Gregory Dwane – Nostalgia For Nothing (Peacedale Records)
With a guitar tone similar to the 60s/70s bands that produced work that replicated the singer-songwriter ideal – the James Gang (“Walk Away”), Seatrain (“Rondo”) & The Wackers (“Travelin’ Time”).
Gregory Dwane (vocals/guitar/bass/pedal steel/organ) has that same broad sweeping style with his melodies, chiming guitars in a tight accessible & expressive showcase. For some, it may be retro, but Mr. Dwane just isn’t cutting against the grain; he knows what works & applies his own effective identity to an old songbook style. He has the songs, well-written & memorable with commercial appeal.
At times, his tunes have a country scent, elements are evident, rootsy with serious balladry mindful of that English pub style country popular in the 70s with Brinsley Schwartz (“Country Girl” “A Slow One” “Funk Angel”).
The tune “Memory Too” alone is filet mignon on this menu. Some on the self-produced sophomore 8-cut Nostalgia For Nothing (Drops Nov 17-Peacedale Records) might register as corny, but they make you feel good & isn’t that what music’s all about? “Nothing To Lose” is presented with a little vocal treatment & an upbeat backup that makes a 4-alarm ass wiggle & men’s hips bop in their tight jeans even before the beer flows.
“Those Days Are Gone,” finds Gregory with a steely bite on his guitar & cranks it up to a Z.Z. Top temperature. He throws coal-black guitar notes & tosses them into a big R&R oven. Stand back & watch the smoke pour from the chimney. This pollution doesn’t have a carbon footprint as much as a worn carpet or plywood floor just from dancing.
Gregory grew out of the NYC punk music environment & he went on an odyssey that delivered him…here.
While music remains his sanctuary & some may call it alt-country I find Gregory’s showcase to be filled more with country rock authenticity of the grassroots kind than any deviation music journalists have conjured. It’s about as polished as a former dive-bar musician can be. Greg explores his recklessness, days of uncertainty, fleeting moments & aspirations & while not all artists can go to this place it allows one to see what they don’t wish to remember while others gravitate to it for its honesty.
Things are not always hunky-dory. Growing up isn’t easy. Coming to terms with fate is scary. Writing & singing about personal things is brave. This CD is the bare bones of what he is – step back…listen. You might see yourself.
Highlights – “Momma Still Love You,” “Memory Too,” “Nothing To Lose,” “Those Days Are Gone,” “Hard All The Time” & “3000 Miles To L.A.”
Musicians – Julian Sherwood & Rob Heath (drums), Jim Parker (guitar), Aaron Embory & William Wallace (keys) & Melody Walker (vocals).
B&W image courtesy of Greg’s website. CD @ https://www.gregorydwanemusic.com/