Maria Moramarco’s unmistakable voice, Luigi Bolognese’s glistening plectrums, Silvio Teot’s extraordinary Mediterranean percussions, or simply UARAGNIAUN, who after the remarkable releases Ualì and Skuarrajazz, draw the attention on their name with a new production, U diavule e l’acqua sante (dialect for The Devil and the Holy Water).
From the title it is understandable how on this occasion the band from Altamura have conceived the idea of bringing into play a repertoire which mostly comprises songs from the tradition of the Bari and Murgia upland, featured by contrasting issues. The record moves thus, no beating about the bush and no compromising, between sacred and profane, “good” and “bad”. The nuances are deliberately left apart and the work finds its success thanks to the very opposing high music tones and mellow sounds, and in the re-proposition of the eternal contradictions of man, capable of both admirable gestures of love and rash violence.
From stories of the devil kidnapping young women to the bad end of a gentleman bandit, from the appearing of the Virgin Mary to Saint Lucia’s hollowed eyes, from Saint Rocco’s miracles to the prickly rose, from the war-missing sweetheart to the melancholic lullaby of a mother worrying over her son’s future, U diavule e l’acqua sante contains and resounds of a rich and stylistically complex tradition, which on the musical level is solved with great care of details and participation.
Great hosts ranging from Riccardo Tesi and Daniele Sepe, with precious interventions of the Basque “colony” which have contributed to increase the expressive range of the record. Joxan Goikoetxea’s accordion and “vibrandoneon”, Balen Lopez de Munain’s guitar and a couple of songs from the Basque folk heritage included in the track list increase the value of a work of remarkable musical and cultural depth.