“STELLA BELLA STRADA” RELEASE date: MAY 31ST 2019 Stony plain records
Stella Bella Strada loosely translates to ‘beautiful star of the road’ and is aptly named for a new guitar built by master luthier and grand friend, Joseph Yanuziello. Did I want a one-of-a-kind instrument that could offer a fiery tone and is capable of fitting in many genres? Yes. Did I want an instrument that was lightweight and didn’t require a chiropractor after every show? Yes. Did I want Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren peeking out from under the Mojo pickup grills? Yes. Did I want it to light up when it was in high gear? Yes. Did I want my initials on the tone and volume controls? Why not? So, this is where the road trip starts.
Andy McNeill, longtime friend, supplied me with some all time groovy Chamberlin and Optigan drum loops, which, in themselves, ooze so much character and vibe. I knew I wanted to make a large ensemble, slide guitar recording, so my writing would have to support such a treatment and contain all the u-turns and detours I associate with this type of music. My fellow travellers would include the quartet I have been a member of for the better part of a quarter century, the Sisters Euclid ( Ian DeSouza, Mark Lalama and Gary Taylor). Riding shotgun is drummer, Davide DiRenzo, another longtime friend. He is on all 10 tracks and was integral to the overall sound. My brother Gary was also a big part of the ride, sitting behind the Wurlitzer and AceTone organ to provide that Las Vegas strip feel. The horn section consisted of the ever fantastic, Rebecca Hennessy, Perry White, Tom Richards and Vincent Henry. William Lamoureux, a young Quebec born violinist, weaves throughout the recording with much taste and musicality. There are 2 busloads of my musical friends playing and singing on Stella Bella Strada and it brought me great joy to have them all aboard. Like my previous recording, Johnny Goldtooth and the Chevy Casanovas, I wore several hats..producer, engineer, mixing and mastering. What I know of these things really is somewhat laughable but I loved every crazy second of it. This is the plain old truth. I loved it. I am hoping for this… when you listen to Stella Bella Strada, at the very least, you will hear me smiling.