"I can't fit into my skinny black jeans anymore," laments veteran blues rocker David Gogo on the appropriately titled, hard-driving, Stones-inflected, and likely autobiographical "Getting Old." Only in his early forties at the time of its 2011 release, he's obviously not letting fears of his advancing years slow or dull his attack, as his sixth release in a decade shows. Gogo isn't a particularly distinctive guitarist, but as this disc's title implies (Soul-Bender is also the name of the Fulltone guitar pedal he uses); he infuses plenty of soul with his bluesy rock & roll. To that end, a crackling version of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," played as a high-energy swamp rocker with female backing vocals and horns, seems like a Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes cover instead of a hit for the King of Pop. Gogo is in tough voice throughout, charging into the rugged "Slow It Down" and a slinky slide guitar-driven burner "Do You Know How It Feels?" with raw nerves exposed. As usual, he uncorks some terrific covers (in addition to Jackson's); stampeding his blues guitar leads on the Robin Trower/Procol Harum nugget "Whisky Train" and the Doors' underappreciated "The Changeling" with chops and imagination.
Stéphane Grappelli (26 January 1908 – 1 December 1997) was a French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934. It was one of the first all-string jazz bands. He has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists" and continued playing concerts around the world well into his 80s.
Different worlds have always collided, vividly, in the sound of GoGo Penguin. The Manchester-based trio conjure richly atmospheric music that draws from their shared love of electronica, their grounding in classical conservatoires and jazz ensembles alongside indie bands, and a merging of acoustic and electronic techniques. Their latest album, A Humdrum Star, builds on the heady momentum of its acclaimed predecessors, the Mercury Prize-nominated V2.0 (2014) and Man Made Object (2016, marking their move to the legendary Blue Note Records), and transports it to new realms.