Jonn Del Toro Richardson review…January 8, 2016….

JONN DEL TORO RICHARDSON

TENGO BLUES

VIZZTONE RECORDS  VT-JRCD-01

BEHIND THE CURTAIN–I’M HER MAN–LOVE IF YOU WANT IT–TRIPLE LINDIG–THE MOMENT–CAN’T RUN FROM LOVE–GET ME BACK TO TEXAS–THIS I KNOW–TALL PRETTY BABY–HERE SHE COMES–WILD RIDE–TELL ME DO YOU LOVE ME–TENGO BLUES

We were in the audience in Memphis when guitarist Jonn Del Toro Richardson and vocalist Diunna Greenleaf won the 2005 IBC’s.  In the ten years hence, Jonn has played with all his heroes, and now, stepping into the role of bandleader, he has just released “Tengo Blues” on the Vizztone label. Thirteen originals produced by fellow Texan Anson Funderburgh show the myriad of influences Jonn heard while growing up in Houston, amidst the sounds of country, blues, and R & B on the radio, and a family immersed in the mariachi sounds of his lineage.

It was no fluke, either, when Jonn won the Most Promising Guitarist during that same 2005 IBC.  You can hear him baring his soul with every note, and his vocals are powerful and full of conviction.  That soulful voice is on full display in the leadoff “Behind The Curtain,” and he and the Texas Horns show off Jonn’s rich heritage on the mariachi love song, “The Moment.”

Jonn plays a ton of solid blues on this set, too.  Dig that loping beat of “Love If You Want It,” and the Jimmy Reed-ish boogie of “Get Me Back To Texas,” with Anson on second guitar.  There are two fine instrumentals, both with a jazzy flair, “Triple Lindig” and the set-closing title cut.

We had two favorites, too, and they were total opposites as far as musical styles are concerned.  “This I Know” is a classic slow-blues ballad with a definite Fifties’ flair, as Jonn testifies his love for his woman, and features pure single-note leads, and sanctified keyboard work from Nick Connoly.  And, the Texas Horns add just the right spice to the jumpin’ boogie of his “Tall Pretty Baby,” with that “butt that looks better than J Lo!”

One of the cuts on “Tengo Blues” pretty much sums up the last few years of Jonn Del Toro Richardson’s career.  It’s sho’ nuff been one “Wild Ride,” but he’s learned a lot of valuable blues lessons that have served him well as a guitarist, vocalist, composer, and bandleader.  This is the set we’ve been waiting for from this young bluesman!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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