The Bonazzoli Band: “American Ghost Stories” – an album that defies time and genre
The album “American Ghost Stories” by The Bonazzoli Band is an ingenious musical tribute to old time radio shows of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s and their style really compliments the storytelling of the lyrics. On the 14-track album you will hear songs that are dabble in romance, detective drama, ghost stories and more. The Bonazzoli Band is focused around singer, guitarist and songwriter Matthew Bonazzoli who has been writing, recording and performing music for over two decades.
Matthew Bonazzoli launched his career in an alternative art rock band called ‘Innocent Victim’ where he wrote songs with his brother Damian. This led to another band named ‘Gearhead’ which won numerous awards through their duration. In 2004, Matthew met pianist Patrick Thompson which led to The Bonazzoli Band, now an eclectic seven piece unit that plays a blend of styles, including, but not limited to, country, rock and blues.
Every once in a while and usually out of the blue, we are graced with an album that defies time and genre, the type of music that we will be listening to when living on Mars; “American Ghost Stories” is just such an album. It is probably the diamond in the career of Matthew Bonazzoli. Whether it’s the boisterous “Road Have Mercy,” the thumping drums of “Invicta,” or the country folk of “Concord Road,” this album offers a richness of sound that will have listeners licking their chops.
The innocence of tracks like “Union Station” or “Can’t Let Go” creates a fragile balance with the edgier, darker songs, like “Long Black Carriage,” which sounds as if pulled from a deep burrow of desire. While the album delivers consistently good music, each song is so different from its predecessor that even the most casual listener’s attention is unlikely to wander. Moreover Matthew Bonazzoli’s distinguished voice carries enough weight and tone to deliver each storyline with an ample dose of emotional empathy. And his songs are sensitive and poetic, instead of the vulgar and dehumanizing lyrics of much of today’s music.
The songs are heartfelt, honest, and smoothly produced. The writing is great, but again, Bonazzoli’s performance is what is really incredible. His voice is tough but tender, and you can listen and hear so many emotions expressed in it. It’s like the rich depth of Waylon Jennings meets the reverberating, crystalline notes of Roy Orbison, somewhere in Memphis!
Only rarely has anyone come close to writing or composing such deeply textured, emotional, fully human songs, without any pretentiousness. “American Ghost Stories” is an excellent illustration of Matthew Bonazzoli’s overall talent which is augmented by The Bonazzoli Band as a whole, each who may be headliners in their own right. All of the musicians blend seamlessly together, while each song is very well written, and the album flows together from one track to the next.
“American Ghost Stories” is a great sampling of classic American Country and Rock sounds, bringing back the essence of true-to-life storytelling through music, without succumbing to a trace of nostalgia. For anyone interested in this kind of classic rock n’ roll, country, pop or whatever, just buy it , The Bonazzoli Band is the best thing to come out of this blend in the last few years!