Topic: The Cinelli Brothers

So here's a new thread about a relatively new band that, since we came out of isolation to gig again, have been taking the Uk by storm; The Cinelli Brothers. They came to the surface about 2017-18 with a debut album, Baby Please Set Your Alarm, that I know at the time at least pinged Tres' ears. At the time, I made a couple of attempts to catch them, but each time was thwarted, then we all know what happened between 2020 & 2021.

Anyway, if you can't remember that far back, let's just pause and catch up on who these guys are, and what they're about. The Cinelli Brothers is a project born out of a common passion for the electric Chicago and Texas blues from the 60s and 70s, when brothers Marco (guitarist and lead singer) and Alessandro (drummer) decided to form an explosive team showcasing original repertoire in the style of Chess, Stax and Motown. Joining the two brothers on stage, Tom Julian-Jones on harmonica, guitar and vocals and Stephen Giry on bass, guitar and vocals. Since then, they've released 2 further albums, Villa Jukebox, a "home recorded" project in 2021, and in May this year, they released their 3rd album, No Country For Bluesmen, which is a collection of collaborations with other Uk Blues acts.

And that's the story so far, no for the "Live" experience, which finally happened last night at one of my favourite venues.

Darlington Forum - 11-11-22

Once again, the diary was bulging for tasty gigs in the region, so it was very gratifying that Darlington Blues Club managed their largest and capacity crowd for The Cinelli Brothers who in 2022 appear to be the hottest ticket in town, on the Blues circuit. Have to say, with their blend of the contemporary mixed with their love of vintage Chicago Chess and Stax sound, there's a lot to please the ear. Not only, but it seems that each member of the band is a multi-faceted musician. Take Marco Cinelli, strong vocalist, not only has Steve Cropper's style on guitar nailed, but could give Brooker T a run on keyboards, then he can nip across the stage and take on bass duties. Close behind comes Tom Julian-Jones, another fine singer & guitarist as well as a fine harp blower. Not being outdone, Stephen Giry provides fine bass-lines, but can burn the frets off an old Telecaster when called on, as well as back-up vocals. The only guy who appeared to stay put through the evening was Alessandro Cinelli behind the drums, though again, a fine voice and it wouldn't surprise me if he was a virtuoso bagpipe player. This is a band that is seriously, insanely talented.

So, with 3 albums now under their belts, the set was a fine mix of self-penned and covers, the latter including a fine blast of Paul Butterfield, which is a rare treat these days and a slight left field with a cover of JJ Cale's Call Me The Breeze, which was rocked up a bit, to the point that at the breakdown, it almost teetered into Highway Star - very clever.

However, for some reason I couldn't settle into the evening. yes, they were good, really, really good, but I think with all the swapping round between who was fronting and who was playing what, I kind of lost focus. It was like watching 2 or 3 bands simultaneously, albeit very good bands. While I can't take anything away from them, I can't see the big attraction. Maybe you in the US will, next year when they represent the country in the Blues Challenge in Nashville

To put it in a comfortable car analogy, I think about Lancia cars of the 1960s & 70s: stylish, classy and very innovative; while I enjoyed the test-drive, I couldn't live with one.

From Carlisle Blues festival October 2022  (with Redfish band)

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...