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David Moretti Blues Review - Bluesjob
Self-release, available at www.cdbaby.com
10 songs, 38:22
Some days, when itís gray and rainy outside, nothing is better than pouring two fingers of your favorite ďteaĒ and settling down to some slow, sad blues. On those days, you had better not slip Bluesjob into the CD player, because itíll have you out of your chair and snapping your fingers before you know what hit you.
The Dave Moretti Blues Review comes to us from across the pond, from a county more well known for olive oil and aqueducts than swinging blues and fierce harmonica playing. Hailing from Turin, Italy, the Blues Review is a four piece high-energy band that features Moretti on vocals and harp.
At first listen, I wasnít sure what to make of this CD. The sound is a mix of jump blues, swing and just flat out old-school power blues played energetically. But thereís something in there that isnít quite familiar... a musical approach that feels a little alien. When Moretti starts singing, Iím hit once again with the other worldly nature of this CD - reminding me of the first few minutes of listening to a Shakespeare play, when I know the language in English, but I havenít quite got the ear for it yet.
A few songs in and this changed for me. My ears became used to Morettiís deep, throaty and ever-so-off-kilter vocals, and the tone and texture of the music started to reveal itself to me. At the end of the CD, the first thing I did was hit play one more time to get deeper into the music.
The tracks are high energy blues infused with a jump and swing spirit, but sans the horns youíd expect. The arrangements are stripped down and raw and showcase a band that has honed their playing on European club and festival circuit. Moretti plays harp with a sharp treble presence and also sings. Moretti also penned six of the discís songs (the others are from such greats as Percy Mayfield and Ray Charles).
What struck me about this effort was the fact that the lean, mean tracks all share a unifying swing mentality, but Moretti and the boys know how to pull back, how to strip a song even more bare for a solo or bridge and every single song has some unique hook that just pulls you in and compels you to listen deeper. More than once, Moretti on harp and Damir Nefat on guitar get in such harmonic sync that that transition from oneís solo to the other is almost imperceptible.
For me, the blues is a genre that continues to surprise. I love the historical lineage of the genre and have great respect for those performers who stay true to the myriad of forms weíve come to know. That being said, I love being taken for a ride that I never expected. I wasnít prepared for hornless jump blues, stripped down and played fast and hard and sung with a throaty Italian accent.
To be honest, it took me a few listens to break through, but what the Dave Moretti Blues Revue delivers in Bluesjob is a delightful treat that left me grinning and my toes tapping.
Reviewer Paul Schuytema is a lifelong blues enthusiast who grew up in Chi-town. He cut his blues teeth at shows by Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. He now lives in the cornfields and puts on the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival every fall.
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