Be My Sal Valentino

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I now interrupt your regularly scheduled blog reading to update you on someone very cool I am listening to – Sal Valentino.

For those unfamiliar, let me say right off that the name has nothing to do with any member of the cast of the Sopranos, though being Italian and quite dashing at his general age of late ’50’s/early ’60’s, might be enough reason to call the producers and maybe ask for a part. I am sure of one thing: Little Steven, alias Silvio Dante, no doubt knows who he is and would welcome him with open arms.

So who is this mystery man?

Sal Valentino was the lead singer for the San Franciscan garage-poppers turned country rockers The Beau Brummels. Remember their hits “Laugh, Laugh” or “Just A Little”? You should. If you don’t, go to your local CD shop and get you some Brummel. Keep your eyes peeled for Bradley’s Barn and Triangle as well. Those are the titles of two of the most groundbreaking records the ’60’s had to offer. It would be enough to say the band out-Byrdsed the Byrds but that would be leaving a lot of the greatness out. Needless to say, these records belong in any serious music-lover’s collection.

Right now, I am checking out Sal’s return to musical form, Come Out Tonight, released on Fat Pete Records (, and produced, aided and abetted by Texas’ own Freddie Steady Krc. Krc is a legend in his own right and deserves a blog of his own (which I may do someday) but I must mention one of my favorite bands of his, The Shakin’ Apostles. When ESD was a cool label, it released a few Apostles discs that blew my mind. Great Texas roots rock that I encourage you to check out.

Anyway, back to Sal and his new disc. His voice or songwriting has not lost anything over the years, I must say, and this disc runs the gamut from garage to folk-rock and all of it is just excellent. It is great to see a man with so much history, experience and talent re-enter the music world with such a strong CD. His interpretive skills are at their peak as well, as he runs through Folsom Prison Blues and makes you forget Johnny Cash’s version. Fans of his work with the Brummels or with his later bands like Stoneground (great funk – search them out too) and Valentino need to get this right away and just anyone who wants to hear music on a par with Nick Lowe, Johnny Cash and any truly great songwriter will love this music.

Thanks for coming back Sal….don’t ever leave again.

And you: get this disc now.

Who is your Valentino? The Music Nerd Knows….