Blues Bytes


July 2018

Breezy Rodio
Sometimes The Blues Got Me
Delmark Records

Breezy Rodio

Breezy Rodio served as Chicago blues vet Linsey Alexander’s guitarist and subsequent bandleader for ten years, performing over 300 dates a year and appearing on Alexander’s three Delmark releases. He’s also managed to release a couple of albums on his own, including 2015’s well-received So Close To It. Radio has now joined his former boss on Delmark Records, and his debut for the label, Sometimes The Blues Got Me, is loaded to the brim with a wide variety of blues styles --- 17 tracks clocking in at over an hour.

Six of the album’s selections are cover tunes, including the opener, Lee Hazlewood’s “Don’t Look Now, But I’ve Got The Blues,” which features an appropriately impassioned vocal from Rodio plus some tasty guitar work in a B.B. King vein (King recorded the song for Kent Records in the late ’50s). The Rodio original, “Change Your Ways,” is a dandy Windy City-styled shuffle, while “Wrapped Up In Love Again” came from the pen of Albert King. Rodio does a fine job recapturing King’s playing style and tone, and he’s equally effective on the T-Bone Walker favorite “I Walked Away.”

Rodio shows that he’s got the sound of B.B. King down to tee on several tracks, including King’s own “Make Me Blue,” the old-school ballad “I Love you So,” his original “Let Me Tell You What’s Up,” and most definitely the title track which features some of his best B.B.-styled licks and intense vocalizing. “You Don’t Drink Enough” is a busy shuffle with amusing lyrics, “The Power Of The Blues” has a funky urban feel, and the instrumental “A Cool Breeze In Hell” finds Rodio revisiting Albert King territory.

Rodio does a marvelous job on the slow burning horn-fueled cover of the Delmore Brothers’ “Blues Stay Away From Me” and the splendid jazz-flavored ballad “Fall In British Columbia,” especially on vocals for the latter track. The lively shuffle “Not Going To Worry” finds Rodio doing some nimble fingerpicking, and Albert Collins fans will dig his stinging guitar on “One Of A Kind.” Billy Branch guests on a pair of tracks, one of which is “Doctor From The Hood,” where he blows some mighty fine harp, and the more-than-fitting closer, “Chicago Is Loaded With The Blues.”

This is an outstanding set of blues. There’s really something here for any blues fan who digs basically any style of blues. Breezy Rodio no doubt had a lot of music inside him bursting to get out, and every bit of it is worth hearing on Sometimes The Blues Got Me.

--- Graham Clarke



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