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Bob Gatewood 

Finally Home (Indy4)

Bob Gatewood's second solo CD starts with some mean and bluesy acoustic guitar riffs and a touch of conga drumming reminiscent of "Sympathy for the Devil." This, on a song called "The One That Got Away," goes on for a minute and a half, until Gatewood stops the music and announces that "it ain't gonna work."

It sounded OK to us, Bob.

Gatewood and his backing musicians then rip into an electric version more to the artist's liking. From that, one might gather that Finally Home is a blues-rock album. Not so. Things end up mellowing out considerably, making this a mature rock record that's hard to pin down stylistically. The late-period Beatles are an influence; even shades of early '70s art rock make appearances here and there. This isn't kid stuff, but it isn't dreamy light-rock fare, either.

What's easy to pin down is the album's sterling musicianship. Gatewood left his bar band, Calabash, back in Northeast Ohio and traveled to Nashville to cut this record with some of the best session guys in Music City, including Joe Walsh drummer and Ohio native Joe Vitale and pedal steel guitar superstar Dan Dugmore. And the flawless production is complemented by songs that carry the weight and are merely enhanced by the studio muscle. This is an extremely listenable record -- perfect fare for those snowbound evenings that we know are only a few weeks away.

More by Steve Byrne

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