by Tony Savarino

Fort Point Boogie
Polkadots and Moonbeams
Yngwie Van Caravan
The Human Jungle
The Montauk Boys
As Tears Go By
Under The Double Eagle
Done Yet?


When Tony told me he was recording a new album I made him
promise that I would be on it. He said yes, but I guess we had a small misunderstanding. I was thinking GUITAR notes, he was thinking LINER notes. Oh well. Some you win and some you lose... Tony is still my life coach, zen master and guitar Sherpa, so it is still an honor to be writing
about this record. For full disclosure, this will be afairly biased opinion, but then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less from liner notes.

So here is why you should listen tothis multiple times. Guitararino is the third album in the trilogy that was started with Guitaring and continued with Guitaresque. It is a fitting glorious trilogy finale: the Return of the Jedi of guitar music. If the visual conjured by the expression wasn’t deeply disturbing, I would describe this album as Full Frontal Tony. For the first time on record, here you get the full range of Tony’s guitar passions.

Tony’s previous records followed the Telecaster instrumental tradition of Don Rich, RoyBuchanan, Danny Gatton, Jim Campilongo and Duke Levine. You will still find plenty of that on this record, starting with Fort Point Boogie (and check out the tasty lap steel by Kevin Barry on it), and continuing with Nutty (the Ventures arrangement of the Nutcracker), Human Jungle,The Montauk Boys, Under the Double Eagle and the airy Gratitude.

These songs alone would make a great record, but this is the part of the infomercial where I scream at the top of my lungs: “Wait! There’s more!!!!!!!!” Tony’s musical life, from his early years as a shred
metalhead at Berklee to his work as a teacher and as a sideman in multiple projects, covers a musical territory that is much more expansive than what you normally hear at a Tony Savarino and the Savtones show.
For the first time on one of Tony’s records, Guitararinocovers the full panorama. We start moving away from traditional Tony with the deliciously tasty solo guitar arrangements of As Tears Go By and Polkadots and Moonbeams. Shadows of Chet Atkins here. We move slightly further away with a splendid take on Pat Martino’s Sunny, where we get a glimpse of his jazz influences. India, mixed by Josh Hager, showcases
Tony’s deft atmospheric work, his ability to create psychedelic landscapes and moods.

The two songs that to me though really fully give you a sense of Tony’s musical range and personality are two songs apparently really
different from each other: Done Yet and Yngwie Van Caravan. A unique trait of Tony’s personality is the combination of his extremely serious dedication to his musical craft, a healthy respect and admiration for his peers, and a wicked sense of humor. All of this is showcased in spades in these two cuts. Done Yetis a combination of song ending turnarounds, played in succession. In the background Chris Cote (one of Boston’s best singers) delivers hilarious commentary asthe bartender who is tired of the band, gems such as “Hey you are fat, untalented and ugly”. Chris also plays the opening guitar solo and closes the song with one of the “voice trombone” solos that are his trademark. So here we haveit all in one package: great musicianship and sardonic irony. 100% Tony.

Yngwie Van Caravan takes the idea to a whole new level. An arrangement of Duke Ellington’s classic as if it was played by Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen. Tony let’s his inner metal kid loose with dead on takes on the style of the two guitar masters. Impeccable technique delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. And that’s all folks. You can read in the credits whoplayed what on all the songs. I will just bring to your attention the overall production by Barry Marshall, which isimpeccable, and most importantly, the killer rhythm section of Mike Levesque and Sean McLaughlin. They keep these songs tight and mean. They make it bearable to listen toclose to an hour of Tony’s guitar wanking. And for that,
he should be grateful to them.

Dino Cattaneo


releases 01 September 2014



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