Rick Vito, born in 1949 had, I must say, escaped my attention, like an invisible man who has nevertheless played on over a hundred records, including a dozen releases, CDs and DVDs under his own signature. When I listened to him blind, I was seduced by his slide guitar playing! His sound and know-how made me open my ears and all my senses, wide! This guitarist and singer went to the right school, learning slide guitar from Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk, not to mention B.B. King, Les Paul and many others. By the 1970s, he had played on albums by such diverse artists as Todd Rundgren, Bobby Whitlock, John Mayall, John Prine, Roger McGuinn, Steve Goodman and Maria Muldaur. His contributions have since multiplied, including Bob Seger, Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins, Jackson Browne, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, John Fogerty, and the list goes on… From 1987 to 1991, he was a member of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac. Nominated  for a Grammy  in 2010 in the Best Traditional Blues  category, as both artist and producer, he also won a W.C. Handy Award  in 2001 for his song “It’s Two AM”, then performed by the warm Shemekia Copeland, the daughter of the Texas Twister. Returning to his Cadillac Man album, on which, incidentally, he enlists the help of Canadian harmonica player Steve Marriner on the upbeat, danceable “Little Sheba”, it sounds like a comfortable ride in a Cadillac,  cruising through different blues styles and the vagaries of the road! “Crying At Midnight” is a slow blues with a solemn style, soaring guitar tones and expressive vocals. The result is an intense, atmospheric blues! “Sliding In The Blue”, which closes the album, is a slow, slide-instrumental blues that showcases all the finesse and subtlety of a musician with refined taste and enhanced experience. With the release of Cadillac Blues , Rick Vito  proves once again that he is a high caliber artist to be discovered or revisited, as the case may be. Enjoy the ride!

(Pierre Jobin – originally published in Tendances Electronique & Design, where you can access back issues with more blues reviews. www.tedpublications.com)