Dany Franchi: Problem Child Review

It’s very refreshing to see a performer like 28-year-old Dany Franchi keeping the Blues alive. When listening to him, at times you can easily forget he was born in Genoa, Italy, because on his new album Problem Child, Franchi sounds like a young Texas Bluesman. Although his vocal delivery is a bit Jonny Lang, the way he confronts his Fender Stratocaster comfortably sits between the tone and techniques of brothers Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Problem Child has been recorded in Austin, TX under the production of Texas Blues great Anson Funderburgh and Don Ritter of Category 5 Amps. We have Jim Pugh on keys (played with the Robert Cray band since ’89), accomplished drummer Wes Starr (Anson Funderburgh and Jimmie Vaughan), and Nate Rowe on bass (Warren Hood). Some tracks are nicely rounded out by the warm and inviting sound of the legendary Texas Horns section (known as the house band horns at Antone’s Blues club).

Problem Child starts with “Back to the River”, setting a great mood for the following tracks. Jim Pugh’s piano perfectly fits this song and the suspense really builds in waiting for Franchi’s guitar to break into the ensemble, but when it happens it’s good. Franchi has great control over his instrument, playing from the heart and never trying to shred out too many notes when they’re not needed. An honest musician with soul can be judged on the notes he puts in the right places.

Franchi’s often laidback and relaxed vocal style really shines on the slow, emotion-driven “Real Love” (a true contrast to the preceding Chicago Blues of “Big Town Playboy” – complete with a dirty electric mouth harp performance thrown in). The more riff-infused Blues-Rock of “Run Around” is one of the best on the album with a cool Hammond organ sound adding an extra layer of groove to the mix. The instrumental “Sensation” is an obvious tribute to Blues legend Freddie King and his song “Sen-Sa-Shun” (get it?). Satisfyingly, Franchi and the band get it so so right!

The album closes with two medium-paced songs “Wanna Know” and “Problem Child”, heavily piloted by Franchi’s chunky Strat licks and the tight but urging rhythm section. The title track in particular stomps along with a calm confidence which will have you nodding your head to the beat in pure contentment.

It’s clear to see (and hear) that Dany Franchi has potential to be as big as Joe Bonamassa or Walter Trout; it just depends on the next steps he takes. But, at this time, being fairly young, he possesses plenty more time on his side. Going by this latest album – we honestly can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Review: 8.5/10

 Can’t Miss Tracks

– Back to the River
– Run Around
– Sensation
– Problem Child

The Big Hit

 Run Around

Review by Ethan Burke

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