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Live In Nottingham (Preview CD) by Family Style

Recorded "Live" at the Running Horse, Nottingham, UK
on Saturday September 18th 2004
Release date 3rd March 2005

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of being the initial contact in the UK with Italy's top Blues Band, Family Style. It was Spalding Blues Club's first venture in helping to organize a tour for a Blues Band. Now two years on and more tours in the UK now organized by that good friend of the Club, Mike Hellier of the Movinmusic Agency, we have the first "LIVE" CD from the Band; "Live in Nottingham", recorded at the "Running Horse" Club in Nottingham.
Spalding Blues Club -
Movinmusic Agency -
Running Horse Club -

You could say this review is a sort of mix between a live review and review of a CD of a live performance as I was there on the night along with Richard and Cynthia Howell the co-ordinator's of the Spalding Blues Club Collective. What a night it was too, it was the first time I had been to the "Running Horse" Club, in fact the first time I had been in Nottingham. A privilege extended to us by our "buddy's" Franco, Marco, Davide and Gigi - "Family Style" by their kind invite to attend the recording session.

The "Running Horse" is a well established venue on the UK circuit with great recording facilities, you could sense the atmosphere as you walked in and paid your entrance fee to Barry the owner, yeah! I was looking forward to a great night's entertainment. It certainly is a great venue with music every night of the week, with an emphasis on Hard Rock and Blues.

After hugs from the band a good chat and a drink, yes, these are a really friendly, genuine bunch of guys, steeped in Blues, they got down to business on stage. Marco the lead guitarist had traveled all the way from Arluno, (their hometown) near Milan with a broken leg, in constant agony throughout the whole of their UK tour, the guy deserves an award for his dedication and showmanship. In fact they all deserve an award as not only did they travel the length and breadth of the UK but they did a gig in Belgium the next day, another in Switzerland the day after then home to Italy driving all the way.... yeah man! I said driving, not flying as you might expect, but all the way by car!

Now on to the CD review:
It is a few months since their performance in Nottingham, I have been waiting to see how their recording had turned out after such an amazing live gig. I enjoyed the gig so much that I then and there volunteered to write a review for the recording. I am privileged to have received a preview copy in advance of the actual CD. There are 14 tracks, a great mix of their own numbers, some borrowed from the greats like Robert Johnson, Walter Horton and Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac but all good rockin' Blues.

Track Listing and critique:

track 1 - Lookin' For A Woman
A great number to introduce the band, straight into the action, Franco on vocals and harp, Marco on guitar, Davide on bass, Gigi on drums playing Chicago style from the onset of this live album. Franco and the guys bringing audience participation from the start.

track 2 - She's Real
Franco showing his virtuosity on harp and vocals very competently backed up by the rest of the guys. The number bounds along. I really dig it.

track 3 - Looking For Somebody
A tribute to Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac. A haunting blues melody, so sad so forlorn vocals by Franco. A fantastic guitar solo by Marco that really pulls at the heart strings. Don't stop.

track 4 - Diving Duck Blues
Down to Mississippi, down amongst the crocodiles, thats where Family Style take us with this mighty Swamp Blues.

track 5 - Pocket Full Of Nothin'
With a "pocket full of nothin" how can you lose? Well they don't lose, it's a real winner, great number.

track 6 - Get Rid Of You
Unusual lyric and rhythm portraying a sentiment we have all felt many times in our life. Superb guitar work by Marco.

track 7 - Walking Blues
Marco with an Elmore James style slide guitar with Franco with really gutsy vocal for this legendary number by that instigator of Blues music, "Robert Johnson." Superbly done number, done as it should be.

track 8 - Body Painter
Slowing down the pace here with a swing blues, Franco's bitter sweet memory of his body painter.

track 9 - Cannonball
A resounding instrumental to please all you blues rockers, hit it guys.

track 10 - Thank You All
A verbal thank you to the band members and all the staff and production crew at the Running Horse, I second that.

track 11 - Jack Daniel
A great rock number written for Keith Richards and his favourite tipple to finish this amazin' gig by Family Style.

track 12 - Keep My Business
After cries of "MORE" from the audience, Family Style really rock back on stage to enthrall us all over again.

track 13 - I Walk All Day
Bringing in the audience Franco leads this catchy repetitive lyric with the band blasting away in between the chorus, you can hear Richard, Cynthia and yours truly giving our all with the rest of the audience in appreciation of a great band on a great night.

track 14 - Easy
(This track was recorded in Belgium at Zaal Caproen, Bredene, Belgium on Friday January 30th 2004. with Enrico Crivellaro on guitar) A really great version of Big Walter (Shaky) Horton's famous instrumental. Good friend of the Family Style band Enrico Crivallaro plays guitar on this one. Exceptional harp by Franco.

footnote: On Family Styles previous tour Enrico Crivallero stepped in as lead guitar when Marco had to stay back in Italy to look after the family business when he and Franco's father became ill. Enrico's website is well worth a visit to check out the amazing career of this extremely talented young man. I had the privilege of meeting him on that tour.

Family Style Band
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A 'Delta Dawn' Review
Spalding, Lincolnshire, England.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Family Style
  • CD Title: Live In Nottingham (Preview CD)
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Family Style
  • Rating: Five Stars
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