Gaetano Letizia review…November 24, 2018….

GAETANO LETIZIA

AND THE UNDERWORLD BLUES BAND

BEATLES BLUES BLAST

COME TOGETHER–DO IT IN THE ROAD–DRIVE MY CAR–MONEY–TAX MAN–WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS–SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW–I WANT YOU (SHE’S SO HEAVY)–AND I LOVE HER–CAN’T BUY ME LOVE–YOU CAN’T DO THAT–YESTERDAY–GET BACK–WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS–BIRTHDAY–BLACKBIRD–A DAY IN THE LIFE

Gaetano “Tom” Letizia hails from straight outta Cleveland.  His power trio, the Underworld Blues Band, consists of bassist Lenny Gray and drummer Mike D’Elia.  Together, they have put together one of the most ambitious, fun-filled projects of this or any other year.  They have taken seventeen songs from arguably the most popular canon in the history of rock and roll, that of the Beatles, giving them a blues makeover,  which is aptly-titled “Beatles Blues Blast.”

The Lads from Liverpool always had an affinity for blues and R & B throughout their career, (“Anna,” anyone?}, and the fun arrangements from Tom and the fellows reflect that.  No, you won’t hear any violins at the frenetic conclusion of “A Day In The Life,” but Tom’s guitar carries the day.  We always preferred Barrett Strong’s version of “Money (That’s What I Want),” and Tom’s version has that raw, bluesy feeling of the original.  That bluesy feeling carries over into the shufflin’ read of George’s “Taxman,” as well, with an extended solo at the halfway point.  You gotta love Tom’s bold chance-taking herein, too.  Billy Preston’s piano break in the middle of “Get Back” is done through Tom’s snappy guitar work, which becomes a thing of beauty in a brilliant finger-picked instrumental version of that “Blackbird singin’ in the dead of night,” which served as our sho-nuff-tough-to-pick favorite.

Kudos to Letizia Gaetano And The Underworld Blues Band for this exceptional undertaking.  These classic songs play out as a loose, free-for-all blues jam where everybody knows all the words, and fun is the name of the game!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

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