Blues Bites - July 2012



Blues Bites - July 2012
Blues Bites - July 2012
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon, Guide
Lino Muoio – Mandolin Blues
Italy's Lino Muoio is a fine lap steel guitarist and a maestro of the mandolin, an old-school
bluesman whose tastes run towards what the modern blues fan would consider antique ragtime,
jug band, wing, and country blues – the decidedly rural side of American roots music.
Muoio has been plying his trade for better than two decades now, performing and recording with
his band Blue Stuff. With several albums of distinctive acoustic blues under his belt, Muoio
decided to follow in the footsteps of such unlikely blues instrumentalists as Yank Ranchell and
Rich Del Grosso and record an album of songs showcasing the mandolin. Muoio has done well
with Mandolin Blues, a fourteen-track collection of entirely original material that nevertheless
evokes the sound and memory of the aforementioned antique modalities of the blues.
The lyrics are in English and evince a universal appeal while the studio band is comprised of blues
and jazz players from around the world, proving once more the international reach and appeal of
the blues. The sumptuous CD packaging includes full song lyrics and credits as well as a few
photos, a lush presentation lacking from a lot of American indie CD releases.
It's the music that matters, though, and while Muoio may be influenced by blues-rock guitarists
like Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, what you'll hear on Mandolin Blues sounds more like Blind Blake or
the Mississippi Sheiks. Using different vocalists for texture, the performances are full of life and
energy. "Girl From Arkansas," with its underlying piano licks, Muoio's spry mandolin picking and
double-entendre lyrics, and Bob Ray Green's jaunty vocals, sounds like a modern take on an old
jug band classic. The languid "Bound To See My Babe," by contrast, offers up a lazy soundtrack
beneath Lonnie Wilson's gravelly, Tom Waits-styled vocals.
The instrumental "Memphis Blues" perfectly captures the mongrel bloodline of the city's musical
heritage, mixing blues, jazz, jug band, and string-driven country to great effect. The swinging
boogie-blues of "Harmony H35" is a tribute to both Yank Ranchell and the mandolin itself, while
the energetic "Slidin' Glass" spotlights Muoio's immense talents as an instrumentalist.
If you'd like to hear the blues from a different perspective, it would be well worth your while to
seek out Lino Muoio's Mandolin Blues.
Grade: A (Cheyenne Records, released December 11, 2011)
Lino Muoio - Mandolin Blues, Cheyenne Records
Lino Muojo has spent the last two decades as a fixture in Italy's blues scene. This is his second
solo CD, the first to completely focus on mandolin blues and he ranges in style from Yank
Rachell's country blues to swing, jazz, bluegrass and more. All fourteen cuts were written my
Muoio, giving us a good accounting for his songwriting abilities. Joining Lino in the CD are
members of his old band, Blue Stuff, and several others US and Italian blues artists.
Four of the cuts are instrumentals and are probably the ones that intrigue me the most. The
vocal leads on the other tracks vary and that is the downfall for me of this album. Bobby Ray
Green (The Network Band) and Lonnie Wilson (the Kompoz Community) deliver authentic,
unadulterated vocals, but when they switch over to Mario Insenga, Guido Migliaro, Vernonica
Sbergia and Michelle Ciuchiolo the vowel sounds round out, become long and make the blues
feel less authentic, at least to this listener (and I am an Italian-American myself). The other
minor criticism would be the lyrics occasionally strike me as stereotypcally American and
occasionally grammatically a bit off. But it is kind of fun to see and hear the blues and America
through another set of eyes and ears.
Overall, this is a fun CD. Muoio's play is inspired and he wails on his mandolin. He gives credit to
Rich DelGrosso, Gerry Hundt ad Jim Richter for their inspiration and whatever they provided to
Lino paid off. He's got the mandolin blues thing down pat. The instrumentals are somewhat bare
boned as are all the cuts, and allow us to hear the mandolin clearly. I find Lino to be quite
accomplished in his play- well done- bravissimo! And while I fault some of the singers for their
accented vocals, realistically they sing well and are able to sell the blues, country and bluegrass
style. Fullvio Sorrentino's dobro and guitar work throughout is really good as is Renato Feederico
on keys. Splashes of brass and clarinet add a good feeling to the music, too. The bass/double
bass work by Francesco "Sleepy" Miele is also quite well done.
