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John Platania

Blues, Waltzes And Badland Borders

(Train Wreck; US: 3 Apr 2007)

John Platania has worked with a lot of people ranging from Van Morrison to Natalie Merchant. His latest album is a strong, quality-filled instrumental-oriented project that kicks off with the tight, blues-tinged “Runnin’ with the Dogs”, showing off his chops quite well. Things go a different route with the barren but beautiful Mexican-influenced “Child Heroes” and the equally deliberate “East Texas Waltz”, reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Other songs such as the breezy “Song for the Quiet One” are interspersed with spoken word moments. Perhaps the highlight here is the bluesy Texas feel oozing out of the aptly named “Texas Sexy Ways”. Like most instrumental albums though, there are some lulls such as the roadhouse feel of “Train Wreck” which seems to sag as it goes along. But the galloping “Tribute” certainly hits the spot.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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