Les Paul Tribute September 8, 2012…

LOU PALLO OF LES PAUL’S TRIO

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

THANK YOU LES

AVALON–MR. DAY\TELL ME WHAT’S THE REASON–CARAVAN–TENNESSEE WALTZ–SEPTEMBER SONG–IT’S BEEN A LONG, LONG TIME–I’M CONFESSIN’ THAT I LOVE YOU–MISTER SANDMAN–BESAME MUCHO–BRAZIL–VAYA CON DIOS–DEEP IN THE BLUES–NATURE BOY–MEMORIES OF YOU–SMILE–CARIOCA–JUST ONE MORE CHANCE–ST. LOUIS BLUES–SWEET GEORGIA BROWN–OUT OF NOWHERE–OVER THE RAINBOW

 

Les Paul was more than just a fantastic guitar player.  He was an inventor, an innovator, and a technician, always looking to improve the sounds and tones of the electric guitar.  He influenced more players than you can count, and a group of his closest friends have just released “Thank You Les,” a twenty-one track “love letter” of sorts, paying tribute to the man and his music.  It was the brain-child of Les’ long-time friend and literal “right-hand man,” Lou Pallo, who played rhythm guitar alongside Les for many years, and especially those legendary gigs in New York, first at Fat Tuesday’s, then later at the Iridium on Broadway.

 

The lineup includes a virtual “who’s who” in jazz, rock, and blues guitar, and perhaps only Lou Pallo could get them all together.  They perform well-known standards from the Great American Songbook, all done in that inimitable style Les popularized.

 

This set is full of nothing but highlights.  Les Paul was Steve Miller’s godfather, and Miller pays tribute by writing the set’s liner notes, and with two tunes, the minor-key classic, “Nature Boy,” and a jumpin’  “Mr. Day\Tell Me What’s The Reason,” featuring excellent piano from John Colianni.  Lou never misses a beat backing Arlen Roth on “Mister Sandman” and Frank Vignola on “Avalon.”  Les’ love of Latin rhythms are represented by “Carioca” and “brazil” with Frank Vignola, and a brilliant “Besame Mucho” with vocal from Jose Feliciano.  Billy F. Gibbons turns “September Song” into a blues rave-up, while Slash and Lou do some serious down-home pickin’ on “Deep In The Blues.”  A cool horn intro leads off Jon Paris’ take on “St. Louis Blues,” complete with backing  harp.  The playful banter between Keith Richards and Lou on “It’s Been A Long, Long Time” is priceless, while American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle closes the show with a soaring “Over The Rainbow.”

 

This was more than just a tribute album.  Everyone knew that Les loved playing the guitar perhaps more than anything, and the players herein return that love in kind on “Thank You Les,”  a set that will appeal to anyone who loves good guitar-based music.  We know Les would be proud…. Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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