Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power - Today Is The Day That They Take Me Away

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2015-08-19

Nashville’s Dave Cloud admittedly was not a musician known to me before this album, his last. He seems, though, a highly respected figure, a small community of followers sharing the same high degree of affection for the man as a talented showman, and as a human being whose influence genuinely transformed lives.

People like Kurt Wagner from Lambchop have eulogised Cloud (he died earlier this year from cancer) in an unequivocally emotional and metaphorical language, the sort of language usually preserved for philanthropic individuals rather than dead rockers. His inspiration reached many in Nashville's outsider musical community. He also seemed to have been endowed with an unerring life force, occasionally spilling over into self destructiveness. 

What about his music ? Well, it ranges from interesting but forgettably garbled garage rock, to [mostly] fantastic rock nuggets with the bestowed quality of a multi-faceted artist. As with musicians such as Eartha Kitt, Lux Interior or Screamin Jay Hawkins, the music is rich with characterisation. Its possible, listening to Cloud, to get completely lost in the narrative, as evocative as good literature.

Cloud has a voice somewhere between Tom Waits, Dr John and Tricky, a raspy narrative style suited to the garage rock heavy-riffed music in preponderance here. Although this style is often shambolic, the quality of the musicianship amongst the members of the Gospel of Power is first rate, as is the production.  

Its too easy to condescend outsider music by overstating its eccentricity rather than its creative force, or criticising inconsistency when experimental art is necessarily uncompromising in its spontaneity. For every stonker on here, there’s a head scratcher, but when Cloud nails it, there’s a party not far away.  

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