Gulf Coast (label)
29 March 2019 (released)
29 March 2019
Produced by long-time friend Mike Zito, this is Camapanella’s debut album after 25 years playing guitar around St Louis and the nearby towns and cities and I found myself asking “Why the hell has it taken this long?”.
This is Blues rock at a pretty pure and unadulterated level, definite echoes of Johnny Winter in his playing as well as Walter Trout, but what makes him stand out from the millions of other Blues/Rock axemen is his talent – just that.
He doesn’t do anything outrageously original but he has a strong voice and his guitar playing is just outrageous. He plays solos, so does everyone else, and he plays melody lines and so does everybody else. But his strident lines are just a delight to listen to and he plays with his band, not just as a leader. Matt Johnson (drums), Terry Dry (bass) and Lewis Stephens (organ & Wurlitzer) plus Mike Zito guesting on rhythm guitar and slide are tight as a drumhead but there is enough room in the outfit for some good sloppy groove.
He changes it up plenty between the outright rockers and some really funky stuff as well as a version of ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ that is downright nasty but the most dark number on the album is ‘Texas Chainsaw’, deep and moody with a howling slide and overmiked vocals that just bellow through the breakup.
Really good album, ideal for any Blues/Rock fans and good to hear a guy with so much talent being given a shot.