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Little Albert - Swamp King

Little Albert
Swamp King
by Dani Bandolier at 18 March 2020, 1:08 PM

Blues flavoured combo LITTLE ALBERT (2016) is a side project of MESSA lead guitarist Alberto Piccolo and “features the guitarist/vocalist's talents submerged in a damp, murky morass, where soulful blues reign.” So sayeth ye sacred PR promo.  Alberto is from canal crossed Treviso, northern Italy not far from Venice.

Serious downer vibe “Swamp King” glides in and establishes a blues testament of sorts. The lead tone hits my sweet tooth with a double dip of smoky octave layered guitar smothered with reverb sauce and I dig it. After this ear opening attention getter, we get “Bridge of Sighs” yep, that “Bridge of Sighs” - a version that breaks no new ground and adheres to an on-the-numbers cover of the rather avant-garde Robin Trower original from 1974. This version offers another fine take of Alberto’s smooth and soulful voice which reminds me of Dan Auerbach of BLACK KEYS, in addition to Alberto’s fine guitar transitions.

A standout performance on this cover song is Mattias Zambon’s canyon blasting right foot meter laddered with his sparse, fusing drum convocations shoulder to shoulder with bass player and down-deep conspirator Christian Guidolin. Lucky for our mortal souls they deliver the cozmik sermon in song all over ‘SWAMP KING’. “Mean Old Woman” sounds like a close Trower cousin of the proceeding golden oldie with its similar rotating speaker leads, rhythm and pace – not like that is a bad thing, mates. “Blues Asteroid” presents another effects pedal workout and exists purely for the vibe with a ‘no vocals’ electric blooze EARTHLESS approach.

“Mary Claire” is the money shot standout cut and by far the most intriguing song on this release … jazzy riffs and fills taking flight like so many transmigrate birds, rounding planet Mary Claire while cumulus nebula melody bounds itself to us and drifts through frontal lobes to inner lugs, everywhere surrounded pole to pole by reverb soaked guitar coloratura. Good golly Mary Claire ¡!

“Outside Woman Blues” is cooking with acid blooze propellant supplied by bass player Christian that allows lead guitarist Alberto to lift off with his guitar from our terrestrial coil. This song is much too short. “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” is unreviewed as I did not receive it on the digital copy of ‘SWAMP KING’. The omnipotent Googleus Machina says it is probably another cover. That makes 2 covers on a 7 song release if you throw down for the vinyl … if we were to count that sort of thang.

‘SWAMP KING’ does the “damp and murky” thing alright, flauntingly sauntering through MESSA’s sensual dominion. Alberto’s 6-string axe slinger and musician credentials are well burnished from his association with MESSA. In the divine duty of reviewing this release I used my own black majik machine - Tidal - and bounced over to ‘Feast for Water’ by MESSA. By Jupiter, it is there I encountered a MAZZY STAR feast of heavy celestial riffs that kills me easy on first listen and if Sara had appeared singing lead on these songs, ‘SWAMP KING’ - or some of it, could have been a MESSA release. The sonics don’t fall far from the MESSA music tree, not at all. ‘SWAMP KING’ aces repeated listening, a polished and discreet output of satisfying cozmik blues. Have a listen and let the beryl love flow.

I'll tell thee what; Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black as my Spotify playlist featuring my reviewed bands…

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Swamp King
2. Bridge of Sighs
3. Mean Old Woman
4. Blues Asteroid
5. Mary Claire
6. Outside Woman Blues
7. Hard Times Killing Floor Blues
Alberto Piccolo - Vocals & Guitar
Mattia Zambon - Drums
Christian Guidolin - Bass
Record Label: Aural Music


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