How many Irish American redheads living in the Midwest do you know who speak Jamaican reggae fluently? Tim Gandee, also known as Gingermon (https://gingermon.com), is the only one I can name.
“Baked To Perfection” falls into my category of mind-blowingly hypnotic reggae trance music. Damn, you don’t need a smoldering sparked spliff to get off on this ish. It’s organic, it’s pure, and it’s the real dope. What Gingermon does on his “Baked To Perfection” album is bring the art form that Bob Marley birthed (at least to the rest of the so-called culturally “enlightened” world) to a new level. Think Marley meet Hendrix meets 2 Pac. Get where we’re going here Holmes? No? Then get off this toboggan while you still can walk, brethren. This here’s the artistic Armageddon of our chaka-chaka world as we know it. To those bad bwai who didn’t understand those Rasta references made in the prior line above, at least for you own self-edification allow me to suggest you check out http://www.rastafarian.info/rasta-dictionary.php for a point of reference. Once you do you’re ready to get out your Little Rasta Annie decoder rings (I know, you have to go back quite a way in time to understand that iconic reference), but believe you and I and I, the revelation will be well worth it if you hope to understand the rest of this review.
“Baked To Perfection” opens with the Beck Hansen like “Babylon Say Freeze”, where as with Beck’s 1990s hit “Loser”, melds so many genres and styles of music together you wonder how it’s going to all work out. And in the end it does for both artists. Taking a more straight ahead reggae approach with “Oh No” Gingermon shares with us that age old fear of losing the one you love so dearly. “One Track Mind”, the first radio single off the album, and it laments not the loss of love but the loss of summertime to the cruel Midwestern winter weather. The temporal tune of this 13 track compilation is obviously “Right Now” while the whimsically written “Miracle” returns us to a more carefree state of mind.
For those who like to lift a glass or two the Gingermon offers up a barroom ballad titled “Drink Up”. By the time you’re into the second half of this record he pitches you a cute little curve ball by covering “Folsom Prison”, the Johnny Cash classic. It’s a tongue-in-cheek reggae rendering of the original song I bet you’ll be sharing with all your buds. No reggae artist would be worthy of their dreadlocks if they hadn’t included at least one ode to weed which Gandee does grinningly with the cannabis laced anthem called “Sativa”. The pleasantly acoustic rendition of “Tomorrows Never Coming” (featuring the Predator Dub Assassins) is a clever reminder that all things must pass.
My personal pick of the lot is the timely “Traveling”. Anyone who’s ever been a target of stop and frisk racial profiling much like what we had in New York City will nod in silent agreement when Tim sings “They pull me over and ask me for ID. Rape my rights and search my property, I don’t have weed in my car, you’ll see, I don’t. I’m just traveling…” Now that’s a powerful mouthful of bitter reality many of us have been forced to swallow and endure. By New York Civil Liberties Union estimates more than 4 million innocent civilians were subjected to this questionable NYPD activity. The weeping guitar sound you hear throughout this cut if the perfect sonic reflection of the humiliation felt by those who were publicly victimized by it.
Before ending “Baked To Perfection” (Midwest Coast Records) with a pair of dub remixes of both “One Track Mind” and “Sativa” (remixed respectively by Predator Dub Assassins, and then Dub Proof) Gingermon shares his thoughts, from sounds like personal experience, the monster known as the dreaded “Gold Diggah”. So, slip your tam on your bean and take a hit, get perfectly baked, and then add these nice numbers to your play lists. He may be Tim Gandee to some, and Gingermon to others, but I’m betting dollars to doobies that “Baked To Perfection” will make this artist someone you won’t be flaking out and forgetting any time soon, mon.