David Gideon is a singer/songwriter who had an interesting childhood. He grew up between Austin, Key West, and rural Tennessee. He relocated to Billy The Kid’s hometown of Silver City, New Mexico,  working as a club DJ one minute and enduring multiple years as a ranch hand in Northern California the next. He releases his album `Lonesome Desert Strum`, a collection of songs about vices, victories, and heartaches this month. He managed to persuade high calibre musicians such as Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson), Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams), Steve Hinson (George Jones), Billy Contreras (Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder, Hank Williams III), Pete Abbott (Average White Band), and Chris Scruggs (Charlie Louvin, BR549) to appear on the record, adding layers of fiddle, percussion, and guitar work to Gideon’s songs.

The album opens with `Southwestern Skies` which is a delightfully upbeat tale with almost distorted guitar shades and a rhythmic drum beat that guides us along on this kind of gentle road song.  We have pedal steel and guitar chords scattered throughout `My Birthday` along with a steady guiding drum beat on this number which is more of a dreamy laid back offering that enjoys some complementary harmonies on route. A hard luck tale of the love of your life taking off on the anniversary of your birth.

`Ashes` is one of two tracks co-written with Wood Newton and it`s an infectious foot tapper where it`s easy to imagine couples jiving away to. I really loved the violin or fiddle tinges shared throughout. I thought `Movin` To The Country` was a number where all the band got to shine with drums, intricate lap steel, fiddle, guitar riffs and bass laying a fast paced platform for the singer to share this narrative of relocating out of town, possibly for good.

` Nice To Meet You` is a quite melancholic offering that seems to reminiscence on passed events which has a fiddle almost crying at times throughout which adds a further poignancy to this mournful number. We have a quite sentimental piece in the other album co-write `Woman Like Her` which is a quite mid paced submission about yearning for a lost love possibly.

`Wings Of An Angel` has a quite hypnotic tremolo-heavy guitar riff that resonates throughout this composition and gives it a quite expansive dreamy texture as the vocals are tenderly shared atop. Title track `Lonesome Desert Strum` is a more pensive outing which does seem to paint a picture of great wide open expanses or a vast wasteland.

`Drifter` is the story of a musician or troubadour who moves from town to town and doesn`t seem likely to put any roots down. The beating drum at its heart along with the guitar and steel guitar chords add a lonesome feel to this tale of transience. There a more sombre slant on `Ballad Of Crazy Horse` a song that was maybe inspired by the location where the singer now lives. It`s the Chihuahuan Desert in a mountainous region called “The Gila Wilderness”, the birthplace of The Apache Native people.

`Red Boots` is a breezy nigh on throwaway number. a brief tale of a female who stands out in a bar partly because of the bright footwear she`s wearing. The album closes out with `Moonlit Lake` a rumination on a place where the narrator had a youthful romantic liaison which maybe didn`t turn out quite as planned.

`Lonesome Desert Strum` is an absorbing and engrossing listen with a number of the songs that maybe based on life experiences of the artist. David has an appealing vocal range and has managed to coax seasoned musicians to help bring his vision to life. An album that has a lot to offer to new and veteran fans of country and Americana genres alike.

Rating 8/10

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