You may not be familiar with Gil Karson the performer, but Gil Karson the songwriter is internationally acclaimed – he’s responsible for dance hits like “Le Spank”; he created music sampled by massive mainstream acts like Eminem and Black Eyed Peas; and he contributed music to several feature films, including Lionheart and Angel Town. Gil Karson is, obviously, a legitimate singer/songwriter, and his latest project is of the same exemplary pedigree.
Fronting his own band this time, and utilizing his singing, songwriting, and producing talent, Gil Karson and the Karson City Rebels released “Freedom Guaranteed’‘ – a country-blues track celebrating America, the many freedoms contained therein, the many sacrifices to achieve said freedoms, and the forthcoming Memorial Day/ July 4th holidays. Does it do justice to the old red, white, and blue? Let’s break it down:
This is a mid-tempo acoustic anthem backed by a glassy organ and accenting, slow-gliding slide guitar. The song sounds familiar, comfortable; it’s the product of tried and true country progressions that always successfully elicit genuine, personal emotion. Karson’s voice is clear and consistent throughout, and there’s no overacting or forced drama – just the clean, steady voice of an experienced storyteller.
When the chorus hits (“Freedom. Freedom Guaranteed”), the formerly aspirational feeling turns unexpectedly melancholic – and it’s this very hook that makes the song a winner. The drifting slide guitar adds another mournful texture, and we feel the weight, if only minutely, of freedom’s staggering price.
And with a tasteful, spirited guitar solo filling out the bridge, the verse is reprised, leading to the final and continuing chorus.
If you’re a fan of acoustic country with hints of the blues, or memorable music that evokes patriotism, appreciation, and a plaintive recognition of necessary sacrifice, you’ll thoroughly enjoy “Freedom Guaranteed” by Gil Karson and the Karson City Rebels.
BELOW: Listen to Gil Karson and the Karson City Rebels and check them out on YouTube. Please support Gil Karson and the Karson City Rebels by visiting their website, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music.