There truly is no “recipe” or “textbook approach” that one can adhere to when making the commitment to pursue a musical career. It is just a yearning from within that compels artists to follow their heart and chase their dreams. Oftentimes, for most, the journey becomes unbearable or burdensome to the point of abandoning such a pursuit. For those that remain, there still exists that small glimmer of hope for eventual success. Italian guitarist and lead vocalist Marco Gioé along with contrabassist and backup vocalist Andrea Amico are two such individuals who have endured the trials and tribulations on that arduous road to “musical contentment.”
The two have been inseparable colleagues and friends for the better part of 15 years and have encountered many challenging situations sprinkled with some occasional rewarding experiences that have strengthened their resolve and determination to succeed. Their earliest collaborations together in 2005 saw them exploring their fondness for blues as they formed the group “Shotgun” and successfully participated in and captured first place in both the Pistoia Blues Festival in Tuscany and the Etna Blues Festival in Sicily. To complete the group, they welcomed drummer and background vocalist Giuseppe Marino, a versatile musician with a love for blues-rock and popular folk rhythms, to the mix.
As a bona fide trio they began delving into new and different sonorities and eventually gravitated toward reinterpreting the burgeoning sounds of the late 1950’s American rock & roll scene with emphasis on twist, doo-wop and surf melodies. They christened themselves as “Marilù” in honor of Ricky Nelson’s 1959 hit “Hello Mary Lou.”
Longing to involve their audiences with their live performances, they focused on compositions that required precise vocal harmonization which would hopefully induce crowd participation. The early results were immediate and overwhelming. Emboldened by this positive response, they entered into the recording studio and released their debut album “Soltanto Un Twist” (2012) on their new Muddy Waters Record music label. The release contained 11 upbeat songs, none over three minutes long, and included three originals, two of which were written in Italian; “É Soltanto un Twist” and “Il Ribelle.” The remaining eight songs, such as “Oh Boy,” “That’ll be the Day,” “Rip it Up,” “Unchained Melody,” “I Fought the Law,” and “At the Hop” are famous covers of Buddy Holly, The Righteous Brothers, Little Richard, Bobby Fuller Four, and Danny & The Juniors.
They immediately set out on a long national tour throughout the Italian peninsula earning the reputation of being among the best to interpret the songs of that era. Their musical style, affectionately referred to as “Rockabilly,” was welcomed by both young and old and warmly received by the critics for its “simplistic ingenuity.” Marilù participated in prestigious theatres and musical festivals in Rome, Bologna, Berlin, Milan, Palermo, and Catania. After a lengthy stay on the road, the band returned to the studio and put the finishing touches on their second album “Cinderella Rock” (2014). This release contained 11 songs, eight originals in both English and Italian, and continued in the vein of the Rockabilly style. It also featured song titles containing female names which they explained “supposedly” represented the many women admirers they encountered on their recently concluded tour.
The group utilized popular social media tools such as YouTube and Facebook to feature three new songs off the album as singles including “Grace,” “Jenny” and “Cinderella.” The videos received unexpectedly high levels of visualizations which did not go unnoticed. They were soon invited to appear on the national “Canale 5” (Channel 5) television network as special guests to present their hit song “Cinderella” to an estimated audience of over 10 million viewers. They were also the subject matter of several entertainment publications.
The band added Salvo Montante to the fold as their new drummer, who began playing when he was 14. He had an extensive musical background that included jazz, pop, funk, rock, and fusion styles. The band quickly returned to touring in support of their latest release. Over the course of the next year, the crowds grew larger and more vocal as their popularity began to grow exponentially. However, due to the rigorous demands of constant touring requisite to gain important additional exposure, the group would introduce their newest and current member, drummer Federico Chisesi in 2015. His background included stints in blues bands throughout his native province of Palermo and is the “youngster” of the group. Though pleased to see their touring calendar filling up, they set their sights on traveling beyond the confines of Italy and Europe.
They would realize their dreams in November of 2016 as they were invited to appear as the headline musical guests at (Le) Poisson Rouge Music Cabaret in NYC. Their successful performance there parlayed itself into an extended stay in the U.S. as they added a three-night weekend performance in Cleveland, taking center stage at Dante’s CODA in Tremont, The Home Family Club in Parma Heights and concluding with a sold-out show at Spennato’s Ristorante in Northfield. Marilù returned to Italy with intentions of completing work on their upcoming third album with an anticipated January 2017 release date. The group hopes to incorporate their newly acquired American experiences into the theme of their new recording. For more information you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mariluband.