the music reviews
I first heard Gatemouth Brown thirty years ago in a friend's basement in North Vancouver. This particular collection of songs touched me deeply. Gatemouth was born in Louisiana and grew up in Texas, while my situation was the reverse. We both had roots on each side the Sabine River. This region is known as "the Big Gumbo." Ten years later, my grandmother moved up to Canada from this same region. I decided to give her a night of music at a downtown club where Gatemouth was performing. He grew up in the next town to hers. Well, we got to the venue and there were no seats left! I lied to the doorman that we had come from Beaumont, Texas to see Gate. A few minutes later, a tall man with a beard introduced himself as Gate's manager, Jim Bateman. He got us a table up front, sat with us and then took us backstage between sets. There I was eating fried zucchini strips with Gatemouth, Jim and my grandmother, who was bouncing Gate's little daughter Renée on her knee. Before it was over between those two, Gate tried to hire my grandmother as a baby-sitter and gumbo cook for his entourage. My grandmother wanted to do it but she was just too old. Gate gave me his card and said to call if she changed her mind. I carry it in my wallet to this day. It was a magic night. My grandmother died soon after and was buried in Beaumont, Texas. Gate died in 2005. He is buried twenty miles away in Orange, Texas. Gatemouth was a legendary musician and a very special human being. Every time I hear his music, I smile because I know our paths are going to cross again someday.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.