Rusted Pearls and The Fancy Free: Roadsigns EP

This past twelve months has seen Italy spawn some strong and enjoyable music with a heart inspired by blues and country rock sounds from the US. Earlier this year Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles released an album which pleased the ear whilst the tail of last year saw equally impressive releases from Smokey Fingers and Blueville. Now we have the debut EP Roadsigns from Rusted Pearls and The Fancy Free, a quartet from Udine. Containing six blues soaked slices of heartfelt melodic rock, the release is a soulful embrace which has the quality to delight most palates.

The band consists of Dario Snidaro (guitar, vocals), Andrea Mauro (guitar, slide guitar), Maximum Mattiussi (drums), and Mark Fabro (bass), its seeds starting with the solo acoustic work of Snidaro in his 2010 release 2 Words, Travel Alone. The sound of the band has evolved into a dusty blend of Rolling Stones like blues, Black Crowes and Smokey Fingers flavoured country rock, and the hard rock breath of Tom Petty. It is a mix which is honest and open whilst inviting a similar response from its audience. The music is not groundbreaking or opening up new avenues to explore but offers nothing less than its full heart to satisfy and please.

The release brings a nice blend of energies across its tracks from the eager and lively Free to the slower reflective Chilly Girl. The first of this pair strokes the ear with heated guitar play and firm rhythms whilst in the back ground keys whisper with emotive charm. It is the guitar though which steals the show especially the sizzling solo at the centre of the song. The vocals of Snidaro are expressive and earnest, you feel his emotion hanging from every word through his lips, to enhance the emotive atmosphere the music creates. The second of the two is a gentle and tender caress with again its heart on its sleeve. The guitars come with a blues kiss for the ear whilst the bass is as deep and emotive as the words sung. The two tracks show the variety of the release whilst still slipping easily within the covering intent of sound.

Roadsigns and White Lines is a heated piece of rock which stirs up the senses from its striking start, a road driven song with electric tread marks across the ear in its rear mirror. It has an infectious air which scorches the senses, its energy restrained though it seems to want to press on into a fury of sound.

The release closes with Precious, another tender embrace for the ear which is all passion and soul but before its arrival the two best songs on show excite first. Home is a steely piece of rock music which has an edgy surface to its instinctive call to the heart. Musically the song  borders aggression whilst within its muscular presence the lyrics and vocals are exuding deep emotion for a blend of slight extremes. The other track Rusted Pearls is a gritty piece of expression with riled energies and unleashed passion. It is a song which evokes a deeper reaction to its stirring tones and harsh blues energies than to other tracks and lingers around long after its official departure.

The Roadsigns EP is a release which is not trying to be anything more than a pleasing and engaging collection of songs steeped in the pure oils of American rock, blues and country. It and The Rusted Pearls & Fancy Free achieve that aim with ease.

https://www.facebook.com/therustedpearls

RingMaster 28/08/2012

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Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles: Rusty Miles

Mixing a fine blend of blues and rock the latest album from Italian artist Ricky Ferranti is an easy to enjoy release which without ripping up the songbook lays some interesting and lively sounds upon the ear. The album Rusty Miles is the first under the rock project Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles , a varied and strong release which is sure to find a welcome home in the ears of rock fans. To be neither honest blues nor hard rock is to our taste generally at the RR but the album still offered more than a moment of enjoyment  to leave satisfaction so for lovers of the elements Ferranti skilfully uses it should be a platter of pleasure.

From Piacenza, Ferranti from learning to play keyboards then the guitar has evolved into a skilled musician which is openly evident on Rusty Miles. His history since beginning in and learning about varied aspects of music and sound has seen the release of the Ferranti produced album Feel The Blues from Psycho Train in 2001 followed the next year by his joining with Animali Rari and the subsequent releasing of the albums Stagioni and Sottosopra plus a live full length. Since then he has played with the likes of Fiordaliso, Smaila, Faletti, Grignani and Paolo Meneguzzi, but it was his love of the blues which seeded the formation of Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles in 2010, a rock blues project based on covers and original songs. Rusty Miles itself is an all original collection of songs and music showing the band as a promising proposition.

The first notable thing is how American the album and Ferranti vocally is but in a good way, neither appear to be trying to sound authentic American but just instinctively sounding as the theme and song writing intended, especially in the more country flavoured songs. Rusty Miles is themed by a journey marked by love, the light and view of an angel and a child upon the landscape, and the emotions which walk separation and the great road ahead.

The title track opens up the map of the album with eager and warm melodic directions from the guitar leading into the expressive and reflective song. There is a familiar yet indefinable hook to the song which is infectious and with the keys  having a slight sixties pop air to the keen pace of the song the track is openly pleasing. Alongside Ferranti on each track within the album the impressive bassist J.J. Gianni Grecchi and Maxx Zaccheroni drummer build the framework to the canvas which Ferranti lays his undeniable skills upon. Though some songs work much better than others for us this aspect is persistently impressive.

