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Island bluesman David Gogo evokes return to good times with new single

Upcoming release ‘Christine’ among a dozen new songs written during pandemic
Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo releases his new single, Christine, on Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy Andrew Dodd)

Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo said he’s been “writing like crazy” during the pandemic and on Friday he’s giving fans a taste of what he’s been up to.

Gogo said that while COVID-19 has “devastated” the live music industry, musicians are lucky in that they can continue to be creative. He said he’s already stockpiled an album’s worth of material, noting that “You can never have too many songs.”

“The big thing was I didn’t want to write anything about the pandemic,” Gogo said. “No Isolation Blues.”

Instead, on Oct. 30 Gogo is releasing Christine, a rollicking boogie about “a girl who likes to party.” He describes the single as “a little treat” for the fans who have continued to support him during COVID-19.

“I’ve got probably about a dozen new songs that I’ve written and demoed at home and decided, ‘Let’s just put something fun out there,’” he said. “Just put out a single as a thank you to people for hanging on and still following me on social media and buying T-shirts and CDs and vinyl to keep us going.”

Gogo said he’s been able to play a few live, in-person shows that follow COVID-19 regulations and he’s observed that “people are dying to get up and dance.”

“They want to hug their friends and they want to have a drink with their pals,” he said. “So this song is in that mood and just thinking about the fun times and hopefully we’ll get back to them soon.”

Aside from writing new music and giving performances – he plays the Moose Lodge in south Nanaimo on Nov. 27 – Gogo has been keeping himself occupied with other projects.

Gogo said he recently acquired a live recording from a performance he gave at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom from 1992 that he’s thinking about releasing as an official bootleg, and he’s continuing to produce episodes of his Soul-Bender Podcast. An upcoming episode will feature retired Nanaimo NHLer Gene Carr as he recounts his experience playing for the L.A. Kings in the ’70s and meeting musicians like the Eagles, Bob Seger and Elvis Presley.

Gogo said he may even write a book.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve done some interesting things … and luckily I’ve got quite a few photos. Considering a lot of this happened before cell phones, you quite often wouldn’t get the picture,” Gogo said. “But that might be something to work on, too, if this keeps going on: A little memoir.”

Christine will be available on all platforms. A link will be provided on Gogo’s Facebook page.

WHAT’S ON … David Gogo performs at the Moose Lodge, 1356 Cranberry Ave., on Nov. 27. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Tickets $15 for members, $20 for non-members, available at the bar or 250-754-2853.

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