Dave Giles – Tennessee & 48th Album Review
Whilst touring over the last few months Dave Giles’ set lists have consisted of a lot of new songs from the upcoming album, Tennessee & 48th. A bold move from an artist playing songs to audiences for whom the majority haven’t heard before. This in itself shows how much faith Dave has in the albums quality and how he is thriving on the new material.
Inspired by genre heavyweights like Jason Isbell and Zac Brown and the Nashville episode of Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways documentary, in January 2018 the 33-year-old jetted off to the USA to start work on his most ambitious project to date. Having raised an impressive £25,000 with his loyal fanbase, Giles and his producer Dean Dichoso put together a band of incredible musicians in the perfect studio (Welcome To 1979), located on the corner of Tennessee and 48th Avenue, the inspiration for the album title.
When promoting a new album artists in the majority of cases will announce that it is the best thing they have ever written or performed and Dave Giles is no different. He himself apologizes to crowds for talking too much when all they want to hear are the actual songs. However, Dave seems to be the only one aware of how much he talks as the crowd hang onto every word he speaks when telling the story behind each song.
New single Taken Too Soon is the first song to be released from Tennessee and 48th, a tribute to a fan that Dave befriended who suddenly passed away. The song paves the way for that Nashville / Americana sound Dave was aiming to create for the album. If you enjoy this track then without a doubt you are going to love the album. That’s not to say Taken Too Soon is a weak song compared to the rest, in fact quite the opposite. Each song has its own personality and personal meaning and is one of the reasons that the album works so well. Upon first listen Tennessee and 48th stands out for songs such as “Shoebox”, “Devil in a Green Dress” and “The Last Man on the Moon”. After a few more listens you’ll find that favourite tracks revolve and continue to do so with each listen. The sign of not just a good album but a fucking great one.
Opening track “Child Again” is a wonderfully written song about Dave and his grandmother and the effect dementia can have on a relationship. Dave manages to turn a sad situation into a memorable positive despite the difficulties living with dementia presents for both the person and their family. “Demons” stretches Dave’s voice to places we’ve not heard before on previous recordings which can also be said for a few tracks on this album. From the moment the first chorus kicks in the song steadily builds leading to an incredible fiddle solo and Dave really pushing himself vocally. On “No One Knows” you find almost the opposite to “Demons” with Dave having an almost lazy slur to his performance which fits beautifully with the line “It’s getting late I’ve had a few”. When it comes to the final third of the song he belts it out to the point you can hear him literally pushing and forcing the emotion from his body. I later discovered that his producer at the time of recording gave him a few whiskies which further adds to the involvement these guys went to in making the album.
The production on an album can sometimes be overlooked by an audience but Dave doesn’t take his audience for granted and as a result its one of the best I’ve heard in years. There’s so much going on musically and yet subtly that it’s reminiscent of the album Gold by Ryan Adams and that is an achievement in itself. In tracks “Just Another No One” and “Demons” you hear something new upon each listen and that can be said for each track on the album. Instruments don’t overpower each other and are emphasized wonderfully when solo’s are required.
The greatest thing the album achieves is what Dave Giles intended to do in the first place, creating the best album he could (up to now at least). Not only does it live up to the hype that he has generated at gigs and throughout conversations, it goes one step further and exceeds expectations. Lyrically it has hooks that will have you singing along and tapping your foot to the tune and within moments close to tears. It’s a very complete album and hard to fault.
At the end of year when looking back on musical highlights for myself, Dave Giles’, Tennessee and 48th will definitely be considered as one of the best albums released this year.
If you’d like to hear Dave Giles talk about the new album Tennessee & 48th and how it was made check back on Sunday 28th October for an exclusive Podcast Interview.
To find out more about Dave Giles and the new album visit our Artist in the Spotlight page HERE