The self-titled album Angelo Santelli by Angelo Santelli is an independent acoustic dressed up with many different sound outfits. The first song “Mr. Road Man” is quite country with injections of loosely plucked banjo and a southern twang in the vocal styling. The song moves into an electric guitar screechy power solo and is driven by a crashing drum kit. Angelo has a Chris Robinson-esque Black Crowes vibe with his country rock no holding back expression. Moving along the album to “July Song” you get an even more country rock feel. The drums are consistent and are lead by another vocalist with a raspy interpretation. High-powered with occasional bluegrass sounding visitations from fiddle and banjo make this song extremely danceable. There is even a moment where they bring in an electric keyboard making it sound like Chromeo went to Alabama. I feel safe saying this is a country album, but just almost because there is an element to it that pulls it in and out of other realms.
The song “Synthesis” sounds like a song from the movie “Tron” with its electric synth instrumental. It is eerie and epic sounding. The whole album is high powered and driven quite diligently. “Nine Lives, Nine Tales” has a hefty amount of organ and a dash of hand drums. It feels jazzy and not at all country which is why this piece is so great. It gives the listener a nice decompression from the otherwise jam packed loaded BPM country sound to a more down-tempo, low-key rhythmic sound. The song even picks up into a funk jam. It's like New Orleans met Alabama in this one. Just like the name of the song includes nine lives, it has nine sounds. You think it is country, then it's down-tempo, then it's funk, then it's deep funk revival. It is a seven-minute song with a flavorful audio punch that could dance the ears off the keenest musician. You can really get a feel for the talent of the group within this piece. It gives them plenty of wiggle room to show you what all they can accomplish, which is a lot. So many smooth transitions and jazzy moments that glitter up the toothless Mississippi front porch sound.
“Saffron” just like the herb, is flavorful. The band really outdoes themselves with the song “Griff's Blues.” This one is heartfelt and delves completely into that bluesy realm. Harmonica, and a "walking the dog" bass leading into yet another power electric guitar solo - you can just feel that the club out there somewhere in the world hearing this music live is dancing their little tushies off. Great party music for a casket aged whiskey sipping all ages get down. I like this sound because it doesn't discriminate with age. This kind of music is what brings all people from all backgrounds and ages together. It hits the soul in a way that is undeniable to the human experience. Ending on the song “Handclapping Dobro” you get a real hoedown organic barn vibe. I can smell the straw and imagine everyone sitting on hay bales in a neighbor’s back barn just having a blast. The handclaps are almost as good as hand drums. They are consistent and even. Great way to end the album.
Overall the album Angelo Santelli is a dynamic, satisfying piece. The musicians are all really talented and it bleeds through in their obvious ability to successfully fully express themselves in so many different genres of music. I suppose if you think about it they are all related though - funk, jazz, soul and country. The country aspect of this album is definitely more folky with well written lyrics that tell a story we're all wanting to hear. They know how to dance in and out of genres effortlessly and it is impressive. I recommend this album highly and think that it would be great to play at a wedding reception or an event where there is a wide range of people that you wanna get dancing.
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