Matteo Mancuso is a virtuoso guitar player, capable of making music whether it be jazz or Blues or Samba or rock.
Mancuso hails from Sicily, nestled in the Mediterranean Sea to the South of Italy. The island has always had a rich cultural heritage, from poets, writers, philosophers, and architects to painters and musicians. Born in 1996 and raised just outside the capital Palermo, the pedigree runs deep in the veins of those from the region.
He first played live at age 12 and has been through a variety of band lineups, collaborations (including his father), developing his one-of-a-kind technique and use of his fingers instead of regular picking.
Other stars from Joe Bonamassa or Al DiMeola or Steve Vai have rated him and encouraged him to make this debut.
The album features Stefano India (Bass) and Guiseppe Bruno (Drums), with additional musicians Riccardo Oliva (Bass), Gianluca Pellerito (drums) and Guiseppe Vasapolli (Piano/Organ) plus his father Vincenzo who plays on and co-wrote two tracks.
Mancuso began writing songs for the album around 2020. “I didn’t really have a specific concept behind the album, but I wanted to do something that wasn’t associated with only one genre, so there are some rock-oriented songs like Drop D and some modern Jazz tunes like Polifemo,” he says.
What delights me is his easy style. He is fast and fluid around the fretboard but I never got a Satriani type of vibe from him. There is a controlled burn to the way he plays, a real control of pace and power
“Drop D” was one of the first songs written for the album, which pays tribute to his teens’ hard rock and prog influences such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Dream Theater. “It is a mix of typical rock and prog elements and one of the most fun songs to play live,” he says
He is remarkably confident for a young man, but it doesn’t stretch into overconfidence. I get the impression that he is really enjoying his music and has a great deal more in reserve.