Vittorio Pitzalis – The Time Has Come
Italian guitarist and bluesman Vittorio Pitzalis is from the island of Sardinia and with this releases his second album. The Time Has Come features three interesting covers and six originals. Pitzalis has been at his craft for about 20 years in Italy and in 2018 was selected to represent Italy in the International Blues Challenge the following January. The album the website unfortunately do not list any accompanying singers or musicians nor could I find any information on other artists who supported the effort.
Pitzalis starts off with “Dark Evil Blues,” and acoustic cut with him finger picking and singing and a tuba backing him up. He sings with a heavy accent and kind of even yodels a bit as he offers up some nice guitar and an interesting opening song. “The Pink” follows with more acoustic guitar and an overall western/cowboy flair. He plays slide and layers some more guitar for good effect. It’s interesting to hear a cowboy song done with a heavy Italian accent.
Next is “Mr. Aron,” another tune with acoustic guitar but here we also get some electric guitar added to the mix. It’s a pretty ballad with a soft and easy sound. “You Treated Me Badly” adds electric guitar, organ and a big bass line to the acoustic guitar lead. Pitzalis lays it on the line with his ex and the respect and lack of trust in their relations. A nice electric guitar solo is featured here. “Looking For Beale Street” is all electric and the biggest blues rocker so far. He sings about freezing in the cold on Beale Street, something I can also identify with as I’ve frozen my butt off in Memphis many a January during the IBCs.
“Are You Experienced” is not just a Hendrix cover but also has some original stuff that opens with and acapella spiritual and then solo acoustic guitar and vocals before moving into a larger production that transforms the song with lots of backing help. He makes it his own psychedelic experience. “Please Come Home For Christmas” follows, a classic Christmas cut done in quite the bluesy manner. Elvis’ “Love Me Tender” is next up, done with acoustic guitar and is otherwise a straight up cover to begin with, but then the backing vocalists join in oohing and responding to Vittorio’s calls. About a minute and a half in we get a kazoo solo, unexpected, for sure; quite interesting, also for sure. He concludes with a fast faced, driving instrumental entitled “Let’s Move On To The Boogie.” Some well chosen guitar licks make this perhaps my favorite song of the album. It’s a wild ride and Pitzalis shows us he really is a very good guitar player (as he has throughout the album).
OK, so while the heavy accent makes some of the lyrics hard to follow at times, and while some of the songs are a little kitschy, it’s an interesting album. If you are looking for an original take on the blues from an outside source, this is of interest. Pitzalis writes some decent original songs and provides us an interesting take on some covers that show he’s got a mind of his own when it comes to performing.