Monday, May 2, 2016

Stormy Six - 1974 - Guarda Giù Dalla Pianura

Stormy Six 
Guarda Giù Dalla Pianura

01. Guarda Giu' Dalla Pianura (1:28)
02. Union Maid (3:03)
03. Otan Xtupesis Duo Fores (3:02)
04. Cuba Si', Yanquis No (2:44)
05. The Ballad Of Ho Chi Minh (3:33)
06. Leaving Belfast Town (3:18)
07. Cancion Del Poder Popular (2:39)
08. Do Re Mi (3:05)
09. Brother, Did You Weep? (1:49)
10. Per I Morti Di Reggio Emilia (3:27)

- Franco Fabbri / guitar, vocals
- Umberto Fiori / guitar, vocals
- Carlo De Martini / sax, violin
- Tommaso Leddi / violin, mandolin, balalajka, guitar
- Luca Piscicelli / bass, vocals
- Antonio Zanuso / drums

This is a short folk album and the reason why Stormy six have made an album like this has to be explained.
It's Italy in 1974. The Communist party has reached his maximum success ever in the elections, mainly caused by a sentiment of rebellion against the establishment that was unable to catch the changes that the '68 has brought to people's mind. Italy is still ruled by right-winged catholics.

In this social environment there's a rediscovery of the folk music that's seen as opposed to the mainstream represented by the Sanremo festival or by the "Bel Canto".

So the left-winged Stormy Six make an album with left-winged contents, including a mention of the Italian Communist Party anthem (Avanti Popolo) on the first track.

"Union Maid" is I think a traditional American, but it could have been written by Woody Guthrie. Probably it is, and it's another anthem, of course country/bluegrass.

"Otan Xtupesis Duo Fores" is a mistery for me. I don't know which language is. It's not Russian even though the music seems coming from there.

"Cuba Si, Yanquis No" is of course a celebration of the Cuban Revolution and of Fidel Castro. One sentence says "They speak of communists but they don't say that Batista killed 20000 Cubans". The music is Salsa. How could it be different?

"The Ballad Of Ho Chi Minh" sounds like a traditional country song with Irish influences, but I don't think the lyrics are "American folk" as Ho Chi Minh was the chairman of the North Vietnam. In 1974 the war was just ended (or close to end, it was many time ago).

Naturally "Leaving Belfast Town" is a song of the I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army). I think this is really an Irish song.

"Cancion Del Poder Popular" has a story. After the bloody putsch of Pinochet in Chile a folk band, the "Inti Illimani" escaped to Italy making the Chilean popular music very famous and appreciated. This is one of their songs. (Song of the Popular Power)

"Do Re Mi" (not De Re Mi) are the first notes (C, D, E) in the Italian musical notation. It looks like an American traditional. The band was in favor of Cuba, against the Vietnam War and they probably hated Nixon, but this doesn't mean being anti-Americans. I'm sure that not Cuba, but a lot of Americans were sharing the same feelings about Vietnam and Nixon.

"Brother Did You Weep?" looks like another traditional.

Finally a popular song written after the death of six protesters killed by the police at the end of the 50s.



  2. Hi: having the original Stormy Six album I can tell you some things about the songs credits:
    "Union Maid" and "Do Re Mi" are two Woody Guthrie covers.
    "Otan Xtupesis Duo Fores" was written by Greek musician Mikis Theodorakis: remember, at the time Greek country was under a right wing military dictatorship, so there was in the left wing movements a support to the rebels.
    "The Ballad Of Ho Chi Minh" and "Brother Did You Weep?" are two Ewan MacColl covers.

    Thank you for your blog!