Louis Mezzasoma – Home Made Blues
Format: CD / Label: Ti And Bo
Releasedatum: 16 juni 2017
Louis Mezzasoma started playing guitar on his fourteenth and discovered the blues while his father played his Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Live in Berlin’ cd’s. Actually, he said in the interview (below), he didn’t choose the blues, the blues chose him.
He started to listen to Robert Johnson and Rory Gallagher and with help from his guitarteacher he learned all he had to know about playing the blues. Although he says he will never stop learning and practising.
Later he started a ‘one-man-band’ with his acoustic guitar, a resonator and a stompbox and began to perform in pubs. From the beginning he sang in English.
Later, while studying in Glasgow, Scotland he played in pubs there as well. When returning to France in 2016 he made preparations to record his debut album ‘Home Made Blues’ and found the recordcompany Ti & Bo from Saint-Etienne willing to coproduce it with him. It was live recorded in only two days in March 2016 in the studio of Quentin Metzger. It was released in October 2016 and outside France in November 2017.
He was semi-finalist in the Mississippi Blues Trail Challenge at the Cahors Blues Festival in 2017 and later he was the finalist at the Blues sur Seine Festival 2017 and won the ‘coup de coeur Mississippi’.
As I mentioned before this all-acoustic album is recorded live and all the instruments are played by Louis himself, except for the guitarsolo in Your Eyes which is played by Quentin Metzger.
The whole album has the atmosphere of the vintage blues. Louis plays very well and his good voice has the necessary rawness. Especially in the Rory Gallagher cover Pistol Slapper Blues he shows his talent on the guitar.
I hope Louis Mezzasoma starts touring Europe soon, so we all can enjoy his music.
01. I’ve Met This Woman
02. Drive My Blues Away
03. Journey Of A Lonesome Lover
04. Pistol Slapper Blues
05. As The Crow Flies
06. I Came To Sing The Blues
07. Your Eyes
08. Whiskey and Blues
09. Rj’s Medley
10. I’m Feeling Tired
Interview with Louis Mezzasoma
Blues Magazine/Bennuman (BM): At what age did you start playing guitar?
Louis Mezzasoma (LM): Well, I started practising and playing guitar when I was 14 years old. I composed my own music from the day I had a guitar in my hands (but it was pretty bad at the beginning haha). Today, I’m still workin’ on it. It’s a full-time job.
BM: Do you come from a familiy where making and/or listening to music is important? What kind of music did you listen to when you where young and what kind of music did your parents listen to?
LM: No one in my family is a proper musician; my father used to play a bit of saxophone, while my mother was listening to French songs. I remember, one year, my mother bought me the Queen greatest hits I and II for Christmas: I loved it! Maybe this brought me to listen to rock music and took me to the blues. My father was also crazy about Italian music (I hated it, except a few ones like Pino Daniele or Paolo Conte) but sometimes he played the ‘Ella Fitzgerald Live in Berlin’ CD’s in his car. At that time I didn’t realize how much impact this would have on my future life.
Nowadays I listen to artists like: Keb’Mo, Eric Bibb, RL Burnside, Rory Gallagher, Tommy Emmanuel, Bror Gunnar Jenssen, Marc-André Leger, Mountain Men, Seasick Steve and so on.
BM: Why did you choose the blues?
LM: I think I didn’t really choose it, I’d say instead the blues chose me. The story is that I started playing some songs from my guitar lessons and learned some rock and funk music. One day my guitar teacher gave me a 12 bar blues to play. From this time I never stopped working about the different ways to play the blues. I began with an electric guitar. I was listening to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and I discovered the Eric Clapton Unplugged Session on MTV. That brought me back little by little to the old bluesmen like Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell and Mississippi John Hurt. The music I’m playing nowadays sounds like the old Mississippi Blues with some acoustic fingerpicking and slide guitar. But my goal is not to play music from someone else, but to make something coming from myself and this is what I call the blues!
BM: Why do you sing in English? I mean, do you think it sounds more original in English and does your audience appriciate it more in English than in French? (By the way, your English pronounciation is very good!)
LM: I chose to sing in English because the tonality of the language is, I believe, more adapted for the blues. Many times people ask me why I’m not singing in French, but they appreciate it when I sing in English.
BM: Can you make a living from selling albums and performimg?
LM: Yes I can! It’s not an easy way to live but it is extremely rewarding. It’s a real job: practising, writing songs, booking, promotion…
BM: Do you also tour outside France; have you ever performed in Holland?
LM: Actually most of my gigs are in my area in Auvergne/Rhone-Alpes. Sometimes I do travel a bit, for example in November I’ve been to Paris for the ‘Challenge of Blues sur Seine’ where I won the Mississippi prize.
I’ve been playing in a few Scottish venues in 2014/2015 when I was student in Ayr, near Glasgow. Since then I haven’t had the opportunity for a tour outside of France, but I’m ready to play anywhere and of course I’d be happy to play in Holland.
BM: Can you tell me something about recording your latest album? Where did you record it, who was the producer and where there other musicians involved?
LM: My latest album, ‘Home Made Blues’ was recorded in 2 days in March 2016 in the studio of Quentin Metzger. It’s a co-production between ‘TI and Bo’ and myself. The release party was in October 2016. I’ve performed all the songs by myself (except the guitar solo at the end of the seventh track, this one is from Quentin). We recorded it live.
This album reflects the way I played the songs at that time, for me it’s a performance. This album also mixes different art forms, the cover is by the painter Gregory Aubert.
BM: How do you write your songs?
LM: To write a song I need something to tell. Something (good or bad) that happened. I write the lyrics and after that I look for a riff with my six string. Finally I play it for hours until it is the song that I want.