Excited to receive this rave review of "See Myself Again" in Press Play, noted music critic Paul Liberatore's column highlighting local unsigned artists, in the Marin Independent Journal.
Press Play: Gail Weisman’s Sophisticated See Myself Again
By Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal
Gail Weisman was drawn to Marin County from the East Coast by the Grateful Dead, but the only Dead song she covers on “See Myself Again” is the Bob Weir/John Barlow tune “Lost Sailor,” not exactly one of the iconic band’s classics.
But the unconventional song seems suited to Weisman’s sophisticated, jazzy, folk-rock style on originals like “Burning Fuse,” lit by multi-instrumentalist Kenny Schick’s melodic flute solo, and the down and dirty “Winter’s Day,” a song that brings out the raunch in Weisman’s strong, assured vocals and rock hard rhythm guitar work.
The influence of ’70s icons like Joni Mitchell comes through on the folky opening, “Once Upon a Day,” a story song that Weisman sings with backup singer Sabine Heusler-Schick shadowing her lead vocal to lovely effect.
She knows how to throw in the hip chord changes and even scats a little on “Ship Called Love,” driven by David Nelson’s drums, Gus Kambeitz’s standup bass and Schick’s tasteful lead guitar. And the title track swings just as hard.
On “Lost Sailor,” Weisman accompanies herself on piano while her vocal floats above a sea of strings and ghostly backup vocals. Impressive. She looks and sounds a little like a young Joan Osborne, a Grateful Dead favorite, and her band is reminiscent of the early ’70s sound of Mark-Almond.
Just about every weekend, Weisman, who works as a graphic designer, can be found at Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. If the eight songs on this album are an indication, she should be spending as much of that time on stage, playing these songs, as she does in the audience listening to other people’s music.
Roots and Folk with a Bold Jazz, Blues, and Pop Edge
by Matthew Forss, Inside World Music, Edmonton
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Growing up in New York City, Gail Weisman honed her musical talents by way of numerous 1960s and 70s singer-songwriters. Armed with a voice and a guitar, Gail sets the world on aural fire on her latest release, See Myself Again. The new eight-track release balances the progressive intensity of roots and folk music with a bold jazz, blues, and pop edge—this San Francisco-based musician crosses genre borders and musical styles with effortless suavity.
“Ship Called Love” opens with a bluesy guitar intro accompanied by organic percussion. Gail’s voice begins the drum and percussion set-up with guitar tunings that hearken back to a Southern rock or blues composition. After a few verses, electric guitar sounds demonstrate a raw and all-encompassing result that is nothing short of spectacular. There are dreamy keyboard sounds near the end of the song that eloquently reflect its mood. The vocals are akin to the blues and folk contemporary, Anne Weiss.
“Images” begins with a twangy, steel guitar sound that is rather stark, raw, and organic with vocals that are ripe with folk and root references. The Americana melody is steeped in folksy rhythms and sounds reminiscent of a 1970s female performer in the folk genre. There are banjo licks interspersed between the rollicking melodies, full of musical delights. The country-tinged track contains a lot of bright and clear string tones that connote a happy presence—nothing painful about this tune.
Gail’s cover version of the Grateful Dead song Lost Sailor opens with a few, solo piano lines and classical strings, with Gail’s progressive and haunting voice telling the tale of someone lost at sea. It’s more fluid, reflective, and somber—a ballad with a free-flowing piano melody and poignant vocals that incorporates a little bit of folksy guitar flare during the latter half of the song. The song is different from the other tracks on the album in a good way, displaying Gail’s virtuosity at interpretation and expression.
Once Upon A Day begins with a few acoustic chords and a folksy vocal line in comparison to Anne Weiss, Shawn Colvin, and Susan Aglukark. Gail’s overdubbed back-up vocals strengthen her lead vocal and the various guitar works magnificently drives the musical direction of the song. The folk- pop arrangement, heartfelt vocals and lilting guitars are the standouts on this tune.
Winter’s Day is a bluesy departure for Gail compared to other tracks on the album. The gritty, vocals are accompanied by heady percussion and guitars that are crunchy and uncensored. The vocals retain an independent and progressive edge that does not overshadow the guitar stylings and are completed by back-up vocals and a mid-song blues guitar solo that awakens all who listen to it.
Gail Weisman’s new album, See Myself Again, is a folksy, blues, and roots-driven production with an element of pop and rock from Americana’s hey-day in the 1960’s and 70’s. The new American folk revival is here again and Gail is leading the charge. Fans of Anne Weiss, Shawn Colvin, and Susan Aglukark, as well as similar artists, will find pleasure in the music of Gail Weisman. It’s simply amazing.
A Folk Rock Revival of Sorts
by Alec Cunningham, Blank Newspaper, Knoxville TN
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
As an album rooted in the present with a heavy nod to musical greats of the 70’s, Gail Weisman’s See Myself Again is a folk rock revival of sorts. Behind her lyrics are the intricate melodies provided by her guitar picking, which are a story in and of themselves. This collection, recorded and produced by Weisman and co-producer/engineer Kenny Schick, is multifaceted and revealing, allowing for a well-rounded sound.
A range of influences come into play here including jazz in Ship Called Love, rock and roll in Winter’s Day, and folk rock in See Myself Again. The sauntering melody of Burning Fuse makes it one of the album’s most relaxed tracks. On the other hand, she kicks up her boots with Images, a track where she taps into the southern side of her musical personality by carrying a stronger twang to her vocals and adding banjo and upright bass to the mix.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this album is the instrumentation. Weisman has put ample time into ensuring every sound works together. The second characteristic that works extremely well for her is her voice. Weisman’s vocals are the type that compel and intrigue, drawing you further into her music. She’s got the warm, powerful vocals of Cher or Stevie Nicks—the types that have a wide vocal range and are ideal for a number of genres.
In Restless Age, Weisman overdubs her own backup vocals for some beautiful harmonies. The track is upbeat and sunny, especially where the chorus is concerned. For someone who is a self-taught guitarist, songs like this prove she knows her way around the instrument incredibly well. She can do everything a seasoned guitar player can and then some.
While seven of the album’s tracks were written by Weisman, Lost Sailor, written by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead together with his lyricist John Perry Barlow, is the only exception. She puts a beautiful twist on this mournful classic while still staying true to the original nature and mood intended for this song of searching. Lost Sailor relies heavily on piano to tell the song’s story, evoking an Elton John quality. Other tracks like See Myself Again, on the other hand, have stronger pop features about them, giving them a buoyant quality and a sound similar to Fleetwood Mac.
Although a number of her songs, including Once Upon A Day and Lost Sailor clock in at almost six minutes long, the tracks are certainly worth it. She pours her heart, soul, and talent into these songs, and as a result, the songs are laden with a depth of melody and story, making both her time spent working on the album along with your time spent listening to it worthwhile.
With tracks like Ship Called Love and Lost Sailor, the album has an underlying nautical theme to it. More than that, though, the album carries the themes of open roads and far-reaching futures. Weisman has a definite style to her work that is evocative of the work of female musicians from the 70s. Her style is a folk rock one that often verges on the side of country. Once Upon A Day, Restless Age, and Lost Sailor rank as some of See Myself Again’s most rewarding tracks.
Gail Weisman is a strong musician and has found a solid footing with her style. Her guitar work speaks volumes for her music; without it, her sound would not carry the full quality of personality it does. The musician’s vocals combined with her attention to instrumentation makes See Myself Again a work to be admired.