Review:

 

Albert and Gage - Cry Love

 

Night Lights by Jim Beal

 

San Antonio Express News     January 2006

 Thursday night at Casbeers it'll be two of the best voices going today, Albert & Gage, Christine Albert and Chris Gage. Albert & Gage are known for their singing, their songwriting, their studio, their record label and their production work. However, on Thursday they'll concentrate on their own art while celebrating the release of their ''Cry Love'' (Moon House) CD.

 

Partners on and off stage, Albert & Gage, Christine Albert and Chris Gage, make an engaging brand of folk/country/rock/etc. that features excellent musicianship and some of the best vocal harmonies going today.

 

Albert, a Texas denizen for years, and Gage, a South Dakotan who worked the road as a tour and session musician before settling in Austin, had no inkling they could sing together until Albert hired Gage for a gig. Their voices meshed and, eventually, the duo meshed personally.

 

Now they make music together and also own and operate a recording studio and record label, Moon House. Thursday at Casbeers, Albert & Gage will celebrate the release of their latest Moon House CD, ''Cry Love.'' Though the couple had a less than stellar '05 because Gage had some serious back problems, the CD is an uplifting collection of songs, originals and covers.

 

The disc features Albert (vocals, guitar), Gage (vocals, guitar, keyboards, accordion, mandolin, dobro, percussion), Brad Fordham (bass), Lisa Pankratz and, on one song, Albert's son, Troupe Gammage (shaker). Albert & Gage have been doing the music trip long enough to know well how to balance albums and live shows.

 

The CD sequence features one particular stretch with a cover of Mickey Newbury's poignant ''I Still Love You (After All These Years)'' followed by the funny original ''In the Mornin''' and the more serious original ''Venus.'' It's that range and sensibility that keep Albert & Gage going and definitely keep Albert & Gage essential listening.

 

Jim Beal Jr.'s Night Lights covers the area music scene Wednesdays in S.A. Life and Fridays in Weekender. He also plays bass in the local band Ear Food. Send e-mail to jbeal@express-news.net. Beal is the host of the ''Third Coast Music Network'' show from 3-7 p.m. Thursdays on KSYM, 90.1 FM.

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