Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Franco Paletta & The Stingers - I Like It Just Like That - New Release Review

I Just received the newest release, I Like It Just Like That, from Franco Paletta and it's really tasty! Opening with Oh Baby, a groovin' blues with a strong walking blues bass line from Timmer Blakely, really rich vocals from Paletta and scorching guitar riffs from JT Thomas. Born To Please is a boppin funk blues with a call and response between Paletta and Thomas. Addition of horns from Joe McCarthy (trumpet), Scott Franklin (tenor sax), Jeff Homan (alto sax) this track moves! Thomas really gets the opportunity to show off a bit n this track and his playing is very enjoyable. On When She Do That Thing She Do, Paletta breaks out the harp for some warm riffs and Steve Kerin adds some crisp keyboard work leading up to very clean solos from Paletta and Thomas. On retro blues rocker,She's My Little Girl, Jonathan Barber sets up a solid drum pattern and the band "Twists" into blues land. The guitar riffs on this track are hot with cool double stop action and rock n roll licks. On laid back I Like It Like That, Paletta really shows how perfect his voice is for this band. Taking the rockin at a leisurely "canoe ride" pace (think Taj Mahal) these guys really show their versatility. Pretty Baby has particularly cool soloing from Thomas and Paletta and the band is really showing how tight they are. You all know how much I love the deep blues and Livin' The Blues Again fills the bill on a particularly soulful ballad. This 5 plus minute track allows Thomas to show really warm guitar tones and tasteful riffs. Red Hot Lovers, a swinging blues track, has a great sound and has you bouncing along as you groove. Vocal harmonies with Paletta and Blakely are really smooth and horns really warm up the bottom opening a great hole with Steely Dan like precision for Thomas to step in and play unexpectedly like Danny Gatton. Paletta jumps back in on harp for a while but it's his vocals that carry the show. 50's style ballad, It Brings A Tear, invites all of the couples on the floor for some close dancing and finds Thomas playing some very fluid guitar riffs leading into a very soulful harp solo from Paletta. Final track, I Really Want To Sing The Blues, has a strong blues boogie beat that I relate to early Savoy Brown. This is a really cool track driven by Kerin on piano and Barber on drums. Paletta steps up for one final tap on the harp and Thomas comes back with C. Berry style rockin guitar riffs. This is a really cool recording and one that is a cut above much of what I hear every day. Super job guys!

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