Gary Allegretto | Blues on the Trail

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Gary Allegretto

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Blues: Harmonica Blues Country: Western Moods: Mood: Fun
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Blues on the Trail

by Gary Allegretto

In his 5th recording, Allegretto leaves the well-trodden path and blazes a new trail creating a rare, original, exciting, and cohesively themed record that intently and seamlessly mixes Cowboy and Blues genres. Chart topper nominated for 10 music awards!
Genre: Blues: Harmonica Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Blues on the Trail
Gary Allegretto
3:34 $0.99
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2. Black Diamond
Ian Espinoza
3:59 $0.99
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3. Cowboys Gotta Be Free
Gary Allegretto
2:40 $0.99
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4. A Horse Called the Bluesman
Gary Allegretto
2:59 $0.99
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5. Every Silver Lining
Gary Allegretto
3:24 $0.99
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6. The Firebreak Line
Gary Allegretto
3:11 $0.99
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7. When Dutchy Plays the Mouth Harp
Gary Allegretto
2:51 $0.99
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8. No Place Like Home
Gary Allegretto
2:59 $0.99
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9. Whittling Dynamite
Gary Allegretto
2:47 $0.99
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10. Another Mule
Gary Allegretto
3:17 $0.99
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11. Jack of Diamonds
Gary Allegretto
3:03 $0.99
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12. Wherever I Roam
Gary Allegretto
3:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Blues on the Trail" is a rare collection of 12 captivating songs (10 original) that take the listener far away on a diverse and intriguing journey. The album is unlike anything you've heard - seamlessly mixing the genres of Blues and Western music. It captures and celebrates the spirit of this historic connection while being fresh and new. Within a month of it's release it received ten 2018 AWA and WMA Award nominations including Best Artist, two for Best CD, and seven songs for Best Song! It's being hailed as a masterpiece by critics, DJ's, fellow artists, and audiences alike. Here's just a sample of the high praise:

“Great music. I’m completely knocked out by every aspect of this album. Gary’s singing, guitar and harp playing are masterful. The songs are interesting engaging stories with philosophy from the Trail and the Blues Road. The recording quality is clear and the details in the sound are ear candy. I’m very inspired by Gary and his 'Blues on the Trail’.”
~ Bob Margolin, world renowned Blues artist and member of Muddy Waters legendary band

“Ultimately, Blues on the Trail comes across as a set of songs grounded in both reflection and days gone by - kind of Zane Grey filtered through Robert Johnson - a fantastical campfire serenade for restless souls who can only dream about the trail coming to its end.”
~ Lee Zimmerman, Living Blues Magazine

“The more I listened to this CD, the more I wanted to hear it again. Each song has it's own feel and he can adjust his harmonica tone accordingly to fit the dynamics of the lyrics. I would greatly suggest that Gary Allegretto's Blues On The Trail become a “CD on your shelf” and I guarantee you'll have it in your CD player quite often and want to have your friends take a listen as well. Whittling dynamite, indeed!”
~ Pete Sardon, Blues Music Magazine

“Some readers might hesitate on this recording because of the cowboy references. That would be a huge mistake. Gary Allegretto and his musical friends have crafted a top-notch disc filled with quality material and acoustic performances expertly rendered with plenty of feeling, something that is sorely lacking in many releases. The fact that he looks at life from the cowboy perspective in no way diminishes the soul of the blues at the heart of this project.”
~ Mark Thompson, Blues Blast Magazine and member of the Blues Foundation Board of Directors

“Gary Allegretto is an internationally renowned harmonica player and it is immediately obvious from the first track. Dive deeper into his 5th recording and Allegretto will bring you off the well-trodden path and blaze a new trail with an original and exciting record that seamlessly mixes the cowboy and blues genres.”
~Laura Sedor, Elmore Magazine

"Gary Allegretto masterfully weaves his impressive style of Western music with his unique approach to the Blues in a manner that would make Leadbelly proud. Each of the tracks play like a short story spinning tales of late night campfires, riding the open range, and love lost or found while testing one’s own mortality. With his own extraordinary musicianship backed by the stellar guitar work of his good friend Ian Espinoza, Allegretto gallops past standard Western fare and delivers a gem of a record.”
~ DJ Greg Schultz, KGNU, Boulder, CO

