Daniel De Vita – Live At Blues Baltica | Album Review

Daniel De Vita – Live At Blues Baltica

Embirrizados Records – 2018

11 tracks; 74 minutes

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Daniel De Vita is an Argentinian guitarist though this CD was recorded live at the Eutin Blues Festival, Germany, in 2017. Daniel handles guitar and vocals, supported by fellow Argentine Gabriel Cabiaglia on drums, Chilean Freddy Muñoz on bass and German harp player Jens ‘Cleanhead’ Jordan. The disc may well include the entire set, the band being introduced briefly at the beginning and the disc running well over an hour. There are no original tunes here but the covers range quite widely so that the band can be heard on familiar songs like “So Many Roads” (best known from Otis Rush’s peerless version) and Snooky Pryor’s “She Tried To Ruin Me” as well as on several lesser known tunes.

First it must be said that Daniel sings with a strong accent which does not always make it easy to decipher the lyrics. Having said that, some of the guitar work here is very good, the uptempo shuffle “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days” (Debbie Morris/Don Donaldson) was recorded by Louis Prima and is given a lively run through here, immediately followed by Sunnyland Slim’s “Farewell Little Girl” with more solid guitar work and sympathetic harp. “So Many Roads” is very long at over 12 minutes and here the harp did not appeal to this reviewer, plus until the vocals came in it was far from clear that this was the song we all know and love so well.

Ray Charles’ “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand” introduces a quieter segment of the concert with Gabriel using brushes and Daniel playing very gently in the introduction. The band then covers two songs once recorded by Frank Sinatra: “Exactly Like You” (Daniel Red Hot”) and “It Had To Be You”, harp player Jens sitting these two out. Daniel brings things a little more up to date (1994) by including Jimmie Vaughan’s incorporating a snatch of Robert Johnson’s “They’re instrumental “Don’t Cha Know” which works well, the pumping rhythm section, solid harp and guitar making this possibly the strongest cut on the album. The album closes with two Chicago tunes: Jimmy Rogers’ slow blues “Ludella” and Mel London’s bouncing shuffle “The Things I Do For You”.

Apart from the two Sinatra songs all the tunes are extended enough to provide plenty of opportunity for Daniel to show us his guitar skills but there is nothing to really distinguish this disc from many others out there. A fine souvenir if you were at the show in Eutin but rather less captivating for the casual listener.

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