Tonio K - Ole

Sunday 1st February 1998
Tonio K - Ole
Tonio K - Ole

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Gadfly

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

In 1989 Tonio K, on the back of the critical acclaim received for 'Romeo Unchained' and "Notes From A Lost Civilization', set out to record "Ole". The fact that it is only seeing the light of day now is a sad and sorry tale of record company take overs and artist roster reshuffles that left Mr K's album lost in the vaults at A&M. But now it finally emerges blinking into the light of day and it's worth the wait! Including musical contributions from Peter Case, Bruce Thomas (The Attractions), Dave Hildago (Los Lobos), Charlie Sexton and Booker T Jones, this is a seriously quality album produced by T Bone Burned and Dave Miner. Okay. Now we've got the roll call out of the way and you have a pretty good idea from the players what this is going to be like, let me tell you it tops his previous albums for sheer artistic creativity. Tonio K is an old fashioned kind of guy. his words are filled with poetry, his songs connect and musically he paints on a rootsy rocky canvas which will appeal to fans of Case. Burnett or Rick Elias. The authentic "Stuck" wallops along over a huge beat and includes one of the classic BookerT flourishes as well as one of those great Tonio K one liners, "Stuck in the middle of the beginning of the end!" Just brilliant! The catchy ballad "I'll Remember You" deals with the nostalgia of first love and one further highlight is "What A Way To Live" with its electric atmosphere of brooding anger. "Hey Lady" is based on a true incident that Tonio witnessed and deals with the abuse of children and its consequences. Very moving. T Bone Burnett famously suggested that as a Christian you could write about the light or what you can see from the light. This is an album of songs falling into the latter category and like Rick Elias's "Blink", this is raw, passionate and honest songwriting at its best.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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