Ontario, California's Greg Serrato is a smokin' southpaw electric blues-rock guitarist known for his versatility as a writer, guitarist and vocalist. He began playing at the early age of five. By eleven he was already performing professionally. Since then, he has performed and/or shared the stage with many of the blues greats. For his second release he combines elements of Jimi Hendrix, Frank Marino and Stevie Ray Vaughan into 11 all-original, self-produced songs that last 52 minutes. Unlike his dynamite, hot-rockin', fiery live performances, on this disc he tackles many styles of music. You will be astonished that one artist can be so diverse.
Greg's initial bars are sharp and cutting on the heavy "Cadillac Blues". The blow is softened by the presence of Martin Crowe on harp. Still its the kind of blues-rock that smacks you in the face and forces you to pay attention. On "That Ain't Right", Serrato plays sensitive and passionate guitar on top of a traditional blues rhythm. Here his voice is more flexible with greater range as compared to the more rockin' numbers. Derek Silverman's B3 helps round out the sound. "Crying Like A Fool" is a slow jazz number that would be more effective if sung with a Billie Holiday voice. Roger Ehrnman's tenor sax creates a scene from a smoky, Casablanca night club. Things get wildly funky on "Kids Have The Blues Too" with its wah, wah and Stevie Wonder like keyboarding. "Jump Baby Jump" is an authentic West Coast swing tune.
Three instrumentals are included which capture all the energy and excitement of his live performances. The title track is a cookin', Texas blues shuffling boogie ala SRV's Rude Mood. This one is blue flame, natural gas hot! "Val" is dedicated to his wife. Its a brilliant, slow, emotion-filled ballad that will remind you of Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. "Warrior of Peace" is named appropriately as its a real 'marching off to war' battlehymn. This tune is Serrato at his essence where his single guitar contains the force of an army.
Unlike many of today's blues rockers who are content to release only hurricane force material, Greg Serrato is an exception. Sure there is plenty of scorching guitar work on this release but in addition you get: traditional blues, jazz, funk, Texas blues and swing. With a little more originality in his grooves, Serrato's career will skyrocket to the same stratosphere as his solos.
For CDs, booking and information, contact: Funky Kenny Tel: (209) 529-5448 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Artist websites: www.gregserrato.com and www.jbird.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.