Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Part of Me reviewed by Rick Davis

A Part of Me
Tom Principato
Powerhouse Records
8 Tracks

“A Part of Me”, Tom Principato's latest studio endeavor, summarizes his life as successful blues artist playing, writing, and touring over 40 years. The cd is composed of all original material written by Principato himself,  consisting of a blend of blues, rock, R&B, and funk characterizing the versatility of Principato.

Principato's live shows feature Tommy Lepson on organ & vocals, Bob Shellhouse on guitar, Chris Watling along with a 3 piece horn section, as well as regular band members Steve Wolf on bass, Josh Howell on percussion & vocals, and Joe Wells on drums. Performing along with these talented band members on “A Part of Me” are guest artists Chuck Leavell on organ and piano, Willie Weeks on bass, Sonny Landreth on slide guitar, Brian Auger also on keyboards, Jim Brock on drums, and Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns. 
The cd opens with “Don’t Wanna Do It”, mixing the precise guitar licks of  Principato and the unique Louisiana slide guitar sound of Sonny Landreth.  These two guitar legends delivering guitar solos along with Chuck Leavell's organ and piano and a spectacular rhythm section provide quite an opener. “Sweet Angel” dedicated to that special someone in a person's life starts a little funky and progresses to an impressive rock style number. 

The title track, “Part of Me” (You’ll Always Be a Part of Me), delivers quite a slow, soulful R&B ballad style tune with stellar vocals and guitar from Tom along with an electrifying horn arrangement from Wayne Jackson. Tommy Lepson makes his contribution on organ along with the rhythm section consisting of guests Willie Weeks on bass and Jim Brock on drums. “Down The Road” is a funky instrumental featuring the expertise of Brian Auger on keyboards along with the guitar work of Principato, Willie Weeks on bass, Jim Brock on drums, and Josh Howell on percussion. “Down in Lou’siana” a tribute to the city of New Orleans creates a Mardi Gras sound delivered like a Mardi Gras marching band. "Back Again & Gone", a jazz flavored instrumental tune, features Steve Wolf on bass, Joe Wells on drums, and Josh Howell on the shaker. This 40 minute cd concludes with the two part number "Stranger's Eyes" creating an island sound featuring vocals and a haunting guitar that only Tom Principato could deliver along with Steve Wolf on bass, Wes Johnson on drums, Gali Sanchez on congas, and Tommy Lepson on the Hammond B-3 and harmony vocals. This is a superb collection of some of Principato's best work!

Reviewed by Rick Davis

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