By Tom Farrell
Vincenzo Thomas Amato
The Oaks - Sherman Oaks, Calif
Vincenzo brings it to the Oaks. Photo by Chris Godley
Amato delivers earnest singer/songwriter driven material that stands out through its candor and simplicity. “Lovin’ Arms” is about waiting forever for the person you love, “The Drive” is about living your dreams. All-in-all, Amato doles out across-the-board tunes for your average Joe that stick to you long after you've left the club.
Both Amato and sax player Dan Renfro are proficient at their craft, without being virtuosos. Renfro whipped out some memorable sax riffs, while Amato delivered the guitar licks and got the job done. Of note was Amato’s gravelly voice, packed with emotion, and calling to mind Tom Waits, Dave Matthews and Eddie Vedder . Amato’s vocals are memorable, and his ace-in-the-hole.
When Amato and Renfro took the stage in the corner of the small, dimly lit bar, it was, at first, like they were a distraction to the crowded room. But that changed almost immediately, with the crowd going silent and tuning into what Amato had to say. Amato delivered each tune with a sense that he was your best pal playing to you on a weekend stint in some college somewhere. Of greater importance, he got his message across to everyone. Amato is one of those performers who comes across as un-assuming, and lacking in pretense. But by his third song, you could barely hear the drinks clatter in the Oaks. People actually turned off their cell phones and listened, and it was worth their time. Amato sidesteps the typical singer/songwriter vibe and comes across as some Joe with a guitar playing solid tunes, and delivering them well. Renfro is the icing on the cake.
Vincenzo at the Oaks