Tony Janflone Jr
“Live At The Blues Cafe”
Live At The Blues Cafe
TRACK LISTING (YNOT Records 004)
1/ Intro 2/ Something’s Got To Give 3/ Baby What You Want Me To Do
4/ Crocodile Tears 5/ Intro 6/ Wish You Didn’t Have To Go 7/ Deliver The Goods
8/ The Wind Crys Mary 9/ Mustang Sally 10/ Hey Joe
11/ Gone With The Wind 12/ I’ve Got News For You 13/ Food Court Blues
Two things made me wary of this CD. The first was that it was a live recording, the second that the cover shot gave a strong Stevie Ray Vaughan clone impression. However these first impressions are quickly thrown away once the business end begins to happen, with the recording being a quality and standard befitting a studio production. Yes, there are some distinct traces of SRV within Tony’s style, but this guy is a guitar whiz, full of passion and expression, sizzling his way through 6 originals and some well known yet gracefully rendered covers.
The smooth approach to Jimmy Reed’s classic “Baby What You Want Me Do” is one example of how to attack a classic and not destroy by overkill. Peaceful yet dynamic and gets the message across in blazing fashion that he is a guitarist with licks that would shake some of his peers. Another great aspect is that Tony doesn’t command all the attention like some artists do, take a listen to the smooth rocky original “Crocodile Tears” and you sense the creative room he gives his band to express themselves, with a great sax solo shining out here too. More passionate creativity in the soulful marathon of another original “Wish You Didn’t Have To Go,” which continues to soar as the song progresses throughout it’s entire 10.13 minutes, concluding in a frenzied crescendo. It is hard to describe Tony’s vocals, for Australians I would say there is a similarity to our Geoff Achison, sort of a smooth yet husky sound. Once again another great rocky original with some sizzling sax solos in “Deliver The Goods” before a soulful rendition of the classics “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Hey Joe.” Before you go, ‘not another set of Hendrix covers’ these two renditions stick with me as among the finest interpretations I have heard and they are on fire in this live situation, with an interesting version of “Mustang Sally” separating the intensity between the two. Check out the awesome sax solo in “Hey Joe” which compliments the guitar licks. I just love this CD, it is blues rock at it’s finest hour, well actually 73 minutes of it. This is not a CD that you skip through the songs … it keeps you riveted from track to track. Great arrangements, musicianship, songwriting, production … when is this guy coming to Australia?
Three more tracks round off this recording, concluding in a great sax filled “Food Court Blues” which is the strongest evidence of Tony Janflone Jr’s respect for his fellow musicians allowing them to take the limelight before coming in with more scorching guitar as the song builds to an exciting climax. I am in awe of this guy and his band.
REVIEW and Copyright by Mark ‘radar’ Watson (Mr Blues) on 20th September 2001