The Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney

The Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney


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Chris Gaffney was once described as "a quintessential Southern California bar musician," and while he was also a great deal more than that -- a superb songwriter and a recording artist who made fine records on his own, as a sideman and as part of the combo the Hacienda Brothers -- the mix of country, R&B and norteño influences that defined his music was a clear reflection of the working class California environment where he grew up. Gaffney was highly regarded by his fellow songwriters and musicians, even though he never enjoyed the commercial or critical breakthrough that would open him up to the larger audience he deserved before liver cancer took his life in 2008 at the age of 57, and his friend and frequent collaborator Dave Alvin has produced a moving and well-crafted tribute to the man and his music, The Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney. The 18 songs here capture the flinty honesty and hard-won compassion that was a major part of Gaffney's best work, and Alvin proves to be a fine casting agent, fitting each song to the artist with unerring skill. Calexico find a weathered beauty in the liquor-soaked lovers of "Frank's Tavern," Los Lobos bring a gentle sadness to the long-gone romance of "The Man of Somebody's Dreams," Robbie Fulks delivers a solid honky tonk swing on "King of the Blues" (and Peter Case does the same for "Six Nights a Week"), Alejandro Escovedo brings the tragic pathos of "1968" to vivid life, John Doe captures the titular emotions of "Quiet Desperation" with a perfect touch, and legendary songwriter Dan Penn knows just how to handle the work of another great tunesmith on "I'm So Proud." The late Freddy Fender's aching and evocative rendition of "The Gardens" from the Texas Tornados' 4 Aces is a welcome addition to this set, and while Boz Scaggs hardly seems like someone you'd expect to see in this company, he brings a slinky and sensuous R&B groove to "Midnight Dream" that shows Gaffney was more than just another guy on the L.A. roots music scene. Closing with one of Gaffney's final recordings -- an unreleased tune called "Guitars of My Dead Friends" -- the effect of The Man of Somebody's Dreams sometimes feels like a wake as much as a celebration, but this music honors a man who deserved a better hand than he was dealt, and one listen to these songs will prove that's a fact to anyone with ears.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/26/2009
Label: Yep Roc Records
UPC: 0634457219823
catalogNumber: 2198
Rank: 91795


  1. Lift Your Leg
  2. Midnight Dream
  3. Man of Somebody's Dreams
  4. Artesia
  5. Six Nights a Week
  6. If Daddy Don't Sing Danny Boy
  7. Frank's Tavern
  8. Fight (Tonight's the Night)
  9. The Gardens
  10. Glass House
  11. Get off My Back Lucy
  12. 1968
  13. King of the Blues
  14. Quiet Desperation
  15. Tired of Being Me
  16. Silent Partner
  17. I'm So Proud
  18. The Guitars of My Dead Friends

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chris Gaffney   Vocals
Jim Lauderdale   Vocals
Tom Russell   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Peter Case   Vocals
Ry Cooder   Slide Guitar
Joe Ely   Vocals
James McMurtry   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Doug Sahm   Guitar,Vocals
Boz Scaggs   Guitar,Vocals
Ponty Bone   Accordion
Augie Meyers   Keyboards,Vocals
Bill Kirchen   Guitar
Dale Daniel   Drums
Dan Penn   Vocals
Jack Barber   Bass
John Bazz   Bass
Steve Berlin   Keyboards
Stephen Bruton   Guitar,Mandolin
Joey Burns   Acoustic Guitar,Accordion,Vocals,Vibes,Pump Organ,Upright Bass
Joe Cabral   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals,Bajo Sexto
Alejandro Escovedo   Vocals
Freddy Fender   Vocals
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
Dave Gonzales   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Mark Hallman   Vocal Harmony
Don Heffington   Percussion,Drums
David Hidalgo   Guitar,Vocals,Jarana
Rod Hodges   Accordion,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Chris Lawrence   Pedal Steel Guitar
Greg Leisz   Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar
Conrad Lozano   Bass
Michael Henry Martin   Mandolin
Danny Ott   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Wyman Reese   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ted Roddy   Harmonica
Cesar Rosas   Guitar,Jarana
Barry Walsh   Accordion
Teddy Morgan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Danny Amis   Rhythm Guitar
Peter Curry   Bass
Doug Garrison   Drums
Eddie Angel   Guitar
Hector Muñoz   Drums
John Convertino   Drums
Dave Biller   Pedal Steel Guitar
Steve Mugalian   Percussion,Drums
Dave Scott   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Rick Shea   Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Robbie Fulks   Vocals
Louie Pérez   Background Vocals
Craig Schumacher   Tambourine,Shaker
Max Baca   Bajo Sexto
Jon Graboff   Steel Guitar
Glenn Patscha   Piano,Background Vocals
Nick Luca   Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String),Guitar (Baritone)
Eric Crystal   Saxophone
Cougar Estrada   Drums
David P. Jackson   Bass,Accordion
Byron Isaacs   Bass,Background Vocals
Josh Gravelin   Bass
Tony Leone   Mandolin,Drums
Fiona McBain   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet
Steve Grams   Bass
Warren Hood   Violin
Damien Llanes   Drums
Tim Holt   Electric Guitar
Brenden Kearney   Organ
Richard Medek   Drums
Jason Smay   Drums
Robert Williams "Big Sandy"   Vocals
Kevin C. Smith   Bass
Barry "Frosty" Smith   Drums
Jim Pugh   Organ

Technical Credits

Chris Gaffney   Composer
Tom Russell   Producer
Dave Alvin   Composer
Dan Penn   Producer
Michael Berberet   Composer
Rene Coman   Producer
James Luther Dickinson   Producer
Alejandro Escovedo   Producer
Greg Gaffney   Composer
Dave Gonzales   Composer,Producer
Mark Hallman   Engineer
Chet Himes   Engineer
Wyman Reese   Composer
Stuart Sullivan   Engineer
Teddy Morgan   Composer
Peter Curry   Engineer
Beth Herzhaft   Cover Photo
Chris Schultz   Engineer
Bill Cashman   Engineer
Ben Mumphrey   Engineer
Jeb Bley Schoonover   Composer
Michael Berberet   Composer
Jeb Schoonover   Composer
Greg Gaffney   Composer
Stanley Wykoff   Composer
Mark Johnson   Engineer

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