An outstanding 20-song compilation album of Phil Gammage’s best from the 1990’s.
As the 1990’s began Gammage began to perform and record with some of the top rock musicians New York had to offer. Players such as Vinny DeNunzio (Feelies, Richard Hell), Marc Jeffrey (Band of Outsiders), Wendy Wild (Fleshtones, Das Furlines), and David Kaufman (The Nails) just to name a few. The chemistry between these like-minded musicians was amazing and what resulted were four stunning and at the time overlooked masterpieces; NIGHT TRAIN (1990) , KNEEL TO THE RISING SUN (1991), CRY OF THE CITY (1993), and LOWLIFE STREET (1994). What these records spotlight is not only Gammage’s outstanding guitar playing but his brilliant songwriting skills and vocals. With the exception of CRY OF THE CITY these CDs were all released in Europe on France’s New Rose Records (or their successor Last Call Records) and never found a large audience in Gammage’s native United States.
Later in the decade Gammage expanded musically to the worlds of blues, lounge, jazz and swing as well as returning to his rock roots with a reunited Certain General.
SourMash Records and PreFab International Productions are pleased to release MOTEL SONGS, a collection of many of the best songs off those four solo Gammage records. The years ‘90-’94 were particularly productive and creative for Phil and the songs in this collection speak with an emotive honesty that is as timeless as the day they were released. Finally a decade later most of these songs see their first American release.
Tracks #1–#4 from Night Train (New Rose 214)
Recorded at Donny Fury’s, New York, NY, Fall 1989. Engineered by Donny Fury.
Personnel: Phil Gammage: vocals, guitars, mandolin; Vinny DeNunzio: drums, percussion, backing vocals; Joe Drake: bass; Marc Jeffrey: dobro on #3 and #4.
Tracks #6–#10 from Kneel to the Rising Sun (New Rose 249)
Recorded at Harold Dessau, N.Y., N.Y. July-August 1990. Engineered by Drew Vogelman.
Personnel: Phil Gammage: vocals, guitars, harmonica on #8; Vinny DeNunzio: drums, percussion, backing vocals, harmonica on #5 and #9; Martin Blazy: drums, percussion, backing vocals; Marc Jeffrey: guitars, slide guitar on #5, #7, #9 and #10, 12-string guitar on #6; David Lee: bass; David Kaufman: piano on #5, #6, #7, #8.
Tracks #11–#15 from Cry of the City (Marilyn 1019)
Recorded at Harold Dessau and Concrete Music, New York, NY. August 1991- June 1992. Engineered by D. Lee
Personnel: Phil Gammage: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Martin Blazy: drums, percussion, backing vocals; David Lee: bass, programming; Dennis DeMeo: pedal steel guitar on #14 and #15; David Kaufman: piano on #11 and #12; Victor Winograd: lead guitar on #14 and #15; Wendy Wild: backing vocals on #11 and #13.
Tracks #16—#20 from Lowlife Street (Last Call 3056312)
Recorded at Harold Dessau, New York, NY. October 1993 – April 1994. Engineered by David Lee.
Personnel: Phil Gammage: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Martin Blazy: drums, percussion, backing vocals; Jon Cormany: bass; David Kaufman: keyboards, Wendy Wild: vocals on #18: Joe Nieves: vocals on #17 and #19.
Produced by Phil Gammage. All songs written by Phil Gammage (Mayan Music – BMI) except “Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me” (Fred Neil – BMI), “Slide Machine” (Powell St. John – BMI), and “The Stranger” (Gammage, C. Neel – Mayan Music BMI). Booklet cover photos by Joanne Chan. Inside booklet photos by Dennis Landau, Analee Adolfsen, Chris Mazarin, and Mark Levin. Art direction and design by Gammage and Kerri McKay.