Music Review: The Cazanovas – ‘Just Gettin’ By’
By Rhetta Akamatsu
Friday, June 21, 2013
The Cazanovas are a very popular group in the burgeoning Atlanta blues scene. With their new CD,Just Gettin’ By, blues fans outside of Georgia and the surrounding states have the opportunity to discover just how excellent this group really is. Local fans have a quality recording to enjoy as well.
All of the songs on Just Gettin’ By are originals, credited to the entire group. They feature amazing harmonica from Maurice Nazzaro, who also handles vocals, sizzling lead guitar from Danny Vinson, skillful bass by Jacob Holliday, and solid drumming by Theron Peterson. Stylistically, the group provides energetic Chicago-style blues intended to get you up and moving.
The CD was recorded at Bakos Amp Works in Atlanta and the sound quality is excellent. The exception is track four, “Ease My Mind,” which has an echoey sound that may have been deliberate, but it’s distracting and does not fit with the clear sound of the rest of the recording.
While all of the songs here are enjoyable, some numbers do stand out. For instance, “Walk With Me” has a great Fats Domino, New Orleans vibe to it. Another tune, “Finish Line” captures that feeling of never quite being able to get where you’re trying to go, and accomplish what you want to accomplish, without someone moving that line. It is full of wry humor and has a great spoken interlude that adds just the right weary, but not defeated, touch.
Other highlights are the two songs that feature guest artists. “Worried Mind Blues” shines from the combination of Nazzaro’s great harp and keyboards from guest Matt Wauchope. “Who’s Foolin’ Who” features Jeff Baker on harmonica and vocals. Baker and Wauchope are also popular Atlanta musicians and they add extra spark to these two numbers.
The CD ends with a great instrumental jam, “Boppin’ at Bakos,” which reflects all the joy the band feels about making music together. It’s a lot of fun for everyone who is listening.
Pick up this CD and discover new original blues that’s likely to find a frequent place on your personal playlist. This is a worthy offering from a band which deserves wider recognition outside the South.
"Just Getting' By"
APIC Records - Sumnazco Music
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © June 2013
I can't believe that it's been over six years since I reviewed The Cazanovas' first CD. Punning the title of that release, I can't help but wonder where has the "Borrowed Time" gone?
Their second release - "Just Getting' By" - still features front men Maurice Nazzaro on harmonica and vocals and Danny Vinson on guitars along with the new rhythm section of Jacob Holliday on bass and Theron Peterson on drums. Guest Cazanovas on the project include: Jeff Baker on harmonica and vocals on "Who's Foolin' Who"; Sal Padillo on percussion on "I'm Tired"; and Matt Wauchope on piano & organ on several tracks. As was the case with disc one, disc two also features all original music.
Although the opening track is extremely traditional musically, it's topical lyrics make it quite contemporary. The song is about a situation that way too many people are struggling with these days - "Just Getting' By". As Maurice says "Day after the day it's the same old game, money goes out faster than it came". And those of us "paying yesterday's bills with tomorrow's money" know just what he means, we're "just getting' by with what we've got". So true. So sad. This shuffle features the new guys putting out some hot rhythm behind several smokin' harmonica and guitar leads.
From a pure precision point of view,"Walk With Me" may very well be the discs most perfect track. The rhythm is profound, the harp and guitar work are some of the discs best and the vocals are outstanding. This was the point in production where everyone was on top of their game. Excellent track!
"Worried Mind Blues" is good old slow and lowdown blues and that's just the way I like it. The rhythm guys are right where they should be on a song like this - in a tight and mellow groove, while Maurice and Matt switch back and forth on smooth piano and harp leads. Add the magnificent way that Maurice is singing the song and as far as I'm concerned, I'm listening to the discs best track.
Sometimes, getting caught up is pretty tough. And as Maurice will attest, it's virtually impossible when someone keeps moving the "Finish Line". Super harp and vocals highlight this one.
"Who's Foolin' Who" had me fooled. Who knew that The Cazanovas - known for their incomparable kick ass style blues - were capable of some slow pickin' acoustic blues with soft harmonious vocals? Not me! Very interesting and very well done track featuring Jeff on lead vocals and harmonica.
The disc closes out with an all out, no holds barred, whammin' jammin' instrumental called "Boppin' at Bakos". The plan on this one was for each musician to take his instrument and kick it's ass and the plan was followed well. Very hot stuff! FYI, Bakos is the name of the recording studio.
Other tracks on "Just Getting' By" include: "Played For A Fool", "Ease My Mind", "Hands Of Time", "I'm Tired" and "Love At First Sight".
For more on The Cazanovas check them out at www.cazanovas.com, Reverbnation or become their friend at Facebook. Once you find them, please tell them the Blewzzman's the reason you did.
Review: The Cazanovas – Just Gettin’ By -
This is the Leicester Bangs Blog
The Cazanovas – Just Gettin’ By -- (Independent label)
The Cazanovas are a four-piece blues band from Atlanta, Georgia with an abundance of energy and plenty of first-rate original material. That’s unusual for a blues band, and although on stage they’re happy to mix up the standards of the genre with obscure classics and their own compositions, on “Just Gettin’ By” it’s original songs from beginning to end.
Lead by the vocal and harmonica talents of Maurice "Big Daddy" Nazzaro with guitarist Danny Vinson, they’re ably supported by a dynamic rhythm section, comprising Jake Holliday on bass and drummer Theron Peterson. Together they play a groove-based Chicago style, which surely gets a crowd moving and a dancefloor bouncing, but works just as well for plain ol’ listening, at home or in the car.
There are many of us constantly on the lookout for good new original blues bands, and it’s bands like The Cazanovas that make it all worthwhile. “Just Gettin’ By” is a tremendous collection of songs, and singer Nazzaro is blessed with a voice that really stands out. The title track hits first; it’s rolling groove and vigorous arrangement makes it a strong contender for best track on the album, but competition is fierce, and the sheer exuberance of “Walk With Me” and the chugging “Ease My Mind” are both superb. Fans of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Red Devils should give The Cazanovas a go.