• Signed Copy of Michael Falzarano's New CD, We Are All One
Rhythm guitar is one of those mystery roles. Along with the rhythm section, he or she supports the structure of the music – mostly invisibly. For the past near-30 years, Michael Falzarano has been a consummate rhythm guitarist, first with 20 years of backing Jorma Kaukonen in Hot Tuna, and for the past four years holding down the linchpin position between David Nelson and Buddy Cage in the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
In We Are All One – out October 28th on Woodstock Records - he steps out to center stage for his third solo album, gathering up a passel of gifted friends he calls the Extended Family - folks like Vassar Clements, Melvin Seals, Buddy Cage, Jorma Kaukonen and Garth Hudson, among others, to back him singing lead on songs he either wrote or co-wrote (plus two classics).
Terrific songs. To consider a few: “Like a rooster to a hen, like the moth to a flame,” “Why I Love You I Can’t Explain” is an uproariously rueful jumping R & B tune that swings like crazy over Melvin Seals’ wailing B-3. “It’s My Own Fault” continues that theme in a snarling blues groove that features the playing of the late – truly great – Vassar Clements.
Vassar adds his inimitable filigree to a pulsating version of the Reverend Gary Davis’ “Candy Man.” This was in fact one of Vassar’s last recording sessions, and Michael got the very best from him, most characteristically on “When There’s Two There’s Trouble,” a country-rocker that just plain sizzles with energy, especially during Buddy Cage’s electric solo.
Jorma Kaukonen jumps in and adds a screaming lead on a thunderous “It’s Just My Way.” Buddy Cage returns to play spine-tingling atmospherics on the eerie “New Shirt,” then adds his magic to “Gonna Power Down Now,” a beautiful instrumental. And Garth Hudson’s accordion on the Cajun-flavored “Last Train Out” (In Memory of Allen Woody) will make you cry.
“We Are All One,” as befits a title track, gets both an electric (with Melvin Seals and Kane Daily) and acoustic (Jimmy Fleming and Kerry Kearney) workout. The electric rocks harder, the acoustic seems a tad more anthemic. “We’ve been fighting for so long we can’t see the right from the wrong/we are all one, motherfathersisterbrotherdaughterson.”
When the words and the music are one, you know you’ve found the gold. And that’s what “We Are All One” is about.
“We Are All One” will be available from stores on October 28th; for more information on where to find it, go to www.woodstockrecords.com.