Gino Matteo

Posted April 9, 2009 in

Up-and-coming bluesman Gino Matteo is focused on two things in life: Playing the blues and praising God—and says he uses one to acknowledge the other. He also honors B.B. King and Hollywood Fats, finding inspiration in their legendary licks, but is also a faithful student of Tom Waits and Stevie Wonder. In 2006 Matteo even opened for King, and that same year was named “Best Blues Guitarist on the West Coast” at Guitar Center’s “King of the Blues” competition. 

With his debut album, I’ve Been Thinkin’, garnering positive reviews, Matteo is rapidly working his way up in the blues world; at 26 years old, he’s already played with or opened for notables such as John Mayer, John Fogerty, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Kid Ramos, to name just a few. But Matteo isn’t a straight blues man (Stevie Wonder!) and though he feared crucifixion from traditionalists when he released his version of their music (New Orleans funk mixed with blues/rock)—the “blues mob,” as Matteo calls them, were all embracing. Perhaps it’s his vibrato and time-warping note bending that draws them in—it’s certainly worth watching him throw his stocky frame, body and soul into passionate storytelling. Now’s your chance to catch this eclectic axeman and his “urban blues,” so slap on your cocktail dress or skinny tie and meet us in the Colony. (Stacy Davies)


Gino Matteo & the Family Phunk at dba256 Gallery Wine Bar, 256 S. Main St., Pomona, (909) 623-7600; Every Wed. in April, 8PM, 21+; Stinger’s, 194 W. Club Center Dr., San Bernardino, (909) 872-0308, April 25, 8PM


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