2014 – American Showplace Music
By Phillip Smith; Jan 24, 2015
John Ginty’s latest album, Bad News Travels Live, is an electrified bowl of funky blues., New Jersey B-3 master Ginty recorded this twelve track, two disc album this past June, in front of a small audience, at Showplace Studios, in Dover NJ. His band is composed of guitarist Mike Buckman, bass player Paul Kuzik, and drummers, Dan Fadel and Andrei Koribanics. Joining Ginty was a superstar cast of guest musicians consisting of Albert Castiglia, Todd Wolfe, Chris Jacobs, Alexis P. Suter, and Jimmy Bennett.
Saturated with a suitcase full of soul, Ginty’s playing reminds me so much of Booker T Jones. Dripping of Sixties-era Memphis soul music, “Switch” emits a wave of encompassing good vibrations. “Arrivals” follows suit and continues the vibe.
Tempos and moods both change when “Black Cat” comes around. This slow-cooked blues tune, turns into a furious dueling jam between Albert Castiglia’s nitro-fueled guitar licks and Ginty’s ‘too hot to handle’ B-3 sounds. Castiglia appears again for the Allman Brothers flavored tune, “Damage Control”. Also lending a hand on that track is guitarist Chris Jacobs and singer Alexis P. Suter, who wonderfully belts out the lyrics with her amazingly deep trademark voice. Suter also sings on the soulful R&B song, “Seven and the Spirit”. I like the way it playfully closes out with a homage to both Otis Redding and The Blues Brothers, giving us a little taste of “I Can’t Turn You Loose”.
“Rock Ridge” embodies the spirit of the late Frank Zappa, with its unique chord progressions and fascinating tempo changes. A flawless guitar performance from Todd Wolfe and an awe-inspiring display of Ginty’s musical chops, make this a favorite.
I like how the entire cast is gathered together for the finale, “Trinity”. This jam lasts nearly nine minutes in length, and leaves the listener uplifted, much the same way one would expect to feel exiting an old-time gospel tent revival. It certainly leaves me with a smile on my face. Bad News Travels Live is definitely one of the better live recordings I've heard in a while.