FAME Review: Roy Treviño - Roy Treviño
Roy Treviño - Roy Treviño

Roy Treviño

Roy Treviño

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Hot blues player Roy Treviño treads an interesting mid-ground between stripped-down sound fields and lush expansiveness. In both modes, though, in his self-titled debut the guy wields a fiercely clean sound with deep resonanace and tons of rhythm, often like an offshoot of Carlos Santana and his band. 'Neath an eye-catching cover, simple but dynamic, resides a cat who has as much a folk sensibility as, say, Richie Kotzen but whose lines more than a few times sound like Kim Simmonds' old days with a sidecar of Johnny Winter, the result possessed of a distinctive keening buzz gravid with resonance. Sin Ella shows his Santana side well, as does the instrumental Trinidad, and Treviño likes singing in Spanish as well as English, which lends a bit more musicality - I mean, I dig the hell out of my own tongue, but, c'mon y'all, Spanish has a LOT more music to it.

When I say this guitar slinger's ultra-clean, I damn well mean it, but he gets just as much fire and grit into every note as anyone around. His fingers aren't playing the notes, his heart is, and that big mid-chest organ has a truckload of feeling and muscle continually jumping out onto the fretboard. Producer Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV, Luther Allison, etc.) knows the real thing when he hears it, and his ears needed go no further than that first breath of Treviño. To accommodate the unique qualities of Roy's playing, he carted in a ton of engineers and, man, this is one of the very few cases where overkill just put ever more frosting on the cake instead of wiping it clean. This date's a great one, and the Roy isn't shy about tributizing past masters who paved the way, naming a ton of 'em (Page, Stevie Ray, Jimi, etc.) in The Boy Can Play.

La Luna brings in an exoticized ballad, a slow-shuffled south of the border number that provokes hips to sway and lips to smile languidly while a balmy afternoon shades into evening and city lights come up. The Sanatana influence is very clear here in the middle eight, with a solo Carlos would swoon over. Like boogie? Hurricanes is ZZ Top-styled boogie woogie with a metallic edge, and Treviño very obviously favors the distortion boxes, handling 'em masterfully, taming the gloriously noisy bastards down into his style while sacrificing nothing of their power and presence—the Hendrixian solo in Going Away lets everyone know who's leashed who here, tech or player. A hell of a lot is goin' on in this solo debut, presented with the flash, fire, and finesse of someone who's been around the block more than once.

Track List:

  • Gloria
  • The Boy Can Play
  • Hurricanes
  • Sin Ella
  • Trinidad
  • Lively Yourself Up
  • La Luna
  • Thank You
  • Going Away
  • Little Girl
All songs written by Treviño / Roel B. except
Lively Yourself Up (Bob Marley).

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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