It's nice to see another mandolin bluesman on the scene. Besides the credited men above and
Billy Flynn, we rarely get to hear a lot of mandolin blues. Muoio dies a strikingly good job of it
and mandolin fans will all enjoy this CD that he's delivered.
Reviewer Steve Jones is president of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues
lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In
addition to working in his civilian career since 1996, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly
newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and work with their Blues In The Schools
program. He resides in Byron, IL
Ecrit par Fred Delforge
mercredi, 24 avril 2013
Ce n’est qu’à l’adolescence que Lino Muoio s’est essayé en autodidacte à
la guitare, attiré dans sa démarche par des idoles comme Angus Young,
Jeff Beck ou Jimmy Page dont il s’attachera à reprendre les plans l’un
après l’autre, finissant par se forger son propre style en participant
durant cinq années à un premier groupe professionnel. La rencontre
avec The Blue Stuff, un des plus fameux groupes italiens de blues, sera
bientôt déterminante et c’est en enregistrant quatre albums et en
donnant un millier de concerts en sa compagnie que l’artiste finira
d’asseoir sa réputation, sortant finalement un premier effort solo en 2009 dans lequel il mettra
ses propres morceaux puis remettant finalement le métier sur l’ouvrage en 2011 avec cette fois
un album dédié à la mandoline, un instrument que Lino Muoio utilise régulièrement, tout
comme le banjo, le ukulélé ou la lap steel guitar … En véritable virtuose, ce ne sont pas moins de
quatorze titres que le musicien nous présente, des morceaux qui sont plupart chantés par des
invités comme Bob Ray Green, Mario Insenga, Lonnie Wilson, Guido Migliaro, Veronica Sbergia
ou encore Michelle Chiuchiolo et dans lesquels il est question du quotidien de l’individu lambda,
comme il est d’usage dans le blues depuis que le genre existe. Trait d’union entre Naples et les
Etats Unis, « Mandolin Blues » nous transporte de manière assez impressionnante vers un blues
aux couleurs rurales redondantes bien entendu, mais s’offre aussi des escapades vers des
cachets plus urbains qui ne feraient absolument pas désordre sur un album de Chicago blues, de
ragtime ou même de jazz. Quatre instrumentaux disséminés de part et d’autre pour mieux
assurer la diversité de l’ouvrage et voilà l’amateur qui sait se montrer ouvert d’esprit qui passe
d’une « Girl From Arkansas » à un « Memphis Blues », de « Swing Thing » à « That Old Time
Blues » ou encore de « Louise » à une « Sweet Little Woman » dont on a forcément du mal à se
détacher tant ses parfums sont enivrants. Reste à souhaiter que l’arrivée de Lino Muoio chez
Starassoprod nous offre l’opportunité de le croiser au plus vite sur une scène où la passion
risque de devenir encore plus forte !
