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Thursday, November 17, 2011


PHARR, TX – South Texas-based blues guitarist/singer Roy Treviño announces the November 29 release of his debut self-titled CD on Troubadour Records, produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison). The new CD was recorded at Church House Studio in Austin, San Jose Studio in Pharr, and Busy at Play Studios in Nashville, and highlights Trevino’s stingingly fluid guitar lines and soulful vocals backed by a stellar cast of musicians.

“I had a list of folks in my mind that I had always wanted to work with and one of those was Chris Maresh, who plays bass with Eric Johnson,” says Treviño about the sessions. “He agreed and suggested a cool studio in Austin called Church House, an old Baptist church converted into a recording studio. The owner, David Boyle, is also a great keyboardist who has worked with a bunch of people including Robert Plant, Patti Griffin, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Justin Timberlake and Eric Johnson. After a false start with one drummer, I found one who had played with one of my buddies (Andres Cantisani) that had given me my first professional gig. It was none other than J.J. Johnson, who I had just watched on the John Mayer DVD, Where the Light Is, and been blown away by his playing. I called J.J. up and he agreed.

“Church House has a Neve Melbourne Console as its heart and we got some great sounds out of that and various other vintage gear and mics, all recorded in this old Baptist church in East Austin. We went down to my studio (San Jose Studios) in Pharr, Texas, for overdubs and recorded background vocals at my compadre Johnny Garcia’s (Trisha Yearwood’s and Garth Brooks’ guitarist and musical director) studio in Nashville.”

The tracks on Roy Treviño are all original songs, save for a cover of Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself,” which Treviño gives a suitably funky treatment with some added scintillating guitar sounds. “I absolutely love and respect Bob Marley; that’s why I was initially hesitant to put this on the album,” says Roy. “I thought that the concept of a Hendrix-y type of guitar in a funked-up Bob Marley tune would be cool. The playing of Chris Maresh, JJ Johnson and David Boyle sealed the deal; they did a phenomenal job.”

The album’s nine other tunes all have some autobiographical background to Roy Treviño’s upbringing in South Texas. The bluesy, gospel opener, “Gloria,” was the culmination of Treviño wanting to write a blues mass. On “The Boy Can Play,” he name-checks a host of guitarists who’ve influenced him over the years, including blues forefathers like Robert Johnson and Son House, through electric blues masters such as the three “Kings,” British guitar gods (Clapton, Beck, Page, Green) and Texas homeboys Billy Gibbons, Johnny Winter and the Vaughan Brothers.

Throughout Roy Treviño, the guitarist/singer/songwriter showcases his Mexican and Latin influences, especially on the songs “Sin Ella,” with its Santana-esque guitar lines; the lush, tropical instrumental, “Trinidad;” and the beautiful, romantic mid-tempo “La Luna,” a song which began life under the moon on South Padre Island and was the first time he’d recorded with a nylon string guitar (“This song and ‘Sin Ella’ are my first recorded tunes in Spanish,” adds Treviño.).      

Blues sounds are all over the new album, punctuated by Roy Treviño’s outstanding electric guitar and slide guitar work. “Thank You” was recorded live in the studio,” he recalls. “I had always wanted to write a minor blues tune that I thought was good and I am very happy with these results. I was definitely inspired by Led Zeppelin’s ‘Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You,’ one of my favorite minor blues tunes of all time. This song is about the danger of being lured into doing wrong, when someone does you wrong.”

The song “Going Away” displays some of Treviño’s most powerful blues playing on the album. “It’s a tune about a Civil War soldier having a last supper with his family and afterward explaining to his daughter why he’s going away to do something that he knows is right and necessary,” he says. “In order to accomplish good, we sometimes have to do things that we don’t want to do.”

Roy Treviño was born and raised in South Texas and first became enamored with the guitar and blues at a young age. He studied guitar with one of the best, Ronnie Earl, whose other “students” at the time included a young Sean Costello. Early on, he had a blues band (Kingpin) that recorded two albums and played shows with Three Dog Night, Esteban Jordan, Marcia Ball and Chicano blues legend, Randy Garibay. (Roy Trevino will appear soon in a documentary film on Garibay’s life directed by pioneering Chicano filmmaker, Efrain Gutierrez.) “Lazy Lester would use us as his band when he would come to Texas. That was a blast,” Roy remembers. “It was with this band - Kingpin - that I worked with (harmonica virtuoso) Tim Gonzalez. We got to be great friends and it was he who suggested that I should do an album with Jim Gaines producing. I had heard the name, and when I looked up his discography was amazed at all the great records he had worked on. I got his number from Tim and called him up; but even though Jim had never heard of me, he was kind enough to ask me to send him some tunes.  I did and he agreed to produce the record.”

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