Back Porch Dogma
(Blind Pig, 2012)

In these days, as the old first generation electric blues players are dying off and a lot of the newer guys are playing mostly rock and calling it blues, you might wonder where the blues is going for inspiration and direction. For a lot of bands, like Contino, the answer is backwards, back to the roots.

Led by accordianist Pete Contino -- the son of the legendary accordian wizard Dick Cortino, who set a record by doing the Ed Sullivan showing 48 times -- Contino does '50s-influenced, zydeco-tinged rhythm and blues, specializing in genre-twisting music that aims to accomplish two things: to show off the virtuosity of the band and to get you up and moving.

They very easily accomplish both goals. These guys are good. Their ensemble playing is as tight as the lid on a new gallon of house paint and their solo playing is about the only thing that'll keep you from dancing alone in your living room because you'll want to stop moving and listen more closely.

Their repertoire includes old Leiber and Stoller songs, Willie Love's "V-8 Ford" and a passel of material written by the band and their range is so wide that, listening to their Blind Pig debut, Back Porch Dogma, you can never anticipate what's coming next. You can only anticipate that you will enjoy it; it will sound brand new but familiar, like a roots music archetype.

A friend of mine who spends a lot of time on the road says Contino plays great driving music. I don't spend that much time traveling but I'd let this band take me anywhere.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

14 April 2012

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