For David Gogo, going on tour is a chance for him to take a break from the rigours of recording, empty his mind and indulge in his craft.
“When you’re in the recording studio you’re in there for 10-, 12-hour days and it can be a little bit of a brain overload,” he said. “I knew that I’d be at the end of our process right now, recording-wise, and I just wanted to get out and do some acoustic shows, clear my head, so then I could come home with fresh ears and approve the final product.”
The Vancouver Island blues singer-guitarist will be performing at The Root: Community Emporium on May 23 as part of the Saskatchewan leg of ongoing tour. The new album he is working on, which Gogo describes as “riff-rock blues,” is scheduled to be released in early July. His 14th record since 1994 will also be his first to be recorded on vinyl.
“The vinyl won’t be out until September because there’s such a demand now for vinyl, but there are only a certain amount of places that press it, so you have to get in line and there’s a several-month waiting list to get in there,” Gogo said. “It’s crazy it’s so popular right now and because they shut down all the pressing plants, now that it’s starting again they’re staring to activate them, but a lot of them haven’t been running for 20 years, so they’re having to get everything working properly.”
Gogo’s last album, 2013’s Come on Down, was inspired by a pilgrimage through the blues belt of the southern United States. He says that experience continues to inform his new music.
“If there’s any kind of theme with this new album I think its just relationship stuff, falling in love falling out of love, dealing with both those situations,” he said. “The main thing is musically it’s more of a trimmed-back format. It’s almost like I’ve written the songs so they can be more transferable to the stage when I play with my band.”
Gogo is bringing some museum-worthy instruments with him on his trek, calling back to the early days of blues music.
“I’ve got a 1930 National steel body guitar and then I’ve got an old Gibson guitar from about 1918, so I’ve got these antiques that I’m playing,” he said. “Some people say, ‘What are you doing travelling (with those guitars?)’ Well, those are the tools of my trade. Those are the instruments, they are meant to be played and they’ve got such a great, unique sound.”
The work never seems to end for Gogo. After wrapping up a series of tour dates in in the prairies, Gogo and his band will be rehearsing songs from the new album and preparing for the summer festival season.
“We’re going to record some keyboards for the new album on Monday on the mainland and I’ve got Tuesday to do my laundry and I’ll be on the airplane Wednesday and heading out to Saskatchewan,” he said.