There can be no doubt that Platania is and has been a guitarist's guitarist ever since his haiku like playing broke through and illuminated Van Morrison's Moondance. His resume: James Taylor, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Merchant and other luminaries certainly doesn't need my reiteration. His long, fruitful relationship with Chip Taylor has produced many notable releases, including Taylor's Last Chance back in 1973. In the recent years of Taylor's resurgence, Platania's been right there beside him. Unfortunately, Blues, Waltzes, and Badland Borders, only Platania's second solo release, is one of the lesser of the Taylor inspired efforts.
There is much expressive playing here. How could there not be? But the dusty, expansive spaciousness of The Highlander's Blues; I Will Be Standing; Suite 35 and In Memory of Zapata get mired down in the 4/4 standardized Texas Sexy Ways, and the predictability of Train Wreck. Even a tribute to George Harrison Song For The Quiet One doesn't offer anything special. The waltzes drag and the blues remain the same. Guest appearances by Lucinda Williams, Jon Voight, Alejandro Escovedo, and Rueben Ramos are just that: appearances.
I wish I could be more excited by Blues, Waltzes, and Badland Borders. I really do.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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