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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Gina Dootson
Image © 2001 Gina Dootson

3AM Generation
Image © 2001 Gina Dootson

Gina Dootson

Image © 2001 Gina Dootson

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(01 December 2001) Gina Dootson's debut album 3AM Generation (Gd 006, 2001) is no ordinary singer songwriter collection. Based in Yorkshire, Gina Dootson was brought to the attention of Musical Discoveries at Mostly Autumn's performance earlier this year at the Mean Fiddler (review). Gina provides backing vocals to several of Mostly Autumn's tracks on the resulting DVD and live CD "The Story So Far" (review working in conjunction with Marc Atkinson (Gabriel, review) and Rachel Jones (Karnataka, review).

Gina's power, range and vocal attitude are evident from the album's outset in the first three traditional singer songwriter tracks,sung evocatively over acoustic guitar, entitled appropriately "3AM Generation," "Hideaway" and the everso soft heartfelt ballads "Release Me" and "Sleepless Tonight." We were especially impressed not only with Gina's vocal sensitivity and evocative delivery but the warm production quality of the recording. Marc Atkinson and Rob Swann (Gabriel) have had a hand in the mixing of several tracks.

Gina wrote about her musical beginnings, "After that initial burst I started learning classical piano, and even though I knew sod all about the theoretical side of things, I passed grade 6. During my GCSE music, I had to compose various songs and did so with ease - and managed to get an A grade. But, when I left school I decided to take 'A' levels in Biology and Maths (don't ask me why) and persued a career in Science (boring). Music was still a major part of my life though, and that's when I started playing guitar. It was accidental really - to cut it short my Dad bought my Mum a guitar for Christmas and hid it in my wardrobe for a few weeks before-hand. I would sneak it out every now and then when everyone was out, and by Christmas day I could play all the carols! While Mum and Dad were still in shock I managed to persuade them to buy me one."

She continued, "My Mum is the one to blame for getting me into the business as she used to drag me along (against my will) to the folk clubs. I was very, very shy and would sit with my head bowed underneath my hair, mumbling songs out at a hundred miles an hour. Slowly, I started to become more confident and soon had a few songs to my name. But that is when I suffered a major set-back in my life. My closest friend died tragically and I just crumbled. The life that I loved just came to a stop. I had an awful long time on my own, tucked away in my room just thinking. But, I now know that the time I spent thinking was so precious and crucial to how my music career was to evolve." Read the rest of the story at her website (click on one of the images left).

Gina's project is by no means a typical singer songwriter album; it is written and performed entirely by the artist herself (keyboard, guitar and percussion). Robust—yet gentle—rockers like "Slide," and the softer "Hold Me Tightly," propel the album clearly into an alternative progressive territory and serve to demonstrate the musical bandwidth of the album.

Layered harmonies add depth to several of the softer ballad-like tracks. Stunning examples include the evocative "Crippled" and "Rebel," while "Lost Without You" serves to highlight sensitive Gina's solo voice extremely well. One of the album's standouts is an almost American country-style tune entitled "Dinner On Mars." Multiple guitar parts, crisp percussion and vocal harmonies perfectly support Gina's gently soaring lead vocal.

Gina Dootson's 3AM Generation is clearly one of the better 'musical discoveries' brought to our attention this year. An artist with tremendous promise and a bright future, Gina is already working on the followup to her debut. Find further biographical information at her website (click on one of the images left) and order her debut there. Worth a journey, this one is a must listen!

 
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