From a strong start the album moves into the melodic hard rock swagger of Don’t Stop. Though it lit no fires in personal taste here it is another infectious undemanding track which refuses to leave toes alone. It also is the first of a continual ripple of diversity which flows through the album, the following Keep On offering is a country tinged piece of heated imagination featuring an excellent solo from guest guitarist Mario Percudani whilst its successor I Feel So Bad is a bristling classic rock track featuring the vocals of Sam Ranieri.

Together the songs make a more than decent beginning but from here on the album truly excites. First up there is the magnificent Let Me know featuring the wonderful vocals of Sherrita Duran. It is a mesmeric dusty atmosphere brewing song with restrained energy and teasing melodic caresses. It is when Duran enters though that hearts melt and the sun smiles in adoration, her voice glorious and alongside the excellence of the music makes it the best song on the album by far.

The other highlights come through the brilliant music to have southern stills a jumping rockabilly soaked instrumental Country Junkie and the hypnotic ballad My Eyes On You featuring the haunting cello of Andrea Anzalone. The album ends on You’re My Cat, a track whose title made one decide it was a non starter but actually emerged as a fun rock n roller with Ferranti doing a tongue in cheek Presley/Vincent impression with a delicious double bass and violin accompaniment.

Rusty Miles is an album whose only intent is to have and give enjoyment and on that premise is a fine release to spend a random hour with once in a while.

Ringmaster 13/07/2012

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Tanzan Blue Vol.I: Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners

With an unreserved mood and unbridled passion the debut compilation from Tanzan Music is an impressive and exciting release. Tanzan Blue Vol.I – Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners brings together some of the finest artists on the label to offer a selection of songs borne of the blues, folk, and the most impassioned of ballads. Even if those areas of music do not usually spark the strongest reaction or enthusiasm the release has more than enough to make it a satisfying and enjoyable experience for most.

The album brings together music from the likes of Blueville, David Stockdale, Mario Percudani, Smokey Fingers, and Hungryheart into a mix which not only shows off the fine talents and songwriting of these artists but seamlessly places their songs side by side into a thoughtful and pleasing landscape of feelings and emotive atmosphere. There are always favourites within these kinds of compilations but with Tanzan Blue Vol.I you have one of the strongest and most consistently enjoyable collections in a long time.

The album starts off with the glowing heart of Love Letters In My Guitar Case by Italian band Blueville. The song is a blues slow burner which wraps its warm tender grooves laced with a gospel like elegance around the ear. The song bristles and pulsates wonderfully and is an immediate highlight to the release. The band top and tail the album, closing it off with Misery featuring the great vocals of Sherrita Duran, another great song though the opener has a definite edge.

Blueville have as members the equally talented Mario Percudani and Marco Tansini, and the album sees a double entry from both from their solo work. Percudani contributes the songs Don’t Bother Me and You Can Run. The first is a stylish blues rock pleasure bringing a vibrant jazz pulse from the excellent guitar and keyboard work. It is a song that is impossible not to be swept up by, the vocal harmonies with Elisa Paganelli soaring with mesmeric beauty. You Can Run is a slower but no less encapsulating piece with further stunning harmonies from this time Barbara Boffelli alongside Percudani and his stirring musicianship. Both songs show why he is in such demand as a collaborator, songwriter and producer, impactful and deeply pleasing music.

      Marco Tansini brings two songs to the release in the shape of White and Green, both blues grilled slices of guitar heaven. Tansini is one of those artists who even if guitar led music is not your general preference you can sit for hours being hypnotised by. Both songs on the release absorb the senses and his playing and compositions alone portray emotions as deep as any song with words dripping intent and passion.

The album also includes a double pleasure from American singer/songwriter David Stockdale. From Santa Barbara, Stockdale became a favourite with his recent album Dark Riders, and the two cuts from that placed in this release remind why he is one of the more vibrant and infectious artists out there in the blues/folk field.  Here Comes The Night is a captivating song with a slight country whisper running through it whilst Who a keen favourite of ours, makes an energetic and uplifting presence on the album. With the likes of Tom Petty, Dave Matthews and Crosby Stills Nash & Young as influences you can get a sense of the energy and depths of sound he brings forth.

A new band to us Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles also have two songs on the album, the slow pacing Let Me Know and If You Say Goodbye. Another two songs that wear their hearts on their sleeves, the first standing tall with passion oozing from every pore from the great female vocalist featured and the second a ballad from the deepest corner of his emotions. Though both songs do not quite hit the mark like others it is more to their unfamiliar presence one suspects and they do make the want to hear more from them keen.

Completed by single tracks from the excellent Smokey Fingers with Sweet Tears and Hungryheart with You Won’t Be Alone, the album is a thoroughly enjoyable time. The Smokey Fingers song is rife with an openly familiar melody but still an irresistible treat whilst the Hungryheart song though not as impressive as their usual hard rock driven sounds is a welcome and fitting ballad to the release.

Tanzan Blue Vol.I – Ballads and Blues for Modern Listeners is a great and compelling album which not only show cases the great talent at Tanzan Music but brings a complete and thrilling pleasure to be fulfilled by. With so many great artists and songs on board it is an album all should welcome in to their day and hearts.

http://www.tanzanmusic.com/catalogue/various-artists/tanzan-blue-volume-1

RingMaster 12/05/2012

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