News / Arts & Entertainment

Tom Principato's Family, Friends Inspire 'A Part Of Me'

Tom Principato's Family, Friends Inspire 'A Part Of Me'
Tom Principato's Family, Friends Inspire 'A Part Of Me'

Multimedia

Audio

Guitarist Tom Principato has been a mainstay on the Washington, D.C. blues scene for more than 40 years. Tom’s new CD was inspired by family, friends and collaborators who helped shape his life on and off the stage.

Like many kids growing up in the 1960s, Tom Principato dreamed of playing guitar in a rock and roll band.  As a teenager, he honed his guitar and vocal skills while modeling his style after the era’s great Chicago blues musicians.  Tom says he became a serious blues fan after hearing such legends as Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters.  

“In those days some of those guys were still alive and performing and you could see them," he said. "Their records were pretty obscure, so it was a challenge to try to find them.  But, in those days, you could still get 78s and 45s, and that’s where a lot of that music was found.”

Tom began his career with the blues-rock band Powerhouse in the 1970s, while working as a sideman with Big Mama Thornton and Sunnyland Slim.  Tom later launched a label under the name Powerhouse Records, releasing his own albums as well as albums by other top Washington-area blues artists.

His latest effort “A Part Of Me” is a culmination of his many years in the studio and on tours around the world.  Tom says the album is mostly autobiographical…which explains why old family photos grace the cover.

“The title cut and actually a couple of other songs on the album are basically about lost loved ones," he said.  "My father was a professional photographer so my childhood was well documented.”

Joining Tom are noted keyboardists Chuck Leavell and Brian Auger, Memphis Horns trumpeter Wayne Jackson, guitarist Sonny Landreth, bassist Willie Weeks, and drummer Jim Brock.

In support of the album, Tom and his band will tour Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, before heading to Europe for concerts in Germany, Denmark, and Norway.

Still one of today’s busiest blues musicians, Tom believes that interest in live music actually peaked about 30 years ago.

“Everyone went out and supported live music, and the nightclubs thrived and there were a lot of people going out," he said.  "A typical gig would be for a week in a club.  Now, far fewer people are going out and a typical gig is just one night instead of a week.  People have a lot of things that are vying for their entertainment attention and most of them are free.”

For more on Tom Principato and other recordings on his label, check out tomprincipato.com, or go to powerhouserecords.com.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.