BLIND DOG SMITH – Rocking the Blues by Sandra Castillo
ROCKING THE BLUES WITH BLIND DOG SMITH
By Sandra Castillo
There are those who profess that they love the Blues, which is a noble statement unto itself, but when they play the Blues, they better know how to do it some serious justice. Blind Dog Smith is one band that serves up a mighty fine helping of the Blues, paying homage and, most importantly, respect to the forefathers of a musical generation known for its share of hard livin’, heartache and love on the wrong side of the tracks.
Blind Dog Smith came together after a rebirth, of sorts, when its members caught “the fever” and headed over to Sonic Sound Studios, in Freeport, Long Island, in October, 2014, to record several tracks, including their own renditions of “Crossroads,” “After Midnight” and BB King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” Joseph DiPietro, Skip Krevens, Doug Brett, Charlie Raimond and Gary Guarniere, lifelong friends and alumni of Seaford High School, had re-united in the summer of 2009, at the suggestion of DiPietro, to form the Seaford All-Stars, which would later become Blind Dog Smith. Liberty DeVitto, a Seaford High School graduate and former drummer for Grammy Award-winner Billy Joel, was invited to attend this special gathering of friends and musicians, where he performed with DiPietro and company, much to the delight of his comrades and the audience.
Blind Dog Smith is comprised of a core of seasoned, veteran players, all who bring years of experience and professionalism to the music table. Because of their prior stints in various bands and individual side projects, the expertise that each one of them lends to Blind Dog Smith is only enhanced by their astute knowledge and love of a genre of music recognized the world over by hardcore purists and advocates of the Blues. Joseph DiPietro, guitarist/lead vocalist, was a member of The Trampling Hum, one of Long Island’s most popular bands during the mid-sixties, and The Lighter Side Trio, which toured and performed at the Playboy International Clubs and Casinos around the world in the 1970s. He is also a current member of Roget, which plays at music venues throughout Boca Raton, Florida.
Dr. Douglass Brett, keyboardist, is currently a Doctor of Music at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard in New York City. He was one of the founding members of The Trampling Hum and has performed and toured, stateside and around the world, with DiPietro in The Lighter Side Trio.
Skip Krevens, guitarist, is respected throughout the music industry for his exemplary skills on the slide guitar, contributing his time and talents to such recording artists as Larry Gatlin, Ann-Margret, Trey Anastasio, Keith Carradine and many other musicians and bands in Nashville.
Gary Guarniere, bassist, has played with DiPietro and the late Bobby Cadway in the band CHUNK. It must be noted that Cadway, a renowned record producer/engineer for the likes of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Donny Osmond, was also an accomplished musician and regarded, amongst his peers and others in the music industry, as a superlative guitar player.
Charles Raimond, drummer, is a former member of The Butterflys and The Lighter Side Trio and has performed and toured extensively with DiPietro and Brett at the Playboy International Clubs and Casinos throughout the world, from 1973 to 1975. Even to this day, Raimond is still very much in demand as a session player and is considered one of the best drummers ever to have come out of Long Island.
Earlier this year, Blind Dog Smith performed at the Sunset Grill, in Seaford, Long Island, debuting music recorded for their self-titled album, which was released in late 2014. The crowd was an enthusiastic one, as they were treated to a rollicking set filled with the Rock-and-Blues the band is widely recognized and famous for. Fortunately, for their many fans around the country, there are plans in the works, as Blind Dog Smith makes way for more concerts set to take place throughout the East Coast this summer.
Ben Kenstonburg of Rock and Roll Hits Magazine has this to say about Blind Dog Smith-
“The most vivid description of Blind Dog Smith’s early sound comes from J.J. Cale’s version of his songs done (originally) by Eric Clapton. They (also) infuse their songs with the gritty Long Island sound they are known for…and in more relaxed, extracurricular settings, these five superstars gel like jello.”
Blind Dog Smith is one of the finest bands to emerge on the music scene in many years and is more than ready to conquer the world doing what it originally set out to do and that is-
ROCK THEM BLUES…