Tiger Gagan
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Tiger Gagan

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Blues

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""Hendrix would approve...""

Not too many guitar heroes have the gonads to try to make music totally on the strength of their instrument. I can’t think of any. It’s rare enough to hear an instrumental tune on any popular music recording, and there are a very few instrumental bands out there. Well pay attention folks, ‘cause there’s a rockin’ bluesman in your neighborhood. His name is Tiger Gagan, and he’s a well-traveled guitar geek, having arrived in Music City a couple years back after years of playing and traveling out West. Gagan’s band, Wild Animal, can be heard on February the 16th and on March the 8th and the 22nd at Richard’s. Word has it that Gagan’s live performances are incendiary, so I hope that Richard has got his fire extinguishers ready! Tiger is known to do all kinds of depraved and debauched things to his guitar (stuff Hendrix would approve, but never tried…) while wailing away in pursuit of rockin’ blue Nirvana. All with no singing…

The Wild Animal disc is called Wild Animal, and is available through www.wildanimalband.com It is a treasure for guitar fans. The session is carried by Gagan’s guitar, with no vocals on it at all. The lack of human voice allows the listener to appreciate the melodies and blasts that flow from the guitar. Stomping around mostly in slide blues, but with a little Hawaiian slack key thrown in, the artist holds the attention of any music fan with just his innovative guitar work. My favorite from this outing is called “Undertow” and is a blues/surf hybrid slashing guitar piece. I also dig the opening cut, called “Pickin’ the Blues.” All the tunes are good for your blues collection. Get ‘em!

--Shannon Williford, Nashville Music Guide, Nashville, TN
- Nashville Music Guide


""When it comes to old-fashioned slide guitar, few of Tiger's contemporaries can sing the blues quite like him.""

When it comes to old-fashioned slide guitar, few of Tiger's contemporaries can sing the blues quite like him. Armed with a unique energy and screaming guitar solos - i.e. "Swankin" -, the Nashville resident makes up for his lack of eclectic-ness with a complete understanding of blues traditionalism - shown on "Scrappy Blues" and "Woman On My Mind" - and his pure unadulterated skill.

Tiger's most polished song "Swankin" is an exercise in control and riff continuity. The guitar is fast paced and stays solid throughout the two and a half minute-long blues instrumental. While never betraying the steady chop-thwop drumbeat, Tiger varies the guitar slides and keeps the tangents fiery but controlled, never losing steam as some modern day "rock solos" have a tendency to do - fuck Velvet Revolver. In between solos, Tiger exits the main riff and goes into a blaze of palm muted picking culminating in a well-toned break.

Howling Wolf or Robert Johnson could've written "Scrappy Blues" and "Woman On My Mind", given their strict adherence to old-school principles. "Scrappy Blues" is a much slower instrumental, which sounded like it was recorded on the same equipment Son House used back in the 1920's. The fuzz of the live recording gave it a nostalgic feel, reminiscent of classic recordings and really fit the piece nicely. "Woman On My Mind" was any number of blues songs thrown together with the same old motifs of longing and unrequited love, which is the main problem with Tiger's style; it's really old. While the music itself isn't bad; the songs are dated and only fans of the real old time blues will get a kick out of it, them and thrice convicted hipsters trying to be cooler than their artsy friends

Delusions of Adequacy (www.adequacy.net) - Delusions of Adequacy (www.adequacy.net)


""...some of the tastiest slide-guitar riffs..."

"...some of the tastiest slide-guitar riffs I've heard in a while ...nothing less than a great big cosmic crossroads in the sky." - The Independent (Colorado Springs, CO)


""...one of the best guitarists that I've ever seen!""

"...one of the best guitarists that I've ever seen!" - LA Rock Review (Los Angeles, CA)


""...Gagan's ideas are nearly always fresh and appealing.""

"...Gagan's ideas are nearly always fresh and appealing." - Pasatiempo (Santa Fe, NM)


""Gagan is one of the most creative guitarists in the state.""

"Gagan is one of the most creative guitarists in the state." - The MICLine (Albuquerque, NM)


"And Jerry Donahue says..."

"I greatly enjoy the style of slide playing that Tiger has developed in his own way. Not only is he skilled in his technique -- his truest strength is in his ability to summon imaginative and emotive phrases, spontaneously creating solos that are truly unique and gratifying."

- Jerry Donahue, renowned guitarist for the Hellecasters, The Proclaimers, Fairport Convention, etc.


"“Fabulent tonation..."

