MP3: Chris McCoy and The Gospel

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Chris McCoy & The Gospel CD Release Show
Saturday, September 23rd
Andyman’s Treehouse

Mr. McCoy has been a respected fixture in the world of Columbus music for years, so to say that he’s just now on the cusp of releasing a debut album seems strange, almost disingenuous. To me he seems very much a veteran, due in part to his long resume of gigs both solo and with a band, and also in no small part due to the feeling of rich timelessness and history that his music evokes. His songs are crafted with a nod towards and older folk, even soul, tradition, where lyrics detail the bottomless sorrows of heartbreak and the highs of exultation. The songs have the fortitude to stand alone in the sparseness of Chris’s solo performances, but when fleshed out by the rather talent-packed backing band The Gospel, they take on the whip-cracked energy of American rock and roll vigor. McCoy is an able penman, but probably most noted for accomplished guitar playing and his lustrous, suede-like voice. He waivers between haunting and downright moving as he progresses from whispers to a full on howl. The backing band is aptly named, as there often is a spirituality, almost revival quality about some of the songs, and the name rightly implies a certain soulfulness apparent in the music.

The long awaited album to be released on Saturday, Colder Chicago Sept. Hymns, does a nice job of incorporating all that range of volume and emotion. Several tracks show the stripped down side of McCoy, while others have the whole band cranked up. The backing band often highlights the dueling guitar licks of Chris and Matt Wagner (Earwig, The Bygones) and the piano and accordion of Jess Faller (Celebrity Pilots). Mark Miller and Matt Carter solidify the back line on bass and drums. For this particular special night, The Gospel will be joined by the multitalented, folk maestro Jerry Dannemiller (Moviola) who will sit in on guitar and lap steel.

Opening the evening will be the ever-talented and entertaining Townmen, who have held down their own corner of Columbus rock and roll real estate for years. Their shine hasn’t dulled a bit. The room is small and the event will be one not to be missed, so consider that in your planning. See you there.

MP3: “No Devil” by Chris McCoy and the Gospel

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