Lino Muoio “Mandolin Blues”. Cheyenne 2011. Si os gustan aquellos
viejos blues acústicos de preguerra de estilo hokum o aquellos blues
que interpretaban las jug bands, entonces tened por seguro que este
álbum de Lino Muoio, no solo no os defraudará, sino que además váis
a disfrutar como un niño con zapatos nuevos. Lino Muoio es un
mandolinista, fino, fino, muy fino, además de un excelente compositor
de canciones. Durante los últimos veinte años ha sido un miembro
activo del movimiento bluesero en Italia y junto a su banda, The Blues
Stuff, ha protagonizado varias apariciones en la televisión nacional italiana, así como grabaciones
en estudio para diferentes grupos y músicos de muy variada índole. Este disco contiene catorce
canciones compuestas íntegramente por Lino, todas ellas en inglés. Aparte de sus habituales
Blues Stuff, Lino ha contado también con la colaboración de algunos conocidos músicos como
Mike Supnick, Sebastiano Forti, Bobby Ray Green, Lonnie Wilson y Verónica Sbergia. En
definitiva, un disco muy bienvenido que llena un hueco en el campo del blues, ya que
actualmente la mandolina como instrumento principal está muy, pero que muy en desuso. Atrás
quedaron nombres como Coley Jones, Charlie McCoy, Charlie Burse, Vol Stevens, Howard
Armstrong, Carl Martin, Yank Rachell o Johnny Young. En la actualidad cabe destacar a Rich
DelGrosso, Andra Faye McIntosh y por supuesto a Lino Muoio como exponentes del blues con
mandolina. Si os interesa dicho instrumento en el blues, os aconsejo leer el artículo de
DelGrosso: “Mandolin Blues”, publicado en la revista Living Blues nº 79. MUY BUENO. If you like
those old prewar acoustic blues of hokum style or those blues performed by jug bands, then be
sure this album by Lino Muolo not only will not disappoint you but also will give you joy and
happiness like a child with a new toy. Lino Muoio is a fine, fine very fine mandolin player, besides
an excellent songwriter. During the last twenty years he has been an active member of the
Italian blues movement and together with his band, The Blues Stuff, has appeared in several
Italian national televison, as well as working in recording studios for different groups and
musicians of varied styles. This album includes fourteen Lino’s own songs, all them in English.
Besides his usual Blues Stuff, Lino Muolo is also surrounded by some well-known musicians who
have collaborated with him, such as Mike Supnick, Sebastiano Forti, Bobby Ray Green, Lonnie
Wilson and Verónica Sbergia. In short words, a really welcomed album that fills a gap in the
blues field, because the mandolin as main instrument has very much fallen into disuse. Gone are
names like Coley Jones, Charlie McCoy, Charlie Burse, Vol Stevens, Howard Armstrong, Carl
Martin, Yank Rachell and Johnny Young. Nowadays Rich DelGrosso, Andra Faye McIntosh and of
course Lino Muoio mainly represent the blues played with mandolin. If you are interested to
know about this instrument in the blues world, I recommend you to read an article by DelGrosso
entitled "Mandolin Blues", published in Living Blues Magazine, number 79. VERY GOOD.
Lino Muoio
Mandolin Blues
Genre musical: Assez rare
Distributeur : Amazon,
Qu’on évoque la mandoline et on parle de Naples et ses ritournelles sans oublier de fredonner ‘O
Sole Mio’, le féru de blues, lui, citera plutôt Yank Rachell et le Tennessee. A moins d’être une
spécialiste les références n’iront pas beaucoup plus loin. Italie du sud contre sud des Etats-Unis,
Lino Muoio fait la jonction. Italien, bluesman et mandoliniste, il nous livre 14 compositions de son
cru, interprétées in english. Joueur de guitare, de ukulélé, de banjo au sein du band transalpin The
Blue Stuff durant de nombreuses années, le voilà en solo pour son deuxième CD entièrement
dédié à la mandoline pour son plaisir et le nôtre. Cet enregistrement possède un doux parfum de
nostalgie. Les ambiances créées par la mandoline associée au piano, au trombone, à la clarinette,
au dobro et au violon sont des plus agréables. Loin de sentir la naphtaline, ce disque nous
enveloppe dans de douces vapeurs d’antan. C’est tour à tour sautillant, langoureux, émouvant,
allant du country blues, au swing, en passant par le jazz New Orleans et le bluegrass. S’il signe tous
les titres et joue brillamment de son instrument, Lino Muoio laisse le chant à Bob Ray Green,
Lonnie Wilson, Mario Insenga, Guido Migliaro, Veronica Sbergia, Michelle Chiuchiolo. Une très
belle production qui sort du lot.
Gilles Blampain