BORN BLUE – THE SUN SESSIONS
Tru Blu Records
Memphis based blues-rocker John D’Amato was born with a rare medical condition which meant that due to lack of oxygen his body would literally turn blue. At this time D’Amato discovered his sister’s guitar and constant practice actually made him feel better. He determined that he would be a bluesman and went on to play with B B King, Joe Louis Walker, Eric Gales and more and now with his second album recorded in Memphis he has a collection of 14 diverse songs mostly self-penned. Opening track Two Dollar Dress is fun, muscular and energetic and has already been voted Best Blues/Rock song by AKADEMIA website. Soldier Of Love features a funky insistent bassline and some speedy fretwork and soulful vocals from D’Amato. The biographical Blues Man is a walking pace number telling the tale of D’Amato’s journey and his goal to be a truly great guitar slinger and features a sparkling guitar solo. Helicopter Blues is a down home rocker featuring D’Amato exclaiming “I’m gonna buy me a chopper with long and shiny blades”. Sounds like fun! The lengthy slow blues Lovin’ You is a heartbreaker which features an organ solo from Lauren D’Amato and an extended guitar solo as the song builds in intensity. Chicken Blues lightens the mood with humorous lyrics and frantic guitar work. Born Blue is another biographical number telling of D’Amato’s early medical troubles and My Only Friend tells of how D’Amato found comfort in Jesus. The steady rollin’ True To The Blues has a light jazzy feel with restrained picking and muted organ fills. Walk My Way has a funky backbeat and nice rolling piano from Lauren and swift country picking from John. Closing track Hearts On Fire cranks up the revs with heavy guitar riffing and gruff vocals. There is also a bonus track featuring D’Amato playing Helicopter Blues solo on cigar box guitar. Every blues fan should find something to their taste on this collection.
JOHN D’AMATO -‘BORN BLUE: THE SUN SESSIONS’
John D’Amato establishes that Born Blue is a blues album with the song titles that run through it: “Helicopter Blues,” “Chicken Blues,” and “True to the Blues,” for example. But it is two songs on the album that really establish his personal connection to the blues: “Born Blue” and “Blues Man.”
The title song “Born Blue” relates the true story of D’Amato’s birth. He was born with a heart defect that literally made him blue at birth. It was a time when there was no treatment and most blue babies did not live, but D’Amato survived. He credits God and the guitar for his survival,throughout early childhood until an experimental treatment cured him at age 9 and both have continued to play significant parts in his life, as illustrated by the hot guitar licks, the song “Blues Man” and the praise song to Jesus, “My Only Friend..” He asserts his devotion to the blues again in the pledge of allegiance that is “True to the Blues.”
As for the rest of the songs, they explore a number of blues-based styles. D’Amato has the sort of gravelly voice that is perfect for blues-rock numbers like “Two Dollar Dress, “Soldier of Love,” “Helicopter Blues” (which also shows up in a very nice acoustic version), “Same Dog,” “Walk This Way” and “Hearts on Fire.” It also works well for more traditional blues like “Lovin’ You” and the lively ‘Chicken Blues.” He even proves he can smooth out nicely for the country blues ballad “Live Without Me.”
John D’Amato proves himself formidable on this album, a true blues man worth listening to. You may not need to be born blue, live in Nashville and record at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis to make a great blues album, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
WTJU 91.1 FM Charlottesville, 102.9 FM Richmond
By Dave Rogers
New Blues News
John D’Amato – Born Blue: The Sun Sessions (Self-produced):
John D’Amato is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Memphis. This is his second release with his own band, with D’Amato on guitar and vocals, Lauren D’Amato (keys, backing vocals), Joe Zito (rhythm guitar), Dan Nadasdi (keyboards), alternating bass players Jeff OffIatt, Phil Hart, and Gregg Germony, and drummers John P D’Amato, Don Ray, and Carl Brenner. D’Amato’s voice can be plain or gravelly and is most effective when the gruff is on. His guitar playing is often melodic and covers several styles. He does have some flash, but in addition to that, he also can play for feeling. He also played with Joe Louis Walker on the latter’s “Hellfire” disc (2012). This success of this disc is somewhat variable, but there are some very good cuts here.
CLUB SCOUT: JOHN D’AMATO BRINGING THE BLUES TO DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELDBy George Lenker | Club Scout | September 22, 2015
Most good music comes from the heart, or so they say, but in the case of John D'Amato, the meaning is literal.
