Once you get past his accent and get over wanting him to shout out “I’m a wild and crazy guy,” like one of the Festrunk Brothers from SNL, you realize Breezy Rodio has put together a serious, real deal blues album. Rodio immigrated to the states at an early age, fell in love with the guitar and Blues music as a teen, then worked his way to Chicago where he apprenticed with veteran bluesman Lindsey Alexander, who showed him the ropes and helped him establish his own band and become a staple of the windy city scene. His ambitious third release ‘So Close To It, out February of 2015 on his own Windchill records has seven new songs and eight carefully selected covers presented with an authenticity bordering on a tribute album. The sound is pure Chess Records with great playing from Light Palone on upright bass, Lorenzo Francocci on drums and Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi on piano making up the core and sax man Bill Overton and Chris Foreman on organ adding color in support of Rodio on tight Telecaster.
B.B King staple ‘When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer,’ opens the records setting the tone. The title track mixes tempos and styles to make a statement about critics of The Blues and Electric Guitar playing disguised as a relationship song. Billy Branch is the first special guest to make an appearance, blowing harp on the Chi-Town inspired shuffle ‘Walking With My Baby.” Rodio’s “Time To Come Back,”grooves like a Ray Charles classic. Joe Bar and Carl Weathersby trade vocal lines with Rodio on the twelve bar “The Day I Met You,” then Lurrie Bell takes it over for “I Win Some More.” Real blues fans should get close to this record.
Breezy Rodio – So Close To It (Windchill Records)
Rick J Bowen