Gary Lucas and Dean Bowman: Chase the Devil

Music Reviews Gary Lucas and Dean Bowman
Gary Lucas and Dean Bowman: Chase the Devil

Bluesy duo starts Third Great Awakening

Downtown Scene veterans Gary Lucas and Dean Bowman are in pursuit of the Devil on this fiery whiskey-shot of a gospel album—they’re just not sure what they’re going to do when they catch him. Bible-referencing lyrics imply they’d like to send him straight back to the inferno whence he came, but the scorching riffs, maniacal clapping and inhuman yodels suggest they might just want to party. The songs range from Holy Roller riots to quiet, lost-in-the-mist trances; on “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground / This May Be The Last Time,” Lucas slowly plucks his steel strings while Bowman, sounding as though his eyes have rolled all the way back in his head, yelps a series of incomprehensible vowels. On “Nobody’s House” Bowman sports his blues chops with a “Lordy-lordy-lordy-lordy-lordy” that climbs the scales as though each note were a rung in Jacob’s Ladder, and Lucas shows off his Captain Beefheart training with frantic chords. Like any tent revival, this album is a blend of the scared and insane, complete only when everyone has reached a state of frantic holiness or utter possession.

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