Pat Guadagno: 1964
(Independent / 10 January 2023)
On his Facebook page, singer-songwriter Pat Guadagno describes himself as "Jersey Shore Saloon Singer, enjoying the twilight of a mediocre career".
He may not exactly be a household name, but his many fans would no doubt dispute the self-deprecating "mediocre" description. He's a purveyor of classic acoustic Americana who's always had his own spin on the genre.
Certainly, his mastery of the guitar can't be diminished. He can make the instrument sing and strum, as impressive with his finger-picking as he is with upbeat rhythmic playing.
He's been a fixture in Jersey Shore for decades, and a favourite of guitar magazine writers, who've dubbed him a "well traveled troubadour".
He talks about his album 1964 in a media release:
"I tried to produce this new album, with the innocence of the child who first heard these songs. We listen to music with different ears as we age. Back then the magic came through the speakers without reference or perspective. Songs were unexplained and meant something different to everyone. What we saw, with eyes closed, could never be captured in a video. I included some of the songs that reached me, that year, in ways I could never describe. There is no message or theme here; just an homage to the year magic happened and a musical renaissance ensued."
The release includes his own interpretations of classic hits from that year, including the Beatles And I Love Her, and the iconic House of the Rising Sun. In interpreting the work, he pays little attention to the original arrangements. It means that his versions have a fresh sound that's unencumbered by expectation, and deliver something new in the process.
It's music in a nostalgic mood, with 15 tracks that dive into the genre with a Jersey Shore flair combined with his impeccable playing and raspy, sincere vocals. It's roots folk at its finest.
His music is featured in Showtime's award-winning Calfornication and films like Warrior Road, Rock, and a Heart Place, and won 'Song of the Year' at the 2022 Garden State Film Festival. It was with Californication that his style began to receive the wide acclaim it deserves. He's released six albums, including a collaboration with Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo’, Jazz legend John Tropea and Dove Award winner, Steven Delopoulos.
A big fan of sports, Guadagno is also well known as a performer of the National Anthem at ballparks and stadium across the US, including the storied 2008 NFL Playoff game where his NY Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys in front of 80,000 fans.
This release will please fans of Americana, roots, and traditional country music, as well as aficionados of acoustic guitar technique.
Personnel: Pat Guadagno- Guitars, Vocals; John Tropea – Guitar; Rob Paparozzi – Harmonica; Mary McCrink -Vocals; Alex Jenkins – ContraBass; Gary Oleyar – Violin