For guitarist Breezy Rodio, the blues is just a breeze | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

For guitarist Breezy Rodio, the blues is just a breeze 

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click to enlarge Breezy Rodio

Breezy Rodio

Courtesy the Artist

The name “Breezy Rodio” might sound like it belongs to an alt-country band. In reality, it’s the moniker of a bluesman who just released his third album. Sometimes the Blues Got Me (Delmark) has a straight-ahead big-band sound that does a great job of highlighting the musician’s passionate, Italian-accented vocals and understated guitar. Originally from Rome, Rodio played behind Chicago bluesman Linsey Alexander for a decade before striking out on his own in 2017. There are vague echoes of 50s jump blues, and occasionally a mild soul influence rears its head, but for the most part Rodio is aiming straight for the Chicago shuffle, and he does it quite well. Rodio is also a formidable songwriter; at some point he must have had people seriously questioning his career choice, because more than one song deals with the general pressures of being a blues musician. Rodio does a great job of eloquently defending why he does what he does, as evidenced by the title track and “Let Me Tell You What’s Up,” where he defiantly declares “blues till I’m old and grey!” to a lover who demands he either “quit or slow down.” Just like T-Bone Walker (whose influence is heard here), Rodio isn’t afraid to show a little vulnerability on ballads like “Fall in British Columbia,” and there are also a couple of cameos from harmonica giant Billy Branch on “Change My Ways” and “Doctor From the Hood.”   v

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