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Marcus Bonfanti

Marcus Bonfanti - Hard Times - 2008 - The Guitar Label

For those who like there blues dirty, then you won't be disappointed...As debut albums go, this is a mighty fine piece of work...Old blues men from the Mississippi delta would sell their soul to the Devil to make music like this. - themusiccritic.co.uk

If there's a gap between Seasick Steve and Jack Johnson, Bonfanti is the person to plug it - Independent On Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The way Bonfanti plays his blues, with energy and passion, is a credit to him...Hard Times may have to swim in a big pond but it shows no sign of drowning. - Maverick, April 2009

There are not many people who can capture the raw spirit of the blues. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when the debut album from Londoner Marcus Bonfanti drops through the door, as capturing the spirit is exactly what he has done. In a previous life, Bonfanti was guitarist for the abysmal chart topper Sandi Thom, but we wont hold that against him. Now he is signed to Scottish independent, The Guitar label, home to legendary Jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. The album mixes acoustic and electric blues which owes a debt to the likes of John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson. One thing that links the whole album together is Bonfanti's rasping whisky soaked vocals, which are hair raising throughout. For those who like there blues dirty, then you won't be disappointed. Opener Diamonds In The Rust, a slide driven workout and ode to bad love and the title track, the best track on the album, are as dirty as they come. Up there with them is Knock Me Down with it's clap along chorus. The album has its mellower moments with the countrified Waitin' For My Love and When You Come Home. The acoustic The Girl I Knew is a great finger style piece and a highlight of the album, while Judgement Day shows a slightly popier side to his songwriting. As debut albums go, this is a mighty fine piece of work. The production is perfectly suited to bringing out the warmth of Bonfanti's formidable guitar skills and we are sure that this will be the start of a successful career. Old blues men from the Mississippi delta would sell their soul to the Devil to make music like this. (4/5) © 2011 The Music Critic Sunday, 28 June 2009 http://www.themusiccritic.co.uk/2009/06/marcus-bonfanti-hard-times.html

I don't think Britain has ever had so many great blues artists as it has now. All producing great live shows and cracking CD's, full of original material and playing to such high standards.When it comes to the yearly best blues album you don't need anymore to look at the USA because the best is here.To this review and here is an artist of incredible talent, certainly an original who plays stunning guitar but possesses an amazing voice.Saw him live this week, and if you get half a chance get and see him because he sures creates a storm,and his every audience shouts out for more, plus incredible reviews.This his first of two amazing albums so far with a third coming before too long is a perfect showcase for what he's like live,ten songs all self written from rockin' blues to more gentle acoustic playing, he also plays a very mean dose of slide.He is so strong on hard hitting rhythm piling in solid but never overplayed solos.Live he does a simply awesome version of Prof.Longhair's 'Mardi Gras' which I've never heard played on guitar before and hope he gets around to recording soon. Here we get 'Hard Times' so popular live, a brilliant song opens the set 'Diamonds In The Rust' which kicks off in great style.You may not know the songs but little things don't matter this album will grow and grow on you, if you love the blues,if you like rhythms and great guitar playing,not your usual Strat stuff because he uses a Gibson electric resonator guitar, which creates much of his original sound.This is an exceptional debut album from a very exceptional talent indeed, he deserves to be up there with the very best, he looks the part and plays like it as well.GREAT STUFF – from ***** REMEMBER THE NAME...MARCUS BONFANTI. 20 July 2011 By & © pete clack TOP 500 REVIEWER © 1996-2013, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hard-Times-Marcus-Bonfanti/dp/B001KER8MS

