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DiNizio covers Holly classics on new solo album

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Throughout his career, Pat DiNizio has tipped his cap to Buddy Holly by performing the late rock ‘n’ roll legend’s material, writing a song named after Holly’s widow and even wearing oversized Holly-style specs.

DiNizio takes his appreciation for Holly to another level with Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly, due Jan. 27 on Koch Records. The latest solo album by the Smithereens leader features his renditions of 11 songs from the Holly catalog.

“I wanted to do an album that was respectful and almost reverential of the material, yet was not a re-creation or a simulation of the original — it sounds like me,” DiNizio says. “There’s no doubt who it is when you hear it.

“It’s really my album, but it’s Buddy’s album, too.”

Toward the end of his career, Holly used string arrangements on some of his recordings, and DiNizio does the same on his new album. Charles Calello, whose credits include The Four Seasons, Glen Campbell and Eric Carmen, wrote and arranged the strings featured on DiNizio’s takes of such Holly songs as “Words of Love,” “Listen to Me” and “Peggy Sue.”

DiNizio has a busy 2009 ahead of him. In addition to a full-fledged solo “living room” tour, he will be performing and recording with The Smithereens. He also is due to appear at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 2 as part of the 50 Winters Later celebration honoring Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

— By Chris M. Junior

Select Smithereens performances (schedule subject to change):

* Jan . 9: World Cafe Live – Philadelphia
* Jan. 10: Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, Md.
* Jan. 16: State Theatre – Falls Church, Va.
* Jan. 17: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill – New York