Dany Franchi’s new album Problem Child is some of the best modern Blues you can get your hands on at the moment. He’s from Genoa, Italy originally, but it seems as though he will call the U.S. home for now, as his passion is the Blues. Blues Rock Review’s Ethan Burke caught up with Dany about the album (recorded in Texas) and his influences.
We can hear a lot of influences coming through on your new album Problem Child. What inspirations have you used to put together the songs on this album?
I love different kinds of music, from traditional Blues to the ’60s Soul, R&B, Pop and Rock, too. My original music has always been a mix of what I listen to and influenced me over the years. I always loved Clapton as an artist more than a guitarist cause he played different kinds of stuff during his long carrier but when he gets into the Blues he does it right, he is a real Blues lover than a straight Blues artist and I am too.
What was it like working with Texas Blues legend Anson Funderburgh?
It was one of my dreams, one of the best experiences in my life. When I was on my flight to the U.S. to go play the Dallas Guitar Festival I thought “It would be awesome if Anson Funderburgh will produce my next record”, and that’s what happened. Him and Don Ritter of Category5 Amps (who sponsored me for the US Visa) offered me the production of my new CD while I was in Dallas. Don invited me to play the Dallas Guitar Festival when I met first met him in Memphis, TN for the 2016 IBC. These guys gave me the chance to play my original music and they believed in me. I feel very honored. Anson is a great guitarist, a very professional producer and a special human being. One of the kindest people I have ever met.
Who is it playing harmonica on the track “Big Town Playboy”?
That’s Greg Izor from Austin, TX. He’s a great singer and harp player, he is always super busy gigging in town. I had the chance to play a couple of gigs in Austin with Greg and when we recorded that song we wanted to add a harmonica so we called him.
As for your guitar playing, technique and tone really stand out. Who has inspired you the most for those two aspects?
Thanks a lot. My main influences on Blues guitar are people like Anson, Ronnie Earl, Jimmie Vaughan, SRV, Albert King, B.B. King, especially the early B.B. I always try to get the tone that I hear in my mind and play what I feel.
You played with the great Ronnie Earl just recently, what was that like?
Another dream came true. I’ve always been a really big fan of Ronnie and when I knew that we were on the same festival, the Greeley Blues Jam in Colorado, I got super excited. It’s awesome how these Blues legends are so kind to me and they want to help me, giving me a chance to play and giving precious advice. It happened the same way with Anson, Kim Wilson and many others… They know how hard it is to make it in this business. Ronnie is one of a kind, I had beautiful conversations with him and I’ll always be thankful to him.
We can tell you favor the Stratocaster, is there one particular guitar in your collection which is your go to? What would be your ‘desert island’ rig – one guitar, one amp, one pedal?
I always use my red Fender Strat Jimmie Vaughan signature; it’s a Mexican one with Tex Mex pickups. It’s a pretty cheap guitar but it’s my favorite one. I just have another Japanese Strat that I bought in Austin and that’s all, I’m not a “guitar nerd” at all. I love my Category5 Tweed Twin or Bassman style. When I can’t ship it I use a Fender Super Reverb or a Deluxe Reverb, I usually don’t use any pedals. I like to get the tone that I want from the guitar, the amp and my hands, I’m a simple guy.
Interview by Ethan Burke (Courtesy of The Blues Source)