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Really Blue

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Album Review

Principato's seventh album continues the tradition of strong guitar work coupled with vocals that are less than scintillating but never offensive, wedded to material that's more of a showcase for his playing than it is actual songs. He gives his blues-shuffle-in-E chops a workout on Johnny Jones' "Sweet Little Woman" (a cleaned-up version of the "dozens"), and his blues-rock licks get trotted out on a stiff version of Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" and the T-Birds-like "Standing at the Crossroads Again." On the plus side, the minor-key slow blues workout "Really Blue," the jazzy "In Orbit" and his tribute to Danny Gatton ("One For Danny") all have their moments, and "In Another Dream" shows real originality. While Principato's penchant for ending a phrase with a trademarked triplet can get annoying in a hurry, fans of hot, well-executed guitar who aren't fussy about familiar contexts will enjoy this album.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tom Principato has long been a regional star in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He has toured nationally around the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but often the venues are clubs. His particular blend of blues-rock is highly specific; jazz guitar master Pat Metheny said of Principato, "he has an enormous talent at telling stories in his solos; he doesn't play 'standard' licks." Raised in suburban Washington, D.C. his early guitar playing heroes included Roy Buchanan...
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Really Blue, Tom Principato
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