Roy Trevino,
Roy Trevino
(independent, 2011)

Guitarist Roy Trevino, who hails from South Texas, may personify a trend among younger musicians who, though shaped by blues playing, are moving beyond the genre's strictures to embrace a wider range of rock, pop and -- as here -- ethnic sounds. When I first put Roy Trevino on the player, I expected something one associates with many of Texas's junior electric roots guitarists, namely blues in the Stevie Ray Vaughan vein. There is only so much of that, frankly, that I prefer to hear before it grows repetitious and uninteresting. So as the notes began to float out of the speakers, I was surprised, and pleasantly so.

Trevino is hardly the first to incorporate Caribbean influences into the blues -- Bo Diddley was doing that in 1950s Chicago -- but his way of fashioning that fusion boasts its own irresistible charm, perhaps owing more to Carlos Santana than to Diddley; you'll hear that nod particularly in the instrumentals "Sin Ella" and "Trinidad." On the one non-original, Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself," Trevino appends Jimi Hendrix-like lead guitar. Being only minimally conversant in the Marley songbook, I can't compare it to the original, but I can attest that Trevino's version is solidly done on its own.

While Trevino explores a range of styles (including Latin-flavored acoustic guitar), the album feels in no way like a pointless mishmash. To the contrary, it's an organic statement, linked by Trevino's strong musicality, melodic sense, superior songwriting and artistic restraint. Multiple listens only deepen the pleasure. This CD is different in all the right ways.

music review by
Jerome Clark

5 May 2012

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new