Film Reviews

Chaz DePaolo: One Night Live In Iona (Smoke Tone Records)

Chaz DePaolo Live In IonaInternationally acclaimed blues rock guitarist/singer/songwriter and Blues Hall of Famer Chaz DePaolo lives the blues, touring the U.S., Canada and Europe extensively and building a solid fan base. This ain’t no silver spoon white boy! He’s driven all over from town to town for years, just covering expenses and struggling to be heard. What you hear on this live DVD is just that, blues from his heart and soul. Chaz DePaolo is the real deal, a genuine, bona fide bluesman—from hole in the wall roadhouses to large festivals, it’s blues with a feeling. Traditional, Chicago, Texas shuffles, Memphis soul, add a dash of jazzy funk; it’s all there.

Showing a firm command of the classic Stratocaster sound and characterized by a throaty mid-range bark, DePaolo snaps off raw and terse lines, a la Albert King, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The supple and intuitive support of bassist Hank Kaneshige and drummer Cliff McComas together with sax player Rob Chaseman allows DePaolo to step out and detonate the soundscape.

“I Want to Get Funky” is drenched with wah wah along with the very unique approach of slapping single notes on the neck that separates his style from others, creating a very cool technique. “Slo Bite” pays homage to Roy Buchanan for a breathtakingly beautiful encore.

—David Kramer

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