Tom Principato brings his signature gritty guitar work to this his first disc of all original songs, and he has enlisted the help of some of the musicians he has admired and/or played with through the years. He and Chuck Leavell, keyboardist with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, go back about 20 years, Brian Auger, Hammond organ, have played together and work in an on again off again group called "The January Allstars," and the slide guitarist that just steps up the ante when he walks onto the stage—Sonny Landreth. Sonny's very distinctive and mesmerizing slide work on Don't Wanna Do It opens the disc. The band is filled out with a hand picked group of Washington D.C. musicians Tom has recorded with and played with for years; Josh Howell on percussion, Jay Turner on bass, Tommy Lepson on harmony vocals, and Steve Wolf also on bass. This group of musicians has been playing together in various configurations for years and they show it.
With all the star power here there is no one trying to derail the recording, they play together as a group. It is Tom Principato's disc and he handles the lead guitar and lead vocals, and they all support this arrangement. Listen to the close playing on Down In Lou'siana, with Chuck Leavell's Hammond B-3 supporting the guitar work of Joe and the second line drum work of Joe Wells, or perhaps you prefer the slower smoother pace of Down the Road with Brian Auger handling keyboards and Willie Weeks doing time on the bass. It is a disc filled with great musical moments that can carry the listener to other lands. The only complaint with the disc is with all the star power enlisted, and not having a true road band, why not get someone who has a stronger vocal presence? Vocals are not Tom's strong suit and he probably realizes it and the music takes on a lesser intensity when he divides his focus. Otherwise a strong outing from this veteran blues player.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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