Album Review: Another Way
It’s rare in 2015 to find an artist who’s straight-up blues. So many would-be blues artists (would-be meaning “would have been 50 or 60 years ago) feel pressured by currently radio trends and genre constraints to melt in a little pop, rock, or even country; blues just ain’t what it used to be, even though it’s debatable that more people than ever have the blues.
Not Tony Fazio. The Berklee grad who’s performed with the likes of Memphis Gold, Bobby Parker, and Charlie Sayles (who guests), stays true to the blues. His new album, Another Way, is only seven tracks long, but it’s enough to squeeze in some epic and, dare I say, blues virtuosity. Opener “So What” features that legendary shuffling backbeat, a ripping guitar solo, and dismissive lyrics evidenced by the title. Sayles’ voice itself is a bit Randy Newman-ish (a good thing), but has enough of that smokey growl to authenticate himself and give an extra shot of power to tracks like the vindictive “Liar.” The beauty of his voice, however, is how it’s chameleonlike in its tones and range, skewing sweeter on “Brand New Way” and “Home.” My very favorite track, however, is “Watch Out,” a guitar-heavy instrumental that never veers into that self-indulgent jammy territory that casual listeners dread.
In fact, I would go so far as to say if you’re even slightly interested in the blues, start with the classics, then move onto Fazio.
Not only is his album a refreshing change of pace, but it’s also a refresher in a timeless genre bastardized by modern radio. So there.
Album Review: Another Way
by Anthem Review
Tony Fazio – Another Way
Tony Fazio is a legend, it goes without saying. His career is bursting with musical accomplishments, and his time playing with Memphis Gold, Bobby Parker and Charlie Sayles has taken him all over the globe. ‘Another Way’ marks a milestone for Fazio though; it’s his first solo Blues album, and to help him make it an auspicious occasion, he’s enlisted the help of Charlie Sayles and a few other legends.
Traversing almost the full spectrum of the historic blues genre, ‘Another Way’ is a modern triumph that pays all the right dues to the past, combining elements of the gospel, R&B, and heavy rock genres to paint a brilliantly vivid picture. While it’s Sayles’ vocals that help bring ‘Another Way’ to life, its Fazio’s guitar that really sets it on fire.
Darting between authentic blues rhythms that step through several decades of the genre and contemporary, guitar driven dynamos, ‘Another Way’ is stocked to the brim with gutsy solos and perfectly positioned basslines.
Tracks such as ‘Liar’, ‘Early Morning Blues’ and the vibrant ‘Something’ stand out as iconic tracks, but there is very little disparity in quality across the length of the LP.
Clean, raw, and entirely authentic, there are few greater accolades you can add to Fazio’s work. His partnership with Sayles in terms of song writing and performing is both brilliantly balanced and wonderfully played out, and while ‘Another Way’ is definitely a triumph for Fazio, it’s a strong achievement for Sayles too.