"Pure entertainment, Blues on the Trail is a gift to Western music, raising the bar high for quality and professionalism. Drawing on the deep roots of the blues and cowboy music, the traditional and original tunes shine with originality and impressive talent. Rich with varied musical artistry and inspired lyrics, the recording offers humor, adventure, history, matters of the heart, and more.
~ Margo Metegrano, The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry

"I love Gary Allegretto’s new release “Blues on the Trail". Gary's music is important to the IWMA, because it's not standard fare. His unique and fresh approach to Western music brings new life to the genre, keeping it interesting to its fanbase.”
~ Marvin O’Dell, President, International Western Music Association (IWMA)

“Raises the bar of Cowboy/Western Music to a new level. I love every track and cannot pick a favorite - with every listen your ears will celebrate the gifts Gary brings. I cannot praise it enough. My choice for "CD of the Year" for sure and truly a masterpiece for the ages!”
~ DJ Barbara Richhart, CowTrails, KCEG Colorado Springs and KSJD Cortez, CO

“A riveting, musical adventure. 'Blues on the Trail' takes you at full gallop across the American landscape; on a ride you won't soon forget!"
~ Peter Bruce, Under Western Skies, KAFF Radio, Flagstaff AZ




MEET THE RIDER

Gary Allegretto is a singer, harmonica player, guitarist, and story-telling songsmith. His highly acclaimed music has earned him an Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Award, a Best of the West Award, two GRAMMY and eight Western Music Association Award nominations. The Blues Foundation has honored Gary with it's highest honor - the Keeping the Blues Alive Award. His songs have reached and persisted at the top of the Blues, Roots, and Western music radio charts. He has headlined at the top Blues Festivals internationally and the best Cowboy gatherings in the West and played on the soundtracks of Disney, Pixar, and Warner Brothers movies.

"Gary Allegretto is one of the best harp players you'll hear" and "one of the classiest acts in the music business today."
~ Blues Revue Magazine

" Amazing. You’ve never seen — or heard anything like him.”
~ American Cowboy Magazine

“This harmonica wrangler is sure to impress the cowboy hat off your head.”
~ True West Magazine

“Gary plays the harmonica the way Casey Tibbs rode broncs.”
~ Dave Stamey

MEET THE OUTFIT

Gary enlists a crew of the very top hands in the West to support this musical excursion. Longtime friend and fellow AWA Will Rogers Award winning artist Ian Espinoza brings his virtuoso guitar and harmony vocal talents. Espinoza also wrote one and co-wote two of the songs, and assisted in production. Longtime bandmates and renowned musicians Paul Eckman (upright bass) and Steve Mugalian (drums and percussion) lend their expertise and Tom Corbett plays mandolin on the final track. All songs were recorded at Grammy Award winning Johnny Lee Schell’s famed Ultratone Studio where vintage Western memorabilia graces the walls, mic cords hang on horse-tack hooks, silent Western movies play continuously on a video screen, while Reggie the deaf Jack Russell Terrier sleeps contently on the couch.

BLAZE THE TRAIL

In his fifth recording, join Allegretto as he leaves the well-trodden path and blazes a new trail. He creates something that’s rare in modern recordings, a cohesively themed record that intently and seamlessly mixes cowboy and blues genres. Historically speaking, this is not unusual by any means. In their earliest origins, cowboy music and the blues rode the trail together. As many as one in four drovers in the heyday of the cattle drives were young black men newly freed from slavery and seeking adventure. Music flourished in cow camps as African rooted field-hollers intertwined with European Celtic ballads creating the first true American cowboy songs. Concurrently, the newly invented harmonica arrived in the West, becoming a cowboy’s vest pocket musical companion. Though not aiming to be a traditional or purist recording, “Blues on the Trail" celebrates the spirit of those roots. Like the sprawling landscape of the old West, it is diverse, free of fences, and defiant of rules and boundaries. And like the songs of those days it tells captivating heartfelt stories of freedom, adventure, love, beauty, danger, fast horses, ornery mules, trouble and tough luck.

