"Music brings people together, and art in general. But today the main word is "divide". We are divided by social issues and different points of view on social media, creating an amplificated hate effect. And it’s sad to see this happening inside the worldwide blues community too."
Luca Giordano: Let's Talk About The Blues
Guitarist, bandleader, singer, and songwriter Luca Giordano has emerged as one of the outstanding talents on the European Blues scene, performing both his own music and backing many of the music’s greatest performers. Born in Italy in 1980, Luca moved to Chicago at the young age of 25 and gained valuable experience working with established Chicago Blues artists like Sharon Lewis, Willie “Big Eye” Smith, Les Getrex, JW Williams, James Wheeler & the Rosa’s Lounge All-Stars (including their 2008 appearance at the prestigious Chicago Blues Festival), eventually joining the late Eric “Guitar” Davis and his band the Troublemakers for tours of Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, and the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival and Virginia Beach Blues Fest (backin up Willie Big Eyes Smith, Muddy Waters former drummer). After returning to Europe Luca released two solo CDs (My Kind Of Blues featuring Chris Cain, Bob Stroger, and Sax Gordon for Audacia Records & Off The Grid for GG Records) and he collaborated with Spanish singer/harp-player Quique Gomez for GG Records' Dead Mama Blues and Chicago 3011 Sessions (recorded in Chicago in 2011) that also features American Blues stars Bob Stroger, Billy Branch, Jimmy Burns, and Eddie C. Campbell. (Luca Giordano / Photo by Francesco Scipioni)
In the years following the Luca Giordano Band established itself as one of the go-to bands for American Blues artists looking for professional backing in Europe. Successful tours and growing recognition attest to the quality of their work with respected artists such as Sugaray Rayford, John Primer, Bob Stroger, Nora Jean Bruso, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Willie “Big Eye” Smith, Jimmy Burns, Toni Lynn Washington, Chris Cain, Carlos Johnson, Billy Branch, Eric “Guitar” Davis, and Sax Gordon to name a few. With his own show or backing these great artists Luca has brought his unique and soulful sound to clubs and festivals around the world. In recent years Luca has also become a mainstay of Blues Prophet Mighty Mo Rodgers’ touring band and is featured on Mo’s new collaboration Griot Blues with African Griot/Musician Baba Sissoko (2017 - One Root Music) while continuing to tour worldwide with both his own band and the best performers on today’s Blues scene. Luca Giordano’s 3rd album “Let’s Talk About It” (2021) will be released by the Brazilian label BLUE CRAWFISH RECORDS. A collection of personal stories and feelings, the album was produced and mixed by Fabio Colella at SASHA STUDIOS (Trasacco Italy) and includes 11 songs; 8 originals by Luca Giordano as well as songs written by Mighty Mo Rodgers, Eric “Guitar” Davis and Sean Costello.
How has the Blues and Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
I think I learnt a lot being a Blues musician and touring out there with all my mentors, not only in the music side of it... and this for sure shaped my idea and point of view on the world and society. I always felt there was something really genuine comin from those Bluesmen lyrics and from their intense music, something honest, raw but true at the same time. Nothing made to please the market, to please the people … Just tellin their true stories of life, without any filter, in a simple but deep and intense way... I always being fascinated by this approach to music and life in general. Simple but True, a relationship between the musician and the listener based on truth and feeling, a share of emotions.
How do you describe "Let's Talk About It" sound and songbook? What has made you laugh from album's sessions?
"Let's Talk About It" is a collection of stories and feelings, based on a Bluesy Soul sound, going from traditional approach to more modern funky and ballads grooves. Produced by Fabio Colella for Blue Crawfish Records Brazil and Recorded during 2020, The Album includes 8 originals and 3 covers, from love topics, society, fun and sad feelings, and it also ends with a tribute to one of my best friends and artists Mr. Eric Guitar Davis (who unfortunately passed away years ago). More than laughing, I think this session really helped to bring some peace moments, in the middle of a terrible period of pandemic and no live music, and fear for people in general... Kind of a therapy really, to stay away from all those feelings comin from these rough times we are living today.
