I love the rockin’ blues! There is nothing in the world better than listening to an electric guitar playing to a blues beat. We take the electric guitar for granted today but back in the 1940’s, it was new and different. A humble unassuming and very gifted guitarist named Les Paul created one of the first solid body guitars. He eventually received a patent for it in 1962. The Les Paul sound inspired an entire generation of young guitar players and he is credited with helping to create the rock and roll genre.
To commemorate his talent and his invention, Lou Pallo, long time rhythm guitarist for the Les Paul Trio, has put out a superb album, Thank You Les. And he has a world class group of guitarists and singers that contribute to the cuts on the CD. Keith Richards, Steve Miller, Slash, Joe Feliciano, and Billy F Gibbons are just a few of the 19 folks that lent time and talent to the recording.
When I was growing up, two guitarists were fixtures on my mother’s expensive stereo system: Chet Atkins and Les Paul. Lou Pallo and the current rendition of Les Paul’s Trio fired my memories of those times with instrumental recordings of Caravan, Avalon, and Mr. Sandman that are just simply superb. Keith Richards and Lou Pallo do a touching rendition of a song Bing Crosby and Les Paul made a number one hit the Christmas of 1945, It’s Been a Long Long Time. I loved the jazzy blues tune, Tell Me What’s the Reason, with Steve Miller on guitar and vocals. Billy Gibbons contributes a beautiful instrumental rendition of the classic September Song and Jose Feliciano, who I haven’t heard in forever, sings a great Latin tune, Besame Mucho. Slash offers up my favorite cut on the album, a sterling performance of Deep in the Blues. I also enjoyed Saint Louis Blues, the first blues tune to be a hit as a pop song back in the 1920’s. And to top it all off, the album finishes with Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Melinda Doolittle….that song just gets to me.
I love my blues and my rock and roll but spending an evening listening to classic music performed by world class musicians touched my heart and brought back a flood of recollections. Lou Pallo and the Les Paul Trio still play Monday nights at the Iridium club in New York City. If you live close by or are lucky enough to be in the City on a Monday, drop by and catch a part of music history. And thank you Lou for bringing us back such great memories and the music of the Les Paul era!
1) Avalon – featuring Frank Vignola – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
2) Mr. Day/Tell Me What’s the Reason – featuring Steve Miller – guitar and vocal; Lou Pallo – guitar
3) Caravan – featuring Nokie Edwards – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
4) Tennessee Waltz – featuring Lou Pallo – guitar; Nicki Parrott – bass and vocals
5) September Song – featuring Billy F Gibbons – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
6) It’s Been a Long, Long Time – featuring Keith Richards – guitar and vocal; Lou Pallo – guitar and vocal
7) I’m Confessin’ That I Love You – featuring Eddie Brigati, Jr. – vocal; Bucky Pizzarelli – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
8) Mister Sandman – featuring Arlen Roth – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
9) Bésame Mucho – featuring José Feliciano – guitar, vocal, congas, shaker; Lou Pallo – guitar
10) Brazil – featuring Frank Vignola – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
11) Vaya Con Dios – featuring Lexie Roth – vocals; Arlen Roth – guitar; Frank Vignola – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
12) Deep in the Blues – featuring Slash – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
13) Nature Boy – featuring Steve Miller – vocal; Lou Pallo – guitar
14) Memories of You – featuring Tommy Doyle – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
15) Smile – featuring Blondie Chaplin – vocal; Lou Pallo – guitar
16) Carioca – featuring Frank Vignola – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
17) Just One More Chance – featuring Bucky Pizzarelli – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
18) St. Louis Blues – featuring Jon Paris – vocal, slide guitar, harmonica; Lou Pallo – guitar
19) Sweet Georgia Brown – featuring Johnny A – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
20) Out of Nowhere – featuring Nokie Edwards – guitar; Lou Pallo – guitar
21) Over the Rainbow – featuring Melinda Doolittle – vocal; Lou Pallo – guitar