GARAGE BLUES is River Blonde’s new album (Bloos Records - 2023)
The second effort of the dynamic duo formed by Stefano Tavernese and Armando Serafini was released on April 20th by Bloos Records with a new selection of songs and a generous dose of the groovin' blues that represents their signature style.
Watch “Mad Men” official VIDEO.
The album continues in the same spirit as in The Heart, the Healer & the Holy Groove through a repertoire focused even more on the variegated world of the blues, a universal language able of interpreting the most varied aspects of the human soul. Six original songs and four covers that bear witness to the growth of this band, endowed with a rhythmic and emotional load emphasized by the three songs recorded live on stage.
For once the band entered the studio as a trio, enriching the sound created by Stefano Tavernese's guitars, violin and voice on the original percussions of Armando Serafini with the electric bass of Lucio Villani, recording together in the same room to capture the immediacy and energy of a real live session.
Inside the CD is a small poster with the lyrics of the original songs and, on the back, the drawing created for River Blonde by Lucio Villani who is also a very talented graphic artist.
“The lyrics of the songs frequently contain autobiographical images, often real photographs of a specific mood that has characterized significant moments in my life. Every time we get on stage we try to convey something real to the audience through lyrics and music.” (S.T.)
The album gets its start as the mandolin hints briefly at the roots of "Cluck Old Hen", a well known traditional Old Time tune from the USA, before the electric guitar and the whole band turn it all into a gritty rock-funk.
"Mad Men" is an intriguing marching-blues where slide guitar intertwines its phrasing with violin on a hypnotic base enriched by the voices of Mario Donatone and his World Spirit Orchestra, the same characters who - beside Stefano and Armando - are featured in the evocative homonymous video.
Introducing "Almost Like the Blues", another proof of the genius of Leonard Cohen, is the crackling of the needle on the vinyl, and the song is a long time favorite in River Blonde’s setlist.
The pounding beat of "Morning Light Blues" takes us back to the the 50s and rock'n'roll early days, while the lyrics in the final verse take their cue from the fathers of the blues to create a new picture where light is a hope of liberation.
The intense "Shine On" is one of the most emotional songs in the album and its dreamy atmosphere fits perfectly with Stefano's passionate vocals.
"If You Are a Rock" is instead a tight rocker marked by an enthralling groove; electric guitar and bass articulate together a powerful riff alternating moments of loose improvisation.
Finally, the delicate "If" is an acoustic gem for acoustic guitar and vocals that concludes the selection of songs recorded in the studio.
The following live section features two songs from River Blonde's first album, the intense
"Deep of My Heart" and a driving "Police Dog Blues", leaving the ending to the classic "Key to the Highway", where the charge and pathos of live performance finally stand out.
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