Due to my workload with the Boston Blues Society, not-to-mention a recent bout of parenthood, there hasn’t been a chance to review new blues recordings lately. Given the dearth of quality commiserate with the volume of blues bands, it was was an easy sacrifice to make. And then at The Boston Blues Society’s Spring Bluesfest I heard Gil Correia play.
When the press release for Tattoos & Blues hit my inbox I jumped at the chance for an advanced copy. I had to know did I catch Gil Correia on a proverbial ‘good day’ or does Correia really have ‘the blues’?
It takes but just a few bars of the opening instrumental “The Rattlesnake Hop” to hear that Correia really has ‘the blues’. Backed by Dave Baker on drums and percussion, Scott Cormier on bass and guest appearance by Gregg MacKenzie on harp Tattoos & Blues is 7 tracks of seemingly live and limited overdubbed raucous and raunchy blues fun.
On “Taken it Back” The Gil Correia Band lays a tight power trio blues rock groove with MacKenzie’s harp work offering a call-and-response with Correai’s vocals. When Correia actually takes some time out for a wonderfully understated guitar solo the understated solo complements the stripped down sound of The Gil Correia Band perfectly. Lesser guitar players wouldn’t be able to solo over just a rhythm section, Correia’s choice to solo over the rhythm section brings his sound and style closer to the early blues guitar masters than then studio enhanced contemporary blues guitar imitators.
With “Blue Gil Shuffle” The Gil Correia band recreates the soundtrack to that sort of bar where if the bar tenders know you and you tip well then there really is no final last call. Correia and company once again embrace their stripped down sound and offer up big musical tone for very limited instrumentation.
For a relative newcomer on guitar (Correia picked up his first guitar in 1998), it is hard not to appreciate just how good Correia is now and just how good this relative late-bloomer will become. Pick up a copy of Tattoos & Blues live from Correia, you will be glad you did.
For additional information on THE GIL CORREIA BAND check out; http://www.reverbnation.com/thegilcorreiaband