I'm Trying (Self-Produced)
Dan Gediman and the Mind Reels

Recorded at Milestone Studios by Dan Gediman

By Paul Moffett

I first saw Dan Gediman play during one of Michael Kessler's Artist Nights at the old Tewligans Tavern, sometime in the mid-80s. He began standing back to the audience, legs spread. Leaping into the air, he did a 180 degree spin and came down with an accompanying guitar crash. While this was hardly an original move, it stuck with me because I only knew of Gediman as a soft-voiced announcer on the classical music station WUOL, not as a rocker.

During the intervening years, Gediman's musical style seems to have shifted out of the increasingly demographics-driven, splintered and endlessly cloned rock market into the undifferentiated style now called Triple A / Americana.

On one hand, he's still making guitar rock, as Tim Krekel's opening guitar rift to "I Pretend" demonstrates, though the tempo, which could be called stately, might lead a cynic to comment that it's 'pretend' rock.

On the other hand, he's writing "World Cafe" style singer/songwriter material, as the fiddle-dominated "Stay in Love" demonstrates. The CD's song sequence flip-flops between the two styles but it works anyway.

The arrangements are sparse, drawing musical lines around and under the melodies, which are often memorable. The lyrics, which explore matters personal, with a particular emphasis on relationships past and present, likewise run to the spare but lack the polish and sparkle of the music.

"Can't Stop Love" cries for heaver harmony to counter the dominating bass line, while "St. Peter" flips the music state back into acoustic mode, with Steve Cooley's banjo underpinning the tune. "February" features more snarly guitar, while "How Long" is built mostly around Adam Fiore's tasty solo piano.

The short "Through My Hands" seems to have gotten the most response and the most airplay, while "Three-Time Loser" is a roots rocker that could work for a variety of bands.

The CD is available at the usual places around the city.