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In Close Embrace

September 2018

Listen: Before I Say Goodbye


It is clear that Blues music is in a good shape. Despite being a minority music we´re living  a genre resurgence largely thanks to dancing clubs spreading all along the continent. Influenced by this movement Stefano Rochi on this record  places himself at Europe forefront of the genre. Already in his last record “Preaching the blues” along with harp player Marcos Coll, this genovese guitar player and singer made clear his composing and arranging skills making a record with an undeniable old blues flavor but according to present times. 

On “In close embrace” he keeps on following half way between tradition and the forefront of blues music path right from  the first song “Have Mercy” a gospel tune wrapped around slide guitars and samplers written by Rochi and L.P. Rozen to “Before I say good bye” a classic shuffle written by Ronchi and Rozen as well and joined by harp player Marcos Coll. Just to take us to a more soulful field on “Down the river” signed by Ronchi himself. One on this record´s  jewel “Darkness on the delta” a cover from the 30´s standard only performed by Ronchi on guitar and the great Jessie Gordon on vocals. Another great cover on this record is  “Everything I know about the blues originally written by Texas singer Delbert Mc Clinton, keeping alive one of the most important american music artist song spirit.  “St. James Infirmary” reveals Ronchi´s most introspective side  on a standard uncertain authorship standard made popular by Louis Armstrong this time recreated by Roonchi´s guitar master class intro and Marko Jovanovic on harmonica.

“My last request” is signed by Ronchi / Rozen again, meaning a half way step between soul and gospel spiced with samplers and acoustic guitars. Randy Newman´s tribute on “Down in New Orleans” with Nina Hill on vocals. Ronchi signs “10 minutes Blues” going back to the delta blues with Marcos Coll on harmonica just to update gospel song “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho” with Henry Carpaneto on piano. “Nothing else matters” turns out to be the most eclectic song from this record originally written by James Hetfield from the american band Metallica. L.P. Rozen y Ronchi write another jewel from the record “At the end” with the only tag that great songs must have. Guitar instrumental “To glorious days”puts end to the record.

On   “In close embrace” Ronchi not only has been supported by top european musicians but have led them masterfully, laying bridges between gospel and blues tradition from an eclectic point of view influence by the Dancing clubs scene the way always should, the way it was meant, Blues and dance held together in close embrace. 


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