local favorite captured on tape

Ramblin' (Johnette)
John Gage

By John Goodin

John Gage has become a Louisville institution. By that I mean when people tell their out-of-town friends about the Louisville music scene, Gage is always listed as a must-hear. Thanks to this new tape, we now have a document of what Gage is sounding like these days.

Gage and his cohort, the amazing Larry Davenport on bass, present us with an exciting set of standards and recent tunes. Gage's guitar playing is on the money and Davenport's bass work is cooking — but it's the voice of Gage that makes it happen. From the opening "Wild Rose of the Mountain" to the final "My Old Kentucky Home," the singing is strong and true. Gage's been ramblin' and he's got some stories to tell.

For me, the "Field Behind the Plow" is the highlight of the set. For you it might be "20th Century Is Almost Over." The kids might like the medley of "Red River Valley/You Are My Sunshine." It's a collection of winners.