DRAWBACK–DRINKING–SINGING MY SONG–YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO–DIRTY SOCKS–GONNA GO–NO MORE–BEEN RUNNIN–WOOSH–LEVI–INES–WON’T STAY WITH YOU
Gonzalo Bergara is one of the most talented and well-respected gypsy jazz guitarists in the world. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he and his highly-acclaimed trio–Mariano D’Andrea on bass and Maximiliano Bergara on drums–have just released “Zalo’s Blues,” which serves as not only Bergara’s first electric, as well as blues, album, but also his first foray behind the vocal mic. Over these twelve cuts–eleven of them originals–Zalo easily moves from his jazz “comfort zone” into the blues arena.
This album has several dazzling instrumentals, and one of ’em leads off. “Drawback” has a little something for everybody–a little blues, a little jazz, and a little surf-guitar twang for spice. He possesses a very expressive and emotive voice for a man who’s never sang on record before, and you can hear his feelings coming thru the grooves on the contemporary blues of “Woosh” and “Singing My Song.”
To further show his incredible versatility, “Gonna Go” is a hard-charging tale about “going down that lonely road,” and it’s pure Music Row country. “Ines” is a fine instrumental along the line of “Little Wing,” and he closes the set on a pastoral, acoustic note, with the gospel-inflected “Won’t Stay With You.”
We had two favorites, too, both of ’em vocal tracks. First up is the pure, joyous roadhouse boogie of “Drinking,” which chugs over a good ole Double Trouble groove. And, Zalo captures that difficult-to-master Jimmy Reed lope perfectly with his take on the classic, “You Don’t Have To Go.”
Little Charlie Baty and Junior Watson hold him in the highest regard, and, altho this is probably an overused description, Gonzalo Bergara can indeed be called the “guitar player’s guitar player!” One listen to “Zalo’s Blues” and you’ll feel the same way! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.