Music For The Road: Gayle Skidmore – The Golden West

Music For The Road is a category where I feature some of my favorite musicians I’ve been privileged to meet on the road.

I met Gayle Skidmore a LONG time ago. Back in 2007 I was wondering around a music festival in the middle of nowhere in California, most of the bands were heavy rock, punk, or even 80s hair metal types. After a full day of hard rocking I needed a break, so I walked as far away from the main stages as I could. That’s where I found a small circus-like tent with a small empty stage and a few other people just sitting on the grass. I laid down, enjoyed the shade and the calm, and closed my eyes. A minute or two later I heard the plucking of a guitar. I sat up and looked up at the stage where a girl was tuning her instruments. Shortly after, she began to play.

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Her music moved me. The lyrics were playful, whimsical, and yet deep, honest, and personal. She played a song called Paper Box which I remember really provoked a deep sentiment in me. When she was done with her set, I approached her to tell her I loved her music and bought a couple of EP’s she had available. Her Paper Box EP CD sleeve was so great, you could tell she had spent a long time working on it (later I found out she had done them while watching all of the Lord of The Rings Movies, which only made me like her more.)

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I kept in touch with her, and throughout the years we have built a beautiful friendship. I could write pages upon pages of some of the weird and wonderful experiences we’ve shared together, but I’ll leave those for another occasion.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Gayle in San Diego California during a recording session of  her upcoming album The Golden West, also the name for her newly released single. I had my camera with me (obviously) so I offered to shoot some behind the scenes footage for her to have. We really weren’t planning on doing anything with it other than maybe doing a 15-30 second promo with it since I only had my Infrared filter with me, but the moment I sat in that studio and got to listen to some early recordings of some of her new songs, I knew I had to try and get enough footage to do something more. Long story short, we ended up with this Behind The Scenes Music Video.

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Now, as you can probably tell by now, I really love Gayle’s music. Ever since I listened to her for the first time on that circus-like tent, I’ve been a big fan. She is one of my favorite artists, and has been a huge inspiration to me along the way. Throughout the years her music has evolved and matured, but still holds to the true and fantastical tone I heard the day I met her. Her voice, her choice of instruments, and her range in different styles within her music truly enhances the landscapes I get to see while I’m driving, or hiking, or resting my feet by the campfire. I really love listening to her music, specially while on the road.

I think her new album The Golden West might be her most radical evolution within her music, which I’m sure can be scary for any artist because you never know if your fans will embrace the change. In my personal opinion, Gayle is making a huge leap forward. The quality of her voice and choice of instruments and arrangements is confident. She is not really changing her form, but rather she lets go of constraints and doubles down on what her heart wants to share with every one else, and not just on the musical side, but her lyrics reach deep down, while still being beautifully and artfully put together. I can’t wait till the rest of her new album hits the airwaves and joins the collection of music for my travels, in the meantime I know this single will be put on repeat for the time being.

By the way, I make a brief cameo during the video, can you spot me?