Sal Valentino - Dreamin' Man - 2011
from Twirl Radio
Sal’s early fame came as vocalist for the 1960′s band The Beau Brummels with such top hits as “Laugh Laugh” and “Just A Little”. It’s been argued that the band defined the San Francisco sound. Certainly, they were out ahead of the pack–a little before the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead.
The 1970′s came, and Sal played in Stoneground, a great amalgam of funk and country rock, perhaps a precursor to the Doobie Brothers. And he’s had quite a respectable solo career. As one of my European listeners said, “Sal Valentino–one of the great voices of all time!”.
His most recent album, Dreamin’ Man, teams him up with long time collaborator John Blakeley. This is one fine album. It starts with the breezy opener “Love Song”, then transitions into determined mid-tempo rocker “Hwy 49″. Sal and John turn in a great Americana performance on rising Sacramento star Jackie Greene’s “Valley of Woe”. While Sal sings with conviction, John’s stellar acoustic picking drives this song forward with abandon. These two bad dudes will kick your rear with this song, and you’ll love it.
But make no mistake–this tends to be a rather romantic album, especially the second half. “Looking For You” is a fun rave up, and Sal is completely devoted to getting through to his woman, no matter what it takes, a la the Fabulous Thunderbirds in “Tuff Enuff”. The last four songs burrow deep into your heart, with their romanticism. “Dreamin’ Man”, the title track, is quite moody and haunting, but always listenable. “Catherine I Do” and “Lovin’ Fallin’” feature classy instrumental hooks and lyrics that grab you, work their way through your mind, and into that place in your soul reserved for love and sentiment. These melodies are sublime and exquisite. The album ends with the confessional “That Way”–what Sal is confessing is eternal love and devotion for his woman.
01. Love Song
02. HWY 49
04. Valley of Woe
05. Weakness In Me
06. Lookin' for You
07. Dreamin' Man
08. Catherine I Do
09. Lovin' Fallen
10. That Way