John Del Toro Richardson

Tengo Blues

John Richardson

With this Tex-Mex flavored blues album co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, another fine Texas blues guitarist, John Del Toro Richardson hits his stride. Think Los Lobos with the blues to Latino style ratio in reverse. Richardson even sounds a little bit like Lobos vocalist Cesar Rosas, perhaps crossed with Boz Scaggs.

As a guitar player and in his general approach to making music, he’s what you’d call a steady rolling blues man – loping, rumbling and swaggering through a tune, determinedly unstoppable with the rest of us happy to be along for the ride. His playing style draws from a page out of Albert King’s book that a lot of guitarists would benefit from studying, the one that warns against choking the life out of a note to substitute angst-laden sustain for creativity.

Richardson is comfortable moving from the ragged, slow, and funky blues of “Love If You Want It” to the cool West Coast jazz of “Triple Lindig” to inhaling the air down Mexico way in a compelling original, “The Moment.” Like “Can’t Run From Love,” co-written with Gary Vincent, it’s one of many industrial-strength performances in a bluesy field of solid tracks.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.