Rick Vito review…June 24, 2015….

RICK VITO

MOJO ON MY SIDE

DELTA GROOVE RECORDS  DGPCD 168

MOJO ON MY SIDE–EASY BABY–PRETTY WOMEN–MY HOUSE–MISSY BROWN–LIFE WAS JUST A STRUGGLE–FEMME FATALE–WHO WERE YOU THINKING OF–HOUSE PARTY–LET A WOMAN BE A WOMAN–SHE’S GOT IT ALL–HELP ME LORD–YOU CAN RUN–RIVER OF BLUES

Guitarist Rick Vito spent four years as a member of Fleetwood Mac, from 1987-1991, during their “Tango In The Night” period.  He’s played on over a hundred recordings for other people, perhaps best-known for his brilliant solo on Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock.” He’s also recorded several solo projects, including our favorite from 1998, “Pink And Black,” containing a searing version of “I Wouldn’t Lay My Guitar Down.”

His latest release is on the Delta Groove label, entitled “Mojo On My Side,” with eleven originals and three covers that let his immeasurable slide guitar talents run wild.  You can almost feel the spirits of giants such as Son House and Fred McDowell rising from the Delta mists as Rick’s slide wails to put a spell on a lover, knowing he’s got that good “Mojo On My Side.”  Mojo Johnson’s percussion casts another swampy spell on the story of “Missy Brown,” she who “walks like a cool breeze!”  Jim Hoke’s sax adds to the soulful strut of Rick’s cover of “doing the best I can,”  “Life Was Just A Struggle.”  Rick gets that sinking feeling with a lover that “something just ain’t right” in “Who Were You Thinking Of last night?,” as his slide seems to be seeking the answer on its own.  “House Party” recalls his “Pink And Black” days, with rockin’ slide a la Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor, while “Let A Woman Be A Woman” is a stone shot of horn-struttin” funk.  “You Can Run but you can’t hide” is the message from a lover bound and determined to keep a hold on Rick.  The handclap percussion and almost-sanctified slide give this one a cool gospel vibe.

We had three favorites, too.  The West Side rules as Rick lays down that unmistakable riff of Magic Sam Maghett’s “Easy Baby,” with the help of Jim Hoke’s sax.  “Pretty Women on my mind” has Rick rockin’ his slide for all it’s worth in this tale of “blondes, brunettes, and redheads, too!”  On a serious note, Rick’s acoustic original, “Help Me Lord,” is a poignant plea with guitar as pure as the Delta soil from whence it originated.

Rick Vito is a consummate slide player, and his passion for the blues is as deep as it is wide.  If that ain’t enough, he’s got some good “Mojo On My Side” to bring it all home!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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