LIVE: Maurizio @ the Black Cat Ale House, 5/10/14

Review and video by Joel Patterson

The field of music and arts blogging needs a few new theorems, so here’s one I’ll offer, which I only recently discovered: the “Ain’t No Sunshine” postulate. At the very start of Maurizio’s gig last Saturday at the Black Cat in Cohoes, two patrons at the bar began an a cappella version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” one of these time-has-proven-it-a-classic tunes, due in no small part to its simple, guttural pulse and deliciously inspired bridge (“I know, I know, I know, I know…”)

It is the perfect tune for Maurizio to bless with his propulsive, soulful, velvet-gloved hammering thing he does on guitar. It is miraculous the savage depth of tone this guy gets from an acoustic instrument, the wild, high-wire bombing runs. Anyway, he didn’t have a practiced “Sunshine” ready yet (and one of his many strengths is the wisdom to hold his cards and play them well). But later one of the girls approached me – thinking I had some influence – and begged me to intervene and force him to play the song.

When it happens (perhaps at this year’s Riverfest? Hint, hint?) the audience will be treated to a spectacle they’ll tell their grandchildren about – the time when a simple cover version was delivered in such a new and powerful way that it caused a spontaneous chain-reaction of feverish joy among all present. This feverish joy is what entertainers are all about. Maurizio works very hard at this. In addition to
the inborn appeal of his natural charming nature, he’s teasing out the mysteries of exactly how performing works, how to get into that elusive zone where everything clicks.

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