What to Do Tonight: Tom Principato

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Eric Clapton may be God, but Telecaster-wielding Tom Principato comes pretty darn close. His guitar technique is rooted in southern blues, pairing up-tempo shuffles with long, mournful solos that evoke the spirit of the genre. Principato honed his skills as a sideman throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s with Jimmy Thackery, Big Mama Thornton and Geoff Muldar, before launching a solo career in 1984. His latest album, Raising the Roof, covers his many influences, including jazz, funk, reggae and rock. Principato is also known for experimenting with open-string chords, which he documented in a self-published book in 1997. He’s backed by his fine band — which includes bassist Jay Turner, drummer John Tracey and percussionist Josh Howell — on his latest tour, which stops at the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216.226.5681, thewinchester.net) at 9 tonight. Tickets: $15. — Ernest Barteldes

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