'Slightly Sorry' reveals its charms only gradually, but with time emerges as an...
Jon Lusk 2007
P.G.Six is the stage name of New York’s Pat Gubler, a veteran of the cult 90s/early noughties groups Memphis Luxure and Tower Recordings who’s been described as a ‘one man acid folk band’. He plays a startling range of instruments on his third solo outing, including guitars, hurdy gurdy, clavinet, Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano, lending it a varied sonic palette that distracts from the uniformly downtempo nature of the songs.
Gubler’s loose, slightly creaky, multi-tracked creations have the air of an artist whose technical skills fall slightly short his song writing ambitions – which may in itself be an affectation. He’s helped out by a handful of others, most notably drummer/percussionist Robert Dennis (Fire in the Kitchen/Tono-Bungay), who shows subtlety and restraint throughout. There are also four (often very good) female backing vocalists, including producer Sue Garner, although inadequate sleeve note credits mean that unless you know their voices, you’ll be hard pressed to identify them, apart from Helen Rush, who delivers the rather twee, breathy “The End Of Winter”.
At first, Gubler seems to echo his influences a little too literally, most obviously on “I’ve Been Travelling”, which rides a luminous 12-string jangle that immediately evokes The Byrds’ sunny mid-sixties sound. And there’s a strong whiff of CSNY to ‘Bless These Blues”. However the American and British folk influences (in particular, guitarist Bert Jansch) that have long permeated Gubler’s work come together satisfyingly on a convincing reading of the traditional ballad “Lily of the West”. He’s at his best and most original on “The Dance”, a bittersweet rumination on jealousy, and the atmospheric “Strange Messages” which finds him intoning cryptic imagery in a dreamy speak-singing style suggesting a slightly flat James Taylor or Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner on a normal day. The latter would no doubt also approve of the churchy, soulful lurch of the closing cut “Sweet Music”. Slightly Sorry reveals its charms only gradually, but with time emerges as an engaging late night listen.