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Album Review

On Loose, Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats follow up their debut with a similar program of instrumental country-jazz but forgo the more overt blues numbers found on the first disc. The blues feeling is not gone, though, as Campilongo infuses his playing with a rougher, swaggering tone à la Buddy Guy on "Bustin' Up" and "Pluto." In fact, Campilongo's use of heavier, distorted guitar lines and the Cats' fuller sound here is a nice change from the somewhat thin production of the first disc. Some choice covers also contribute to the change, including a sweet, country-shuffle rendition of "Sandman" and an ominous workout of the R&B and jazz favorite "Harlem Nocturne"; the latter spotlights the contrasting, yet complimentary sound of Campilongo's chunky guitar chords and Joe Goldmark's expansive pedal steel playing. As he did on the debut album, Campilongo includes some eerie, after-hours ballads like "Loose" and "Girl With the Red Eyes." Campilongo takes advantage of the slower tempos here to stretch out on solos that cohesively blend blues, country, and jazz elements. With Loose, Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats offer up another fine collection of songs and performances.

Biography

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Jim Campilongo was born and raised in San Francisco and began playing guitar in the mid-'70s, buying his first guitar with Green Stamps. His first teacher exposed him to a wide variety of music, but it was hearing Roy Buchanan that convinced him to make a living as a guitarist. By the early '90s, Campilongo was taking guitar students, in addition to playing with a variety of groups in a variety of styles. In 1990, one of those students gave him a 1959 Telecaster in exchange for some bass lessons...
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Loose, Jim Campilongo
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