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Sean Costello - We Can Get Together

Delta Groove Productions

From the first lick of the guitar on the first track of Sean Costello’s fifth album, We Can Get Together, you know why this Philadelphia native is a past Memphis Blues Society Winner. But with this new disk, Costello shows an increasing maturity not only as a singer/guitarist, but also as a song writer.   Indeed, nine of the eleven cuts on We Can Get Together are Costello originals, some with co-writer credits to his band mates and others.

One might expect expert bluesmanship from a performer from Philadelphia, except Costello is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not Philadelphia, Mississippi.   He immigrated south to Atlanta at age nine and picked up his first guitar shortly thereafter.  While most of his high school classmates were trying to get dates with members of the opposite sex, he had formed a band and was trying to get dates in clubs around Hotlanta.  Costello had cut his first disk by age 17 and added three more in intervening years before We Can get Together.

He cites B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Pinetop Perkins as major musical influences, having jammed with them and others, along with touring and recording with Susan Tedeschi before going it alone.  The disk shows strong influence from Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Eric Clapton and even ZZ Top. 

Here are some highlights:

“Anytime You Want” is a good guitar screamer that is a groovin’ mixture of rock and roll and blues.  Costello’s guitar moves into tremolo mode for “Same Old Game,” which also sports some catchy lyrics.  “Can’t Let Go” features a breezy sound that belies the hope that she will come back.

Costello’s “Told Me a Lie” has a Beatles psychedelic era feel to it while a staccato style guitar riff is featured throughout the otherwise darkly-flavored “Hard Luck Woman.” 

“How in the Devil” will delight ZZ Top fans with it’s rocking blues riffs and Texas boogie lyrics.  Some classy organ work sets the pitiful mood for “Have You No Shame,” a song about a guy who chances on his baby under the streetlight in the arms of another.

The traditional “Going Home” is the bluest song on the disk, which is seasoned further by a strong pinch of gospel.  Eric Clapton fans will feel right at home with “All This Time,” an anthem to a guy trying to reel in the girl of his dreams.

The urgent sounding flavor of “Feel Like I Ain’t Got a Home” sings of the desire to slow down--and settle down--with somebody to love before it’s too late.  Costello concludes with another traditional blues number, “Little Birds.”

Why is Sean Costello so good?  And why is We Can Get Together so good?  Two reasons:  One, he recognizes and salutes his influences and stays true to them.  Two, while recognizing these influences he also recognizes—as he puts it—“I’ll never play the old blues better than the people who invented it…so I need to make my own statement.”

Two beer bottles up for this one!

Reviewer Rob Paullin realizes he cannot just steal the “Two Thumbs Up” line from the movie review guys, so he’ll simply adapt it to his own world…!

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