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Gideon King & City Blog - Upscale Madhouse (Self-Released)

23 December 2018

Gideon King & City Blog are a popular jazz rock group from New York City led by the larger than life King, an impresario-like guitarist who comes from the world of Wall Street. Earlier this year they have released their second full-length Upscale Madhouse featuring a large rotating cast of guest musicians including giants such as John Scofield and vocalists like Conrad Sewell. The new album marks an evolution of sorts with the band as they continue to embrace a jazzy sound influenced by Steely Dan. The production is more polished and refined, and it finds the group tighter than ever.

The band is very obviously a product of the city in which they play, and the spirit infects both the smoothness of their sound and lyrics on songs like “Straight to Hell” and “God I’m So Alone” which are indebted to the atmosphere of Manhattan. Social media and modern culture like vaping are also referenced elsewhere as on “Fake it on Facebook,” but the band is at their prime with songs that deal with more direct emotions like “For Your Own Sake” which is aided by a warm injection of soulful vocals. Upscale Madhouse is a big step up for the band, and it includes some of the year’s best artistic developments in the genre.