Recent listening, current

Thursday, November 21, 2013

152. Tom Principato / Smokin' (1985)

Principato is well known on the East Coast circuit. In the 70s, he made a pair of legendary albums with fellow Tele-wizard Danny Gatton (Blazing Telecasters and More Blazing Telecasters). But outside of the South, his name is more obscure. Principato's nimble, string bending, Fender-driven brand of electric blues combines a stripped down Chcago style with Texas and Southern flavors. Like the discs he did with Gatton (and much of Gatton's work, Tom or no), it draws from all over the blues tradition, a swirling cocktail of jump, boogie, rock, country, and swing. There's a tinge of honky tonk and each lick is rendered with gratuitous twang. Principato's sustain on sweeping string bends gives each note its own zip code. Smokin' is the perfect title. The album cooks on high from the first note until the last. For verse sections, Principato plays riffs close to the nut in a deep, growly sound. He soon flies up the neck in a combination of slick, fluid phrases that are interspersed with chunky bends and exciting slides. "Lipstick, Powder & Paint" continues the twangy blues vibe, likewise "Fish Fry." Harder rocking tracks include Principato's "Talkin' Trash" and the closing "Hard Livin'." Fans of Stevie Ray or any of the usual suspects will find this to be an infectious delight. Be warned: buying one album may lead to buying three or four more...

No comments:

Post a Comment