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“I'm going to go out on a limb here and make the claim that Marcus Bonfanti is, right here, right now, the best British Bluesman around. His 2008 debut "Hard Times" was good, but this is downright brilliant. It’s Jan. & I know already this is one of the best albums of 2010.” Zeitgeist Jan ‘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 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.’