Back here on Earth, Gleason’s twangtastic reveries rub shoulders with Tom Petty and Dwight Yoakam. The wonderfully tousled Gleason carries the torch for what Gram Parsons called Cosmic American Music, where country mingles with rhythm & blues and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Tunes like “Midnight,California” and “Sad Violins” have a gut level sway that’s perfect for truckers, young lovers and anyone else who likes a good time or an honest cry. Gleason’s songwriting gifts come to the fore on his latest release, Just Fall To Pieces, an endlessly winning song cycle destined to burn off boot leather in barrooms from Tehachapi to Timbuktu.
Formed in 2000, the Wasted Days move with the confidence and abiding skill of Music Row’s best. In their hands, Gleason’s heartfelt road songs and beating heart laments swing hard. The current line-up includes Mike Therieau (bass, vocals, songwriting), Pat Johnson (guitars, vocals), John Kent (drums) and Gleason on lead vocals and guitar. A blessed mix of loose and snap tight, Gleason’s Wasted Days Band compare nicely with The Paladins, The Jayhawks and Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives. Veterans of the Northern California club circuit, most weekends you’ll find some configuration of these guys playing any stage that’ll have ‘em just for the sheer joy of it. “Constantly gigging in a music scene where the odds are really against that AND getting to meet and play with many musicians who I’m BIG fan of still amazes me on a regular basis,” says Gleason, who’s shared the stage with Jim Lauderdale, Chuck Prophet, Bill Kirchen, Albert Lee and The Mother Hips. The band has opened for the likes of The Derailers, North Mississippi All-Stars, Wanda Jackson, Tony Gilkyson and Susan Tedeschi. And, Gleason is a near-permanent fixture in the upstairs poster lounge at the fabled San Francisco Fillmore Auditorium.
Gleason and his boys drink in every encounter like a hungry sponge. Their unabashed love of deep-rooted country, shines through every track on Just Fall To Pieces, which features guest appearances from guitarists Albert Lee & Jim Campilongo, Red Meat’s Michael Montalto, pedal steel whiz Joe Goldmark, keyboardist Dan Eisenberg (Tift Merritt), and Thom Moore of The Moore Brothers.