The Gary Harvey Band: Ghost Dance (garyharvey.co.nz)

 |   |  1 min read

The Gary Harvey Band: Mr Healy
The Gary Harvey Band: Ghost Dance (garyharvey.co.nz)

The familiar line about singer/songwriter and bassist Gary Harvey is that he is a mainstay of blues-influenced rock in New Zealand who has been around for exactly the right number of decades, which is many.

Eighteen months ago we had Gary answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire on the back of a live album with guitarist Tony Abbott as G'N'T Unhinged. Despite the indifference of mainstream media in New Zealand, Harvey is an irrepressible character who just keeps doing it. He and his current band -- himself, longtime pal Abbott and drummer Mike Beck -- play often enough to keep sharp, Harvey travels to the States when he can afford it and has a longtime passionate association with Native Americans.

Some of that seeps into this new band album, inspired by travels in the USA (Ground Zero nominally about the famous juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi which devolves into an eerie sonic landscape) and he revisits a few songs from the G'N'T outing . . . but here the energy levels are wound up, Abbott unleashes some furious guitar work (the startling opener Mr Healy is Indo-psychedelic rock) and invites in some guests to give additional breadth and variety.

Leza Corban's vocals add a pained soul-gospel flourish to the taut blues of Promised Land about the Native Americans' struggle to keep their heritage and land. 

This band can do head-down barroom boogie with the best (Nuthin' But the Blues) and deliver mainstream, angry urban hard rock (Tired of Thinkin', Boss Mama) for the car radio on a straight strip of road.

Gary Harvey may be a bit grizzled but there's also a soft heart at the centre, and the final track is the acoustic Kym Song, about and for his daughter.

But for most listeners the essence of the Gary Harvey Band is when they get locked in and let Abbott off the leash (Mr Healy, It Ain't Pretty, Don't Lie to Me with singer Erica Sunshine Lee).

Gary045Of course the best way to appreciate this -- aside from at volume with a beer -- is live and, as expected because it's just what they do, the GHB are taking this music to the people again.

GARY HARVEY BAND TOUR DATES


19/07/14: 
Gary Harvey Band in Auckland at The Kings Arms

15/08/14: 
Gary Harvey Band in Thames at Junction Hotel

19/09/14: 
Gary Harvey Band in Auckland at The Dog’s Bollix

2/10/14:   
Gary Harvey Band in Wellington at The Hotel Bristol

3/10/14:  
Gary Harvey Band in Napier at The Cabana

For more information on Gary Harvey and the band, and to purchase their CDs visit their website here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Wire: Change Becomes Us (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Wire: Change Becomes Us (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Few bands are worth a biography but Britain's Wire certainly earned the just-published Read & Burn which traces their story from influential post-punk minimalists (the first three albums)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day 2CD+DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day 2CD+DVD)

Here's a very timely Bargain Buy for you . . . because later this week we shall see the release of the next two Jimmy Page remastered Led Zeppelin albums. We've had the first three, now here... > Read more

Roger McGuinn: The Byrd who can't fly from his past

Roger McGuinn: The Byrd who can't fly from his past

The backstage meet'n'greet is usually an uncomfortable if not dire affair. Record company types, tour managers, promoter's flunkies and various levels of B-grade guests -- such a myself -- mill... > Read more