Ricky Ferranti is one of those artists who has truly left no stone unturned. Music has been a lifelong study of passion for the Italian guitarist, and his career has seen him play with various bands, record music for film soundtracks, and give performances on national television. His back catalog is extensive, with a style spanning from blues to country, to hard rock and funk. We reviewed his instrumental album, Hope, back in 2020 and discovered his gorgeous fingerpicking abilities and compositional mastery.
Now, Ferranti returns with his latest album, Metamorfosi, and this time he has an ace up his sleeve… Well, other than his phenomenal technical ability, that is. He employs the use of a custom-made nylon string guitar with a built-in stereo output. This creates the effect of two guitars playing instead of one, as the bass and treble strings are panned to either side of the recording.
This is the sound that greets us on the opening track, Verso il fiume. It’s a folk tune with a beautiful, comforting melody and steady rhythm. A gorgeous descending motif is introduced in the refrain, as well as a pinch of harmonic turbulence before Ferranti steers us homeward. There’s a lovely delay effect that washes over this track.
In Who wants to live forever, Ferranti balances shades of light and dark. The opening section uses a minor scale to set up a tense mood and Ferranti tips his cap toward classical guitar. The main melodic idea that he arrives at is poignant, yet sweet and hopeful; an ascending phrase that he revisits during the song. A synth part sits underneath, providing an atmospheric texture for the guitar to play off of.
Follow my dog rag is a real album highlight. Ferranti imitates a snare drum by slapping on the body of his guitar and starts by playing a super cool blues groove before launching into a breakneck fingerpicking rag. This one has an uber-catchy melody and it’s impressive how he works upper string bends into his chord voicings.
Ferranti is nothing short of a genius on the guitar. His technique is flawless and detailed but it never comes across as too much. There is a modest authenticity to his sound and he places a strong emphasis on melody. Even though Metamorfosi has a run-time of just over 15 minutes, Ferranti guides us through such a diverse series of musical landscapes that you can’t help but feel like you have traveled a great deal more. Ricky Ferranti is one artist you don’t want to sleep on. Go find this record and get lost in its rich vibrations.
BELOW: Listen to Metamorfosi and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Ricky Ferranti by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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