Tomi Leino Trio – Play That Thing | Album Review

Tomi Leino Trio – Play That Thing

Homework Records

10 songs time – 31:03

If any of your friends or family refer to blues music as “downer music”, have them give a listen to this blues band from Finland. They rock it out in fine style and get you moving. Tomi Leino leads his troop with his warm deep intonations, and energetic guitar, harmonica and piano skills. He wrote or co-wrote six of the songs. He is ably backed up by Jaska Prepula on bass and Mikko Peltola on drums. Together they have really soaked up an authentic feel for the blues.

They get off to a rollicking start with a cover of an obscure Jimmy Reed song, “I’m A Love You” that showcases Tomi’s harmonica and guitar skills. It seems like they pulled a swampy guitar riff from a Slim Harpo song for “Doreen”. Also a good showing on the harmonica. What can’t this guy do? Tomi does an excellent turn on the “88s” on “Leave My Money Alone”. They adapt the “Mannish Boy” riff to Jerry McCain’s “That’s What They Want” to good effect. The guys rustle up a spirited version of the Booker T. instrumental “Knucklehead”. As always the harmonica playing is superb.

Snappy is the best word for the upbeat “You Broke My Heart”. The swagger in Tomi’s voice fits right in with the groove of “What’s The Matter With You”. The goodness just continues with “I Gotta Move On” that has some of the best guitaring here. It just slices through the ether. This guy knows his way around some biting slide guitar as well, as seen in the instrumental “Sticky Finger”. Really nice melodic slide guitar. Tomi almost makes his harmonica sound like a Cajun accordion on the swamp rock “Pouring Rain”.

Although it is rather on the short side, they pack a lot of good feeling music into this small package. It gives me a good feeling to see blues music interpreted in such a genuine manner. The rhythm section is tight in their support of Tomi’s musicality. This is a gem of good listening from top to bottom.

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