Adrian DiMatteo ‘Everybody Knows the Blues’ Review: Smile-Inducing

Sometimes when the world is too much, you have to turn it off and walk away. That’s what musician and songwriter Adrian DiMatteo did for a time. After his hermitage DiMatteo came out with a set of songs that will leave your soul full.

Named ‘Everybody Knows the Blues’ DiMatteo’s eleven track album has a well thought out concept. Standout songs include ‘Prayer’ which sends out a plea for the willingness to be allowed to feel all the good and bad of love. It’s reminiscent of a chant, only it takes the form of a guitar melding with cymbals and a desperate throatiness in DiMatteo’s voice. It’s a well syncopated rasp. The song thrives during the instrumental bridge. Also, the musicianship drives the song’s narrative. Think Fleetwood Mac during the ‘Rumors’ days. You also hear the benefits of DiMatteo’s sabbatical from the everyday noise of the world in ‘If I Could.’ A slow-bluesy love song that takes advantage of the sounds of an electric guitar, DiMatteo makes you think of the musical baby of B.B. King and James Taylor. It’s that song you’ll always go back to when you think of that one person who could have been the one, but of course you’ve messed it up with all your insecurities and superficial behavior.

Meanwhile ‘That I’ve Found’ is beautifully indulgent. It’s seldom to hear the guitar be the star of a song these days. Few have done it successfully, but DiMatteo gives a voice to his instrument. Still, the best way you can understand DiMatteo’s appreciation of The Blues is in his song ‘The Blues Ain’t Enough.’ It is a fine old school Blues tribute. A woman has done you wrong and is heading out the door, but you still want her. Barely three minutes long this track does everything a blues-song should. It has a story, great guitar licks and tinges of regret. You have to be a true student of The Blues to have a well-crafted, solidly arranged song that’s short, yet impactful. DiMatteo does that. And you can’t get it out of your head, that’s the best thing about it.

All the songs on ‘Everybody Knows the Blues’ which are original shows the strength of Adrian DiMatteo’s songwriting. What you get is music from a professional who knows how to craft a tune. What’s more DiMatteo doesn’t compromise on his musical arrangements. When it’s time for his guitar to take over lyrically, it’s done in a way seldom heard. It’s no wonder that DiMatteo is a teacher, a practitioner of music therapy and has written a guitar handbook. Listening to this album is similar to taking a class in learning how to heal through music.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 582 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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