Local bluesman is At It Again
Fasten your seatbelts. Here comes blues guitarist Paolo Stante with an electrifying new album called At It Again, a rockin’ musical road trip with stops in Texas and the Mississippi Delta, Memphis and Chicago, and finally in Montreal where the Glengarry ex-pat now lives.
Now, the Paolo Stante Band is booked to play The Atlantic Pub and Eatery in Alexandria on Saturday night, Sept. 15.
Local blues fans are already spreading the word.
Some of them went to high school with him. Stante grew up in Glen Robertson and was an honour role student before heading to Montreal to study at the McGill Conservatory of Music. At Glengarry District High School, he was spotted by music teachers Brian and Elizabeth Caddell, who, without his knowledge, signed him on to play school events, something he credits for helping him move smoothly to the professional stage.
Wearing his trademark aviators, his wild flaxen-coloured tresses falling to his shoulders, and leaning back for another electrifying guitar solo moment, 29-year-old Stante conjures up the image of “the whitest man ever to play the blues,” Texas albino guitar legend Johnny Winter.
It’s in Montreal where Stante fell in with his new collaborators, veteran blues rockers bass player Mario Orsini and drummer David Paul Neil.
But despite his busy schedule gigging, Stante returns often to visit his family in Glen Robertson, see old friends, and play local venues including recently backing up the Caddells in a Grotto concert in Alexandria.
But home now is Montreal, the northern city where the blues has fomented since the late ‘20s when Rockhead's Paradise, the club with the longest bar in the city at 75 feet, drew some of the biggest names in blues and jazz.
Montreal was known as the “Harlem of the North” and still remains a place where the blues has a passionate and substantial audience.
One blues hot spot is Smoke Meat Pete blue nights where Stante hosts jam nights and where he has gained an impressive following.
In the audience recently was a party from South Glengarry including David Anderson who reported: “Last evening's Paolo Stante Band blues jam at Smoke Meat Pete's in Ile Perrot was first rate, with impeccable energy. I'm a fan and believer! He said he would be playing in Glengarry the 15th. I want to be there.”
For more information and to hear tracks from the new album, visit Paolo Stante on Facebook or at www.paolostante.com
BACK WITH THE BLUES: Glengarry blues rock guitarist Paolo Stante performs at The Atlantic in Alexandria on September 15. The Paolo Band is drummer David Paul Neil (left), Paolo Stante, and Mario Orsini on bass.