When I listen to Gerry Leonard play guitar, I feel as though I am cascading down a really long water slide on the hottest day of the year.
I feel as though I’m soaring through space, with no need for a capsule, a helmet, a destination or a reason.
I feel that my mental, spiritual and physical health are all undergoing a re-calibration. It’s as if Gerry knew what I had been through on a particular day, good or bad, and he shares a performance as a tune-up for my brain, my heart, my soul and my spirit.
You know that glorious feeling you have after a long day at the beach, when the salt and the breeze and the sand just consume you whole? That’s how I feel after listening to Gerry Leonard play the guitar. I feel really good.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Click here to absorb Gerry’s creativity as it unfolded with David Bowie, with whom Gerry played with for years.
And click here to see a side of Gerry that is hard to describe, hard to pin down, hard to corner and hard to reel in. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Spooky Ghost. Spooky Ghost, in all its glory, its mystery, its feeling, its resolution, is the celestial manifestation of Gerry Leonard’s musicality, creativity, guitar-slinging and surrender to a higher power that draws out of him notes and chords and songs that come from somewhere deep inside another dimension.
Gerry is kind enough to share all of this with all of us. And on Sunday, December 12, he will present another extraordinary Spooky Ghost performance at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Click here for information and to purchase a ticket.
Check this show out and you can see how the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped Spooky Ghost. Gerry will be performing music from his “Viral Times” collection, which he developed in response to the pandemic, not long after it snatched us all in its grip and left us twisting in the wind.
I spoke to Gerry about “Viral Times,” the pandemic, his life as an Ulster County, New York resident, and indulging his passion for creativity as we all tried to make sense of the greatest health crisis in generations. And we had a great conversation. But what he wrote about “Viral Times” on his website seems to capture things so well.
“‘Viral Times’ is a collection of thoughts and improvisations from my time in self-isolation with my family in upstate New York due to the pandemic,” Gerry wrote. “In what seems to be a dismantling of our world in slow motion, we were lucky enough to have a sanctuary in our home in the country…
“As a form of therapy and discipline I tried to sit with the guitar everyday and improve a piece based on my moods, experiences and what nature brought in. The pieces all started with an improvisation, captured and recorded…”
Gerry wrote that, weeks later, “I started to go back and see what was there.”
Gerry during our chat told me about his pandemic routine. This included running in the morning and really paying close attention to the sounds of nature that will surround anyone who avails themself of one of the greatest features of the Hudson Valley—isolation.
Those sounds of nature inspired some of the sounds on “Viral Times,” which you will most certainly be hearing on Sunday when Gerry sets up shop for his solo show at Rockwood Music Hall.
During our conversation, Gerry talked about the texture and layers you will find in Spooky Ghost music. I replied that Spooky Ghost is an immersive experience for me.
And as I write this blog post with snow on the ground and an outside temperature of 34 degrees, I close my eyes, extend my hand and join Spooky Ghost as we soar through space, cascade down that water slide and, without question my favorite part of the Spooky Ghost experience, soak in the sand and the salt and the surf, for a glorious day at the beach, if only in my brain, my mind and my heart.