Although John Pagano has been recording under the name JP Blues since he was in his teens, The John Pagano Band is about to release their first album, One More Round, under their new band name. Although the name has changed, the solid blues-rock and excellent original material has not.
Pagano is a strong vocalist and a guitar master who found the perfect band when he joined with Shiloh Bloodworth on drums and Tony Hossri on bass. Together, they have matured into a tight and thoroughly enjoyable unit.
One More Round begins with the fast-paced “Bottoms Up,” a song made for singing along. which spotlights Pagano’s slide guitar. Next is “Lost In You,” a slick, sexy bit of urban soul, that benefits from the solid work of Bloodworth and Hossri.
“Trouble on Heels” features awesome harmonies on a\ song about a familiar theme: “That girl Is trouble.” “Ain’t Mine” continues those haunting harmonies and the sultry feel. “Rise Up” is an anthem, an empowering call for personal liberation.
“Ain’t Gonna Lose You” is straight soul, with great bass and drums adding a very effective dense bottom for Pagano’s impassioned vocal and searing guitar. “99 Problems” has been a crowd favorite at the band’s live shows for quite a while, with its steady rocking beat and clever lyrics.
After being so up-beat for seven songs, Pagano slows it down and turns the sweetness up for the beautiful ballad, “On My Mind.” But then it’s back to the full-tilt energy and swagger for “Make You Shout.”
“Bad Habit” is a perfect example of what blues-rock should be. The blues roots are clear but the instruments rock as Bloodworth and Hossri lay everything out on bass and drums and Pagano wails on guitar. It all ends with the catchy driving rhythm of the outlaw song, “Catch That Train.”
Every song on this album was written by John Pagano (with the exception of 99 problems), and his songwriting has matured as he has. The music is as good as it has ever been, and overall the album is sensual, upbeat and a real pleasure to hear. Put this one on your party playlist!
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