Maurizio Pugno

Kill the Coffee

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Kill the Coffee Review

by Michael G. Nastos

Electric guitarist Maurizio Pugno is yet another Italian bluesman who, like contemporary peer Enrico Crivellaro, is making inroads on the American and international scenes. Working with singers, harmonica players, and co-songwriters Mark DuFresne or Sugar Ray Norcia, Pugno presents these originals solidly cast in the tradition of urban or traditional uptown blues. Pugno is not as distinctive as the outstanding Crivellaro, but moves in deliberate ways, and uses his very talented vocalists to showcase a broader range of styles. You hear classic shuffle, swing, two instrumentals, South Side Chicago sounds, and even a little Tex-Mex blended in. Norcia is a great singer as heard on his six features with Pugno, and adds his tasteful harmonica to the swing blues "Funny What Happens," the outstanding rocker "Big Party at My House Tonight," and the big-city shuffle title track. Where Sugar Ray's voice is a slight bit deeper, DuFresne has more of an edge in a higher range. Also playing a bit of harp for the southwestern tango "On Down the Trail Again," DuFresne mixes it up more on the soul ballad "Pray for Me" and the bompity-bomp jungle blues "Grey Matters." Pugno's twangy guitar takes center stage sans the singers for the rock swing jam "Tronfy the Weeper" and works with Sugar Ray's harmonica on the shortie "From Norcia to Gubbio." Kill the Coffee is easy enough to enjoy, especially for purist blues lovers who are looking for a new star to champion like Pugno. Having killer bluesmen like DuFresne and Norcia along for the ride on this fine album would never diminish his music on any level.

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