9 Songs Time-38:30
Blues purists need not apply. The sole instruments employed by Paolo Demontis the self-proclaimed Italian “harmonica player and a new modern one man band” are harmonicas, vocals, Boss Re-300 Loopstation and a bit of imagination”. Beat-box and programmed bass lines underlie multi-layered and electronically tweaked harmonicas and vocals. His magnificent harp technique doesn’t get lost amid the techno-tampering at work here. With his thick Italian accent you are need to have the lyric sheet at hand to decipher things, but the accented words lend a mysterious and exotic European pop-blues atmosphere that in the end works.
The songs tend to get repetitious at times, but Paolo’s genius for overlaying interesting harmonica parts is a listener adventure that never ends. Leave your preconceptions behind and enjoy some techno-blues peppered with rap, funk, hip hop, rock, reggae, dance and Afro-Beat.
Beat-box, mouth percussion, treated and accented vocals fly by in “Busy Crossroads”, a song that brings to mind Anthony Kiedis’ vocal delivery on The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away”. Paolo uses percussive Rice Miller-style harmonica technique on “My Band”, scratching as he overlays other harmonica parts. “Lonesome train harp effects intro into some wicked Sonny Terry harp, and an echoed vocal is featured on “Don’t Touch My Blues”.
Multiple harmonicas are layered over a harmonica drone with echoed vocals on “Hard Drinkin’ Woman” as the refrain seems to be repeated endlessly. A nice rhythmic, chugging harp pattern is the foundation for the treated vocal on “Baby Please Go”. Here as elsewhere Paolo’s harp skills are very much in evidence.
Alien space ship noise kick off “Funk You”, a song that is nicely played over a bouncy bass line and also features some melodic harp figures. A hauntingly melancholy harp figure plays over the rhythmic harmonica on “Reggaetime Blues” which features a rough-hewn vocal over what else…a reggae beat. Paolo blows some high, whiny notes at song’s end.
Seems Paolo has the “Dirty Clothes Blues” as he sees fit to sing an ode to unkeptness. The tune being highly rhythmic as usual. He takes great pleasure in extolling his abilities to move a club crowd in the funky and jumpy “Stomp & Go”.
Paolo Demontis manages to take chances while still having one foot immersed in authentic blues sounds. Even if his music isn’t quite your cup of Espresso, there is a cornucopia of interesting musical ideas within this recording. Give yourself a chance to experience something new that still has a ring of familiarity to it.