The emergence of GIG on today’s indie music scene reminds us that sometimes, the most dynamic and compelling pop super-groups are made up of behind the scenes guys who may not be household names but whose resumes as songwriters and studio musicians are legendary.
When you start listening to the breezy, soulful, poetic and thought-provoking classic West Coast pop- rock-influenced magic of the trio’s full length debut Brave New World, you may be inclined to Google Randy Goodrum (vocals, B-3), Dave Innis (piano, programming, background vocals) and Bruce Gaitsch (guitars and programming). That’s an endlessly joyous rabbit hole of the last 40 years of pop music, but don’t let their collective hundreds of credits distract you from their present day glories and keen ability to impact your emotions today with their lush, acoustic pop, jazz and country tinged tunes.
The lyrics Goodrum brings to life here with his alternately lilting and rock-edged vocals may never be as famous as those he wrote back in the day for Anne Murray, Steve Perry and Toto, but his offbeat, sometimes heartbreaking isolation centered character studies “Ramblin’ Dan,” “Pete, Peddler,” “Hernando’s Paradise” and “Waiting” are powerful additions to his deep canon. He brings his poetic insight into more lighthearted musings as well, including the easy loping, mystery laden “The Box” (which is full of clever cultural references from long ago) and “Little Flame,” a playful pop-rocker that looks back poignantly on childhood romance that flickers on despite the passage of many years. Waxing philosophical, he explores the nature of God on “All There Is.”
Goodrum’s lead voice stands out in many ways, but the chordal and rhythmic foundation laid by Innis and Gaitsch (along with other studio stalwarts) is the powerful engine sparking the whimsy. The final track, the gorgeous, bluesy ballad “All I’ll Ever Need” is features GIG in a supporting role, playing the instruments behind the passionate vocals of the late great session singer Warren Wiebe that were recently rediscovered. It’s fascinating to see these legends behind the legends step out into this Brave New World and have such a blast doing it!