Stefano Dentone & Antonio Ghezzani – Teatro Staller

Stefano Dentone & Antonio Ghezzani – Teatro Staller (Roots Rebels Records, 2016)   Stefano Dentone & Antonio Ghezzani have an original, strange and great project! They are from Italy, but with an international attitude. Maybe because both have a musical education that saw them out from the borders of their Country… or maybe because they are really rock’n’roll musicians: people who don’t like to be locked in any type of border. Listening to their album “Teatro Staller”, I think it’s correct the second one.   The duo has a strange mixture in its roots. Antonio comes from Classical music and also experienced the popular music of the Mediterranean and the typical music of Italian songwriters. Stefano has a more rock education. He is the typical musician who trained himself on the road, playing in night clubs and roadhouses with various bands over the years. Together they are able to create a sound that goes back to the origins of the classic rock, but with an interesting component of musical crossover. The sound of their album “Teatro Staller” has a very strong derivation from roots music. Only three instruments: a voice, an acoustic guitar and an electric one. Recorded in a room, live, using simple equipment and minimal use of digital technology as possible. The music and the songs. They want to be protagonists, not the special effects which, however, is reduced to a minimum. The lyrics are in Italian and in English because, as I said, they don’t like borders.   Listening the nineteen songs of the tracklist, takes us into a universe of observation of the contemporary world, songs like “Basic Reality,” “Why Are We Here?”, “Human Crashes,” “I Don’t Know” or “Illusion” describe, with ruthless clarity, a reality of false and weak values. The songs with Italian lyrics have a very interesting bluesy sound that makes them pleasant to listen, even if you are not native speakers, but… if you take the trouble to use the Google translator, you can also appreciate the poetic content of uncommon value. You can find the lyrics from their official website. In the rest of the album are episodes of introspection as in “Losing Hopes”, “Castaway Blues” or “Times”, echoes and references to old western movies as in “Oklahoma” and a very remarkable blues ballad, titled “You’re Gone “. So this is a very simple project: two guitars and one voice. There are no tricks. You’ll spend one hour with an original and great rock’n’roll music!   9 out of ten stars   Michael Connolly