Gabe Close Bio
(for reviews of Gabe's latest album "Leave That Light On" see below)
An exciting new voice in the indie Americana world, Louisville singer/songwriter Gabe Close can pinpoint a host of powerful influences that have driven the development of his uniquely diverse sound and compelling, thought provoking lyrical themes. After leaning towards the blues on his previous recordings Learning To Wait For the Dawn (2010) and Sounds For An Old Soul (2013), he’s taking a powerfulmixed acoustic-electric approach – with some songs stripped down, others dynamically produced – on his latest six track EP Leave That Light On.
Growing up performing music in church, Gabe was motivated to sing, play guitar and learn new songs on the fly. From those experiences, he learned the value of writing songs that communicate something meaningful about human relationships and the world around him. His passion for music history, record collecting and discovering new music keyed him in on legendary songwriters like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. His later appreciation for groundbreaking alt country folk rocker Ryan Adams inspired Gabe’s bold choice to alternate between acoustic and electric guitar driven tracks as he developed his own artistry.
After casually shedding with friends for a few years in Atlanta, Gabe returned to Louisville – where he grew up – in 2009 to launch his career as a recording artist. One of his favorite venues to play there for many years was the recently closed The Rudyard Kipling, renowned for being an early haunt for psychedelic roots rockers My Morning Jacket. In addition to performing at various bars, record stores,restaurants, private parties and popular Louisville spots like Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Wick’s Pizza, Gabe has performed regionally in Bowling Green, KY and also at The Bluebird Café in Nashville.
“I’m influenced by artists who really use their music to say something,” he says. “I don’t mind the occasional party song, but those can be found just about anywhere. The reason I love Dylan so much is that he’s a great songwriter and uses it to get a story and sometimes important message across. For that reason, I aim for my music to be more than a catchy tune. I try to write songs that can reach people where they are."
Concurrently developing his chops as a producer, Gabe made a dedicated effort to work on the new recording over a longer period of time than his previous projects – a total of two years – and get the musicians and sound he felt like each song deserved. The energetic, acoustic driven “Weary Mind” – a semi-love song about leaving all you’ve known for what you believe will be a better life – benefits from the beautiful vocals of Louisville singer Molly Greer. While the provocative “Love You Like A Man” – a hard hitting look at the evils of men who turn to domestic violence – achieves its emotional intimacy via a gentle acoustic guitar accompaniment, other tunes like “Everything Reminds Me Of You” (a heartfelt song inspired by friends who had suffered the loss of loved ones) and “Crippling Weight” are powerhouse productions featuring a horn section, organ and sax solos by Muscle Shoals veteran Ronnie Eads.“The songs on Leave The Light On don’t collectively form a linear story, per se,” says Gabe, “but they follow the idea of a lot of early roots musicians (blues, jazz, country) who moved up from the South to make it on their own. So, a lot of the songs are about love and loss, or just trying to figure out a way to get by.”
Leave That Light On (Reviews)