Masterfully produced by Kevin Tooley, Adventures in Bluesland features Phil singing lead vocals and playing guitar and harmonica. Don Fiorino is on lap steel guitar and banjo, Richard Demler on bass, Tooley on drums and percussion, and Joseph Nieves on backing vocals.
Gammage draws his musical inspiration from many sources of “roots” music, but in particular it is the most American musical form of all — the blues (which is the true essence of man and womankind) that defines this new collection of songs. Phil deconstructs blues music and then reassembles it with a unique sensibility toward the human condition. The result is a music that is sometimes raucous, sometimes creepy/moody, and always grooving. This collection features several new Gammage compositions, as well his unique versions of traditional songs. Unlike many of the new breed of blues-inspired musicians, Phil pays tribute to, but doesn’t copy the form. It’s a happening and unique sound and no one else plays it like he does. As the album title Adventures in Bluesland describes, it truly is an adventure exploring the blues.
The website Second Hand Songs goes into fascinating detail about the origin and history of the cover songs Gammage chose to record for this album. This includes the various artists that have recorded them before. It’s a good read.