"I think I learnt a lot being a Blues musician and touring out there with all my mentors, not only in the music side of it ... and this for sure shaped my idea and point of view on the world and society. I always felt there was something really genuine comin from those Bluesmen lyrics and from their intense music, something honest, raw but true at the same time." (Luca Giordano / Photo by Francesco Scipioni)
Where does your creative drive come from? Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you?
My creative drive comes basically from touring experiences and life stories. I’m also very fortunate to be touring with many artists and Bluesmen from United States, and this really opened my mind, and gave me the chance to learn a lot about creating your own identity, and to know where you wanna go. I grew up listening to traditional Blues, which is what I really love, but I know, talkin about my identity, that I wanna develop my own sound, respecting tradition, but reflecting also other sides of me... the jazzy side of me, the tropical side of me, the Italian side of me... all this based on my first one love which is BLUES. I learned a lot on the road for 5 years with Mighty Mo Rodgers,... his writing, his charisma; from Stroger I learnt elegance, class, and also peace... I consider him as a Zen Master; from Chris Cain I learned genuinity and freedom; from Sax Gordon I learned professionalism, how to be a reliable artist, and how to be humble... still workin on all these things.
Europe, Brazil/Latin America, USA: What are the differences and similarities between the local scenes and circuits?
Musicians Communities and local scenes are pretty much similar all around the world, and also is like a big little family. We all know each other somehow. It’s beautiful to see how people and musicians help each other tryin to keep doing what we love to do. Economics is what makes the difference sometimes. I think maybe Europe is really the best market for this circuit in general, but United States offers more opportunities. But this was only before pandemic ... I think now the worldwide market is suffering big time. We will see a big chance comin' ... not sure gonna be for the good.
How do you think that you have grown as a blues artist since you first started making music and what has remained the same?
What remained the same is my huge passion for Blues Music, especially traditional, Delta, Chicago and Chicago West Side. During the years I also started to listen other music; a lot of jazz, soul, RnB, African, and also a lot of South American Music like samba and boss nova. I love acoustic approach to music, and maybe one day I will record an acoustic album. I also learned that music doesn’t have to be necessarily loud to be good... Today promoters are always looking for acts that make people dance and go crazy and forget life troubles... all good with that, and trust me, I would be the first to join the party, and myself I like to get little wild and dance with the crowd during my shows too... but I really think we cannot forget that music and art in general also must make you think, and not only forget... Creating a deep reaction in the listener.
"Musicians Communities and local scenes are pretty much similar all around the world, and also is like a big little family. We all know each other somehow. It’s beautiful to see how people and musicians help each other tryin to keep doing what we love to do. Economics is what makes the difference sometimes. I think maybe Europe is really the best market for this circuit in general, but United States offers more opportunities." (Luca Giordano / Photo by Francesco Scipioni)
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
Oh man, I would change so many things... let’s pick up one which would affect the rest too... Music and art in the schools and education. I would love to see serious art and music educational programs in Schools. We are forgetting today how art is important for human being. That’s why during this pandemic Art was labeled as "Not primary need"
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?
The most important one is this: "Magic Happens when you do things without creating too much expectations... Just enjoy what you are doing... Enjoy the trip". Being a sideman for Bob Stroger, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and many more, I learnt how much they enjoy what they do, playin music, being on the road, meeting people and keep doin that till it’s possible... Fame and success were not really the main thing... Fame and Success came later, from really lovin deeply what they were doing...
What is the impact of Blues on the racial, political and socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?
Music brings people together, and art in general. But today the main word is "divide". We are divided by social issues and different points of view on social media, creating an amplificated hate effect. And it’s sad to see this happening inside the worldwide blues community too. Blues comes from Afro-American people and Black Community, and we all must respect the roots and the history behind this music... and I think some people don’t... unfortunately! I think music industry should reserve more visibility and chances to Blues Artists from Black Community, because that’s where the Blues come from. Don’t get me wrong, I like myself to learnt last incredible fast licks from the new upcoming white guitar shredder... there are some unbelievable guitar players out there... But Blues is something else... you just need one note, but a loooot of soul behind it.
(Luca Giordano / Photo by Francesco Scipioni)
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