Monday, September 28, 2015

On CD: Before The Crowd (2015)

Rare is the time when an artist from the home district makes the jump to the national stage. Sean Rowe did it not long ago, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and likely will make a return trip down the road. The next time, though, he may not be alone.

Maurizio hails from the Sycaway section of Troy, and has been playing, either solo or with a band, for roughly 25 years (Yeah, that long already. Time does fly!). Rather than delve into his history, at the risk of embarrassing the guy, let's talk about his debut CD, "Before The Crowd".

His musical DNA suggests a mix of John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, and early period Bob Dylan, with a juicy splash of 60's Motown (Think Marvin Gaye, especially on "I Just Spent My Last Dime"), with maybe some Beatles thrown in. The local critics who passed on the release party over the weekend didn't know what they were missing. Their loss.

"Crowd" opens with the ethereal "Breathe" & "Elizabeth Fades", then jumps to the Motown-centric "I Just Spent My Last Dime", which should get some radio airplay ere long, and not just on college channels, mind you. "Radio Waves" is an ode dedicated to the singer's late sister, Grace, a Peace Corps volunteer, while another sister is honored with "My Sister Rose". Though nine tracks are listed on the back cover, an unadvertised bonus (10th) track brings everything full circle. What a delicious mix.

Pay heed, students. Chances are pretty good Maurizio will be trading barbs with Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert sooner rather than later. The cynics can stop with the nonsense about "Smallbany" and "Troylets".

Rating: A++.

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