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Powerhouse Records announces a March 3, 2008, release date for Raising the Roof, the new album from guitarist extraordinaire Tom Principato and his band
Long-acknowledged as one of the premier guitarists in the world, Tom Principato s latest CD builds on the universal acclaim for his 2005 release, Guitar Gumbo, which won awards from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) for Best Blues Recording and Best Blues Vocalist. With these new honors, Tom has now won a total of 22 Wammies. In addition, a song from that album, If Love Is Blind, written by Dave Kitchen, was named Song of the Year.
In addition to Principato on guitar and vocals, the band features John Perry on bass and backup vocals, Joe Wells on drums and Josh Howell on congas and percussion.
On Raising the Roof, the Tom Principato Band is joined by long-time DC-area favorite Tommy Lepson, who contributes his soulful Hammond B3 organ playing and vocals, as well as several other special guests. The new album showcases nine songs (including 6 originals) that demonstrate the breadth of Tom s musical influences ranging from blues, jazz and rock, to funk, reggae and New Orleans sounds.
The three covers include a jazzy workout of Jimmy Smith s 8 Counts for Rita, a cooking take on J.J. Cale s Lies, and a new version of Louis Jordan s Fish Fry that brings on the funk and Jamaican flavors to this R&B classic, a long-time staple of the band s live shows.
Don t be surprised if Raising the Roof! also raises the number of Wammie Awards that blues guitarist Tom Principato has collected over the years -- 23 at last count.
Recorded in College Park, Md. save for one track, Principato's new album is a rocking, grooving session featuring Hammond B-3 organist Tommy Lepson. It opens with three tunes written (or co-written) by Principato: Lock and Key, a serving of gumbo funk peppered with chunky, extended chord guitar riffs and Chris Watling's resonating baritone sax; Too Damn Funky, a slithery instrumental that lives up to its billing as soon as Lepson applies some elbow grease; and In the Middle of the Night, a haunting reggae ballad that features Principato and co-composer Lepson sharing soulful vocals.
Eventually a few cover tunes that further reflect Principato's varied tastes come into focus: J.J. Cale's Lies,& Jimmy Smith's 8 Counts for Rita and the Louis Jordan hit Fish Fry. Each is given a fresh spin, though the twangy tribute to Smith is particularly colorful and engaging, an expansive showcase not only for Telecaster master Principato but for Lepson, bassist John Perry and drummer Joe Wells.
Capping the album is a live recording of Principato's loose and lighthearted They Called for 'Stormy Monday' (But 'Mustang Sally' Is Just as Bad), complete with lots of T-Bone Walker-evoking fretwork. --Mike Joyce The Washington Post Feb. 22, 2008
Principato has long been known as a fine guitar player, but here production and vocals take him to a new level. There's plenty of the stuff you expect from Principato, including funky New Orleans-style rock like Lock and Key, with horns, organ and precise chording; Fender heaven on the solos. Too Damn Funky is exactly that, with a nasty solo and cool chordal work on the outro. Mi Solea is an emotional instrumental that gives Principato a chance to show his stuff. His soloing is as clever and on-the-money as you want. The same goes for the workout on Jimmy Smith's 8 Counts For Rita. It's old fashioned greasy, funky soul feel lets Principato show off nice changes and great licks. And the closer, They Called For Stormy Monday (But Mustang Sally Is Just As Bad!) will definately find a sympathetic ear in every working musician. Recorded live and with a perfect rendition of the Bobby Blue Bland/Allman Brothers versions of Stormy Monday, it's lyrics have been adapted to include every song and in some cases every band any musician over the age of 30 is sick of playing.
The good news is, with releases like this one, Tom's bringing new and varied music to that
realm. --John Heidt-Vintage Guitar Magazine June, 2008
It's difficult to understand why this blues-rocking Telecaster master isn't a major contemporary blues/roots star. Principato is sure talented enough and he's been leaving mouths agape with his classy yet searing guitar pyrotechnics over the United States and Europe for the better part of four decades. A solid new album, appropriately titled Raising The Roof!, might help spread the word, but he's most at home when peeling the paint from Blind Willie's walls with his slashing solos. Hal Horowitz-Atlanta Creative Loafing
DC based bluesman Tom Principato comes out swinging straight from note 1. The band is on fire and burning as they crank out blues tinged funk, jazz rock and straight blues. They jam like Jeff Beck and Elvin Bishop and Principato can unleash Latin spice like Santana. Everything they do is done with a tasty flair and that includes a moving tribute to NOLA called Fish Fry and his equally feeling tribute to LA women in Lock and Key. The Hammond, the percussion, the rhythm section and Tom s axe aid and abet while giving comfort to the grateful ears who get to hear this Southern gentleman lay it on down. The cuts are extended and fine musical expressions filled with original riffs and style. Even the closer commands attention with its witty lyrics and title They called for Stormy Monday (but Mustang Sally Is Just as Bad!) . Recorded live, the cut is ROTFL and it rolls it done. Hoo-hah, this Washington legend belts one past the Beltway in a home run. 9 snaves Doctor Blues Long Island Blues Society March 24, 2008 --Atlanta Creative Loafing/Long Island Blues Soc.
one of the best blues slingers alive today
can't get enough