"The difference between European blues scene and American blues scene, in my opinion, is that in Europe the people think more about 'old' blues, in USA you can find more 'contemporary blues' I guess."
Matteo Sansonetto: Blues Revue
Matteo Sansonetto, one of the most active bluesman on the Italian scene. He plays and sings the typical Chicago Blues, has a great soulful voice and a gritty basic guitar, giving his music the typical taste of the West Side of Chicago. During his career he played with italian’s musician such as Enrico Crivellaro, Paolo Bonfanti and saxophone’s player from Los Angeles James Thompson. He toured in Italy with Bluesman such as Carl Wyatt, Archie Lee Hooker, and Pistol Pete from Chicago. During his trip to Chicago was able to jam in some of the most prestigious clubs in the Windy City, sharing the stage with local living legend like Linsey "Hoochie Man” Alexander and the great singer and guitar player Pistol Pete.
African American music has always been part of his life and since 1998 Matteo began performing in various blues bands, trying to participate in all possible jam sessions. This leads him to play with great bluesman, first of all Kenny Brown historical guitar for R.L. Burniside. In 2003 he formed the nucleus of Matteo Sansonetto Blues Revue, which begins a frenetic live activity, which saw him performing live in the Veneto's most historic club. The remarkable stage presence and ability to engage every type of audience, makes the band one of the most active Live Act of the North East in Italy. In 2006 finally he gets in the temple of the Italian blues, the "Blues House" in Milan as opening act of Paolo Bonfanti. The band has the chance to share the stage with one of the greatest Italian Bluesman, inaugurating a relationship that will endure. In 2008 recorded his first live CD "Live at Jam Blues Point" and in 2010 performed with saxophonist James Thompson. Matteo Sansonetto Blues Revue latest album was “My Life Began To Change” (2015).
What do you learn about yourself from the blues culture and what does the blues mean to you?
Yeah nice question...I guess from the blues I learned to be myself, everyone has a story to tell …with his own voice...the blues for me speak about all the fact of the "real" life, bad times but also good times.
How do you describe sound and songbook? What characterizes your music philosophy?
Presently I would call my music "contemporary Chicago blues"...I play Chicago blues but with a lot of soul and funk…in the past I played old school blues but now I play the blues you can hear in Chicago today... I play my original song and a lot of cover, like Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Albert King, Little Milton...at the moment my biggest influence is Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice has been given to you?
Well there are so many people I met along the way, i particularly remember the first tour with Pistol Pete from Chicago...the first tour with my good friend Carl Wyatt and Archie Lee Hooker, the nephew of John Lee Hooker. I guess the most important meeting was with my buddy Breezy Rodio in Chicago 6 years ago…Breezy became a very close friend and my producer too.
Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
Yeah few year ago I was the opening act for an Italian pianist called Raphael Gualazzi, very famous in the pop music, in a great festival in Vascon (TV) Italy...I was just coming back from a French tour and I had no idea who was this artist ....I found myself in front of almost 6000 people, that was fun! For sure... the best studio session ever was for my last cd, "my life began to change"...I working in studio with some of the finest blues musician of the world...Marty Binder from Albert Collins band…Roosevelt Purifoy from Koko Taylor band…Dough Shaft from the Horns of Ray Charles…but the best think was my idol, Lurrie Bell! Lurrie play in one of my original song, one of my dreams 'came true.
What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future?
I miss the big audience...today's young people are not interested in the blues, and they cannot listen blues music in any radio or TV. Fortunately we have people who work hard to promote our music such associations like "blues made in Italy " which I am honored to be part of; BMI works for the promotion of blues culture, and every year we organized the largest event for the Italian blues, you will find all of bluesmadeintaly.it
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
mmmh... if I could change one think in the musical world...I would change over the business side of music, no one in the big music biz take care of the real quality of the music but think only about the money... fair enough we are the very small music biz!!
Make an account of the case of blues in Italy. Which is the most interesting period in local blues scene?
The most interesting period for the Italian blues was the 70s and 80s Guido Toffoleti, Fabio Treves, Roberto Ciotti and many others were the pioneers, at that time you could find on the road great band like The blues Society, The Model T Boogie, Rudy's blues band, in the past there were many more venues to play, all these bands were playing a lot!
What are the ties that connect the Blues from States to Italy? What are the differences between US and European scene?
The difference between European blues scene and American blues scene, in my opinion, is that in Europe the people think more about "old" blues, in USA you can find more "contemporary blues" I guess.
What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you in the local music circuits?
"I would change over the business side of music, no one in the big music biz take care of the real quality of the music but think only about the money... fair enough we are the very small music biz!!"
What is the impact of Blues music and culture to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?
Nowadays not too much, because only a small part of the people listening to blues.
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
I have no doubt at all: in the 50's, in Maxwell Street, Chicago!!
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