Album Review: Phil Gammage – Used Man For Sale

thv91u59ztEvery now and then a change in the winds of the music industry brings forth genres to the mainstream that become hot for a minute and then dip back underground. Think the swing movement of the mid-90’s. I only bring this up because of all those genres you never hear about the blues just popping up like a kiosk in the mall. The blues is rock steady constant and ingrained in every genre of music, from R&B to metal. The chord signatures, attitude, sorrow and wail of the vocals, it’s all there like our ancestors’ DNA, hiding just under the surface.

Phil Gammage is a seasoned American singer/songwriter that is sitting on 8 albums of harmonica driven country and blues over a 25+ year career. His new, and eighth, record Used Man For Sale brings his rich, earthen voice and strong composition to 10 new songs that extract the depths of that genre, no frills, no drama, just great music. “Arms of a Woman” explores the harmonica space out of the gate, like a tumbleweed in the desert, is at once windswept yet heavy. “Maybe Tomorrow” offers a gospel tinge of southern charm where Gammage could be preaching from behind a pulpit. “Used Man For Sale” is the soundtrack of a broken man with tremendous piano and slide guitar. “Before I Leave” could be background music in a film noir. “Lost in Loserville” is a driving country tutorial sung in the back of a wooden barn.

I love this style of music, and I find Used Man For Sale comforting as it reminds me of my family in Kentucky. But there is also something very natural about Gammage’s singing style. He verges on a dark impersonation of Elvis Presley, but listeners will find that the more they listen, the more Gammage embodies the music.

And, check out some other killer new music we’ve dug up for your enjoyment here: RARA’s Fresh Crops
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