Tony Savarino proves himself in many styles and shows a fine sense of humor on an album guitarists will certainly appreciate.
His “Barrelhaus Gutbucket Chicken Pickin” starts things off, with chromatic licks, killer bends, and percussive guitar sounds that glide over a loping country beat. Phil Baugh’s “Take One” feels like a long lost Hank Garland track, with its jazz-country feel and Savarino working chords. He proves more than capable of playing a blues that isn’t cliché with “Blues for Bb,” a smooth after-hours jam with jazzy soloing and changes.
At first glance, Brian Eno’s “Deep Blue Day” – an atmospheric piece with notes soaring in and out – doesn’t seem to fit. But it works. “Freight Train” is an acoustic tour de force with fingerpicking, flatpicking, and everything else you can think of on acoustic. And how can you not love an instrumental guitar record that finds room for “Holiday for Strings.” The classic melody is a muted-string workout that’ll put a smile on your face.
Savarino also sneaks in a rocking rendition of Motorhead’s “Dancing on Your Grave” that hints at Savarino’s inspirations, pre-Telemasters!
Guitaring is a collection of great songs, deployed with great execution – and the occasional wink.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.