An Interview with Italian bluesmen Lorenz Zadro & Valter Consalvi of True Blues Band: Tifosi Blues

"I can recommend to always play what you feel inside, and fuckin’ all the rest!!!"

Lorenz Zadro & Valter Consalvi: Blues Made in Italy

Training The True Blues Band was founded in 2009 with the original idea of bringing together in one training several instrumentalists, able to provide a solid base for many international blues artists on tour in Italy. In short, a kind of "national blues band", where the group home is actually a national rather than local. With this intention the True Blues Band, last year, has already joined in a series of concerts the Welsh bluesman Rowland Jones, the American James Thompson, Arthur Miles, Carl Wyatt and Archie Lee Hooker.

At the basic core of The True Blues Band alternate English musicians and / or American or Italian guests. This is a summary of the musicians with whom The True Blues Band has had the opportunity to work together, whether on disk, but also in stable formations for a series of concerts. The basic core of The True Blues Band was formed by Valter Consalvi (vocals & rhythm guitars), Lorenz Zadro (guitars), Matthew Vallicella (electric & double bass), Philip Romano (piano & keys), James Aio (drums).
In 2010 Lorenz creates the "Blues Made in Italy": a team collaborative communication, non-profit organization, created for the promotion and dissemination of Italian Blues, composed and open to musicians, industry players, fans and supporters.

Interview by Michael Limnios

When was your first desire to become involved in the blues, what does the BLUES mean to you?
Lorenz: Hi Michael! The blues took me when I was 6…I’ve listened “Hideaway”, a beautiful Freddie King’s instrumental song and I decided to play the blues guitar…the Blues is only emotion!

Valter: My passion for the blues was born in 18 when I heard for the first time John Mayall & Bluesbreakers!

Who were your first idols, what have been some of your musical influences?
Lorenz: My first musical influences are Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert Collins.

Valter: The first gig as audience was “Joe Cocker in 1987, in 1992 I had the honor of opening the concert of Phil Guy…my first song learned… Ridin’ on the L & N

How do you describe the music philosophy of Lorenz Zadro? What characterize Lorenz’ blues?
Lorenz: Now I love any kind of blues… I always listen a lot of records and my philosophy is not to exclude anything to be able to find the beautiful things in any song.

What characterize Valter Consalvi’s blues?
Valter: Essential ... realism and ... desire to say what the soul has inside

What does the BLUES mean to you & what does Blues offered you?
Valter: The blues is the expression of the soul of a man…and when I’m on the stage…I can find my soul!

Which of the people you have worked with do you consider the best, like a friend?
Lorenz: By recording the last our CD “TBB & Friends”, I have stranged friendship with the musicians who play in this record. I invited many friends and really good blues player for record this one…I have also a funny pic were we’re a “football team” ah ah!

How was your experience in the United Kingdom, do you remember something funny?
Lorenz: Oh yes! In 2007-2008 I played some concerts with Eddie Wilson and Joe O’Callaghan. They’re very beautiful persons! We did more laughs thank notes! In 2009 I’ve recorded the album “Lost in the blues” with Eddie Wilson.

How/where do you get inspiration for your songs & who were your mentors in songwriting?
Valter: The real things that happen everyday in my life… “The bridge” of my choices…my military experiences in the Folgore’s brigade “Q.33”, the love summer “Next summertime blues”, my real friends “T.B.B.”, my sicilian blood…from Patti (ME)…”The moon over Sicily” & “I don’t Agree” written for Peppino Impastato, our young icon against mafia,…and my only love, my daughter “Claudia”

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career in the blues craft?
Lorenz: I can recommend to always play what you feel inside, and fuckin’ all the rest!!!

Tell me about the beginning of The True Blues Band, Dirty Water & The Whiskers Blues Band. How did you choose the name and where did it start?
Lorenz: These band are three different band I founded…for three different kind of blues, but now I play only with The True Blues Band. I’ve found in this band my right size. I think our new album is a good work with new and funny original songs!

Do you remember anything funny or interesting from the recording time?
Valter: The dinner with sicilian “sasizza” menu… (Sicilian sausage)

Are there any memories from True Blues Band, which you’d like to share with us?
Valter: I remember the first time I met these wonderful musicians…notwithstanding I was 15 years older than them… I felt like a kid in school…and The True Blues Band musicians  were the teachers… I was excited ... but galvanized by the blues…today there is a real feeling…and this is the power of our band!

Which of historical blues personalities would you like to meet?
Valter: Alive…Blues Boy King, the great B.B.…and after my departure… Muddy Waters!

Valter, what do you think is the main characteristic of you personality that made you a musician?

You had pretty interesting project “Blues Made in Italy”. Where did you get that idea? Which you’d like to share with us?
Lorenz: Blues Made In Italy is a blues association founded by me and my great friends Aldo and Valter. I think in Italy there are many very interesting band and projects. With this association we promote and spred the most interesting new releases and we organize the annual national meeting (always in October). I was inspired by the most “blues society” in the American blues scene.

When it all began for the blues in Italy, who is considered the "godfather" of the blues in Italy?
Lorenz: I think the goodfather of the blues in Italy was Guido Toffoletti. He’s started to record his first album in 1976 and He has spread the blues in all Italy. He died young in 1999 when he was 2. He left a great memory. The last national meeting of Blues Made In Italy and our new CD are dedicated of you. This  year would have been 60.

What are the main blues festivals?
Lorenz: I think there are many interesting blues festival in Italy: Roots’nBlues & Food Festival, Piave Blues, Torrita Blues Festival, San Vito Blues and Soul, Italian Blues River, Ameno Blues, Marco Fiume Blues Passion, Etna in Blues , Green Hills in Blues and many more…

Who are your favorite blues artists, both old and new? What was the last record you bought?
Today I'm enjoying the Italian blues…I buy and listen to the blues artists “made in italy”

From whom have you have learned the most secrets about blues music?
Valter: Lorenz Zadro….my little brother!!! A very very Blues guy!

Lorenz Zadro     True Blues Band     Blues Made In Italy

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