One Track Mind: Will Galison, “Bobby and Sally” (2012)

Rarely anymore does finding a long-hoped-for passion despite the creeping ennui of our too-busy, media-saturated, fashion-obsessed existence sound quite this blissfully easy — or approachably fun.

Will Galison takes up the story of Bobby to the accompaniment a shimmering tumble of Latin-inspired cadences. Our love-lorn goofball eventually runs head-long into someone just as distracted and lonesome, though there amidst the scraping guiro, swooning guitar and whooping guica, neither at first notices the other.

Bobby eventually gets the girl, though it takes entirely too long, of course. In fact, it only seems to click after Sally makes the first move. By now, Galison’s song has collected a backing group of swaying horns, even as Sally’s at work straightening up Bobby’s junky place. In so doing, his future finally becomes clear.

Sure, a series of unseen calamities exist just outside their narrative, from looming asteroids to continental drift, but that’s all suddenly a footnote as they fall ass over teakettle for one another — just as Galison pulls out his harmonica for the sweetly nostalgic outro.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW: The spectacular 'Sunken Condos' brings in sounds and textures from throughout Donald Fagen's career, both solo and with Steely Dan, even while putting a new spin on things.]

If all of this sounds more that a touch like Steely Dan, well, there’s a reason for that: Galison is a sideman on a pair of songs on the well-received new recording from Dan frontman Donald Fagen, Sunken Condos. Galison’s “Bobby and Sally,” however, is part of a tour de force new solo recording called Line Open that showcases the full scope of Galison’s prodigious talents.

Already having received praise from no less than an authority on the jazz harp than Toots Thielemans, and previously worked alongside Sting, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Carly Simon, Galison uses this new project to explore songwriting, vocals, arranging and guitar, as well as the harmonica work that recently helped propel Fagen’s “I’m Not the Same Without You” and “New Breed.”

Fans of the smartly swinging, impeccably performed, intriguingly literate work of one will certainly fall (and maybe just as hard as old Bobby did) for the other.

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Line OpenSunken CondosLine OpenCitizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • http://willgalison.com WILLIAM GALISON

    You rock! Thanks so much for the props!

    • S. Victor Aaron

      This song is hands down better than “All You Need Is Love.” Definitely does not suck!