“Fabulent tonation, glorimous decomposition, filthish slidery and deep blue lickidge.”
Lewis Winn, jazz guitarist extraordinaire - Fan testimonial


"Highly inventive blues!"

"Highly inventive, mind bending, crazy but beautiful, soulful, ... *blues*!"
JM, Albuquerque, NM - Fan testimonial


""The man absolutely knows which notes to play""

Opening with a Ronnie Earl-like blues riff on Elmore James' "Pickin' the Blues," the relatively unknown Tiger Gagan leads his blues trio through some of the hottest Southwestern-flavored blues you'll ever hear outside of Texas. (Gagan is based out of that noted blues hotbed, Nashville.) Invoking inevitable comparisons to everyone from the renowned Earl to Don Leady of the Tail Gators, from Los Straitjackets to Atlanta's Reddog, Gagan displays both supremely impressive technical virtuosity and impeccable taste. The man (photos on his Web site indicate he's closer to a grayback than cub) absolutely knows which notes to play to get the feeling he's looking for, and never lets a desire to impress get in the way. Bending notes while simultaneously picking them like a claw-hammer banjo player, Gagan has created an album that's as much fun to listen to as anything heard in '07. (Available from CDBaby.com.)
--Jim Trageser, North County Times’ Preview, San Diego, CA
- North County Times’ Preview, San Diego, CA


Discography

Wild Animal by Wild Animal (2007)
Galore by Bing (2004)
Eden by Scott Cadenasso (2000)
Shock to the System by the Gagan Bros Band (2000)
Live at the Catamount by the Gagan Bros Band (1999)
Happy Time by the Gagan Bros Band (1997)
Four Legs In The Morning by Bichos (1996)
The New West by Renegade Country (1994)
Spreading the Love Vibration by 27 Devils Joking (1992)
Smells Like Fun by 27 Devils Joking (1989)
2 Song EP by Roky Erickson(1988)
Slonger by 27 Devils Joking (1988)

Photos

Bio

We don't need no stinkin lyrics!
…just a drumkit, a bass, and a guitar. An electric guitar that is, that raw, raucous wild animal that can make a man cry or send a crowd careening around the room like a carousel broken loose from its pinnings.

And the man onstage with the electric guitar—-if you can see past the dancers to get a look at him-—he’s known as Tiger. A southpaw, he wears a slide on his right pinky and a smile on his face. He plays a note, shakes the slide along the string, creating a wicked vibrato. His smile broadens. No question, he loves what he’s doing. The bass man is smiling too, and so is the drummer; that’s a rockin’ rhythm they got going, judging from the dancers’ enthusiasm.

Tiger strikes the string again, ferociously, and the notes come screaming out of the amp, an ol’ tube amp that Tiger built himself. He makes his way to the edge of the stage, then leaps onto the dance floor. With his guitar he’s teasing the dancers, stalking the audience. He whips the guitar around and plays it behind his head—-cool enough, yeah, but we’ve all seen that. Wait—-he’s dropped the guitar! No—-he’s got it on the floor and he’s playing it somehow. The dancers circle round, the rhythm sections eases up, dropping the volume down low, so low that for a moment you could almost hear somebody whisper. Those in the audience that are still sitting get to their feet so they can see, curious about what’s going on. Is Tiger licking the guitar neck? No, no, he’s playing slide, holding the slide in his mouth! Now he’s playing with his foot!

The bass and drums lean into it a bit harder. More people are standing, crowding around, craning their necks to watch. They see the slide hit the ground and Tiger flip the guitar over. Now the guitar is face down, strings on top of the slide. Starting low, Tiger slowly pushes and shakes the guitar over the slide, the pitch rising, the rhythm and volume increasing, the tension swelling. Tiger keeps pushing the guitar along the floor, the slide moving simultaneously up all six strings. People are hollering, whistling, shouting, jumping. Tiger’s bouncing the guitar on the slide, pushing the pitch ever higher, the bass and drums pumping and thumping harder and harder. Then the guitar is suddenly back in Tiger’s hands, and he’s on his feet, jumping up and down in time with the music. Some people jump with him, some just stand there grinning from the sheer pleasure of the spectacle and the music.

Wild Animal, yeah, crazy, raw, fun, instrumental slide guitar music. Kinda like what would’ve happened if Elmore James and Link Wray had gone surfin’ together.

Contact Tiger Gagan at (615) 316-0658
tiger@tigergagan.com
www.tigergagan.com
www.wildanimalband.com