Chris Gantry “Nashlantis” (Drag City, 2019)

Chris Gantry, despite being in his late seventies and on the music scene since the Sixties, is probably not a name known to many people, despite having had more than a hundred of his songs covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, with the best known probably being Glen Campbell’s version of ‘Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife’. He recorded several albums in the late Sixties and early Seventies but apparently nothing since (information is sparse) until one in 2015 (‘Gantry Rides Again’) – and now this.

There are eleven songs, all reflective and frequently not a little wistful, from the opening ‘Life Well Lived’ which recalls his early struggles in Nashville to ‘Wasted’ (“on the street on a Tuesday afternoon”) and the poignant and heartfelt ‘Vince’. It’s the sort of album you might expect a man of his years to make and Gantry does it pretty well, although it is a little one paced. He and his trusty acoustic guitar are at the centre of things but there’s also some nicely judged backing, particularly and unusually, synthesiser and cello which add interest and texture.

This is not the sort of album to break boundaries or set the world on fire, but it is the sort of album that anyone who appreciates good songwriting, a clear eye for human frailties and a decent tale or three.

Solid reflective effort from veteran singer-songwriter
6/10

Author: Jeremy Searle

Deputy Editor & Videos Editor at Americana UK, promoter at Greenbird Promotions, writer for R2 and Maverick magazines, possessor of more CDs than is entirely decent and inveterate hoarder.

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