“Honey Smooth and Claptonesque" Music Connection Review March 2000; Blues Matters Magazine writes , Guitar Jack sounds like Quincy Jones


There’s something about the way that he makes the guitar sing. Maybe it’s the delicately chosen chords that interweave between weighty drum kicks and rumbling bass lines. Or maybe it’s the unabashed sound of guitar licks that solo without the threat of pressure. Either side, Guitar Jack emits raw emotion with every riff. He floats between adding vocals on top of orchestrated instrumentals to letting his guitar soley stretch the musical dimensions. The view from there? Infinite.

Guitar Jack expresses the kind of curiosity and restless creativity that keep him pushing at the boundaries of blues music. “I can really convey my emotions through my songs,” he muses about his 30 years within the music industry. “I can’t write or paint what I see or have been through, but I can play accurately what I feel, and that’s why I’m still in love with it. That’s what keeps me playing everyday.”

With a resume that lends his guitar to a range of legendary artists from Solomon Burke to Billy Preston, The Jacksons to John Fogarty, Guitar Jack has proven that he has a voice to be reckoned with. Blending both electric and acoustic guitar, the musician transcends both musical genres and constructed boundaries with every solo. Ranging from bluesy soundscapes to up-tempo ballads, the artist glides effortlessly between emotional states while making his mark.

The Scranton, Pennsylvania native packed his bags in 1977 and moved to become a part of the Los Angeles music scene. Becoming a permanent fixture in studio sessions and local jam sessions, Guitar Jack began to expand his horizons and developed his own stylistic approach to Blues. “I like modern blues, and I think there is room for it to grow,” he quips about the current state of music. “Although I appreciate groups and artists that stick to “Muddy Waters” blues and traditional blues styles, the genre has to evolve and go somewhere. I think my music is pretty contemporary.”

Forming his own band, Guitar Jack & No Slack, the maestro began to expand his realm of music and began writing his own material. “I prefer writing for myself because I don’t have to fit the music into a certain mold,” he reminisces of his musical growth and foray into the singing arena. “I started singing when I wanted to fully shape the direction of a song. I have more control over how I want to express myself.”

His latest album Private Tears makes it clear that his musical offering stands out from the competition. The up-tempo “South Cali Special” blends his wah-wah tinged guitar with jook joint undertones, planting his stamp in the realm of contemporary blues music. Guitar Jack shows off his singing and writing ability in “Angel of Mercy,” a moody confession of strength and triumph anchored by riffing guitar solos and blaring horns.

It is on the title track “Private Tears” that the artist demostrates his vast depth and wide grasp over his musical craft. The slow mesmerizing track rolls with calculated bass and whirling guitar lines while the musician rides on top of the bluesy groove. “I think everyone can relate to this song,” Guitar Jack expresses about his latest composition. “We’ve all been through hard times and have shed private tears. You just got to keep getting up after you fall down.”

And with his latest album, a live show packed with explosive energy, and the respect from his musical peers, Guitar Jack is set on continuing his musical mission. “I just love creating,” he asserts without hesitation. “It is what keeps me going and what keeps me grounded. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”


Private Tears

Written By: Jack Wargo

Have you every really loved somebody?
But they don’t feel
The way you do
No matter how hard you try
How they made you outa fool
And there ain’t nothin’
In this world, left to do

You can try some medication
Try to help ease the pain
You can crawl into a bottle
To try and ease the pain

But once your hearts been broken
You know never gonna be the same
When this life is over
And I look upon the years
When my time on earth is over
And I look upon the years
I find loneliness was my friend
As I cry my Private Tears

It’s Over

Written By: Jack Wargo

What’s that you say?
It’s time for you to go
Darl’in I hope you know
I feel so alone now

Hasn’t been too long, but girl I hope you see
Just what you mean to me
The time had together

I’ve lost at love before
Left with nowhere to run
You it’s over baby,
Well you go and have your fun
Cause it’s over

I’ve been a fool,
Thought I was the only
Now my world has come undone
I know somehow I’ll carry on
Was so wonderful havin’ you around’
Then you turned my smile
Upside down said that you were leavin’

It over baby
Not gonna give my heart this time around
Won’t see me no more
Won’t have me to kick around
Girl, it’s over

Sweet Music

Written By: Jack Wargo

I escape the world and it’s sorrow
To a place that feels like home
When I’m tired and discouraged
When I’m feel’in all alone

I’ve got my music, sweet music
Just let it flow like wine
I can let out all my feelings
And easy my worried mind

Them trials and tribulations
Sometimes make the spirit weak
When you wake from all the madness
You find that moneys not the key

I’ve got my music, sweet music
Just let it flow like wine
I can let out all my feelings
And ease my worried mind

I can’t believe, the fool I used to be
When you gave your heart to me
But you didn’t understand
A music man is what I long to be

I’ve got music, sweet music
Just let it flow like wine
I can let out all my feelings
And easy my worried mind


Private Tears Guitar Jack Wargod Records
Losin’ Hand Guitar Jack Wargod Records
Live at B.B. Kings Guitar Jack Wargod Records
Thanks for Bringing Love Ray Charles Vanguard
Music From my Heart Billy Preston MCG Records
Victory The Jacksons Sony Records
The Best Remixes The Jacksons Import (Generic)
Legend of Elliott Chavers Elliott Chavers Storyville
Twist with Me Annie Hank Ballard & Midnighters Ichiban Records
Naked in the Rain Hank Ballard & Midnighters Wild Orchid Soundtrack

Set List

At the Cross Roads, Elmore James
Before You Accuse Me, Bo Diddley & Eric Clapton
Caress Me Baby, Jimmy Reed
Change My Mind, Tyrone Davis
Cold Shot, Johnny Otis
Empty Arms, Stevie Ray Vaughn
Europa, Santana
Got My Mojo Workin', Muddy Waters
Hide Away, Freddie King
Hideaway Medley: Peter Gunn
How Many More Years, Howlin' Wolf
In the Wee Wee Hours, Chuck Berry
Key to the Highway, B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Knock on Wood, Steve Cropper & Buddy Guy
Little Wing, Jimi Hendrix
Private Tears, Guitar Jack
Red House, Jimi Hendrix
Road House, Guitar Jack
San-Ho-Za, Freddie King
Sen-Sa-Shun, Freddie King
Something on Your Mind, Leadbelly
Sweet Home Chicago, Muddy Waters & Blues Brothers
T-Bone Shuffle, T-Bone Walker
The Thrill is Gone, B.B. King
Watch Tower, Jimi Hendrix