Sometimes The Blues Got Me
Like many second generation guitarists Breezy Rodio fell in love with the blues by first listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan. He worked backwards from there to discover B.B. King, Albert King and other influences. Rodio joined The Linsey Alexander Band in 2007 and he appears on all three of Alexander’s Delmark albums. In 2011 Rodio released his own debut album “Playing My Game Too”; and followed up with 2015’s “So Close To It” on Windchill Records. This is Rodio’s first recording for Delmark.
The current band lineup is Rodio, vocals and guitar; Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi, piano; Chris Foreman, organ; Light Palone, acoustic and electric bass; and Lorenzo Francocci, drums. The four piece horn section includes Ian Letts, tenor sax; Constantine Alexander and Art Davis, trumpets; and Ian “The Chief” McGarrie, saxophones. Among the special guests sitting in is harp ace Billy Branch.
Rodio is a prolific songwriter and has written eleven of the seventeen tracks. On the title track he sings “cause sometimes I got the blues and Sometimes The Blues Got Me”. Rodio is also an accomplished guitarist and he takes some great solos throughout the recording. Ariyo proves himself a really great pianist too. The horns are also excellent as they come up with some interesting arrangements.
Palone’s bass powers “The Power of The Blues”. Davis takes a trumpet solo on “You Don’t Drink Enough” and another muted one on the artsy “Fall in British Columbia” which also features Forman’s organ. McGarrie takes an impressive sax solo on “Not Going to Worry”. My favorite of the originals just might be “Doctor from The Hood makes you feel so good” or maybe it’s Branch with his feel good harp. On “Change Your Ways” the harmonica player is Simon “Harp” Noble. Rodio’s guitar sounds like Albert Collins on “One of A Kind”. Rodio, Ariyo, Palone, and Francocci make “A Cool Breeze in Hell” a fantastic instrumental.
There are six selected covers including four from the B.B. King catalogue. “I Love You So” from his 1958 album “B.B. King Wails”. “Make Me Blue” from B.B.’s vintage years perhaps 1951. The Delmore Brothers “Blues Stay Away From Me” which was recorded by B.B. and everyone else from Doc Watson to Merle Haggard; and Lee Hazelwood’s “Don’t Look Now, But I’ve Got The Blues” also recorded by B.B. in 1958.
The remaining two covers are also interesting. “Wrapped Up in Love Again” was the lead track off of Albert King’s 1969 album “Years Gone By” on Stax Records. “Chicago is Loaded with The Blues” also featuring Branch on harmonica is from The Chicago Blues All Stars 1969 recording; the All Stars included the songs author Clifton James and Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Willie Dixon and a young James Whiting better known as Sugar Blue.
It’s not too often that traditional Chicago Blues gets some new blood. Rodio is a true disciple. No flash just great music. Check him out.
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