Review & video by Joel Patterson
Newly anointed as the Local 518′s No. 2 solo performer in Metroland’s 2014 Readers’ Poll (behind the ultra-vivacious Erin Harkes), Maurizio has at last become one of these people with only one name… and for good reason. He does the singer-songwriter thing in his own unique, quite winning way. When he first steps up to the mic, as last Friday evening (April 11) at the Brunswick Barbecue & Brew (which has steadily evolved into one of Nippertown’s premier live music venues), he’s all sheepish caution and subtlety, but an hour later, he’s rolling – unstoppable, a one-man fireworks display, melting guitar picks with furious abandon. (I have seen this – not pretty.)
All the while, a boyish innocence prevails, whether giving his trademark, percussive, lime-in-the-coconut spin to classic standards or wading into his own dreamy, punchy originals. He’s a singer who lingers long on the perches and avalanches of melody and the charms and contradictions of loves won and lost. An album is in the works… watch this space and take all necessary precautions.
Talk to the guy, though, and you find a man not exactly tortured by self-doubt, but let’s say hyper-aware of all the possible pitfalls that come with playing live in front of crowds. He’s largely unimpressed with the effect he creates. The moment-to-moment calculations and feedback loops he describes sound dizzying. But then, this all comes back to an old conundrum. Any performer is conscious of what they are trying to do – of all the things they are trying to do simultaneously – but the audience is blissfully unaware of any of this. They just see the show as it happens. Which perhaps explains a somewhat baffling condition: How Maurizio can hold these people in the palm of his hand, and only see a hand half-full?