Mbrascatu’s, Andrea Algieri, Dylan Dean, and John Sabestinas paid a visit to the Portland Radio Project studio Monday morning to play a few tunes, talk about the band, and tell us about their album release party at Mississippi Studios on January 2, 2015. The new album, ‘Tempo’, is fantastic!
Make plans to join in the celebration. You won’t be disappointed. Redwood Son will feature special guest vocalist, the dynamic Laura Ivancie. A true triple-threat of an evening. Discover more about the unique Mbrascatu and check out the live session, below.
Mbrascatu is not just any band. Formed in 2010, they sing in Italian, the native tongue of lead vocalist, Andrea Algieri. Andrea sings with a smoky, husky voice that emanates like a delicious bite of the richest chocolate. While your schoolgirl self might imagine that he’s singing the most romantic of ballads, many of his songs touch on the political affairs of his homeland and the world at large.
The band’s performances are wildly passionate, and will hook you from the first moment you hear them. Comprised of Andrea, John, Dylan, Dan Sullivan, and Lalo Esparza, they are brothers of sorts. A few of them work together, one is a doctor, and they hang out together because they genuinely like one another. If you’ve ever seen their show, you can feel the affection between them which makes their performances so much more enjoyable. They’ve played everything from coffee shops (Café Umbria where I first heard them two years ago), festivals all over the Northwest, to venues large and small. Some might think the language would be a barrier, but instead, they bridge another world (Italy), with ours (Portland). Their music is so infectious that the audience can’t help but jump up and dance, while singing along to words we rarely know the meaning of. Does that matter? NOT at all! Just like the brotherhood of the band, the audience is a brotherhood of Mbrascatu fans, and one sees this merry band of followers at all of their shows.
A NEW ALBUM FOR A NEW YEAR
‘Tempo’ is the band’s second album and is just as enjoyable as their 2012 self-titled debut album. I’m sure their fans will appreciate that many of the new songs provide sing-a-long opportunities, for an Mbrascatu fan loves to join in the chorus. The album is ten songs over 35+ minutes, and its energetic pace is perfect to add to your workout mix, or lift your spirits fighting traffic on your drive home.
“Non Dirmi” is the first track off the album, and with the trumpet opening, and John’s banjo, you might think you’re hearing a mariachi band. The energetic intro is the perfect opening for what is to follow. “San Francesco Bar” is a fast paced song, complimented by Dylan’s beautiful, haunting violin, and is the first song with a chorus of ay, yi, yies to sing!
“Il Pazzo” is that madman we all possess a little of at times, and you really get a sense of beautiful madness and drama in the notes. At times, it even evokes a little 60’s surf music vibe.
“Lalalarala” with its guitar and drum intro is full of force and strength which will get you up and dancing while singing to the lalalala’s.
“Good Bye” starts off sadly before culminating in a polka or Appalachian sound. It is another great one to dance to as it builds to a happy, energetic end.
Dylan’s violin in “Mille” makes one think of a long journey, perhaps one of sadness and longing.
The title track “Tempo” is another great one to dance to, as well as join in on the chorus. It is a hopeful, inspiring tune that the whole band joins in song and is one that leaves you feeling good.
“Feeling good,” those two words pretty much sum up an Mbrascatu experience. They will make you shake your body, sing out loudly, and be glad you stopped by. You will leave their show happier than you arrived; feel like you have a roomful of new friends, and who can argue against that!
For tickets to their January 2nd album release show at Mississippi Studios, featuring local talents, Laura Ivancie, and Redwood Son & the Revelry: http://www.mississippistudios.com/event/701093-mbrascatu-portland/.