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SEAN COSTELLO

WE CAN GET TOGETHER

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DELTA GROOVE (DGPCD120)

Anytime You Want, Same Old Game, Can't Let Go, Told me A Lie, Hard Luck Woman, How In The Devil, Have You No Shame, Going Home, All This Time, Feel Like I Ain't Got A Home, Little Birds.

Sean was eleven years old when he first touched a guitar, forming his own band while still at school so when his contemporaries were at home popping their pimples he was out on the road playing the blues. He recorded his first album when he was 17 and then played with the Susan Tedeschi Band; cranking out the sensational lead guitar runs on her million selling debut album "Just Won't Burn".

His high intensity playing got the blues world wondering about Sean Costello and he quickly became the one to watch. His next two cracking CDs on Landslide - "Cuttin' In" and "Moanin' For Molasses" impressed blues expert Tony Russell so much he wrote "his performances are packed with condensed energy and creativity. As his records make it clear, he is one of the outstanding blues musicians of his generation".

Sadly, Sean Costello died last year at only 28 years old so these are his last recordings and they show a young musician who was at the peak of his creative power as a stunning guitar player and inspired, imaginative song writer.

I like this CD. It's got a big guitar sound combined with a relentless rhythm section while Sean randomly splatters out hard edged runs and funky discordant licks. It's really exciting stuff. Of course, his guitar playing wouldn't mean a thing if there weren't some great songs to hang it on and that's where he shines with this bunch of titles that are mostly self-penned except for two traditional songs; "Going Home" and "Little Birds".  It's not all blues. Costello was finding his own voice when he made this CD, and while it could be easily filed under "rock" there are enough sparkling blues riffs and creative rural runs to keep any true blues fan interested - especially on the unusual, almost funereal mood of one of the best songs on the album "Can't Let Go" which utilises a sousaphone-led backbeat and a roughneck choir.

"Hard Luck Woman" is another blues-based epic with Costello bellowing out some tough lyrics while laying down some thundering guitar solos and "Going Home" is a gospel tinged number that has Costello squealing out the lyrics while the band join in with some call-and-response. It's a hard hitting blaster especially on the solo when Sean really lets loose with some peppering notes wrenching out a flurry of runs on the top strings. The traditional "Little Birds" came from Levon Helm who learned it from his parents. It's a dark song about unrequited love but Costello gives it with an even nervier edge with his growling vocals and strident electric guitar.

Sean Costello's light burned short but bright and it's sad that this CD holds the last of his articulate and fiery music. There won't be any new recordings now but at least he's left us with a masterwork.

 

 

Review Date: March 2009

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