Music - April 2009

Gary Gorence, Desert Trippin’

Date April 1, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Publication New Mexico Magazine

Categories Pets & Veterinary


Gary Gorence extensively tours the Southwest as a solo act, and frequently performs with the popular classic rock band, The Jakes. I first caught a performance by Gorence about 24 years ago; what struck me then, and still does now, is his steady, reflective manner—an almost unflappable presence of cowboy Zen.

Gorence, raised in Midland, sings with a gentle Texas twang, and his melodies highlight his passion for guitars. Yeah, that’s him playing eight different guitars, ranging from six-string acoustic lead to 12-string electric rhythm. The lyrics on his new CD, Desert Trippin’, reflect Gorence’s realistic eye and strong, optimistic spirit in songs that often reveal his love of the land, particularly the Pecos Canyon, where he lives. The sentiment is epitomized by “The River,” an allegory of life; midway through, Gorence sings, “Everything you do, everything you say / sends a ripple out across the Milky Way.” Lucky for us, the song appears twice here: in a rousing band version with backing singers, and, at the end, in an acoustic arrangement with great harmonica riffs by Gorence.

But Gorence can also write yarns about off-the-wall characters with a rebellious spirit, such as “A Rebel with Good Intentions,” about a Southern draft dodger’s standoff with the FBI.

If you like Tom Petty, you’ll probably appreciate the flavor of Gary Gorence’s music; it’s similarly rootsy, but in a New Mexico way. In fact, Desert Trippin’ is a thoroughly New Mexican production: recorded at Oliver Studio in Santa Fe, and distributed by Blue Farm Records, which is based in Melrose, not far from the music hub of Clovis.

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