The Italian Job – Part 2
You’ll remember I wrote a couple of months ago about working on a record with the talented young Italian violinist Chiara Giacobbe, formerly of the band Lowlands. Well, the record she made – generally with me just scratching my balls on the studio sofa – is now ready to go. In fact, it’s actually called Ready To Go! How’s that for happenstance?
UK readers will be delighted to know that she’s lined up a handful of London dates in support of the release, which are as follows…
– Wed 29 Aug, The Betsey Trotwood (with Simon Onions)
– Thurs 30 Aug, The Railway Tavern (with Robert James Selby)
– Fri 31 Aug, The Birkbeck Tavern (with Robert James Selby)
– Sat 1 Sept, Biddle Bros Bar (with Trent Miller)
It would be great if you could come along.
But I don’t want this to sound like some veiled PR plug. Ms Giacobbe and myself have now, sadly, gone our separate ways. But I sincerely believe that she’s got a lot going for her and that these gigs are well worth catching. As I’ve said before, Italy’s got a fantastic music scene, but it’s hard work to get recognised in the UK or US. She has, after all, a fantastic track record. In her short career (which has included two albums and an EP with Lowlands) she has worked with such indefatigable Americana luminaries as Chris Cacavas, Will Massey, Rod Picott and Amanda Shires. You know who they are, right?
So if you’re in London around the end of August, you could do a lot worse than to wander along, check her out, buy a CD and just help her on her way. You’ll be glad you did.
And what of Lowlands? Well, I’m pleased to say that they’ve really rallied, coming up with a superb centennial tribute album to our saviour Woody Guthrie. Titled Better World Coming, they recorded it during downtime from sessions for their third album proper, Beyond. Having splintered their original line-up following the release of their critically praised Gypsy Child album, they gathered together with a bunch of friends when and wherever they could, and the resulting album is, in short, a work of genius. Lo-fi and downbeat, it has the mark of a band that has found itself at the bottom, taken a look around, and thought, “The only way is up.” Very close, I think, to the very spirit of Woody’s songs. It’s already picking up airplay and fantastic reviews, despite only being available from their website. If you’re interested, mosey along to lowlandsband.com to find out more.
Finally, in my last missive, I mentioned Mandolin Brothers, perhaps Italy’s best Americana act. Despite making their last album in Austin, Texas, they’ve never managed to play a gig in the UK. The door’s still open. Let me know.