You have to give it to Danny Sorentino. He was born to be a musician and a front man. He’s a superb guitarist, he has the stamina of an ox and the talent to write to date over 1,000 songs. He’s recorded around 28 albums and they’re all magnificent. He’s a solo artist as well as being the mainstay behind his band The Sorentinos.
He wrote his first song in 1975 at the age of 20 and was initially in a band with former lead singer of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Billy C Farlow. Over the next few years, Sorentino was in a number of bands before eventually forming The Sorentinos around 1993. He’s had five semi permanent band members, twelve former members and has used a vast array of session musicians – to date numbering around 40 people. But Danny has been the mainstay throughout, bringing his rocking, rootsy americana to a modest but enthusiastic audience and they’ve toured extensively – including in the UK. All of these albums have been released on The Major Label and the consistency in quality of his songs over the years is quite remarkable.
They have played thousands of gigs and supported the likes of Bob Dylan; Jeff Beck; Emmylou Harris; John Hiatt; Lucinda Williams; Carlene Carter; Graham Parker; John Lee Hooker and Dwight Yoakam, to name but a few. Bob Harris first introduced me to them with tracks from an amazing double album ‘Family’ in 1997 and you can hear two tracks from them below. My fondness for the band stems from the high quality of the tunes, instantly hummable and with brilliant musicianship. Then there’s Sorrentino’s superb lyrics, often hilarious and always witty. One journalist celebrated the band by saying “The Sorentinos should get some kind of an award for maintaining their energy and enthusiasm as long as they have, churning out albums like clockwork becoming one of San Francisco’s most respected, creative and enduring groups.”
Danny and his band ought to be far better known than they are and having a listen to any of their releases brings unadulterated joy and pleasure to the listener. My recommendations include ‘Diamonds In Your Mind ‘ from ‘The End Of The Day’; ‘It’s People I Can’t Stand’ from ‘Love and Haight’; ‘Blue English Sky’ from ‘Welcome To The Past’; and ‘When I Rule The World’ from ‘Family’. I defy anyone not to snigger when listening to ‘What I Wanted To Say’ from ‘Family’ – a track I still treasure to this day.
May Danny has his bandmates continue to record and tour for years to come. Hats off to a true class act and longevity.