D'Amato, the blues man who will play Theodores' in Springfield on Thursday night, earned the right to sing the blues due to a condition he was born with: coarctation of the aorta. The condition is a narrowing of part of the aorta, which caused D'Amato to have serious circulation problems rights after he was born.
Infants with this problem are known as "blue babies," so in D'Amato's case, it seemed to foreshadow his later career as a blues guitarist. Fortunately, he was able to able to have the problem corrected at age nine, but before that, his childhood was not an easy one, being filled with medical issues and visits to the doctor's office.
D'Amato credits learning to play guitar with helping him through those early periods of trials and tribulations. He would pick up his sister's guitar and eventually started writing about how he felt.
As he entered his teen years, D'Amato became influenced by a guitar masters such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, B. B. King -- the last of whom he later shared a stage with as an adult performer.
Fast forward to 2009, and we see D'Amato being chosen selected as one of Guitar Player Magazine's Editors' Top 8 guitarists.
In 2010, he released his debut album, "Ain't No Big Deal" His latest CD, "Born Blue-The Sun Sessions" was recorded in the renowned Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
D'Amato seamlessly blends his numerous influences, such as T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, B. B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Howlin' Wolf, as well as his friend Joe Louis Walker with a soulful vocal style a style that both heartens back to traditional blues, yet innovates to keep the genre fresh. Mark Tucker of FAME magazine called D'Amato's style "inventive and original, yet true to the genre."
D'AMATO TO HEADLINE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER FOR ICHF
Memphis>> John will be headlining the "International Children's Heart Foundation" annual fundraiser on June 6, 2015 in Memphis, TN. Anyone who knows John knows that John is a CHD survivor (congenitial heart defect surivior). John was born with 'Coarctation of the Aorta", a conditon that caused John to be born blue. The International Children's Heart Foundation" flies surgical teams around the world to perform corrective heart surgery on infants born with heart defects. Since it's inception they have performed in excess of 7,000 life saving surgerys. John is a big supporter of this organization and has pledged $1 from the sale of his new CD to be forwarded to the ICHF. John's new CD "Born Blue-The Sun Sessions" was recorded at the world famous "Sun Studios" in Memphis. The music on "Born Blue" touches on all the different styles and mutations that the blues has endured since it's inception as a true American art form. Click to
JOHN D'AMATO CLIMBS TO #1 AGAIN!!!
climbed to #1 on The Memphis Reverbnation Blues Charts. "I consider this an honor and a blessing resulting from all the great people that support me and my music.", D'Amato said. Rising to number one on any chart is a great accomplishment, but it's a little more special for a blues musician to rise to number one in a city like Memphis, which is considered the home of the blues.
John's new CD "Born Blue-The Sun Sessions" was recorded at the world famous "Sun Studios" in Memphis. The music on "Born Blue" touches on all the different styles and mutations that the blues has endured since it's inception as a true American art form.
"BORN BLUE" HEADING TO RADIO
Memphis/Nashville>>TruBlu Records announced John's latest release "Born Blue: The Sun Sessions" is slated for release to radio.
John's music was best described by Blues Music reviewer Mark Tucker of F.A.M.E. Magazine when he said, "Original and inventive yet true to the genre" The culmination of all his influences with the blues thread running through every note of it.
This new CD "Born Blue-The Sun Sessions" is John' s best work to date. Recorded at the world famous "Sun Studios" in Memphis the music on "Born Blue" touches on all the different styles and mutations that the blues has endured since it's inception as a true American art form.
JOHN D'AMATO WAS "BORN BLUE" AND HE LIVED TO SING ABOU ITBy Mark Zaretsky | New Haven Register 08/21/2014
NEW HAVEN >> New Haven- and East Haven-raised blues guitarist John D’Amato will be back up from Nashville again on Saturday night to celebrate the release of his new CD, “Born Blue ... The Sun Sessions” with a homecoming/CD release party at Cafe Nine. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Tickets are available in advance at www. cafenine.com or at the door.
D’Amato isn’t kidding about that “born blue” stuff, either. “I have a special place in my heart for the (Memphis-based) International Children’s Heart Foundation,” D’Amato said. “I was born with a condition known as coarctation of the aorta (a narrowing of part of the aorta, the major artery leading out of the heart), which caused me to have circulation problems, essentially meaning that if my blood was having problems getting throughout my body, I wasn’t getting enough oxygen.