Blues Underground Network
It always amazes me when I listen to a CD, of which I am thoroughly convinced consists of a number of artists performing on it, only to later find out that the Album in question was basically a one person production. I have had the good fortune to come across a few such Albums this year, notably K.K. Martin's "Naked Blues Volume II", in which it is just K.K. Martin with a his Guitar and a Microphone and Chris Dair's "Crossroads To Freedom". Now with my introduction to Marco Maenza, I once again have the treat of experiencing a few Album's that are, except for a very small part, a one man show.
Born in Italy, Marco Maenza is referred to a an Italian Blues Virtuoso. A true one man show, Marco not only plays all the instruments on his Albums, except for the odd rare guest musician, on at the most, one of the Albums Tracks, he in addition also does all the recording, composing, arranging, sequencing, and producing of his projects, at his home studio. Marco's forte' is Rock style blues, but he also loves Classic rock, and is quite adept at melding the 2 genres together.
With the releasing of now three Albums since January 2009, with "Midnite Train" being his most recent, he continues to find his music rising in popularity, especially on the ReverbNation Blues Charts, which he has managed to reach the number 1 spot in Italy and "high as 4th on the global charts". Marco has also gained popularity on Myspace with him twice being the featured artist of the day. Marco has also found himself being featured on many radio shows, with the most recent being on Jan Carroll's Show "The Lady Plays The Blues" on www.krushradio.com. It is through that show that Marco and Jan established a working relationship, which has culminated into Jan playing a huge part in Marco's "Midnite Train" Album, in which she is responsible for the writing of six of the Albums 10 tracks, including the title track. Jan Carroll also wrote a song for Marco on the release of "Stone House Of Blues".
When listening to "Stone House Of Blues" and "Midnite Train", I found it very evident that there was an Italian singing and I must admit it felt a little strange at first with Marco's accent, but really that was only a temporary thing, which became less strange to me, and only more unique, the more I listened. Marco Maenza, is however, far more than just a good singer, something that you become quickly aware of shortly after you start listening to his music, and that is that he is an astoundingly gifted musician, especially concerning Guitar. In fact if I were going to compare whom his Guitar playing reminded me of, I would have to say, hands down, Mark Knopfler. Even his music has that Mark Knopfler feel to it, which I find amazingly nice to listen to. To me, Marco's music seems to continuously flow, on his Albums, instead of the Stop Start feel you get on a lot of Albums out there nowadays. Hypnotic in nature, is a way I guess I could best describe it.
When listening to Marco Maenza's last two Albums, his style of Blues came across, first of all, more Guitar Rock forward in nature and second of all, more World Blues, as well, and by that I mean, to me his sound feels more of a universal form of Blues, instead of a style of Blues from any particular geographical region. I also got that same feeling from Chris Dair's spellbinding "Crossroads To Freedom" Album.
Marco Maenza' describes "Midnite Train" as an "album with ten good blues and rock original songs", a statement that I certainly concur with. It is also a statement that could be equally true for the sixteen songs that are found on his "Stone House Of Blues" Album.
It has always amazed me when an Artist I have never heard of, manages to get a hold of me, introduces themselves, and has enough confidence, that they send me their music to check out. In nearly all of those cases, I have simply loved listening to their music, with Marco Maenza being absolutely no exception.
Marco Maenza is simply one Artist in which I was over joyed to have become acquainted with and I urge all of you to give him a listen, whether it be through his Reverbnation Page or via purchasing his music. A rare and wonderful talent, for sure.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Marco's Music Here...