Rich DelGrosso and Jonn Del Toro Richardson

Time Slips By

Although the mandolin is seldom heard today, a hundred years ago it was a vital part of the very popular jug bands of the time. Later on a few bluesmen specialized in it; the most famous of whom was “Yank” Rachell (1910-97), whose career spanned some 70 years. Rich DelGrosso not only plays an electrified mandolin but also its bigger brother, the even rarer mandola, as well as some stunning slide guitar. There’s a ton of good blues on offer as you might expect from DelGrosso, who’s been nominated five times for the Blues Music Awards. Guitarist Jonn Del Toro Richardson is no slouch either as he backed up the recently deceased Pinetop Perkins on the pianist’s 2007 Grammy Award-winning album. He and DelGrosso hail from Houston and have chosen some of that area’s sidemen for this project. This is a very lively album that—on some numbers—adds a three-man horn section, a harp player, and even an accordionist (who provides a nice Tex-Mex flavor on a couple of tracks). DelGrosso and Richardson divvy up the vocal and songwriting chores and I’ll bet that after you latch onto DelGrosso’s intricate mandolin playing and Richardson’s sturdy fretwork you’ll want to play it again. Great songs, great playing—what’s not to like?