|Most every country has one and there is often disagreement on who it is. No, I am not referring to the most corrupt leader of any given nation, but rather to its national guitar hero. Like debating a favorite sports team, the good natured discussion about a favorite ax slinger takes place in nearly every civilized country on the planet.
I would be hard pressed to name a guitarist more deserving as Italy’s official guitar hero than Tolo Marton. Since the early 70s, Marton has been thrilling fans from all over Italy and beyond with his music, which sounds to me like an Italian Eric Clapton meets Rory Gallagher. His sound is very polished and powerfully beautiful, like Clapton, yet he also displays the more passionate
and edgier sound of Gallagher. While he does not at all remind me of Hendrix, Marton covers 5 of his songs on this excellent 2 disc 27 track live set and in fact was the winner of the 1998 Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition, Senior Division.
While many of the guitarists and bands I review are more of the “beast” variety, I would have to categorize Marton’s work as one of the “beauty’s” of the genre. While he is not lacking for edge, tone, and aggression in his playing, his work is also very clean, crisp, and precise. As stated before, he has a Clapton-ish approach to his work, which certainly means there is an emphasis on excellence. The backing band, Lostiguana which is comprised of Max Michieletto on 2nd guitar, Maurizio Feraco on bass, and Marco Michieletto on drums is very capable and enjoyable to hear.
Marton’s choice of material on this recording, which covers almost 2 1/2 hours, is splendid. He combines outstanding original material with some well known and lesser known covers, all of which suit his style very well. My favorites on the set were very easy to choose: Marton’s tremendous Rory Gallagher like cover of Felix Pappalardi’s “Crossroader”, his smoldering original track “Fought to Change”, a first rate cover of Hendrix’s “Red House”, and a great rendition of Nils Lofgren’s “Moon Tears” are good tunes with which to start. However, the best track on this set of 27 strong offerings is without question Marton’s original composition “My Place Is Close to You”, which is pretty much a capsule of what you get with Tolo Marton: gifted guitar, clean and rich tone, excellent original material, and rock solid vocals and supporting players.
Time does not permit me the opportunity of describing in detail all of the wonderful material on this set, but I do suggest that you order a reasonably priced copy of this double live set and check it out for yourself. Be sure to visit the official Tolo Marton web site at www.tolomarton.com and listen to his sound samples in the “discografia” section, but be advised that the site is in Italian. There are other sound samples and information in English located online at www.mp3.com/tolomarton. Please email Tolo through either of these sites for information on purchasing copies of his titles.
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