Read the review of Thom Chacon’s January 1, 2018 show at Teatro del Sale in Firenze, Italy from Muscalina below. For the original Italian version with photo gallery click here.
Firenze/ Teatro del Sale
11/01/2018 – di Giovanni Sottosanti
When you enter Borgo La Croce from Piazza Beccaria and start walking along it, you immediately perceive that you are slowly passing through an almost parallel universe, breathing a suspended air, in which aromas, sounds and familiar flavors intertwine with new aromas. All to compose a picture that illustrates the most genuine Florence, true and sanguine, the purple Florence, that of focaccia with rosemary and lampredotto, that of Chianina but also of kebab. When you then cross the threshold of the Teatro del Sale the previous sensations are further accentuated, because you are immediately enveloped in a warm, welcoming and familiar, quaint and quaint at the same time, so the ideal place to enjoy the delicacies of the kitchen combined with good music and to the right company. Thom Chacon comes from Durango, preceded by a handful of records and an increasing interest in his music, which led to challenging combinations with high-sounding names. After some self-productions, it is the homonymous album of 2012 that leads the spotlight on the young author of Colorado, in the credits the names of Tony Garnier and George Recile, from the band of Dylan, to give further prestige to the product. For the probable definitive consecration, here it is now with the brand new Blood In The USA, a cover story on this month’s Buscadero and a handful of new stories to tell directly.
The hot axes of the Theater bless a rasping voice and drawn to the right point, the sound of the acoustic guitar accompanies painful and painful ballads, stories of poverty, hunger, suffering, war, but also of courage, passion, pride and redemption. “There`s sings despair in the title track of the album that also opens the evening. “And we’re right here in the promised land”, the long-awaited promised land is killing the dreams that millions of immigrants have launched across the border, as Thom’s ancestors arrived from Mexico in search of fortune and celebrated now in I Am An Immigrant “I am an immigrant from Mexico / Got a wife and kids back in El Charro”. Inevitable and immediate combinations with Dylan and Townes Van Zandt for the writing and stylistic cut of the songs, the matrix folk, country, blues is well established, the voice instead brings him very close to John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, Michael McDermott and John Prine. Comparisons that for now do not worry our hero, small in stature but solid shoulders, perfectly at ease with a guitar shoulder and in front of a listening audience. This is supported by the imposing and reassuring figure of Paolo Ercoli, absolute master of dobro and lap steel, incisive, brilliant and wise sonic weaver of the canvas on which Thom lays his voice and his musical paintings in black and white.
Juarez, Mexico still frames the border with a sung son directed by John Prine, American Dream, Innocent Man and Chasing The Pain follow the thread of a story that often leaves no room for hope and happiness. A thread of light comes from Easy Heart “Holdin` tight, pullin` on the oars / I`m alive, my spirit needs no more” I hold firm, I pull the oars / I’m alive, my spirit does not need anything else. Then there are the cover, Even The Losers and Two Hearts, to further break the tension, folk meets a corroborating and regenerating rock`n`roll, Bruce and Tom point the way to a rebirth, without obviously canceling the ugliness of a past American that so much resembles the present. In this gloomy and depressed America, besides the Springsteen of Nebraska, the imposing shadow of Johnny Cash also hovers. The Man In Black stands out unequivocally in Work At Hand, where Thom sings “I jumped that train / cross the barren plains” and then returns to the theme of blood, dust, sweat and earth “Blood in the dirt, sweat on the land / roll up your sleeves there`s work at hand “. Among the songs of the last album also worth mentioning Empty Pockets and Big As The Moon, about an hour for a short but tremendously intense concert, sharp as a knife, as deep as the wounds, as precious as the story and the memory, unique like an evening at the Teatro del Sale.