Gail George

Gail George

 East Village, New York, USA
SoloPopAdult Contemporary

She's California meets Liverpool meets New York City - melodic vocals over chiming guitars - it's earnest, sweet and rocking. With a touch of whimsy and a whole lot of heart.

Biography

As a talented singer/songwriter, Gail George is a true artist. Not in a pretentious, “artiste” manner, but rather as a person who loves to create, share her passion for music and follow her muse. 

Gail has been singing professionally and writing songs since the early ‘80s, and her debut EP, the gorgeous, California-meets-Liverpool-by-way-of-New-York Follow Your Bliss, was released in 2003. She’s also contributed tunes to various compilations, including a rollicking version of “Mr. Moon, Mr. Cupid and I” recorded for a Gene Pitney tribute. Gail’s Kirsty MacColl/Aimee Mann-like vocal stylings are passionate and sweet, with a touch of whimsy and a whole lot of heart – much like Gail herself.

Gail lived in New York City from 2006 through early 2012, until a series of circumstances took her back to her childhood home in Sacramento, California. When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in October 2012, however, Gail found herself “aching for my city,” and a series of events led to her returning to the Big Apple late that year. It was after her return to NYC that Gail was asked to contribute a track to an Elvis Costello tribute album, “Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello.” Her version of Costello’s “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror” is at once playful, dramatic and brimming with soul, and working on the track sparked Gail’s interest in doing more recording. This led to a collaboration with musician and fellow Sacramento native Early Times on Gail’s fabulous new nine-song disc, The Barrio Sessions featuring Early Times.

Speaking of the talented Mr. Times, Gail says, “We both swam in the same musical waters back in the ‘90s [in Sacramento] and although I knew of him, our paths never crossed. Fast forward 20 years, we’re both now in New York and via a mutual friend we were finally introduced last year.” 

The Barrio Sessions was recorded at Early’s studio in Spanish Harlem, and Gail says the unique, active surroundings helped inform some of the songs’ arrangements. “Many times a vocal take was interrupted or we would have to redo it because of the street traffic, sirens, car horns, and Latin music pouring out of the cars stopped at the intersection below,” she laughs. The bitter kiss off “Mythomaniac” (“You know it’s not that special when the words are make believe”) begins with some of the street sounds of Spanish Harlem, while the low-key, charming “Nobody’s Friend” features some softly strummed, Latin-flavored guitar and sweet-sounding horns.

Other jewels to be unearthed on The Barrio Sessions include “Walk Away,” which begins as a softly sung number and climaxes as something close to a primal confessional. As Gail nearly cries out, “Stepping through the wreckage, all I felt was pain...never felt safe, never felt sane,” the listener is drawn in and feels some of the same pain that she experienced, which is the mark of an excellent songwriter: taking something personal and making it universal. Elsewhere, “Thank You” is a delicate musical love letter to the Beatles (written after George Harrison passed away), and glides along quite beautifully on Gail’s heartfelt, torchy vocals and Early Times’ appropriately understated acoustic guitar. The disc-closing “Little Pink Notes” finds Gail and Early, in Gail’s words, “channeling Harold Melvin, as we did our best to pay homage to the great soul records of the 70s.” They succeed in spades, with Early’s tasteful guitar bits and Gail’s gorgeous, soulful (of course) lead and backing vocals combining to make the tune a special treat.

As for why she named the record The Barrio Sessions, Gail explains: “So many of the great records I grew up with and absolutely loved were named and inspired by the very studios they were recorded in: American Sound Studios in Memphis, Honky Chateau in France, Caribou in Colorado, Fame in Muscle Shoals Alabama, Sound City in LA and on and on.” The Barrio Sessions is a musical neighborhood that you’ll want to visit again and again; it’s a truly sublime, late night record that details loss, heartbreak and redemption in a subtle, yet accessible manner.


- John M. Borack, Goldmine Magazine

Discography

TRANZ EP and 45 Single
1983 / Beat Records (cassette and vinyl only, out of print)
Lead vocals, backing vocals, co-songwriter

ROOM WITH A VIEW EP
1987 / Self released (cassette only, out of print)
Lead vocals, backing vocals, co-songwriter

TEXAS MIDGETS - MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES
1990 / Mad Rover Records – MR 1809-2
Backing vocals

CARON VIKRE – S/T
1991 / Maclennon Music – ML0001
Backing vocals and vocal arrangements

CARON VIKRE - SAQQARA
1992 / Maclennon Music – ML0002
Backing vocals and vocal arrangements

THE MASTICATORS – MASTICATE!
2000 / To M’Lou Music – PIG-5
Backing vocals: “Help Me Dream”

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW, VOL. 4
2001 / Not Lame Recording Co.
Contributing track: “Fool’s Paradise”

GENE PITNEY TRIBUTE
October 2002 -To M’Lou Records
Contributing track: “Mr. Moon, Mr. Cupid & I”

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS
January 2003 – Self release
Songwriter, lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion

THE BARRIO SESSIONS WITH EARLY TIMES
October 2014 – Self release
Songwriter, lead and backing vocals

BEYOND BELIEF: A TRIBUTE TO ELVIS COSTELLO
January 2015 – Spyder Pop Records
Contributing track: Deep Dark Truthful Mirror