Tony Janflone Jr. – Live at the Blues Cafe
I am amazed almost every day to see the number of younger artists who are currently recording either blues or blues/rock material. It seems that Strats and Les Pauls have replaced the Willie Mays signature baseball bats of my youth as the toys of choice for the world’s youth. That is good news to people like us, who derive so much pleasure from this great music. It is comforting to this old fellow to know that the music is going to continue to live on for many years to come. While other forms of musical expression have come and gone, the blues and it’s influence on today’s music continues to thrive for future generations to enjoy.
The advantages of falling in love with a guitar at a young age are considerable. Washington, PA’s Tony Janflone, Jr. is such a case in point. This extremely talented and versatile guitarist draws from a wealth of both experience and diverse influences not commonly associated with an artist of such relative youth. Janflone first picked up a guitar at age 9 and had decided at 13 that this was his life’s calling. Guided by his guitarist father, the younger Tony was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles ranging from blues to classical music. This, along with hard work and God given talent, has produced an artist who properly falls into the category of “complete package”.
“Live at the Blues Cafe'” is an excellent showcase of the multi-talented Tony Janflone, Jr. Backed by a most capable supporting cast of bass, keyboards, drums, and horns, Janflone scorches his way through 11 first rate tracks, 6 of which are strong original compositions. His covers include a couple from Hendrix and Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What you Want Me To Do”. Each song is laced with Janflone’s potent fret work but this man does not live by axe alone: his passionate and soulful vocals are among the very best I have heard in this style of music.
From the opening number “Something’s Got to Give”, through the wonderful instrumental ballad “Wish You Didn’t Have To Go”, past the powerful and sensitive covers of “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Hey Joe”, and on to the finale, a jazzy original instrumental “Food Court Blues”, this is a recording that I cannot imagine any blues/rock fan not thoroughly enjoying.
One final note: the sound quality of this CD is excellent for a live recording. At times, it reminds me of the sound of Eric Clapton’s “24 Nights”. This live recording does, what any great live recording should do: it makes you wish you had been there for the show. Needless to say, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this wonderful CD.
“Live at the Blues Cafe'” is available at many online locations. Mine came from the good people at CdBaby.com
Tom Branson, BluesRockers.com