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2 November 2012

El Pancho & Los Dorados - Appunti di Viaggio (2012)

The wonderful thing about ukulele is that it can be turned to a wide range of musical styles, and despite its small stature and unassuming nature, you don't need much else by way of accompaniment to put a song together.

Well, I have something for you...

El Pancho & Los Dorados - Appunti di Viaggio

I recently got an email from a gentleman by the name of El Pancho pointing me at an EP that he's put together. It's free to download from Prosity Records, so you'd be foolish not to go check it out. El Pancho is from Italy and a fellow blogger. Go check out El Pancho's blog and web page and while you're at it, why don't you track him down on facebook too.

El Pancho - Daniel Bianchini

I don't speak Italian, so I am at the mercy of Google Translate here, but I think that I've learnt that El Pancho is Daniel Bianchini originally hailing from Rome and now based in Sardinia. I spent a day rushing about Rome about 5 years ago - what a beautiful city! I can't remember seeing any ukuleles on that visit, but I wasn't really looking for them back then. I've also been to Sardinia once - to the sleepy port of Alghero. I can't remember much about that visit; other than it was hot and that there's not much to do in Alghero on a lunchtime. I wonder if I'll ever go back?

West Yorkshire - Centurions Scooter Club (Mid 80s)

The cover of Appunti di Viaggio shows El Pancho astride a Vespa with a ukulele strapped to his back. Quest'uomo รจ un dio! Ha ha. I don't think I've ever mentioned this on the blog before, but I owned a couple of Vespas a long, long time ago. I have my old Centurions Scooter Club shield hung on the wall in my man-cave! How cool is that!

Appunti di Viaggio (Travel Notes) is a collection of previously unreleased songs that El Pancho has rearranged for ukulele. Listening to them, I can well imagine El Pancho and his band holed up in a Mediterranean square on an evening, serenading the tourists as the local fishermen return with the day's catch. The music is accomplished and has that rustic feel to it. El Pancho talks about the songs being stories of his journey through life. The vocals are in Italian and the lyrics are included in the download. I'm not sure that I trust Google Translate too much here though. Apparently Senza Lasciami Andare ends with: "Screw is suspended, live one night in a riff. Discard via screw, Worm Company!" I find this hard to believe. :-)

Catch El Pancho & Los Dorados live
at a cantina near you...

El Pancho's vocals are mournful with a hint of Roman angst. I'm a fan! Makes me want to visit his neck of the woods again! The EP contains three full songs and two shorter instrumental pieces. If I had to pick a favourite, I think I might plump for the atmospheric instrumental piece called NU1702 which weighs in at an even one minute. I can see this one being turned into the intro for a thumping electric ukulele rock ballad without too much work. Senza Lasciami Andare is worth a listen too. I'd like to hear a punk ukulele version of this song.

Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele - as played by El Pancho
(and he endorses Aquila strings too....)

One last thing before I close off... El Pancho plays a beautiful Epiphone Les Paul acoustic ukulele which I'm guessing is a tenor. It has an under-saddle piezo and El Pancho gives some advice about getting a good sound out of it on a review he does on his blog. I recommend checking that out.

There you have it. I look forward to hearing more of El Pancho and Los Dorados in the future.

Tutto il potere al suo braccio ukulele!

Update 12-Apr-2014: El Pancho has made a fantastic little video for NU1702. Check it out here...

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