CMJ (7/12/99, p.24) - "...[AMERICAN MUSIC] is an aptly titled celebration of...spry fiddling, soulful guitar picking and gravelly, tough vocals....[It] is so damn powerful that it's hard to disagree....that 'his time has come at last'..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/99, p.112) - "...[It's] good to hear Gatemouth Brown...filling the gap between guitar blues and swing - real swing, Count Basie style, with the hornmen shaking out the old but vibrant charts like 'Hootie Blues' and 'I'm Beginning To See The Light'....Super summertime swing..."
Personnel: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (vocals, guitar, fiddle); Kaye Dorian (vocals); Raymond Moore, Wes Anderson, Eric Demmer (alto saxophone); Anthony Dagradi, Eric Traub (tenor saxophone); Anthony T. Frigo (baritone saxophone); Nicholas Payton, Bernard Floyd, Robert Campo (trumpet); Steve Suter, Peter McEachern, Jerry Verges, Jr., John H. Touchy (trombone); Joseph Krown (keyboards); Harold Floyd (bass); David S. Peters (drums).
Producers: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Jim Bateman.
Recorded at Ultrasonic Recording Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana from January 4-6, 1999.
AMERICAN MUSIC delivers 13 tracks in the big band, horn-dominated context Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown fans have come to love. The sound here, as orchestrated by Wardell Quezergue, is polished, airtight, and, at times, positively overwhelming. Brown's guitar (characterized here by a subtler, jazzier feel than the slashing attack of his youth) and violin playing are showcased in the opener, "Rock My Blues Away." The pace quickens with wildly swinging cuts such as "Half Steppin'" and the Jay McShann/Charlie Parker number "Jumpin' The Blues," then slows with the steamy, languid blues of Percy Mayfield's "Strange Things Happen."
Age has given Brown's singing a weathered texture that makes up in character what it lacks in agility, but his deft instrumental chops, as evidenced by the album's three Duke Ellington covers, are dazzling as ever. This is yet another superior set from one of America's musical treasures.