Tommy Z review…February 6, 2016…

TOMMY Z

BLIZZARD OF BLUES

SOUTH BLOSSOM RECORDS

LOVERGIRL–GOING TO A PARTY–MEMORY OF LOVE–BLUES FOR KP–BAGS OF COOL–BLIZZARD OF BLUES–MIRACLE–MY EYES (KEEP ME IN TROUBLE)–AL’S GROOVE

Guitarist Tommy Z is based in Buffalo, NY, and has won more awards in the Western New York area than you can count.  He is also a renowned composer and guitar instructor, and has just released his fourth album.  During a particularly-brutal ride down New York’s 219 Expressway in blizzard conditions, he came up with the idea for his latest set.  He got home unscathed, and “Blizzard Of Blues” is the result!  It is nine cuts, eight of which are originals, that pull together many of Tommy’s vast and varied influences to bring forth this most excellent set.

He’s already getting a good buzz from the album’s first single, the house-rockin’ ‘Going To A Party,” which is pure dance floor magic.  His guitar speaks volumes in the slow-blues tale of coping with the pain of the tragic loss of a close friend, “Blues For KP.”  Tommy kicks it off with something we all have to come to grips with–“I’ve done my crying, but it’s time for moving on.”  At the other end of that spectrum is a song for all us survivors and walking “Miracles” out there–reminding us that “by the grace of love, we’re here today,” and we’re all here for a reason.

There are also two really sweet instrumentals herein.  “Bags Of Cool” goes down frosty-smooth as a good Collins mix should, while the set closes on rather a jazzy note, eight minutes of swingin’ bliss, “Al’s Groove.”

We had two favorites.  The title cut is another fretburner with a touch of funk, as Tommy takes a tongue-in-cheek look at that Buffalo weather, where  it’s “two feet high and rising, trying to bury me alive!”  And, the leadoff cut, featuring Jeremy Keyes on the harp, is a stone, butt-rockin’ slab of Chicago blues, an ode to that special “Lovergirl,” who “gives eyesight to the blind.”

In the aforementioned “Going To A Party,” Tommy Z asks “Where’s the party?”  We can emphatically say it’s right in the grooves of “Blizzard Of Blues!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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