With the news that JP Blues is coming to Darwin's February 16, I had the opportunity to listen to the band's second CD, "I Will Not Go Quietly" The CD came out in 2010, but I'd not had a chance to hear it before, and to get you ready for the show, I thought I'd review it for you.
JP "Blues" Pagano began playing guitar at age 8 and was mentored by famed bluesman Sam "Bluzman" Taylor. He traveled with Taylor and opened or performed with many great musicians, including Derek Trucks, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa. On his own, he formed a trio with bassist John Young and veteran drummer Pat Atkins, who has drummed with artists like Gary "US" Bonds.
On "I Will Not Go Quietly," both the sound and the cover art quickly establish an image of JP Blues as a tough, manly type. The sound is a blues-rock, with more of a hard rock edge on songs such as "As The Crow Flies" and "I Will Not Go Quietly" than blues-rock usually has. "Poor Little Rich Girl" has a funky urban edge. But there's plenty of blues here, too, including a great cover of Eric Clapton's "Old Love" with background vocals by Georgia's own Caroline Aiken.
There's also an excellent cover of Tampa Red's "Love Her With a Feeling," featuring Albert Castigliana on slide guitar. This is probably the most purely blues number on the CD.
Throughout, Pagano shows his guitar mastery, providing searing opening licks for the songs "At A Cost" and "Liar."
Overall, while not really breaking new ground, this CD is solid and enjoyable. For a musician who is still in his early 20's, Pagano heads his band with style and spectacular guitar skills. Pick up the CD from Amazon or at a show, and, if you're in the Atlanta area, come out to Darwin's on February 16th and hear the band live.
Another favorite of mine here is "I Want My Loving Back," about breaking up and letting the other party have everything except the loving, which needs to be returned.