Maximum R'n'R 06/05 – USA 2005

Nice to see that Italian rocker/rockabilly types honor Italian-American baseball great Joe Di Maggio. Oh wait, the guitarist is named Marco Di Maggio.
At any rate, this is very good Eurobilly: you can generally tell the European take on rockabilly and, as with Russian rockabilly and Japanese rockabilly, it's not just the accents, it's a certain quality they bring to the proceedings.
In the case of Eurobilly, that quality is a certain smoothness (learning more towards the Carl Mann than the Charlie Feathers end of the rockabilly spectrum) and the DI MAGGIO pull it off nicely with some revved-up REV. HORTON style guitar and plenty of nice deviations from standard retrobilly tossed in (tought the last track's surf medley I could have done without, as much of a crowd pleaser as it might be playing to boozed up crowd). Extra points for their name checking of the Eddie Cochran Appreciation Society: these boys are all right with me. (DD)

Riki Signorini - Punkster 05-06/05- Italia 2005

Marco di Maggio è un artista conosciutissimo a livello internazionale e dall'indubbio bagaglio tecnico, che è riuscito a guadagnarsi l'ammirazione dei più prestigiosi magazines Americani ed Europei col suo travolgente crossover di stili.
Anche in questo, che è il suo sesto album o giù di lì, ci trovimao di fronte a 16 brani che spaziano dal Rockabilly al Surf, dal Punk allo Psychobilly e dal Blues al Country, riuscendo nel difficilissimo intento di fare convivere stili così diversi tra loro.
In un contesto di altissima qualità si segnalano comunque sia dei brani originali (My F. Rock'n'Roll su tutti), che delle cover (Every Breath You Take e soprattutto Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, che ospita alla voce ed alla chitarra Greg delle Iene!), fino alla conclusiva Surf Attack/Di Maggio Theme che miscela Pantera Rosa, Besame Mucho e che più ne ha più ne metta in un frenetico calderone.


Courtesy: Colin Kilgour - Feb. 11, 2002 - UK - A few Listers converged on the minuscule village of Brogborough near MK. There was CK, Rod Pyke, Rob Humphreys and after navigating their way, Bill Beard and family. We witnessed a superb set from Italy's Marco Di Maggio who proved to be not only an excellent performer but all-round nice guy as well. His scorching fingerwork across the Gretsch fretboard made me expect the cherry red beauty to burst into flames at any time. In fact he's so damned fast, I wouldn't be surprised if a computer count registered a million notes during the set. But it wasn't all about speed, if anything I enjoyed it more when he varied the tempo and highlights for me included:
I Just Found Out
Blue Days Black Nights
I Don't Care if The Sun Don't Shine
Sittin' In The Balcony
I Need Your Love Tonight
Crying, Waiting, Hoping
and a tasty instrumental (o' course) Sleepwalk
To quote a certain Mr. Knopfler, writer of one of the tracks on the 2 CDs I bought after the gig from Marco's trunk, "Oh yeah the boy can play" My word, can he play. I detected a touch of the Scotty Moore's here & there and Rob said the same re some Cliff Gallup flourishes. The only disappointing thing for me (and it applies to most things I go to see) is the apathetic attitude of the majority of the audience. Granted it's difficult to applaud with a pint in yer hand but there are ways of yelping your approval. The man from Florence deserved better but it was a tribute to his professionalism and obvious enthusiasm for the music that he didn't let it stand in the way of putting on a helluva show for the folks who were happy to demonstrate their pleasure.
As Rod highlighted earlier, these dates follow - catch him if you can
14th Feb Carshalton Ex Serviceman's Club, West Street, Carshalton, Surrey
15th Feb The Dome, Lower Road, Hockley, Essex
16th Feb The Air Balloon, Mile End Road, Portsmouth


By Rob Humphreys. Marco barnstormed into Brogborough for the debut of his current tour and took no prisoners. Playing for around 90 mins he left us all exhausted and dazzled by his sheer artistry and commitment. He started in about third gear and swiftly moved up into overdrive. The only let up came when for one number he slowed things down and treated us to a multi chorded version of that old instrumental classic Sleepwalk - oh he also paused after about an hour to change his trusty Gretsch for an old battered Fender. Backed by just slap bass and drums this was a tour de force of Rockabilly - Blue Days, Black Nights, All By Myself, I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine, Cabin On The Hill - I can't remember them all but trust me they were excellent. Some Elvis (pre '60 of course..), some Eddie, a few instrumentals of his own. You might say why all the cover versions? But these aint cover versions 'cos he makes them his own and what better excuse to embellish those favourite guitar breaks of ours with even more fancy licks! The highlight number for me was Double Talkin' Baby with some three-dimensional Cliff Gallup guitar runs. There were quite a few calls for Highway Patrol (off Marco's Superpickin' CD) and this one Marco really has made his own - the tune is still running through my brain 24 hours afterwards. Marco and the boys came back for a three-song encore and the stand out track was the Stray Cats Rock This Town Tonight and Marco now back with his Gretsch went into warp speed. Aspiring guitarists go to see this man at your peril as you will realise how futile your own efforts could be. I'm sorry if this review is too enthusiastic but I cannot find any faults - like the old showmen used to say 'you get your money's worth in the first ten minutes and the rest of the show is free'. The flyers advertise Marco as 'from Florence' - don't let that make you think you aint gonna get the real thing - he's really from Planet Rockabilly .......
It was also nice to meet fellow Listers Colin Kilgour, Bill Beard and Rod Pyke.

"Rockabilly From The Boots Up"

Vampirella Music MCG 1020048-2
Playing Time: 54.28
Every Breath You Take (radio version)/King Creole/Groupy Baby/Little Cabin On The Hill/Long Holiday/Sad And Blue/I'm Counting On You/Wee Folk/I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/Walk Of Life/Let Me/Rockabilly Is On My Mind/Nickname Of The Game/In The Groove/Un Vizioso Come Me/High Speed Pickin'/Every Breath You Take (album version).

This release on the German Vampirella Music label is virtually a re-release of the CD that first appeared on Rockabilly Hall Of Fame RABHOF CD 102, the exception being this time around there are now two differing edits of the rockabilly treatment of the Police hit "Every Breath I Take" and both work. Listening to the CD again, the previous opinion that this is a release with a high quality of musicianship and vocals throughout is reinforced. Particularly appealing are the reworking of Dire Straits "Walk Of Life", the harmonies on Bill Monroe's "Little Cabin On The Hill" and the superb reading of Presley's "I'm Counting On You" and "Let Me".

There are several original numbers with "In The Groove" being a tribute song to the r 'n' r greats and "Nickname Of The Game" being a paean of all the lovely femmes that you can't live without (and sometimes can't live with). "Sad And Blue" is fast paced rockabilly as is "Un Vizioso Come Me" which is sung in Italian. The only track, which does not really work, is the jazzy "Rockabilly's On My Mind" but sixteen good tracks out of seventeen is not a bad ratio.

Marco DiMaggio was at the rock 'n' roll festival in Las Vegas last Easter and he left many gob smacked with his guitar picking and vocal abilities - this CD is a fine representation of where his exceptional talent was a couple of years back.

© Tony Wilkinson
June 2000



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