A Review of the Joe Giacoio CD
"I Sing The Body Acoustic"

"I Sing The Body Acoustic"
by Joe Giacoio

Copyright 2005
Romantic Devil Records

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 4/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Have you ever laughed at what you first thought was a tall tale only to find your chortle preceded a sober ending?

Most of us have been guilty of such a faux pas. Well, prepare yourself for more as Joe Giacoio 'sets up' his listeners time after time. His writing is so good that we keep 'stepping init' song after song.

For comparison's sake, Ira Glass has "This American Life" on National Public Radio--Giacoio presents his version, probably titled "This Peculiar Life."

A prime example is "God Knows." Giacoio begins with him as a kid praying for his Mets to stage a comeback against the Cubs, juxtaposed with a Chicago fan pleading to God for just the opposite to happen. Then it's Joe pleading for victory against evil and a Muslim in the Middle East doing the same. The tale then moves from Old Testament to New--eye for an eye to turn the other cheek, ending with:
"...Yahweh sighs, "I can't do it all
I made men, men made war"
God cries."
Giacoio's character in "Jesse James" worships at the temple of the late Charles Bronson, (he) of "Death Wish" revenge movie fame. But while he is playing children's music to second graders at PS-85 and not 'packing' at that particular moment, a robber bursts into the classroom:
"...I said 'Oh my God," but I'd forgot
I was in school so I couldn't pray
Then those kids pulled out their guns
And blew that creep away..."
In the vein of the "Fractured Flickers" cartoons of the 1960s, Giacoio offers "Ever After," his updated version:
"...Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down, broke his crown
Jill went to get their lawyer..."
After falling in love with a female prisoner in "Incarcerated Women," Giacoio riffs about jailhouse rocks, strip searches and his dear mother warning him about staying away from women in bars, who are, after all, anxiously willing to relocate.

But all is not playful--some of Giacoio's songs cut straight to the bone. In "All The King's Horses," he sings this after a violent argument with his lover:
"...You say that wasn't you who spoke
Just the anger broke free
Well, maybe that wasn't you last night
But baby, that was me...

...You know that I love you
And if I could I'd make things all right
But when you take a blow to the heart
I'm not a bullet for you to bite..."
Giacoio rates a '10' on the poignancy scale with an exceptionally moving tribute to his adoptive parents, especially his father, in "Flesh and Blood."

Overall, Giacoio is but an adequate singer. However, it's how he utilizes storytelling and wordplay in presenting such skewed, amusing and touching snapshots of reality--that's where his talent shines.

The songs are primarily presented here with guitar instrumentation and elements of fiddle, mandolin, viola, and bouzouki.

Track List:

All songs by Joe Giacoio, unless as noted.

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