Publicity: Blind Raccoon
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © August 2022
Underground Blues is the sixth blues release from Chicago Bluesman Breezy Rodio and it is the third that I have had the pleasure of working with. For this project, Breezy – on guitar and vocals – is joined by: Johnny Bradley on bass; Daniel C. Tabion on piano and organ; Lorenzo Francocci on drums; and Josh Fulero on harmonica. Also appearing as a guest guitarist on a couple of tracks is the album’s producer, Anson Funderburgh. All fourteen of the disc’s tracks are Breezy Rodio originals.
The title track, “Underground Blues”, features a well-balanced vocal presentation as Breezy partly sings and partly talks the lyrics that describe his thoughts and experiences on quarantining. With fabulous harmonica leads by Josh; rich rhythm from Johnny and Lorenzo; hot keyboard work by Daniel; and killer guitar leads and vocals from the boss, this smoker does an excellent job of highlighting everyone’s musical talents.
Ever since first seeing Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, featuring Sam Meyers, a large number of years ago, I – like most of us – have been a huge fan. Listening to his dynamic playing on a rhythm driven track titled “Playing My Game Too”, is exactly the reason why.
Maybe you’re someone who has spoken lyrics similar to these to a dear friend or perhaps you’re that dear friend who they were spoken to. If you are the former, you are indeed a good friend and if you’re the latter, I hope you realized that, and followed the very good advice to stop using “That Damn Cocaine”. Just like every track on the disc, Johnny, Lorenzo and Daniel are dishing out their usual monster rhythm, and Breezy, with his sincere and heartfelt vocals and accompanying guitar work, is doing his best to make this the first ever blues song public service announcement.
As quick as getting hit by a “Lightning Strike”, it took hearing all of three seconds of this one for me to think “oh yeah, slow blues”. That being said, ya gotta know what’s coming next…..yes, it is my favorite track of the lot and yes, it does feature some of Rodio’s best guitar work.
With no words to explain it, I’m wondering what was going through Breezy’s mind when he called this instrumental “The Asymptomatics”. Musically, it features: Josh once again blowing harp, and that’s always a good thing; the usual masterful rhythm work from Johnny and Daniel; and midway through it, Breezy morphing into quite a snazzy, jazzy guitarist causing him to giggle and coyly say….”Ahhh, you like it!”. Yes, Breezy I did.
This one’s called “Hello Friendo” and I’m going to take the liberty of saying “let’s ‘dance” would have nicely, and appropriately, fit into the title. So, with me praising this rhythm section as I have, you’re definitely going to want to hear this one once I tell you that Daniel, Johnny and Lorenzo are at disc’s best on the piano, bass and drums on this dance floor filling instrumental. And while all that’s going on, ya got the boss and Josh wailing away on smoking guitar and harmonica leads. Wow! Another killer track.
“If I see your house is on fire, and there’s no well around;
I will mind my own business, and let your little shack burn down.”
Oh yeah, on a song called “Sugar Daddy”, Breezy is one pissed off dude. On this powerful vocal performance, there’s absolutely no questioning his anger. Damn, even his guitar reeks of it. Lyrically, vocally, emotionally and musically, this is real deal blues. Additional kudos to Daniel for those masterful high end, right hand, blues piano leads.
Closing out the disc is a cleverly title track called “Bluesoned”. With the exception of this twelve-word sentence – “When I was a young man, I got poisoned by the blues” – which explains the title, it’s another killer instrumental with the usual strong rhythm and Breezy and Daniel once again going toe to toe on blues guitar and piano.
Other tracks on this must-have release from Breezy Rodio include: “Half Way In The Devil’s Gate”; “C.H.I.C.A.G.O.”; “The Murder”; “Let Me Go”; “Gerry Told Me”; and “Why Did You Go?”
The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
P. O. Box 9346
Coral Springs, FL 33075-9346
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient