This song feels like the lounge version of a Supertramp number: warm vocals, the close-sound of that rhythm section, and a folk-pop style. Everything is copy, as Nora Ephron once said, and this song does a wonderful job of joining that 60’s-pop sensibility with a modern production-discipline.
A truly classic feel for the chorus here, with 8th-notes on the Wurlitzer, and a move to the relative major, gives Gambling Man a jazz-pop flavor and sets up the main lyrical conceit. It is as if this was a lost track from the Neil Diamond catalog, with a performance by Gram Parsons.
I lost it all just for you babe, because I never know when it’s time to walk away
The nuance is not lost: the flute sound is clearly from a Mellotron, the drums were played by a human, and the narrative fits perfectly with that wistful American past - the one that we are simultaneously recreating and tearing down piece-by-piece. A song like this feels like a marker on that spectrum of nostalgia, and should come as considerable comfort to those who feel like the music business is passing them by just a little bit.
The message is simple, once you get past the beautiful sonic reenactment of a 60’s-era Vegas-act: dysfunction is the new normal. It always was.
She said I love you too much, wasting my years on this gambling man
La Dante is the creation of singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Maxwell Perla. After spending over a decade as a drummer, singer and songwriter for a wide range of acts in Philadelphia and New York City, Perla is finally ready to present his own unique voice to the world. This song is featured on our CHILL NEW Songwriters playlist.