Opening with a 'Goin’ Gone' train ride down the (title) track in the company of suitably click clackin’ guitar, percussion and train horn harmonica, Kat Danser gets the rootsy, dusty and at times swampy American Deep South blues of her fifth album on the road (and on the rails) in fine style.
Such influences may seem strange for a Canadian musician or those unfamiliar with the multi award winning singer songwriter but the rootsy blues gal with Polish-Gypsy heritage (and one of the best names in the blues business) lives and breathes that very music.
She is equally passionate about the history, culture and aspects of such deeply rooted music – musician Kat Danser is also Dr. Kat Danser, with a PhD in Ethnomusicology.
As the title track suggests, there’s a distinct travellin’ blues and dusty roads ‘n’ train tracks theme to Goin’ Gone, evident not just though some of the songs but the album’s cover (that’s a 1949 Ford Lead Sled in the background, classic car lovers) and CD sleeve note credits (the musicians are the Mechanics; the special thanks nods go to the Performance Team; producers, sound engineers, graphic designers et al are the Pit Crew).
Such vehicular blues translates musically and lyrically through the two covers on Goin’ Gone.
Sam McGee’s country-pickin’ number 'Chevrolet Car' has been given a folksy foot-tappin’ engine overhaul, its primary gas supply coming from the fiddle of Matt Combs, while Mississippi Fred McDowall’s oft-covered 'Train I Ride' is a slow and easy six-minute excursion via fittingly rhythmic guitars, some slide and saxophone interjections from Jim Hoke.
When parked or derailed however there’s still plenty to get your rootsy 'n' bluesy teeth in to.
'Voodoo Groove' has a touch of Cajun behind its countrified guitar twangs while 'Memphis, Tennessee' (another to feature Jim Hoke, this time on harmonica), couldn’t be about anywhere else (although clearly its arrived via the neighbouring Mississippi Delta).
There’s some 450 miles of travel involved to get from 'Memphis, Tennessee' to the slow musical lane of 'Kansas City Blues' but it’s worth the trip; Kat Danser’s lazy but perfectly phrased vocals complement Steve Dawson’s pedal steel remarks in perfect, and bluesy, harmony.
Mention of Steve Dawson also brings necessary praise for his wider work on the album.
As with Kat Danser’s previous release, Baptized by the Mud, Goin' Gone is a collaboration between Danser and the Juno award-winning producer – Steve Dawson is responsible for the excellent production and sound mix, placing the instrumentation just where it needs to be to best serve the songs, Kat Danser’s voice and her story-telling lyricism.
Other highlights across the ten, Deep South blues nuggets that make up Goin’ Gone include the political call to arms of 'Light the Flame' (saxophone jabs and electric guitar cries flitting between the mandolins) and slow and smoky album closer, 'Time For Me To Go' ("t’aint nobody’s doin’, that’s just how the river flows" laments Kat Danser with a line that’s as lyrical as it is southern).
Kat Danser may be Goin’ places but on this sort of form, with this level of rootsy authenticity, she certainly won’t be Gone anytime soon.