Album Reviews

Vinnie Zummo – Swinging Guitar Sounds of Young America, Volume 2

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If you’re nostalgic for the great rock and country music of your youth, this album will take you back. But while the songs’ styles pay homage to bands like The Beach Boys (“Brian’s Room, ” “Special Thing”) and Cream (“Bitter Cream”), and artists like Lee Dorsey (“Ravioli”) and Ray Price (“Two Shots of Heartache, Two Shots of Gin”), they are also often topical and clever and/or touching. “Nuts Alaska” could be The Rolling Stones singing about Sarah Palin. “John Lennon” uses many of Lennon’s trademark musical touches to reinforce the song’s heartfelt message of how much he is missed. If you love Jimi Hendrix, try “Born Too Late,” and if you were a fan of The Texas Tornadoes, you should appreciate “I Love Conjunto.” Although Zummo impressively handles most of the wide variety of vocal styles, the record also showcases the smooth vocal technique of his wife Janice on tracks like “Don’t Wait Too Long,” “I’m Falling Down,” and “The Human Touch.”  The sweet love song “The Moment” also features an appearance by American music icon John Sebastian, who plays autoharp and jaunty harmonica. For jazz fans, there’s some cool instrumental interludes on “About 116,” “Count of Staten Island” and “Bagster.”

 Kay Cordtz

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