ENJOY THE RIDE

Ride along enjoying 12 tracks (10 original) that take the listener far away on a diverse and intriguing journey. The title track Blues on the Trail opens with a conversation between outlaw Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (alias The Sundance Kid) and his beautiful mysterious girlfriend Etta Place. Hold on tight as Black Diamond takes you on a white-knuckle horse race. Cowboys Gotta Be Free is a lighthearted jaunt that starts down a familiar path of a cowboy defiantly proclaiming freedom and independence from love - and then takes a sharp and unexpected turn. A Horse Called the Bluesman is Allegretto’s autobiographical account of redemption shared between himself and a rescue horse. Firebreak Line relates Allegretto’s personal experience as a firefighter who swung his Pulaski tool battling many a wildfire throughout the West as a member of the Mormon Lake Hotshots of Northern Arizona. When Dutchy Plays the Mouth Harp takes us to a raucous campfire jam session on a cattle drive led by a beloved harmonica player, with lyrics based on a 1902 cowboy poem by Robert V. Carr. No Place Like Home reminds us that where there’s a road there’s a way out. Whittling Dynamite is an amusing honky tonk story about a fellow who just can’t help making bad choices. Another Mule is a blues about a lowdown animal “kickin’ in your stall” behind your back. Jack of Diamonds is a traditional Texas gambling song played by early blues and cowboy musicians alike. The album closes with Wherever I Roam, a very personal ballad that reflects on the bittersweet reverberations of a life spent rambling.

Once you’ve taken this spellbinding ride and enjoyed its diverse scenery and terrain you’ll look forward to returning again and again. Saddle up!

HARMONICOWBOY RECORDS 2144 Beech Knoll Road, LA, CA 90046 bfrecords@earthlink.net 323-605-8742


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FULL REVIEWS:

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE

On his fifth release, harmonica ace Gary Allegretto once again explores the confluence between blues and cowboy music. An award-winning Blues In The Schools educator, Allegretto is also a compelling vocalist and songwriter. Additionally, his life journey has taken him deep into the cowboy culture as a forest ranger, rafting guide, and a top-notch forest firefighter. His hard-earned knowledge is reflected in nine original songs, two co-written with guitarist Ian Espinoza, who contributes one original.

The title track opens the disc, Allegretto laying down a plaintive vocal over Espinoza’s acoustic guitar. Paul Eckman on bass and Steve Mugalian on drums set up a gently swinging rhythm underneath the tale of a man on the run from the law, his worried mind getting a measure of comfort from some well-crafted harp licks. “Black Diamond” is a fast paced rendering about a magnificent horse and the man who tamed him, while a second tune, “A Horse Called The Bluesman,” continues spotlighting the special relationship between a cowboy and his mount. At first glance, “Another Mule” would seem to be one more tribute to a four-legged partner. Instead, it is a dark tune about suspicions involving the wrongdoings of the proverbial back door man.

Espinoza switches to a National Reso-phonic guitar on a stirring version of the traditional song, “Jack Of Diamonds”. The interplay between his instrument and Allegretto’s harp make this track one of the disc’s highlights. The same guitar is also used on Steve Earle’s “The Firebreak Line,” a proud declaration of the firefighters’ courage and devotion to their team, something that Allegretto knows all too well. “Every Silver Lining” rolls along with a shuffle groove and plenty of dark humor about a man who never seems to catch a break, seemingly with a storm cloud always overhead. Allegretto’s witty nature comes to the fore again on “Whittling Dynamite,” a jaunty look at a male who can’t resist the attraction of women that should wear a warning sign, a man “…with equal parts stupidity and testosterone.”

“When Dutchy Plays The Mouth Harp” is an energetic piece that would fit perfectly around the campfire at the end of a long day of trail riding. Allegretto gets plenty of space to showcase his considerable skill with the harp. The band lays down a steady-rolling groove on “No Place Like Home,” while the leader shares his love for the road, where he can escape life’s travails. That theme is revisited on “Cowboys Got To Be Free,” a country-tinged acoustic gem with more of Allegretto’s dynamic harmonica blowing. The disc closes with a touching ballad, “Wherever I Roam,” as the singer once again extols the freedom of a life under the stars – another song to play by the campfire late in the evening. Tom Corbett on mandolin adds a wistful touch.

Some readers might hesitate on this recording because of the cowboy references. That would be a huge mistake. Gary Allegretto and his musical friends have crafted a top-notch disc filled with quality material and acoustic performances expertly rendered with plenty of feeling, something that is sorely lacking in many releases. The fact that he looks at life from the cowboy perspective in no way diminishes the soul of the blues at the heart of this project.

~ Mark Thompson

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