Dave Gershen / Dave & Jon Gershen / Jon Gershen

Faded Glory

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Brothers Dave Gershen and Jon Gershen, while members of the group Borderline (which included Jim Rooney), released an album called Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires in 1973, presaging the alternative country/Americana/No Depression movement by some 20 years. Mixing folk, blues, and country with strong songwriting, Borderline never quite received the attention that was due, and now Dave & Jon Gershen have emerged with Faded Glory, recorded at a digital studio in Pennsylvania. Their sound and approach hasn't changed much at all, and at times they sound like close cousins of their old Woodstock neighbors, the Band, who also had a good deal to do with the rise of roots Americana in the 1990s. The pace here is hushed, off-hand, and unhurried, with only Dave Gershen's "Carla" rising above mid-tempo, but the laid-back atmosphere brings the focus in on the songs themselves, which are well-written, carefully considered, and never-in-a-hurry-bits of personal wisdom, sort of like J.J. Cale's work, only with the desert spareness and tension smoothed out a bit. Both brothers have a similar writing style, and similar voices, giving Faded Glory a whole-cloth feel, but at times that lack of variance is a problem, and another up-tempo song or two would have made this an even better release. Still, this isn't intended to be a rip-snorting Saturday night record, but it is the kind of album you might put on the next morning to help with the recovery. Among the highlights are Dave Gershen's "Cabana Moon," and two songs by Jon Gershen -- the title track and "Unfinished Business" -- that benefit mightily from the organ playing of Dan McKinney, who also engineered the record.

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