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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Gypsy Carns
12 tracks / 36 mins
By day Gypsy Carns is Global Director of Customer Relations for Gibson Guitars, but at some points in his life he is a gritty, stomping blues player with a passion for street preaching, even in places like Amsterdam and Jerusalem.
In 2006 he preached from the Mount of Olives and at the Wailing Wall about Israel's need to turn to Christ. The messianic theme comes out strongly in this release, probably more than in any of his other discs. With song titles like “Wailing Wall” and “Sound the Trumpet” Israel's fate is clearly on his mind.
These lyrics ride on a steaming locomotive of rock-fuelled Delta blues. As you would expect from his day job, Carns' playing is powerful, rich and fast.
The key to enjoying this disc is probably the amount that his apocalyptic vision grabs you. If you share the passion, it will fire you up; if you find it a little remote from your everyday experience (you're already a Christian and you're not Jewish), then you might find that the words detract from some frenetic playing.
For me, the fine guitar skills are badly let down by some teenage songwriting. As well as the prosaic style, he manages to get two of the unholy trinity of rhymes in one disc – earth with birth and love with above. (He missed out on sorrow with tomorrow).
I didn't engage with this disc until the pure blues of the eighth track, “Searchin'” - which is not unlike “Nobody's Fault but Mine” - and Its follow-up “End of the Age,” where a funky riff plays against a tasty slide. Carns seems big-hearted and skilled with his instrument, but if he doesn't hone his song-writing, much of his guitar playing talent will be wasted.
There's an excellent preview on his site at http://www.gypsycarns.com, which also offers free downloads of some of his earlier and better releases.