Be honest; if you played R&B-based guitar in the mid ’70s and were looking to extend your blues vocabulary, you stole licks from this Tower Of Power alumnus. It’s great to hear Bruce Conte again. His style is as definable as any of the better-known West Coast blues fusion player of that period.
This release partners Conte with a number of Bay Area vocalists that include his old bandmate, Lenny Williams. Bullet Proof is a guitar player’s album – the lyrics are, for the most part, made up on the fly and are of the tried-and-true/can’t-get-enough-of-that-funky-stuff style.
Talk about the ultimate relic, Conte still maintains his late-’50s Gibson Les Paul goldtop he’s had since the early ’70s. Tom Murphy should get a picture of this one, ‘cuz it represents several hundred thousand miles of blues wear!
The licks on this CD will dredge up memories from a remake tribute to Roco’s 16th-note classic, as well as a nod to several other readily recognizable TOP mainstays.
Where’s Conte been? It doesn’t really matter, because he’s back with all the great funk the Bay City was known for 30 years ago. And it’s as fresh as tomorrow’s news.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.