Singer-songwriter Randy Goodrum has written or co-written countless hits, including “You Needed Me” for Anne Murray, “Who's Holding Donna Now” for El DeBarge, “Oh Sherrie” for Steve Perry and “I'll Be Over You” for Toto, to name just a few. Goodrum is also half of the renowned quality pop duo JaR, along with ace producer, songwriter and guitar player Jay Graydon.
Bruce Gaitsch is an extraordinary songwriter, guitarist and top session player who has performed and/or recorded with dozen of major acts, including Chicago, Celine Dion, Elton John, Amy Grant and Peter Cetera. Gaitsch has also co-penned big hits like “La Isla Bonita” for Madonna and “Don't Mean Nothing” with his old friend Richard Marx.
Dave Innis is one of the founding members of the successful country-pop group Restless Heart. He is also a successful songwriter and keyboard player, having penned and co-written hits for a number of world-class artists, including The Pointer Sisters, Peter Cetera, Lee Greenwood and Kenny Rogers, among others.
GIG is a special project that started out in 2013 and continued to 2015. The basic musical tracks were mostly co-written by Gaitsch and Innis. Eventually, Goodrum added his golden touch by writing smart lyrics and providing ear-candy melodies. The songs were recorded by Gaitsch on acoustic and electric guitars and Innis on keyboards. An all-star cast rounded out the productions, including fabulous drummers like Keith Carlock of Toto and Steely Dan fame, Dan Needham who backed up stars like Michael McDonald and Marc Broussard, Billy Ward who was a drummer for Bill Champlin and Marc Jordan, plus Suzanne Vega's player, Doug Yowell. The bass parts were handled by George Hawkins Jr., Kenny Loggins' legendary bassist, and Nashville's top session guy Tim Denbo. The very talented singer Janey Clewer (Bruce Gaitsch's wife), who has toured/recorded with the likes of Ray Charles, Harry Connick Jr., and David Foster, among others, sang the gorgeous harmonies with Goodrum, who delivers some killer lead vocals throughout the project.
GIG's Brave New World is destined to be a must-listen for the lovers of West Coast pop and soft-rock. The material included is a true master class, both in arrangement and execution
The opener, “Private O'Toole,” sets the atmosphere with a memorable melody, acoustic guitars and acoustic piano surrounding Goodrum's confident voice. A plus on Brave New World is the brilliant work on the lyrics which are nothing but unpredictable and always catch the listener's attention. A good example is “Hernando's Paradise”, a soft-rock gem with a Latin vibe and fantastic guitar work by Gaitsch. “The Box” follows, and this is one of the things to hear on Brave New World. The song's jazzy mood and memorable refrain are close to Goodrum's work with Graydon on JaR with top-notch performances by Innis on the acoustic piano and Gaitsch on guitars with beautiful harmony vocals by Clewer. “Peddler, Pete,” “Waiting” and “Ramblin' Dan” are three acoustic ballads that focus on great lyrical content. “Peddler, Pete” bears a country-pop influence, “Waiting” has a jazzy feel in its delicate arrangement, while “Ramblin' Dan” has strong echoes of Christopher Cross. “Little Flame” is a pop-rocker with an intense vocal by Goodrum, who's also on Hammond B3, and an ear-candy refrain fueled by some great work on the electric guitars by Gaitsch. After the evocative acoustic ballad “All There Is” comes another highlight, the Latin-tinged and gorgeous “Isle Of Pigs”. This song sports one of the album's most refined melodies with more outstanding work on acoustic guitar, piano and percussion. The title-track is very interesting, both lyrically and musically, as the arrangement harks back to some of The Beatles' legendary songs.
“All I'll Ever Need” is the song that closes Brave New World and is a special treat from Contante & Sonante to the lovers of West Coast pop. The song was written in the early nineties by composer and keyboardist Michael Haddad, who demoed it with lead vocals by the late, unforgettable Warren Wiebe. Those precious vocals were kindly granted by Haddad to Contante & Sonante that asked GIG to record a whole new backing track for the song. The result is a new recording of “All I'll Ever Need” that perfectly fits the soft-rock atmosphere of Brave New World. Once again, Contante & Sonante has made a great move to keep Wiebe's memory alive. Listening to his pristine vocal on “All I'll Ever Need” will bring a big smile to the faces of those who loved him and his unique gift of song.
This amazing record created by Goodrum, Innis and Gaitsch is clear evidence that great, inventive, emotional pop music is still alive and well.
Released in a limited edition of only 1000 copies.