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Raising the Roof!

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Audio CD, March 4, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Review

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.


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Lock And KeyTom Principato Band 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Too Damn FunkyTom Principato Band 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. In The Middle Of The NightTom Principato 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. LiesTom Principato Band 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Bo Bo's GrooveTom Principato Band 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Fish FryTom Principato Band 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Mi SoleaTom Principato Band 7:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. 8 Counts For RitaTom Principato Band 6:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. They Called For Stormy Monday (But Mustang Sally Is Just As Bad)Tom Principato Band 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Powerhouse Records
  • ASIN: B00133KEE0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denis on March 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
=== The New Remastered and Remixed 2012 Edition ===

"Raising the Roof!" is a gem of a find that really sticks with you for a long time. This is the first album by Tom Principato I've ever owned (I just had to buy this album after first seeing Tom Principato live in concert), and now that Mr. Principato is re-releasing this album in the new remastered and re-mixed format, it truly gets the sonic treatment that it deserves.

Before I get to the album itself, I'd like to comment on this RE-MASTERED and REMIXED 2012 edition. Tom Principato worked with Bob Dawson of Bias Studios to improve the original release, and the result is a dramatic improvement in sound quality over the original. This edition benefits from a wide and well-balanced sound stage that is considerably clearer, warmer, and much livelier than the original. Also, a new track has been added to this release: Tom Principato's live performance of "Don't Wanna Do It" (from his "Part of Me" CD) recorded at Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 2011.

One of the real strengths of "Raising the Roof!" is the originality of style and compositions, and what a delightful blend of styles. If you asked me which style this album is, I'd have to say it's roots music, or, maybe more appropriately, roots stew: the songs contain elements of blues, rock, funk, soul, New Orleans stylings, and even reggae. Tom Principato's own compositions on this album are infused with his own worldview and contain his original trademark stylings, but his compositions are also very well informed of some of the best and most organic music out there.

Tom Principato's guitar solos are blistering and yet always melodic and expressive throughout the album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By imbel on September 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This cd has not left my player since the day I got it. This is a blues guitar album with top flite players at the peak of their form. Every note is perfect...something so rare today real people playing real music. If you loved Stevie Ray, If Jimmy started wolves howling in the back of your head....If everyday you wonder what The allman brothers would sound like with both brothers..this is one for you.
If you dislike the sound of a one-celled hammond-organism (Sorry Frank) there is allot of it on this CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom on October 30, 2011
Format: Audio CD
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. The good news is, with releases like this one, Tom's bringing new and varied music to that realm. -John Heidt Vintage Guitar Magazine

...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

Tom Principato is one of a few naturally gifted guitarists who just plain know how to sing via the instrument - Beck, Clapton, Hendrix, Santana, and Vaughn are others who quickly come to mind. And a little ways into this disc, you know why he named it Raising the Roof. If your tastes turn to masterful R&B with strong jazz, funk, and New Orleans accents, don't let Raising the Roof pass you by. David J. Cantor Soundstage

All hail the blue Wammy king. And king he is, as Washington D.C.'s longstanding blues fixture. Tom Principato has garnered a truckload of those local WAMA awards in recognition of excellence for everything from "Best Instrumentalist" and "Best Blues Vocalist" to "Best Blues Album" and "Best Blues Group". To date, it's a dynasty built on 22 so-called Wammies--but there's always room for more on the mantle. So all you Capital area bands, beware--consider Raising The Roof! as a current nomination package.
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