Vintage Guitar Magazine


Instead of jumping on the jump-blues bandwagon a few years ago, guitar ace Rick Vito waited until all the finger-poppin' voodoo bands with "Daddy" in their name faded to the lounge circuit, and recorded an album that sheds the nostalgic shtick and shows the range that genre encompasses, and then stretches its limits even further.
If you're not familiar with Vito by name, trust me, you've heard him. 'The fat-toned slide on Bob Seger's "Like A Rock" (and the Chevy pickup commercial synonymous with it)? That's Rick. He's also an alumnus of John Mayall, Bonnie Raitt, Roger McGuinn, Jackson Browne, and Fleetwood Mac, among others. But, thankfully, he's no one's sideman these days.
This is without doubt one of the best guitar albums of the year – or best albums, period, for that matter. Its nine originals, one collaboration and three covers demonstrate Vito's mastery in several modes without sounding like a sampler/resume. His distorted swing lines on "Blues Town" are in a league with Junior Watson or the late Hollywood Fats. "The Ways Of Sin" wraps staccato Django lines, electric slide, and a horn line reminiscent of "Sixteen Tons" into a hip little package. Meanwhile, "Can't Stop Rockin" is an instant classic - barreling forward like a freight train.
The title instrumental, with a simple but infectious up-and-down melody, would sound at home in a classic Warner Brothers cartoon - sort of Raymond Scott meets Bireli Lagrene. Vito's sense of whimsy surfaces on tributes to Louis Jordan and '50s pinup Bettie Page, while "Gypsy Serenade" sounds like a beautiful new Django ballad - no mean feat. And whether on acoustic or electric, clean or distorted, the array of tones Vito extracts from various six-strings is as cool as the licks themselves.
If you're not curious by now, go to and prepare to be blown away - Dan Forte