Gabriel's Hold,
The Struble Sessions
(Cozy Cottage, 1999)

No, I have no idea what "Struble sessions" means, apart from it being the title of the EP from New Jersey-based band Gabriel's Hold. What I can tell you is that the four songs on The Struble Sessions will leave you hungry for more.

Gabriels' Hold is Chris Hanlon (lead acoustic guitar), Catrina Sparacio (fiddle), Steve Coleman (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Carl Grau (percussion, bass). The sound is acoustic/folk-rock, featuring crisp complex arrangements.

The four songs -- "Pan," "Janie," Tino & Ray" and "Wishing You" -- are energetic although varied in tempo. Steve Coleman's vocals are strong, conveying well the lyrical essence as well as providing an anchor for the harmonies which weave around the melody without obstructing it. Sparacio's fiddle is passionate but never out of control and adds just the right element of wildness.

The EP passes the repeat button test with flying colors, and the songs are the kind you don't want to shut off when you reach your destination. You won't regret sitting in on The Struble Sessions with Gabriel's Hold.

[ by Donna Scanlon ]

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