To anyone who fears the death of the electric guitar, fear not, for Francesco Presentini is making a solid case for its revival. He’s Italian, although he currently lives in Dublin, where he spends much of his time rehearsing and finetuning his craft. To my ears, he sounds like a young Ritchie Blackmore, for there’s a propulsive nature to his music that stems from a place of animal spontaneity. But that’s not say that his work veers towards punk, as he counts prog luminaries Genesis and Focus as two of his foremost influences. And unlike many other six string players, Presentini boasts a strong voice, which he uses to strong effect as a harmonist, as well as a lead vocalist.
He may be an anglophile, but there’s also something pleasantly Italian sounding about his work, and many of the songs heard on his Once A Day album capture the colour, candour and liveliness of the country. ‘It Is You’, all fire and pedal work, might be the most immediate track from the album, but ‘Strong Men’s World’ and ‘The Lake’ are also noteworthy, as is ‘Goodnight Little Dreamer’ (more about that below.) His work boasts technical acumen and ambition, bridging a gap between Britain and Italy.
Ket Track: ‘Goodnight Little Dreamer’: Bolstered by a jazz flavoured riff, ‘Goodnight Little Dreamer’ is a pleasing album closer. Exhibiting an interest in the blues, the track also holds one of Presentini’s most impressive vocals. Soaked in the influence of the 1960s, the track feels tailor-made for audiences hoping to journey back to the 1960s. And with the release of a Beatle-single and an album from The Rolling Stones, it looks like there is an appetite for nostalgia. But the guitar work deserves special attention, fixed as it is on the melody, while simultaneously spiralling around it. Beautiful.
For fans of: Mark Knopfler, Steve Hackett, George Harrison, Ritchie Blackmore