AND THE UNDERWORLD BLUES BAND
TOM LETIZIA RECORDS
RESURRECTION–OLD GUITAR PLAYER–HOT AND COLD WOMAN–STANDING BY THE DOOR–NOTHIN TO ME–THREE HEARTS–PURGATORY–MR. BAD LUCK–SYLVESTER LOVED THE LADIES–LAUGH IN THE DARK–HAVE A LITTLE PARTY–TALK TO YOURSELF–HEAVEN OR HELL–ASCENSION
Gaetano “Tom” Letizia hails from Aurora, OH, in the Cleveland area. He’s had private guitar lessons from George Benson and Pat Martino, and studied the styles of B. B., Clapton, and Hendrix. He has fronted a jazz and a blues trio, along with a solo career that has spanned over 40 years. For his latest album, and tenth overall, (dating back to 1981), he combines his jazz and blues influences with some rock, reggae, funk, and Latin flavors to create “Resurrection.” Tom describes the album’s concept as a rebirth of the time before drum machines and other creations ruined the aesthetic value of pure music.
This set also utilizes a horn section to spice up several of these cuts. The set starts with the title cut, an instrumental with a Santana-esque intro that gives way to a full-on slide guitar rumble. New Orleans rhythm patterns wrap around the musings of an “Old Guitar Player” who tells everyone who asks that “we’re not in Kansas any more!” The horns give a kick to the amped-up funk of that species of female whom you can never fully count on, a “Hot And Cold Woman.”
Male-female relationships get more play, with the story of a stalker groupie who meets Tom’s lover,who’s “Nothin To Me.” But, if you get wrapped up in that cheatin’ game, look out for the “Three Hearts” about to be broken! Tom offers up some sage advice for all of us, too. If you’re having a bad day, let Tom’s guitar lines wash over you, and just “Have A Little Party” ’til things get better! And, sometimes, nothing makes better sense than to just “Talk To Yourself to get out of these blues!” This one is set over a reggae-fied beat, with Tom’s wah-wah guitar all over the solo!
We had two favorites, too, both taken from a “theologian” point of view, if you will. A “dream sequence” song has Tom face-to-face with St. Peter. Trouble is, “I can’t let you in–you ain’t been real good, but you ain’t been too bad,” so, welcome to “Purgatory!” And, a wise man tells him that you can make “Heaven Or Hell every day of your life,” echoing the choices we all must make.
As you listen to Tom Letizia and the Underworld Blues Band and “Resurrection,” do yourself a favor and listen to the songs in the order in which they are sequenced. That way, you will get Tom’s intention for the album to be a continuous musical “conversation” of sorts, conveying his message of music written as a soundtrack to life’s adventures for all of us! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.