Album Review

Down Home Acoustic Blues

Gary Cogdell & Chaz DePaolo - Live at ST.GEORGES COUNTRY STORE

Garry Cogdell & Chaz DePaulo: ACOUSTIC BLUES 



2018 Smoke Tone Records


One gentle summer evening in 2017, a group of musical friends assembled at the St. Georges Country Store along the banks of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal.   Joining local blues legend Garry Cogdell, after flying in from Colorado, were Blues Hall of Fame (NY Chapter) member Chaz DePaolo , and harmonica ace David Biondo.  Johnny Christopher manned the bass, and John Digiovanni (Steal Your Peach, Stackabones) handled percussion. 


The beer was cold, the gumbo hot and spicy, and the music flowed sweetly.  The result is this just released CD from Smoke Tone Records,  Live at St.GEORGES COUNTRY STORE,  a collection of mostly originals, with a couple of Elmore James’ covers tossed in for good measure. 


Garry Cogdell is known as a master of the Delta and Hill Country Blues vernaculars, while Chaz DePaulo has made his mark primarily on electric guitar with his innovative rock oriented fusion blues.  Both are prolific song writers and recording artists, with numerous CDs to their respective credits.  


 David Biondo’s extensive career on harmonica goes back many years and includes playing with many local, regional, and national acts in both the blues and country rock gendres. A comprehensive list of musicians he’s recorded or shared the stage with would be as long as your arm. 

The synergistic result of their “one night stand” is a delicious down home feast of acoustic blues, worth listening to over and over again. The timing is tight, and the spontaneous arrangements textured without over-embellishment. It’s three craftsmen sharing their talents gracefully, to make each other’s songs sound their best. 


I won’t pick apart the individual songs  in this review; you can do that just fine yourself. There’s a variety of styles and tempos to keep the listener attentive and entertained.  Both artists write in similar yet diverse modes. A couple of the highlights are DePaulo’s Angel On My Shoulder and the final number, Cogdell’s take on Elmore James’ It Hurts Me Too.  If I could offer one complaint, it's that the recording didn't take full advantage of DePaolo's distinctive biting acoustic leads;  it seems as if he was holding back, perhaps not wanting to dominate the ensemble, but Cogdell more than takes up the slack.


Live from ST.GEORGES COUNTRY STORE is available from all the usual digital download resources, as well as from SmokeTone Records, www.SmokeToneRecords. Com 


1) Stuck in the Mud  (Garry Cogdell ) 3:38 

2) Angel On My Shoulder (Chaz DePaulo) 3:39 

3)Jimmy Reed (Garry Cogdell)  3:04 

4)Fantasy ( Garry Cogdell) 4:08 

5)Alone But Not Lonely (Chaz DePaolo)3:51 

6)Rollin’ & Tumblin’  ( Elmore James) 5:25 

7) Tepid Blues (Chaz DePaolo) 4:31 

8) Nickel on the Floor (Garry Cogdell) 3:54 

9)Fishing Garry Cogdell) 4:12 

10) Everyday (Chaz DePaolo) 3:36 

11) Two Tones Calling (Garry Cogdell) 5:32 

12) Woman’s Touch (Garry Cogdell) 4:56 

13) It’s What I’m Thankful For (Chaz DePaolo) 7:47 

14) It Hurts Me Too  (Elmore James) 4:17 

all songs by Garry Cogdell and  Chaz DePaolo/Cap'n Prozac  ASCAP, except Rollin'& Tumblin' and It Hurts Me Too, both by Elmore James.