Davey Pattison and Gamma+ Live from California

Davey Pattison and Gamma+
Grand Theater Center for the Arts
Tracy, California
January 15, 2015

By Ace Collins

Set List:
Fight to the Finish/ Ready for Some Action /Too Rolling Stoned / Thunder and Lightning /Bridge of Sighs / Dirty City / Razor King / Day of the Eagle / Voyager

Mean Streak

I don’t know… where do I start? When I was a child growing up, I heard my first Montrose LP in 1973… from then on, I have played Rock Candy in crappy cover bands. I am now over 50. I still can’t play that one riff…

Fast forward a bit to the 80’s, while jonesing for more Montrose, I am checking out some killer Gamma tunes… even all that keyboard stuff on Gamma 3 rocked, especially with Carmassi and his selection of Roto-toms... plus the mixing/production was killer, too.

As the story continues, stuck in the 90’s with my first son, I am at the local bar with my infant (don’t judge) and I hear a voice… a voice so familiar and strong… no frikkin way ( I don’t swear around my kids)- it’s Davey Pattison on a bar stool singing ‘Voyager’ while playing the acoustic guitar…

After his stellar Gamma / Trower / Beatles set, I approached him and said, “Davey… you rock. I am getting married in 3 months (ya I got a kid a bit early… again, don’t judge), would you pleeeze sing at my wedding reception?” He wrote a number on a cocktail napkin and slid it my way… the rest is history (along with that chick I married).

I have seen Gamma with Davey, Ronnie and a chick drummer at the Stone in S.F., Davey with Trower at the Fillmore, and Ronnie with his different bands at a few other Bay Area events. Sadly, now that Ronnie is gone, I am relegated to CD, tribute bands, re-mastered Gamma discs, etc. for my Montrose fix.

Enter Gamma+.

Davey is nearing the big 7-0, but his voice is as soulful as ever. He may not have tried to hit the high notes with all the force as the old days, but the melody and timbre was a sweet return… ahhh, such a classic voice.

Davey lives in a small town near San Francisco, and has assembled a group of local musicians to bring back the good o’ days, just for your listening pleasure… plus, he probably wants to get out and perform a bit more with this new edition of Gamma+… He’s still alive and kickin’ on stage, and a sweetheart of a man off stage.

The drummer is solid, the bassist is full of expression, and the guitarist is doing a fine job recreating some of the Montrose mojo: getting that Gamma sustain and delay. As you see noted in the set list, guitarist Tommy Merry also had to dial in some of that bluesy Trower Fender-goodness, and somehow he achieved it using an Ibanez Jem and a Mesa rack mount tube amp, Marshall pre, and a Digitech effect. ‘Bridge of Sighs’ was awesome, and ‘Day of the Eagle’ rocked, bringing back good vinyl memories…

‘Voyager’ had people come unglued; there is always one popular tune that resonates with all that gathered… and when the concert-goers begged for more, they got ‘Mean Streak’, wigglin’ whammy bar and all.

Davey and his Merry Men (sorry Tommy) came out to the lobby and hung out with all the other local FaceBook rock stars and groupies that came to see and be seen; a nice community of folks sharing a good time. Selfie!

I got to chat with Davey for a few moments, and, yes… he DID remember entertaining all my guests at the Claremont Hotel 19+ years ago… and, no, he didn’t offer to sing at my next wedding, either.

Davey and Co. are getting their legs, hitting local spots, and a few casinos… see him if you can, or check out his website, view the pics, and pick up a T-shirt to impress your friends with your deep, vintage Rock-ed-ness. I know, that’s not a word.

The Band:
Davey Pattison ~Vox
Tommy Merry  ~Guitar
Van Spragins  ~Bass
Dan Buch  ~Drums
Brad Barth   ~Keys (filling in for an ailing Steve Salinas… get well, brother…)