Like many, I have experienced Gaz’s music in various different guises from full electric band, three-piece, driven folk ensemble, busker-esque acoustic duo and solo player. Throughout all of these formats whether accompanied by wailing guitars, soaring fiddles, driving backbeats or whatever sounds he skilfully blends into these songs, one core feature remains the beating heart of his music. Simply the quality of the song writing.
Stripped down into the simplest of forms, one man and one guitar, it is this element more than anything which shines through. If the first collection of stripped back versions of his songs were selected by the fans, this second outing is Gaz filling in the gaps, a mixture of the selections which didn’t make the cut first time around plus a few personal choices.
Gaz’s songs shine with an honest love of his chosen profession, documenting the people, the travels, the new experiences, the highs and the lows, and the subject matter reflects the journey he has taken and the path, which still stretches out before him. Whether broken down on the side of the motorway (Hell or High Water,) the troubadour nature of his life (Four Chords and The Truth, The Buskers Song,) of reflection on the people who have shared the journey or influenced him (Tell it To The Beer, Frank and Sam) there always seems to be a song to be had out of each experience. And even in such a redacted format the songs range in style, from the dexterous intricacies of SN1 to the more pastoral folk of Cornish Fishing Town.
Many people use the stage and songs to build an act, to hide behind a mask but more than anyone else I know Gaz’s songs are just an extension of the man himself, they are open, charismatic, fun and at times cathartic. Journalists often talk about searching for the man behind the music but in this case the two are interchangeable, if you want to know anything about the artist, just listen to his songs. It’s as simple as that.