’s presented on this CD is an entirely different recording, originally broadcast by KLIR radio in June ’81. This show was recorded in the middle of a hectic tour, and it really captures the band at its best. Robert was promoting his latest RCA release, ‘Are You Gonna Be The One’, and the repertoire offered a solid mix of songs from Gordon’s first five albums, as well as interesting choices like Gene Vincent’s Cruisin’ and Webb Pierce’s There Stands The Glass. This vibrant, dynamic live recording places you in the crowd on that hot summer night in ’81, and the fresh stereo sound enables you to hear many interesting details, such as the intricacies of the interplay between Danny Gatton and Lance Quinn. It’s a sensational live performance, with Gordon in good voice, and the band playing with more bite than a pack of angry Rottweilers. When I listened to it recently together with Robert, he commented that this tape is actually better than the one now known as ‘The Humbler’. And it was Robert himself who came up with the CD title, ‘The Real Humbler’.

    We are proud to be able to release this unique recording. It’s an amazing slice of American roots music, an eclectic mix of rockabilly, country and jazz as performed by some of the finest players in the industry. As a bonus, we’ve added the encores from a gig in Newark, DE. a couple of nights later, as well as a backstage interview with Robert later that same evening. In the interview, he states that he never tried to recreate anything, and this release underlines that fact. Though clearly steeped in the tradition of their influences, Robert & his fantastic band grabbed those sounds by the throat and took them to a different place.

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