Dave Gleason

Turn and Fade

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Dave Gleason has been haunting the shadows at the dark end of the street for most of his career, telling the tales of lonely men tortured by heartbreak, hard drinkin', and hopelessness. Until recently, he made his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the few honky tonk heroes on the local scene, but determined to keep the flame of hardcore country music burning bright. Gleason moved to L.A. in 2007, and while he may fit in better with that city's underground country scene, his emotional life hasn't taken an upswing, at least if the tunes on Turn and Fade are any indication. He's backed up by members of Pasadena's Old Californio, a band that blends classic rock with honky tonk, just like Gleason. The result is another gloomy session of barstool therapy with Dr. Gleason dispensing his wounded wisdom in his familiar downbeat style. Highlights include "If You're Going Through Hell," a downbeat tale of lost love and alcohol-drenched regret accented by some razor-sharp guitar work; "The Neon and the Wine," a quietly desperate lament with aching harmonies supplied by Cindy Wasserman and weeping pedal steel accents by Chris Lawrence; the stark "Wait for the Rain," subtly delivered by Gleason and his acoustic guitar; and "Tonight," a country-meets-R&B dirge with hints of the Eagles in its grieving harmonies. The title track is the album's toughest, with a great 12-string guitar hook and Gleason's vocal combining equal measures of anger and desolation. One hopes that Gleason's songs aren't reflective of his real life, but anyone who's ever been in pain, in jail, or insane with grief will find plenty of comfort here.

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