John Ginty review…August 24, 2013…






New Jersey native John Ginty’s colorful keyboard stylings have graced the grooves of albums by Jewel, The Dixie Chicks, The Court Yard Hounds, Todd Wolfe, and Santana, just to scratch the surface.  And, he received two Grammy nominations as an original member of Robert Randolph’s Family Band.  Many of John’s musical friends have joined him on his latest CD for American Showplace Music, entitled “Bad News Travels,” which consists of ten of John’s originals that showcase his genre’-bending, unique sounds on all types of keyboards.

The cuts also show the eclectic nature of John’s talents.  As we listened, there is the obvious Allman Brothers influence, but one can also hear elements of Chuck Leavell, Reese Wynans, Ray Charles, and jazz giant Jimmy Smith in John’s playing.  The set opens with old friend Albert Castiglia adding guitar to “The Quirk,” a fine, bluesy jam.  A sweet, acoustic piano intro gives way to a fiery organ assault in “Mirrors,” with Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule adding the guitar that gives this jam a cool, Santana-esque vibe throughout.  Brooklyn’s Alecia Chakour turns in a very soulful vocal on “Seven And The Spirit,” and, coupled with John’s spirited playing, turns the whole thing into an old-school, Southern-rock throwdown.  Martie Maguire adds a jazzy fiddle to the tripped-out hoedown that is “Rock Ridge,” while John closes the set with a sanctified, soul-stirring return to his Family Band days with the rousing “Trinity,” featuring guitar from Cris Jacobs.

Our favorite was easy.  Albert Castiglia is on vocal and guitar on the sly, mythical tale of “Elvis Presley,” who’s seen “washing the windows of a neighborhood liquor store,” and who “thinks all the kids today could use some style.”  The greasy groove on this one is as smooth as a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich, and shows an ultra-funky, Booker T side of John’s talents.

John Ginty is not only one of the premier keyboard players of his generation, but he is raising the bar for players to come.  With a set as strong as “Bad News Travels,” he is definitely a player to watch!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.


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