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1. Too Much Cool
Written By: Coleman Head, Bruce Conte

2. Nowhere To Go
Written By: Pat Caddick, Wayne Johnson

3. I Met A Girl
Written By: Ed Reddick

4. Chasin' The blues
Written By: Coleman Head

5. Mojo Mambo
Written By: Mitchell Lee Woods

6. Just Won't Act Wright
Written By: Tim Scott, Paul Schwartz, Scott Ellison

7. Too Sad To Sing The Blues
Written By: Tanya Scarlett, Lenny Kerley

8. It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn
Written By: Bruce Conte

9. Bullet Proof
Written By: Cousins, Hayes, Polcino, Scott

10. Feel So Bad
Written By: Chuck Willis

11. There's Room At The Top
Written By: Richard Papazian

12. Snatch it Back And Hold It
Written By: Amos Blakemore, Buddy Guy

Severn Records is pleased to release Bullet Proof, the self-produced, previously unreleased work from former Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte. Originally pressed in 2000 under the name Rhythm Meets the Blues, this is the debut Blues recording for the veteran guitar player.

After a stint in Las Vegas during the 80's and a brief retreat into Jazz the following decade, Bruce Conte is back on familiar ground, flexing his soul and funk-drenched skills on Bullet Proof. His playing is polished and refined, devoid of the wearing, over the top histrionics often found in today's guitar-driven recordings, and the material he's chosen for Bullet Proof is the perfect showcase for Conte's tasteful fretwork.

"Snatch It Back" is a prime example of Conte's understated yet effective approach, adding a cool sense of "hip" to the popular standard. Further evidence can be heard on "I Feel So Bad" and the self penned "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn," both of which feature Bruce behind the microphone.

A veritable who's who of L.A. musicians join Conte, including several guest vocalists. Former TOP band mate, Lenny Williams, turns in a chilling performance on the title track; a Memphis gem with its sultry melody and Williams' soulful interpretation. Powerhouse songbird, Windy Barnes, turns up the heat on "Too Sad To Sing the Blues," a number sure to win over even the most critical blues fan, and Ed Reddick delights listeners with the playful "I Met A Girl".

Gavin Christopher, better known for his days leading Rufus, sings three numbers here beginning with "Too Much Cool," a sophisticated funk number co-written by Conte. Christopher also delivers top notch performances on both the New Orleans flavored "Mojo Mambo" where saxophonist Michael Acosta steps into the spotlight for a winning performance, and "There's Room At the Top," a super-charged number steeped in the Tower Of Power tradition.

Bruce recruited additional TOP alumni for the project including Bobby Kimball, the Grammy Award winning vocalist from Toto, who lends his talents to the impassioned "Chasin' The Blues". Bassist, singer, songwriter Tim Scott adds another original to the track list with his "Just Won't Act Right" and Ellis Hall, who's impressive resume includes several motion picture soundtracks plus keyboard work on Kenny G's Duotones, takes the lead on "Nowhere to Go". Rounding things out is a tight ensemble cast led by keyboardist and engineer Hans Zermuelhen. In all, Bruce Conte and friends dish up an exciting and original recording that is sure to please.

Conte, a West Coast native, honed his skills playing the local clubs of San Francisco. A lucky break came in the early '70's when his band landed the opener for hometown heroes, Tower of Power, at the legendary Fillmore. Soon after, TOP recruited Bruce resulting in a seven-year relationship including eight recordings for the young guitarist.

You'll find Bruce's signature licks on hits like "What Is Hip" and "Squib Cakes". In addition, he was a featured songwriter for Tower Of Power with songs like "Somewhere Down the Road" (We Came to Play), "It Can Never Be the Same" (Urban Renewal) and "Just Another Day" (Tower of Power).
This CD Is dedicated to my Uncle Robert 1939 - 2000

Special Thanks: Jeanie Adams, Ed Adams, Sheldon & Rita Penn, Dennis F. Penn, Connie Penn, Rick Sanford, Jori Caldwell, Rays Downtown Deli, Dr. Joe Ortola, Carlos Lemos, Thomas H. Penn, Manuel Martinez, M & M Productions, Bluffs Restaraunt, Joe & Joy Conte, The Conte Family.

Featuring Guest Vocalists:
Bobby Kimball
Lenny Williams
Ellis Hall
Gavin Christopher
Windy Barnes
Tim Scott
Ed Reddick
Bruce Conte Uses: Dean Markley Strings, Bossa Guitars, Rivera Amps
All Tracks Produced by: Bruce Conte
Engineer On All Tracks: Hans Zermuehlen
Final Mastering On All Tracks by: Trevor Gordon, Tg Music Studios
Executive Producers: Richard Papazian, Tom Penn
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Mastered by: Jeff Lewis, Moonlight Studios
Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12 Mastered by: Keith Jones
All Music Published By Zambezi Music 2000 Except Mojo Mambo (Mitchrich Music-Bmi), Feel So Bad (Berkshire Music Inc-Chuck Willis Music Co-Elvis Presley Music-Bmi) And Snatch It Back And Hold It (Bluesharp Music Company-Mic Shau Music Company-Bmi)