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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Tom Letizia Records artist: Gaetano Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band - Voodoo Doll & Other Blues Sessions - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Voodoo Doll & Other Blues Sessions, from Gaetano Letizia and the Underground Blues Band and it is really quite interesting and different. Opening with Big Foot, a fine jazzy instrumental romp featuring Letizia on guitar, Larry Keller on bass, Jake Tijerina on keys and Steve Renko on drums Letizia establishes a pretty high watermark for the rest of the release. Keller lays down a really nice bass solo on this track and overdriven guitar work from Letizia is way cool.Title track, Voodoo Doll, maintains the funky jazz rhythm with cool slap and pop bass work from Keller. More of a pop (Steely Dan) style track, Letizia adds some warm vocal work but it's his tasty guitar overlays that makes this a super track. Kill My Conscience continues along the pop jazz track with more of a BST kind of attack but without horns. The Devil Is A Nice Guy is funky pop track with a bit of sarcasm. Blending vocals with Ro Brown and popping with his jazzy guitar riffs through a closed wah, this track moves along pretty well. Tijerina lays out a cool organ solo on this track but the bass work of Keller and smokin drumming of Renko are right on. Sold My Soul maintains the jazzy funky beat but with some more adventurous guitar work...a bit looser jam. Hurt Myself is a slick shuffle tune with lead vocals by Bobby Huszar and a nice walking bass line by Keller and a cool hook. Slowing down the track takes on a bluesy turn for a nice conclusion. Bleed is a funky rocker with a strong guitar / drum interaction. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the release just base on it's overall flow. All I Need is an acoustic jazz number with some swift riffs. Blow The Blues Away has a real pop edge but is sharpened by some really slick guitar moves and strong bottom work from Renko and Keller. Torture Me is a bluesy ballad with Letizia doing vocal exchanges between his vocals and guitar. Very nice mix in triplets. Orange Sunglasses opens with a very cool bass riff. Building on this bottom the band creates a cool funky jam. Opening up later in the track as a wide open relentless ride, Tijerina lays down a smooth organ field. Wrapping the release is a quiet blues track called Big Secret. With a jazz edge, Letizia puts up some of the hottest guitar riffs on the release. This track morphs back and forth between a slow club blues and a faster paced shuffle track, but really a nice finish to a different take on the blues.

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