Italian CountryFamily
Country Music and Dance

Gloria and Ricky (branco selvaggio)

Joined Nov 7 2011
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The band was founded in 1978 by Ricky Mantoan who since the early sixties performed in public.Ricky’s first inspiration was the american guitarist Duane Eddy, which became famous for having introduced the electric guitar as lead instrument in Rock’n’Roll, around 1958. Between 1965 and 1970, after various experiences with the sound of some artists like Cream, Stones, and Jimi Hendrix of course, Ricky discovered and was deeply impressed by Californian Country-Rock and in the same time by English Folk Rock….The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Bros, Grateful Dead, Fairport Convention, but especially the country singer Gram Parsons affected the evolution of his own music taste. In 1978 he putted together a bunch of country dreamers and the name of the band was ”Branco Selvaggio” (which is the italian translation of “Wild Bunch”). At the time he started to write this own compositions that became part of his first solo album “Ricky“, published in 1980 . This work was well received by music critics both italians and foreigners . A song from the album, “Down in Memphis”, successfully entered the charts of a famous British trade magazine: Omaha Rainbow. Then started the left-handed guitarist’s collaboration with some legendaries californian artists: Ricky went in touch and holded a strong friendship with bassist Skip Battin, formerly of the Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Flying Burrito Bros. Between 1982 and 1994 he played on tour with Skip Battin, Chris Darrow, Greg Harris, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Gene Parsons, John York, Roger McGuinn, revealing as an excellent guitarist and a true magic picker on Pedal Steel Guitar. Following these events were recorded and published two recordings: LIVE IN ITALY and FAMILY TREE (www.bravonline.it.). The Family Tree album was recorded at the end of a tour in 1988 by the formers Byrds Skip Battin and John York; Ricky was on pedal steel guitar and on electric string bender Telecaster guitar and also on vocals. Another guy from Branco Selvaggio was Beppe D’Angelo on drums; he gave to the band an hard drive and both Skip and John were impressed from hits talent. At the same time Ricky worked in studio sessions with some Italian musicians , also taking part in several television and radio broadcasts .In the nineties Branco Selvaggio was appreciated throghout Italy with concerts which are still defined as “memorables”. The shows of the band were a long playlist settling the sounds and sensations of a true Cosmic Country with a touch of psychedelic era. In 1991 the “DICTIONARY OF ITALIAN SONG” by Renzo Arbore, published by Curcio Editore, made a board dedicated to Ricky qualifying him among the most creative Italian musicians. In 1992 was made the first album by Branco Selvaggio, ”Riders of the Universe”, with songs written by Ricky and some covers of Byrds and Bob Dylan. In 1994 he was asked to join the byrds to partecipate to an international tour and this event was taken from a live concert in Geneva a number of broadcasters and of which there is an album on cd and a video titled “LIVE IN GENEVA”. From 2006 Branco Selvaggio turned his attention particularly to the quality of musical sound and also to the the choral parts, insisting on genuine roots of country electric and acoustic. At present the renewed organic group includes Dario Zara on bass and vocals, Luciano Costa on acoustic and electric guitars, vocals and slide guitar, Beppe D’Angelo on drums and vocals, Ricky Mantoan of course is on pedal steel, electric and acoustic guitars, dobro, mandolin, harmonica and vocals. A new album ”RIDIN’AGAIN” which includes all songs written by Ricky is ready to be published.

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