The Vinnie Paolizzi LP

By Brian Rock

Nashville folk/americana artist Vinnie Paolizzi makes a name for himself on his debut album, The Vinnie Paolizzi LP. Combining traditional folk and Laurel Canyon rhythms, with just a hint of soul, Paolizzi creates a middle American folk rock sound that’s earnest and occasionally uplifting. His voice is infused with a warmth that’s equal parts Jackson Browne and Jason Isbell.

“It Ain’t Easy,” starts off with slinky, drawn-out electric guitar notes layered over a bluesy rhythm section arrangement of piano, bass and drums. Paolizzi then laments his condition, singing, “It ain’t easy, but I make it harder than it has to be.” Like most of us, he is the culprit of his own misfortunes. Continuing, he sings, “I can’t find my shadow in the shade, like I can’t get out of my own way. I can’t stand my worst enemy, mostly ‘cause he looks like me.” Taking a first step towards enlightenment, he accepts his role in his life’s hard knocks. Eagles’ era Joe Walsh guitar stylings add a gritty edge to his sardonic self-assessment.

“As Far As Goodbyes Go,” uses deceptively lively folk-rock rhythms to chronicle a break up that, “could’ve been worse.” “Left My Heart Behind,” is another break up song that’s belied by a downright cheerful melody. As if in denial of his grief, the music continues to bask in the joy of a reality that no longer exists. “Something We Said,” finally slows the pace and allows the music to match the tone of the lyrics. Acoustic guitar sets the mood as sparse drum beats and muted organ chords play in the background. Paolizzi sings, “We say good morning and we say good night. I ask how you’re doing and you say, ‘Alright.’ He hints that his relationship has become routine. Adding, “We used to stand in the ring and go a few rounds. Now we can’t find nothing worth fighting about;” he acknowledges that the passion is fading. Looking back on the last days of the relationship, he concedes, “Maybe ‘I love you,’ is just something we said.” “If Only It Would Only Rain,” captures the sentiment of The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain.” “Cairo,” is a sparse, acoustic mediation on not being able to revisit the place where a relationship ended. “Blame It On The Ivy,” is a Folk ballad metaphor for how negative emotions can grow like an invasive vine if untreated. Paolizzi incorporates touches of Piedmont Blues to sing about repairing a small-town church in, “JWAP.” Another metaphor, the song encourages us to repair our own holy temple by serving others. Following up on that insight, Paolizzi is able to move forward again on the lilting, “Proud Of What I Did Today.” Realizing that, “I spent half a lifetime on the wrong side of my head,” he is able to take control of his life by taking control of his thoughts. Finally shaking off his past, he can move confidently into the future on the Soulful ballad, “Ahead Of Me.” Pulses of Gospel tinged organ underscore the optimism as he sings, “Just a little light is all I need. My best days are ahead of me.” After a decade of honing his craft in the clubs and bars of Nashville, it seems Vinnie Paolizzi’s best days are indeed ahead of him.  |   insta   |   buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

Latest posts by Brian Rock (see all)

Comments are closed.