Canadian Gerry Griffin has been a professional musician since 1963, but as a harmonica player he always stood in the shadows, although it was in Long John Baldry’s and Willy Dixon’s among others.
In 1996 he recorded his debut, Hour Glass. Apart from the harmonica, he sang and played the acoustic guitar and the mandolin in ten songs, recorded live with a band in the studio. He got inspiration for these semi-electric, already often folky songs during an unjust prison sentence in Northern Africa and Spain.
Although he regularly played live with his partner in music and life Heather Houston afterwards, his work as a recording engineer, producer and composer of sound tracks stood in the way of a second record.
That gave his songs time to mature, because Griffin plays the ten songs on this second cd in an open style that mixes folk and singer-songwriter with a jazzy timing. As a result his new songs sound as self-assured as they sound relaxed, just like Chasing The Dragon, which he recorded again.
That is also the result of the atmospheric but minimal accompaniment by Corey Macfadyen or Michael Turenne on bass and Houston op background vocals, dulcimer and African thumb piano. Griffin’s hoarse, expressive and free-floating vocals create a second melody on top of his music, which often flows just as beautifully as determinedly anyway.
In his lyrics the purified Griffin sings about his feelings for Houston through thin and thin and voices what he expects from the present and the future without reservations. His songs are drenched in his dented, but unaffected believe in love and that is why this non-sentimental masterpiece hits you hard.