Record of the day: Eugenio Finardi, "Anima Blues"

Record of the day: Eugenio Finardi, “Anima Blues”

Eugenio Finardi
Anima Blues (Cd Edel 0162982ERE)

This album represented a real surprise for many listeners, amazed to see the author of “Rebel Music” and “Diesel” transform into a fiery bluesman with a deep and hoarse voice; yet if we observe the entire span of Finardi's discography we see that the blues has been an ever-present constant, sometimes more hidden and nuanced but each time reappearing with obstinate insistence.

Of course, it is not traditional blues, the logic of the twelve-bar structure is not always followed and above all Finardi does not create too many revisitations of classics in the album, limiting himself to one
amazing version of Willie Dixon's “Spoonful'” and composing the rest of the album in collaboration with his new traveling companions, the guitarist Massimo Martellotta (soloist who has developed in a personal way not only the historic American protagonists of this music but also the style of the unforgettable Guido Toffoletti), the organist Pippo Guarnera who evades with a skill worthy of Brian Auger, the very solid drums of Vince Vallicelli which immediately raises the temperature and does not give up throughout the album: Finardi himself tries his hand also on the harmonica with excellent results and is in great vocal form.

The album is excellent, the authenticity with which Eugenio tackles this music is clear and never borders on banal imitation (Finardi is half American and is among the few artists in Italy who manage to sing in English without sounding like Don Vito Corleone). There isn't a lower level piece, we quickly go from “Mojo Filter” (one of the most deadly riffs of recent years), “Pipe Dream” and “Holyland” to the melancholy of “Estrellita” passing through the wild “Barnyard Mama” and the intense atmospheres of “Long Way Home”.

The album is an arsenal of vintage atmospheres and uses a sound that has the same drive as the 60s groups of Alexis Korner and John Mayall but at the same time it can only be absolutely contemporary, the result of that energy with which Finardi brings his music has been around on Italian stages for years. In a panorama crowded with puppet imitators of Americans and Lambrusco-style rockers, this album is a panacea, an authentic dive into fresh, clean water where skill marries with sincerity.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.