Jerry Giddens and Killeen Foundry. Damn It Abby! Sputnik Recordings, 2014.
From Los Angeles to New Orleans lies the tale of Jerry Giddens. He was a prime mover on the West Coast in the early '80s, hammering out a durable rock identity in the rough and tumble L.A. clubs. But enough became enough and off to Louisiana he went, becoming a college professor and digging into the Crescent City. He continued to record albums and perform live, and today sounds like he's put all the pieces of the whole puzzle together. Maybe it just takes a decade or so to hit center, but Giddens has now found it.
Starting the album with Jelly Roll Morton's "Pretty Baby" sets the course just fine. From there it's a careening ride uptown, downtown and all around town. Jerry Giddens has an explorer's sense of sound, able to bring forth the silence of the French Quarter at dawn, Audubon Park at dusk and the Bywater at high noon. He's got a reporter's eye and a poet's ear, and right now no one is tapped into the source way down yonder quite like Giddens. Doubters are directed to the rawness of "St. James Infirmary," which is like a short reflection on Hurricane Katrina's devastation. Today's pioneering comeback ethos in New Orleans is written all over this album's songs. It might still be a work in progress, but forward remains the word of choice. Sure 'nuff. Bill Bentley – “Bentley’s Bandstand” The Morton Report
Jerry Giddens. little demons. Sputnik Recordings, 2011.
An advance copy of Little Demons has been floating around for a few years. Recorded in Burbank, Calif., with producer Dusty Wakeman, and at Loma Ranch in Texas, it took a while for a proper release of the electro-acoustic rock-folk collection, for good reason. For the troubadour now known in academic circles as Dr. Jerry Giddens, making music took a backseat to getting a Ph.D. and a job teaching in the English department at Southern University in New Orleans.
The songs on Little Demons are nonetheless forceful, vital and timely. Since his days fronting the band Walking Wounded, Giddens, literate and literary, has been unafraid of casting a critical eye on, and wielding a sharp pencil and equally sharp tongue in service to, topics ranging from the vagaries of love to the foibles of society. Giddens also is unafraid of stepping up to a mike, putting impassioned vocals to good use and rocking the folk.
The title track is quiet without being mellow; Pray for Rain rides on an infectious groove and hurdy-gurdy licks; and Blue Roof, There Are No Angels Here and Wasted offer food for thought with serious rhythm. The demons don't all get exorcised, but they get plenty of exercise.
JIM BEAL JR
San Antonio Express-News
Gaucho Gil. The Ballad of Gaucho Gil. Sputnik Recordings/Hemifran, 2006.
Walking Wounded. artificial hearts. Stonegarden Records, 2002/Taxim Records, 2002.
Giddens, Jerry. Walking Wounded: Cuts 1984-1994. Sputnik Recordings, 1999.
Giddens, Jerry. For Lydia. Sputnik Recordings, 1994.
Giddens, Jerry. The Devil’s Front Door. Dr. Dream Records, 1992.
Walking Wounded. Live at the China Club. Taxim Records, 2002.
Walking Wounded. Hard Times. Dr. Dream Records, 1991/Taxim Records 1991.
Walking Wounded. Raging Winds of Time. Chameleon/Capitol, 1989/Taxim Records, 1999.
Giddens, Jerry. Livin’ Ain’t Easy. Mountain Railroad Records, 1989/Line Records, 1989.
Walking Wounded. The New West. Chameleon/Capitol Records, 1986/Line Records, 1986
Walking Wounded. Walking Wounded. Stonegarden, 1984.
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