It worked for the Beatles, so why not?
That was Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo’s take when it came to mixing electric and acoustic for his 15th studio album, 17 Vultures.
“I was out at Pender Harbour playing a blues festival and the next morning I was out on the deck of this hotel and I was at enjoying the view. I had The White Album (The Beatles) playing on my phone; one minute it’s Mother Nature’s Son, a beautiful acoustic song and the next minute it’s Helter Skelter,” said Gogo, who, along with band members will be hosting a CD release party Saturday night at the Dream Café. “I thought, wow, if the Beatles can do it maybe I can too and it’s worked out.”
So with that thought in mind, the six-time Juno nominated musician and three-time recipient of the Guitarist of the Year decided to do an acoustic/electric mix.
“In the past, I’ve always kept my acoustic show separate from my electric show but I think it gives the album more variety and a little more breathing room,” said Gogo, whose cousin Paul Gogo is the keyboardist for Trooper. “In the past, I was afraid that if I mixed my acoustic songs with my more rocking material it would confuse people. I don’t think I was giving people enough credit.”
Since bursting on the Canadian music scene in 1994, with his self-titled album, Gogo has made a name for himself with his ability to rip up the stage as lead guitarist.
In the past decade, he also established himself as an acoustic contender.
“I’ve always loved the venue (Dream Café) and it’s such a great music crowd,” he said.
Gogo’s played on stage with Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Albert Collins and Bo Diddley and opened for George Thorogood, ZZ Top, The Tragically Hip, Buddy Guy, Charles Bradley, Robert Cray and Jimmy Vaughan among many others.
His personable style, especially when working in smaller venues, makes his shows lots of fun for audiences, being able to “swap road stories as long as you can listen.”
Something new this time around at the café for the well-heeled musician will be playing with his band.
“So I’m excited about that and what we’re doing this week is organizing a set list, so we might come out rockin’ and start the second set with a couple of the acoustic tracks from the album and then start rockin’ again.
“We’ll probably turn the amplifiers to face the back wall but it should be a gas.”
17 Vultures has five original Gogo tunes and selection of cover songs from artists ranging from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to Barbecue Bob.
Lyrics for the title song, 17 Vultures, came to him while on a fishing trip on the west coast lying in the back of a boat.
“It’s 5:30, 6 in the morning, I’m kind of pooped out and it’s so desolate and I was just kind of thinking about life,” he recalled. “As you go through life people sort of come in and out of your life, people pass away, so I just starting jotting it down on the iPhone.”
The title came a few days later while he was driving home.
“So out of the corner of my eye something caught my attention and I pulled over, and yeah, there’s this big old dead snag tree with 17 vultures,” he recalled with a laugh. “It’s just kind an ominous thing and I took a photo of it first and then I counted them later and there were 17 vultures and I thought it would be an interesting title for the song I have so I kind of tied it all in.”
In addition to his show at the Dream Café, Gogo will also be appearing at the Osoyoos Elks hall Friday, Nov. 16.
Tickets are still available for the Penticton show and are available at the Dream Café.