This musical project started in the mid of 2015 because I got a permit to play in the street of my hometown. At that time, I was rambling around the world, playing instrumental Appalachian mountains banjo music and earning my living busking (I know it's crazy!). When I got the mail from the city hall of Firenze informing me I won a place for busking, it made me really happy to have the chance to play in my hometown after waiting for 13 years to get a permit!
Among other criteria, my degree in Music, Art & Cinema from the University of Bologna played a crucial role in winning the public competition for a spot to play in the street. This made me particularly proud and I felt better with myself because my parents thought I wasted a lot of time and money at university.
Nowadays too many cities consider the street musician to be a problem (like a terrorist, a thief or a beggar) and it's very common to find a policeman that stops your performance and tries to give you a ticket or simply sends you away. There is a slow process of considering the “public” places to be more “private” place, as water was free years ago and now you have to pay for it. Until 20-30 years ago you could play in almost every square or street or public places without a permit. I consider myself a musician, a busker and a traveler and in the last 10 years, I always tried to find a balance between those three things and earn a living doing what I love.
I never sang until I was 34, but I made a bet with myself that if I get the permit to play in the street of Firenze, I will sing every day just to learn and try to find my voice. For one year and half after that, I sang the music I love just in my hometown (and a couple of months in Australia in wintertime). I called this project “Roots Flavour” because I wanted to sing and play just with one acoustic instrument (guitar or banjo) to get the sound to the bone, respecting the tradition of minstrels, medicine shows and old bluesmen that used to play in the streets during the last century and before. In medicine shows there was often a guy playing the banjo while trying to sell miracle elixirs (combined with alcohol, morphine or cocaine) to cure any disease. I like to think that this music will heal listeners from postmodern stressed technological life and allowing them to enjoy the simple sound, cut to the bone... the sound that makes you tap your feet!
This is a selection of acoustic American folk and roots music (country blues, piedmont blues, bluegrass, old time) with acoustic guitar and banjo, representing a recorded photoshoot of my personal musical journey until November 2016. Every song is recorded and mixed the “old school” way, no overdubs, just live.