Rick Vito has a lengthy and luminous career that includes playing on albums or live with Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Dolly Parton and Roy Orbison to name a few, and he’s even racked up multiple Grammy nominations, too. Soulshaker, his 10th album, has the legend continuing his blues spirited work and slide guitar acrobatics that reinforces why he’s considered one of the best at what he does.
“She’s Just Too Fine” gets off to an ultra-soulful and bluesy start with Vito’s smooth vocals supporting the rich guitars, and “I’ve Got A Secret” follows with a calmer tone as Vito moves into a breathy, seductive environment. Elsewhere, “I Do Believe” brings us a swift pace with warm textures while “World On Fire” recruits the blues in spades on a highly melodic affair.
The middle of the album gets soft and organ friendly on “Doggin’ Around”, before going the other way on the upbeat, playful and danceable “Dancin’ Little Sister”. Though the guitar is certainly the main attraction here, “The Ball And Chain” puts focus on percussion with a moody track that even takes nods to funk.
Deep cuts like the mysterious, instrumental “Soul Shadows” and the laid back groove friendly “Promise Land” keep us hanging on every tune, and Vito exits on “A Change Is Gonna Come” which is a calm, agile vocal-less exit of sublime beauty that puts a fine spin on a Sam Cooke original.
Though Vito is probably best known as Lindsey Buckingham’s replacement in Fleetwood Mac for several years, with fine solo work like Soulshaker, he absolutely deserves any and all praise for his unparalleled guitar work, strong vocal prowess and creative song craft.
Review from TakeEffect