CD Review: David Gelman “Last Surviving Son”

David Gelman is a New York City-based singer-songwriter who has spent much of his life playing with the same group of people. And as a matter-of-fact, that group of people, known collectively as White Collar Crime, will shortly be celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band. During that time, the band has created several albums of original material, with the band’s latest release of Floor Aisle Room having been released back in 2016.

While being part of White Collar Crime, David Gelman has also spent time creating his own music. To date, David Gelman has created three albums of music. The latest album from Gelman is called Last Surviving Son.

To bring the music on Last Surviving Son to life, David Gelman is joined by a rather talented group of musicians which included: electric guitarist, slide guitarist and banjo player Ann Klein, drummer/percussionist Jerry Marotta, violinist Lorenza Ponce and bassist Sara Lee. Each of the musicians on this album have spent time playing with people like Ani DiFranco, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and many others. Those various musical influences help to give plenty of depth and variety to the music of David Gelman.

Last Surviving Son from David Gelman begins with the track “Far Away”. The track features a Folk base to the music as the violin and banjo help set the track in motion. As the track continues, some Rock and Roll influence joins in. The resulting Folk-Rock blend to the music comes with a strong driving pace. Banjo player Ann Klein and violinist Lorenza Ponce are as much a part of the track as Gelman’s voice and together, they and the rest of the band create a song with a beautiful musical approach while the lyrics about getting tired of lifetime on the run makes the listener stop and think. “Far Away” is the perfect modern-day Folk tune with a powerful meaning to the lyrics. 

The album continues with the track “Set It Free”. Much like the previous track, this song features a Folk/Rock blend. But while the song “Far Away” contains much more of a Folk base to the song, it is the Rock side of the music that comes through here. In fact, the track has a musical style that feels as if it would fit perfectly well right next to music from either The Byrds or The Lovin’ Spoonful. The song features a slow, gentle feel to the music. And much like the aforementioned bands of The Byrds and The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Set it Free” feels like it would have been right at home in the sixties.

While the first two tracks of Last Surviving Son from David Gelman feature some Folk inspiration, Gelman and the rest of the musicians on the release take the music of the album in a much stronger Country-flavored direction with the next track. The song “Feel Alright” contains a strong Country influence to the music while Gelman’s vocals now come with a strong twang to them. The addition to the twang in Gelman’s voice is accompanied by a stronger Country vibe to the music. The track features a straight-out Country vibe to it and that vibe gives the song a rather timeless feel. You can imagine this song alongside some of today’s best Country artists as much as Country artists of the past like Charlie Pride, George Jones, Willie Nelson and others. If you are a fan of Country music, “Feel Alright” is a track that will fit well in your music collection.

Things on the new release from David Gelman slow down with the title track. The track of “Last Surviving Son” begins with a march-style drumbeat that soon becomes a track with a rather somber message of living with the guilt of outliving the rest of your siblings. The easiness of the Folk-flavored music creates a sad feel to the track. That sadness is courtesy of the violin from Lorenza Ponce. The track comes across as rather relatable as many people know this kind of feeling. “Last Surviving Son” ends up creating one of the quieter moments of the release.

The feeling of the music regains some energy with the next track. The song “Lonely Tonight” is a song that blends together Folk, Country, Blues and a little Rock and Roll influence. The Blues flavor comes in the form of the slide guitar on the track. What ends up being created is the perfect Americana track as the song has so much going on musically all at the same time. “Lonely Tonight” is one of the strongest tracks on the Last Surviving Son release.

With the next track, the music once again slows down. “The Roads We Didn’t Take” contains lyrics with a rather strong poetic feel to them as if they were written by poet Robert Frost. The reason for this is that Gelman is found thinking about choices in life and what could happen, in much the same way Frost’s narrator in the poem “The Road Less Traveled” had.  The Lite Rock music on the track from David Gelman takes the listener back to the days of the seventies when music began going in a much softer direction. That Lite Rock approach seems very appropriate for the lyrics of the track. 

The pace of the music stays in a slow groove with the next track called “Let It All Go”. The light touch of the acoustic guitar on the track creates a style that will transport the listener back in time to the days of AM radio in the seventies. In fact, the track feels as if it could have been created by someone like Mac Davis, the American songwriter who was popular back at that time. You could imagine “Let It All Go” from David Gelman playing alongside “I Believe in Music” from Mac Davis. 

David Gelman stays in a retro mood on the track “Soft Surrender”. The track contains the same seventies-inspired Rock and Roll as the previous track. And much like with “Let It All Go,” “Because You Love Me” would have felt right at home on AM radio formats back at that time. The track contains a gentle pace to the music and feels almost Folk-like in its sound. With the inclusion of the strings in the background of the track, the track adds a bit of beauty to the Last Surviving Son release.

With the final track of the album, David Gelman changes the feel of the music. The rest of the album that came before featured a guitar-driven approach. But with “The Presence of the Lord,” the guitar is replaced with the sound of the piano. With the piano (and organ) on the track, “The Presence of the Lord” feels like as if it had been inspired by the likes of Billy Joel. With the title of the track being what it is, one might assume that the track is rather religious in nature. And while there is some of that, it’s more spiritual than anything as Gelman sings of looking inward for answers. Like much of the album, “Presence of the Lord” contains a laid-back feel to the music, which goes along with the lyrical content of the track. As the song is much different from the other songs on the release because of the lyrical direction, it makes sense that the song would bring the Last Surviving Son release to a close.    

Last Surviving Son from David Gelman finds the singer-songwriter staying within a certain time-frame on his latest release. Whether using Folk, County or Lite Rock influences, each song on the album seems to stay contained within a seventies mindset. What results is a solid album with a laid-back feel to it. If you are a fan of lighter musical fare, this album is just what you’re looking for.  

For more information, check out David Gelman’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music Last Surviving Son release, check out the video to the title track of the album. 

To check out the entire Last Surviving Son release from David Gelman, click on the album cover below: