Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tom Principato and Steve Wolf The Long Way Home

Tom Principato and Steve Wolf
The Long Way Home

Longtime friends and musical associates, guitarist Tom Principato and bassist Steve Wolf, come together for a set of mostly musical duets. Principato is best known as for his blues and roots rock performances with his straight-forward parched singing and nuanced, yet high energy guitar that can run from James Burton styled rockabilly to B.B. King styled blues to electrified gypsy guitar. Wolf has been his long-time bassist but also a familiar anchor to a number of Washington DC based groups. There are others heard on several of the eight songs (six composed by Principato and two by Wolf), but they stay mostly in the background.

The performances have an intimate, conversational feel starting with the opening "I Thought Of You," and then followed with Principato displaying his fluid, jazz chops on "Midnight Groove," with Josh Howell's congas helping propel this sparkling performance with Wolf talking a strong solo as Principato lightly chords behind him. Wolf's "Tres Dias Mas," is a charming Tex-Mex flavored ballad, while Principato's "Very Blue," is a low-key, early in the morning instrumental with him playing in a jazzy vein. There is a Flamenco tinge to the lovely "Mi Solea," while "Back Again & Gone," is a relaxed, country-jazz flavored instrumental with Joe Wells' on drums.

There is plenty of wonderful music on "The Long Way Home," which finds Principato and Wolf playing with restraint, but still showing considerable imagination as well as their considerable musical command.

I received the CD to review from one of the artists. Here is a selection from this recording.

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