Carmen Grillo :: A DIFFERENT WORLD

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Carmen GrilloBuilding on his illustrious career as a stellar sideman, member of the legendary Tower of Power, currently with the equally legendary Sons of Champlin and as a studio owner, virtuoso guitarist, singer and songwriter, Carmen Grillo has created A Different World,  a monster sophomore album. R&B, blues, funk and jazz comingle easily as Grillo emerges as an explosive new talent with a musical message demanding to be heard.

Twelve resounding tracks include four instrumentals among originals and covers backed by Mark Meadows, Rocco Prestia and Bobby Watson (bass), Tony Braunagel, Herman Mathews and Steve Stephens (drums), Marc Hugenberger, Mike Finnigan, Rob Mullins, Bob Emmet, Dale Ockerman, Bill Champlin and Ruben Valtierra (keyboards), Greg Adams, Lee Thomburg, Johnnie Bamont, Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Tom Scott, Dave Boruff, Tom Saviano (horns) and Curt Campbell (harmonica).

On the sly, shuffling “Come and Gone” by blues guitarist Greg Koch, Grillo sings rhythmically. Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “A Real Mother for Ya” funks harder than the original. The butt-bumping, funky instrumental “I Got the Sauce” is no lie, given Grillo’s astonishing fluidity and melodic inventions.

The sleek, jazzy R&B of “Tryin’ to Make It Happen” contains the touching story. A smooth segue into the funky 12-bar instrumental “Prototype” has Grillo squeezing out seemingly endless, gorgeous, horn-like melodies. He points an accusing finger ontitle track,  “A Different World,”  his frustration amplified by nasty licks spewing from his angry guitar.

“Transatlantic Boogie” reeks low down instrumental funk, the signature riff building taut tension while Grillo teases long, slippery licks in counterpoint. The minor key ballad “A Sad State of Affairs” features him passionately imploring. “The Nature of the Beast” boosts the New Orleans beat to another level with great. Grillo delivers upscale blues-rock with just the right amount of swing on tunes like “Come and Go” whose balanced production allows ample space for each of his seasoned backups (including horns and B3) to exert their chops. That’s especially true of the bassist as well as Grillo himself, a solid singer who’s a gifted, fluid guitarist with a tone that is equal parts sweet and snarling. “A Real Mother For Ya” is an infectious strutter, while his original instrumental “I Got The Sauce” allows the guitarist to showcase his tuneful dexterity.” NMC Artist Of The Week, Music Connection

The lusty Texas shuffle “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” complements Grillo’s sweetly sarcastic lyrics. The surging, evocative funky instrumental “River of Molten Rock” has Grillo twisting his axe every which way but loose. Closing on a tender “note,” Grillo picks acoustic guitar accompanied only by keyboardist Rob Mullins on the ballad “You’re the One,” pouring out his love.

Carmen Grillo is that rare combination of extraordinary musicianship and enormous heart and creativity. He sings equally expressive vocally and instrumentally while producing a world of unforgettable rhythms, melodies and images… A Different World.

Info: www.carmengrillo.com





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