Gig review: Dan Stuart, Glasgow

Dan Stuart. Picture: Creative Commons
Dan Stuart. Picture: Creative Commons
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This was an intimate, familiar gathering for those who have kept faith with Dan Stuart and his music since the days when he fronted Arizona band Green On Red, once part of the so-called “paisley underground” of psychedelia-influenced Americana bands.

Dan Stuart | Stereo, Glasgow | Rating ***

Stuart now lives across the Mexican border in Oaxaca but musically his heart is still in classic rootsy rock’n’roll territory, which he invoked as far as possible without the firepower of a band. Stuart made an understated virtue of his modest travelling troubadour set-up with some crucial guitar embellishment from Tom Heyman, who also performed a solo set in support.

“I try to be the least talented guy in the room,” remarked Stuart, in praise of his guitarist’s warm, twanging licks, adding texture and sonic interest throughout. Yet he undermined that philosophy with a bare aching ballad and took his sweet time in working out a low-key, low-slung blues rock number.

His punk roots were showing on a couple of trim, tautly delivered tracks. His musical setting of a poem by Mario Benedetti, What Are You Laughing About?, bristled and bubbled with tightly controlled rage. But he let all the anger go as he rounded off the set with a slow dance through Green On Red’s Time Ain’t Nothing, exquisitely world-weary even when he sang it as a young man, and a relatively rambunctious take on The Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers.