Nanaimo blues musician David Gogo won Blues Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards last month.
Gogo said he didn’t expect to win because he’s been in the running before for an award for his album Soul Bender. It was previously nominated for Best Blues Album of the Year from the Juno Awards.
“I was thrilled. I was just pleased,” said Gogo. “It was kind of funny because I didn’t have a speech prepared.”
Luckily the awards were announced two at a time so as the other recipient accepted their award he was busy crafting his speech.
Soul Bender was created in the Nanaimo Lois Lane Studios. Gogo worked with Rick Salt to perfect the album, which is a mixture of original songs and covers. It includes a blues version of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel.
In the music business Gogo said he always gets asked ‘what have you done lately?’. Yet, even though Soul Bender was released last year people are still talking about it.
“It’s had a pretty good life,” he said. “It’s got the best reviews of my career.”
Gogo said when he plays blues live he connects with the audience and shares his humour. On an album he doesn’t have that opportunity. However, with Soul Bender, at the Nanaimo Lois Lane Studios the musicians interacted with each other to capture “the live off the floor” flavour, he said.
As a blues performer Gogo travels extensively and those experiences are translated into his songs.
“Experience really factors in to the music, especially lyrically,” he said.
Gogo is planning to release a Christmas album this year, Christmas with the Blues.
The album highlights blues songs from the 50s and 60s. The only traditional Christmas song on the album is an instrumental version of The Little Drummer Boy.
“It’s a real kind of traditional blues album, a little laid back than I usually do,” said Gogo. “It’s my first real authentic blues album from beginning to end.”
He’ll perform at the newly renovated Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, the old Caprice Theatre, on Dec. 1. The show details are currently being nailed down.