LIVE: Maurizio @ the Towne Tavern, 5/16/14

Review and video by Joel Patterson

You could tell that Maurizio was pleasantly surprised by the boisterous crowd attending his first gig at the Town Tavern in Averill Park. The noisy Friday night congregation of several dozen burst into deafening applause at the end of his very first number, and here’s the thing: M’zo positively blooms under such circumstances. His performance cranks. He’s perfected (or he’s perfecting) the art of the pummel – he attacks the guitar in his hands and the words in his lyrics with equally ferocious, bludgeoning intensity, with as much energy as the human frame can tolerate. When he’s got people’s attention, he lingers on the high points of these excursions, shrieking key phrases and racing up the fretboard at blinding speed.

All these fireworks serve a serious purpose, though – they are pinpointed at expressing a powerfully gorgeous musical vision thing. That’s why we get so excited; we’re responding to something pure and vital and intoxicating. It’s almost time for us to start wondering about a problem that rarely concerns anybody: will stardom or super-stardom warp any of this delicately balanced mojo? Instinctively, I’m guessing, perhaps not – his in-between-song patter is so honestly refreshing and spontaneous and real that even as he’s bottling lightning, Maurizio seems extraordinarily well-grounded.

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