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Gina Villalobos
Days On Their Side
Review By Steven Stone

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  On her last release, Miles Away, Gina Villalobos demonstrated that she could rock as hard as any of her male cohorts. Days On Their Side reveals the softer and more nuanced sides of her musical personality.

Born in Sherwood, CA, Villalobos hasn't moved far from her California roots. Currently she lives in LA. In her early 20's she began fronting her first rock band, Liquid Sunshine. They recorded their first album in 1991, and before they disbanded in 1996, they recorded two more CDs. In 1997 Villalobos formed the band The Mades.   They released two albums, made up primarily of Villalobos originals, before they disbanded in 2001. Shortly thereafter Villalobos began her solo career. Just as she was completing her album, Rock 'N Roll Party's, she suffered an accident that robbed her of vision in her right eye. When the CD was finally released in 2004 it was so successful it reached #3 on the Euro-Americana charts. Miles Away came out in 2006 to critical raves I loved it. Three years later she's released Days On Their Side.

Her voice is the first thing that grabs you. She has a gravely edge reminiscent of Kim Carnes, but Villalobos' voice has more subtlety. She's not just a belter. On "String It Out" Villalobos begins with a whisper and only rarely needs to go into full tilt rock n' roll mode. Villalobos' melodies remind me of the best work from Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, and John Mellencamp. She often slowly builds the intensity of the song in an almost cinematic manner. She sets a mood, introduces a plot, and then moves in for the emotional kill.

Co-produced with Erik Colvin, who also plays most of the keyboards, the whole album has a retro 60's sound reminiscent of the Byrds or Burrito Brothers. Kevin Holland's electric guitar parts have chimey reverb that would make Gram Parsons smile. Give Days On Their Side a listen and it will make you smile too.

 

 

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