Guy Tortora – Anywhere But Here
10 songs time – 53:30
Pasadena, California native Guy Tortora now plies his musical trade from London, England. He is more of a rootsy singer-songwriter than a bluesman, although some blues seep into his songs. Aside from singing, he handles all guitars and harmonica. His backup is mainly drums, keyboards, bass and some backing vocals. He wrote eight of the ten songs as well as co-producing with Tim Burns. This is his sixth album.
His main instrument seems to be his National Steel Guitar, as shown on “High Tide Deep Water”. He plays harmonica here as well. His slightly gritty warm voice makes these tunes go down like a cool drink of water. Janos Bajtala lends his piano skills to this one. The guitar is more out front on “Withered On The Vine”. Janos Bajtala commits a fiery organ solo. Acoustic slide guitar and brushed snare drum contribute to the atmospherics on the mysterious and ominous “The Stranger”.
Geez Louise…If he scrunched up his voice, “Pearl” would sound like Bob Dylan, even down to the similar organ sound he once used. There is a tad of a reminiscent delivery here as well. “While I was lookin’ for a diamond, I found a pearl”. Tentative guitar over organ “blurps” start off “Go Back Home”. Some Dylanesque attitude picks up its’ head on this one too. They take on The Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie”. They do some lyric shuffling around, but not to the song’s detriment. Quite a nice version.
They show their trippy folky side on the dreamy “Flower Street. Guy utilizes tender guitar licks that are well suited to the song’s vibe. A tad of Dylan organ makes an encore. A credible interpretation of The Drifter’s “Under The Boardwalk” includes Spanish style acoustic guitar and “E-Street Band accordion courtesy of Alan Dunn. Guy’s singer-songwriter side is in full bloom in the whimsical “Koffeeville”. Lilting piano is along for the ride. The album title comes from this song. The gentle acoustic guitar instrumental “Goodnight & Good Luck” almost closes out the album, until an uncredited solo acoustic guitar and “Bobby” harmonica version of “Koffeeville” pops up to some things up on a warm and mellow note.
I can’t think of a better or more relaxing way to spend some time on your ears and heart, than this very satisfying visceral journey. While this is not Blues, the sparse instrumentation along with a laidback feel make this better than therapy.