Tommy Z review….July 14, 2013…

TOMMY Z

SOMETIMES

SOUTH BLOSSOM RECORDS

ROGER THAT–200 POUNDS OF JOY–GANGSTER OF LOVE–OLD LOVE–SNOOTY FUNK–LIVIN’ IN A BLUE STATE–SO TIRED OF BEING LONELY–I GOT YOUR BACK–SOMETIMES–TOMMY’Z BOOGIE

 

     Tommy Z is a disciple of the talent-rich Western New York area, winning so many vocalist and guitarist awards that he was elected into the Buffalo Hall of Fame in 2007.  The son of a Viet Nam vet, Tommy has also lent his talents in service to his country, having entertained the troops with blues concerts in virtually every outpost on the map since 2003.  His second album is entitled “Sometimes,” and it is a guitar-lovers’ dream that consists of seven originals and three covers that let Tommy cut loose with his trademark power and swagger that has captivated audiences all over the globe.

     The blues-rock bash starts with the leadoff instrumental, a wah-wah fest with the military-themed title, “Roger That.”  A little later he breaks off another riffin’ instrumental, a big chunka “Snooty Funk,” then closes the set with the rollin’ roadhouse drive of  “Tommy’Z Boogie,” handling these fiery fret workouts with the ease of the veteran that he is. 

     In “I Got Your Back,” Tommy reassures his lover that he’ll always be there for her, but comes out on the short end in “So Tired Of Being Lonely,” a deep shot of minor-key, Magic Sam-inspired West Side soul that’s full of the anguish and pain of a man who lost a love to “a devil and his money.”  And, the horn section gives a Fifties flavor to the title cut, where “Sometimes when you lose, you really win!” 

     We had two favorites, too.  Tommy makes a no-holds barred political statement over the ZZ Top-ish juke joint boogie of “Livin’ In A Blue State, but seein’ nothin; but red,” as the powers that be “raised my taxes and left me with a severance package.”  And, he goes all in on a rompin’ read of one of Johnny Guitar Watson’s classics, the spit-in-your-eye bluster of “Gangster Of Love.” 

     Tommy Z also reworks one of  Howlin’ Wolf’s classics, slimmin’ it down to “200 Pounds Of Joy.”  But, if you want a man who can lay down the blues guitar as tough as any man in contemporary blues, then “hoy hoy, Tommy Z’s your boy,” and “Sometimes” is full of his deep commitment to his craft!   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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