‘Anger Management’ by Gerry Spehar - protest and dissent - a musical remonstration(April 20, 2018)
When the story of your journey makes people shake their head in disbelief you know in your heart that most of them think the stories about you are just stories. The tales they tell about Gerry Spehar are mostly true, mostly. Sometimes the journey confines your life, with Spehar his life is not confined or defined by his voyage it just translates into his music. The latest translation is ‘Anger Management’ – an album of protest and dissent - a musical remonstration.
The man’s travels have involved wandering through all early years, soaking up Mississippi finger style guitar, living footloose, being a duo with brother George, taking a break from performing along the ‘safe’ employment route or finally getting back into music with the 2017 with the album ‘I Hold Gravity’. Now comes ‘Anger Management’ – filled with the influences of folk, country, blues and rock. The songs examine the economies of greed, social injustice, the hypocrisy of religion and the infamy of political mendacity. The essence is from another time but brought into sharp focus by the way Spehar observes the world of today. Dedicated to Woodie Guthrie, ‘Anger Management’ would have doubtless met with his approval.
Standout tracks on ‘Anger Management’ include the sharp commentary of ‘Anger Management’, the abandonment of veterans with ‘A Soldier’s Spiritual’, the ravaging of the country in ‘Except For The Bomb’ and the despair of ‘Barrier Reef’.
Review: Tom Franks