I have always been known as a very straight forward type communicator and always try to call them exactly as I see (or in the CD review business) hear them. Let me cut straight to the chase about my impressions of “Make Room At The Table”, the 3rd release from the Buford, Georgia based blues/rock guitarist John Pagano, aka JP Blues. In a nutshell, after my first listen to this CD, I was left contemplating if I had ever in my MANY years of listening to and writing about blues/rock artists heard a recording by someone in whom I have heard any more potential than I do in this artist. Over the years I have learned that good guitarists are pretty commonplace these days but a truly great and complete artist is much more a rarity.
But please do not misconstrue my above statement aboutpotential as improper indication that this current release is somehow lacking and only exhibits flashes of potential. On the contrary, “Make Room At The Table” has already become a part of my own personal play list. But well beyond this set, I sense such a tremendous future for Pagano, provided of course he is able to avoid the poisons and pitfalls that have cut short so many promising careers. If he is able to safely navigate the waters in which others have perished, I think I can confidently predict that this current release, as much as I like it, will not be anywhere near his best before his day is done.
His music is very difficult to categorize, part blues, part classic rock with Jeff Beck jazz type overtones at times, scorching Trower like solos at others. He displays a powerful attack reminiscent of Walter Trout at one moment, then the gentle weeping of Roy Buchanan at another. This is in short very passionate guitar work, and again, one can only imagine what might yet be to come as Pagano will continue to develop as a guitarist. And, lest I forget, his quality of vocals really surprised me, the man is really a good singer and his original material excellent as well. My crystal ball says that when a guy can write good songs, sing better than most of his peers in the genre, and absolutely destroy a fret board he has the chance to become someone very special.
This entire CD is worth the listen, each track displays different bits of pieces of what is the entire artist. There are a number of very impressive supporting players and singers who will all be listed below, and each add much to the overall quality of the CD. The tracks are radically different at times in style but all of good quality. While JP Blues may be tough to categorize he is very easy to recommend to my readers.
If I had to pick a favorite track, I would say that TODAY it is “Old Man Joe”, which contains powerful electric slide, very strong vocals, and a lead break that could turn Iceland into a tropical island.
“Make Room At The Table” is available via the official JP Blues web site at www.jpblues.com. Keep your eyes (and ears) out for this artist in the future. I’ll be happy to tell you I told you so.
Tom Branson – www.bluesrockers.ws