Breezy Rodio – If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It
16 tracks/69 minutes
Breezy Rodio is a Chicago blues man who earned his chops in a nine-year tenure as Lindsay Alexander’s guitarist. He follows up his first Delmark release Sometimes The Blues Got Me with this great, new album with all new songs. He shows us growth in his songwriting and performance with these fine songs and performances. He mixes straight up Chicago blues with a a little jump blues and some jazzy, crooner-styled stuff that makes for an enjoyable ride!
Joining Breezy in his cast of characters are Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi on piano, Dan Tabion on organ, Light Palone on bass, Lorenzo Francocci on drums, Constantine Alexander on trumpet, Ian Letts on alto and tenor sax, and Ian “The Chief” McGarrie on baritone sax. A host of great guests also support the effort and are noted below.
Things kick off with the title track, a cool cut with dual tempos. The two high tempos verses are all driving and slick and the choruses draw down a bit and cool off before Breezy finishes up with a big guitar solo. Simone “Harp” Nicole adds some nice harp to this one and the next. “From Downtown Chicago to Biloxi Bay” has Breezy with Corey Dennison backing him on the vocals. It’s a cool cut with a fairly uptempo groove and Ariyo banging the keys in strident support. Kid Anderson picks up the 2nd guitar solo here, a fine addition to the cut. “A Woman Don’t Care” is next, a cool, slow cut with nice horn work to add to the guitar and piano. Breezy picks out a nice little solo mid-song, too. Breezy is a shufflin’ fool in a song with that name, a well done mid-tempo shuffle with piano and organ, Corey Dennison on the 2nd guitar solo and Quique Gomez on harp. Corey sneaks in for some backing vocals, too.
“A Minute of My Kissing” is a rollicking and rocking cut with Chuck Berry-like licks on guitar, barrel house piano riffs, and a driving beat, along with Breezy telling his woman how great his loving is. “Look Me In The Eye” has Breezy doing his crooner act with a sweet little romp with a swing cut. The tenor sax solo is well done. The backline lays out a nice pace and the piano support is cool. Breezy solos in the middle of the sax solo to good effect. “Desperate Lover” is up next, a bluesy ballad with Rodio confessing his relationship foibles and wanting to make things good again. “Los Christianos” is a slow blues about Breezy searching for love in Los Christianos, the long time resort town in Spain’s Canary Island of Tenerife. Rodio’s plea seems to go unheard as he has nothing but the blues there in this good cut.
“Led To A Better Life” starts with an almost solemn intro and then picks up as Rodio gives us a bit of a gospel testimonial. He gives us a slick guitar solo; later, Monster Mike Welch gives us another and then Corey Dennison comes in for some really cool lead vocals to take us home. Another winner! Things slow way down for “Green and Unsatisfied,” a song about a relationship gone bad. Rodio gives us some somber and interesting lead vocals along with an equally well done guitar solo. “The Breeze” is next, a short and sassy number that hearkens back to the 60’s. It’s a bouncy instrumental with the band shouting, “The Breeze” at the end of every set of measures. Guitar and piano are featured here as are the horns. “I’ll Survive” is another cool slow blues with Breezy again singing about lost love. Another somber guitar solo and sweet support from piano and horns round this one out nicely.
“Pick Up The Blues” has Quique Gomez return for some more savory harp. Rodio tells us that basically his woman left him with his ride and now he has the pick up truck blues. Gomez does a fine job and so does Rodio as he solos after Gomez. “Dear Blues” gives us Rodio thanking the blues for all that the genre and it’s artists have given to him. He does some guitar in the styles of B.B. King, Albert Collins, and T-Bone Walker before a very nicely done long outro on his guitar. “I Need Your Love” is next, another pretty ballad with organ and another good little solo on guitar. Breezy finishes up with “Another Day,” a mid to up tempo blues with a bit of a bouncy beat and guests Marvin Little on bass and Harley Gingras on drums. His final solo on guitar is again well done and not over done.
Whew! Sixteen songs is quite the effort! Rodio gives us a nice, big assortment of tunes from slow blues to high energy stuff. His lilting Italian accent adds a coolness and sexiness to his vocal delivery and his guitar is impeccable. The piano, horns and support work is well done and the mix is great. Kudos to Breezy and Delmark for this super album of all original stuff! It surely is great to watch and listen to Rodio as he hones his craft to newer and higher levels of musicianship. Highly recommended!