Marcus Bonfanti was born and raised in a small flat in North London to an English mother and an Italian father. He was a relatively late starter with the guitar, and only began playing at 16 y.o. He is no stranger to live performing and spends most of his time touring. He normally plays 3 sets a night, 6 nights a week in bars and clubs around Britain. He has worked as a sideman for musicians that include PP Arnold, Joe Lewis Walker, Jimmy Carl Black, Hamish Stewart, Paddy Milner, Earl Thomas, and Findlay Brown, as well as touring and opening for artists like Chuck Berry, Robert Cray, Jack Bruce, Paul Jones, John Mayall, The Yardbirds, Walter Trout, Ian Siegal, Philip Sayce, Robert Cray, and Sonny Landreth. “Hard Times”, his debut album received much great critical acclaim and deservedly so. This is an album of beautiful soul, folk and blues and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Marcus is a hugely talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and a badly needed voice in today’s folk and blues scene. Buy Marcus great “What Good Am I To You?” album and check out Lotte Mullan’s (who sings on this album) “Plain Jane” album. There are many other artists out there not getting their just rewards. Check out albums by The Nimmo Brothers, and Kyla Brox. Please support real music [All tracks @ 224 Kbps: File size = 59.8 Mb]


1. Diamonds in the Rust (5:02)
2. Not Meant for This World (4:10)
3. Hard Times (3:40)
4. Now I'm Gone (is Your Life Better?) (3:36)
5. Teach the Preacher (3:16)
6. Judgement Day (3:07)
7. Knock Me Down (3:05)
8. The Girl I Knew (3:55)
9. When You Come Home (4:06)
10. Waitin' for My Life (3:41)

All songs composed by Marcus Bonfanti


Marcus Bonfanti - Gibson Electric Resonator Guitar, Fender Telecaster, Electric & Acoustic Bass, Ukulele, Percussion, Harmonica, Tambourine, Shaker, Spoons, Stomp Box, Cajon, Cardboard Box, Pedals
Lotte Mullan - Additional Vocals on Tracks 2,5,10


Marcus Bonfanti’s like all of us. Some days he wins, some days he doesn’t. But to a songwriter with a half-full glass, that means there’s always plenty of subject matter for songs. His second album (‘What Good Am I To You’) is full of the highs and lows we all know, referencing a cool range of influences from Tony Joe White to Led Zeppelin. But ultimately it’s his own style. ‘What Good Am I To You’ is the sound of the North London blues. 27-year-old Marcus was born and raised in London to an English mother and a “dangerously Italian” father. Inheriting his dad’s work ethic, he shared an appetite for musical discovery with a younger brother who’s also in the business, as a respected bass player. Marcus, self-taught as a guitarist, has already packed plenty in, from LIPA (the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) to top level session work, from school days as a trumpet player to learning licks in his bedroom to the strains of ‘Black Dog.’ With confirmed appearances at this years Glastonbury, Maryport, Downpatrick and Carlisle festivals, as well as playing the prestigious South By South West festival in March, Bonfanti is fast building a reputation as one of the most exciting acts on the UK live circuit with a fierce show either with band or solo. Having learnt his trade playing 3 sets a night, 6 nights a week, he is no stranger to live performing and it shows. Together with his 3 piece band, featuring Scott Wiber (Bass) and Alex Reeves (Drums), they’ve been playing shows up and down the country throughout 2010 to promote the release of ‘What Good Am I To You’ his follow up to the acclaimed debut ‘Hard Times’. Bonfanti knows that comparisons are customary at this point, but he sometimes finds them more amusing than accurate. “Someone called me the lovechild of Tom Waits and Van Morrison once,” he laughs. “I quite like that one.” He admits that ‘What Good Am I To You’ does bear some American hallmarks, and after all he did write some of it there. “But there’s something British about it that I can never quite put my finger on. It’s rooted in blues, that’s my favourite genre of music to play and listen to. But I don’t think the end product sounds like a traditional blues record, in fact I know it doesn’t. I listen to a lot of other music, country, soul, bluegrass, jazz, some quite heavy rock stuff as well, and I think it all feeds in.” “I’d like the record just to sound like me,” he says, “so when I hear it I go ‘Yeah, that’s the sum of all the parts.’ MAY 2010 © 2013 | The Gig Cartel http://www.thegigcartel.com/artists/profile:295

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