Diego Allessandro – Magical (Independent)
Born in Bogota, Columbia, and adopted by Italian-American parents, Diego Allessandro is a longtime resident of New Jersey. The singer-songwriter-bandleader has been playing and performing music for as far back as he can remember, and played his first gigs in his very early teens. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist (he mostly saves his band, Lot 25, for stage work), on “Magical” he plays just about everything, from guitar and keys, to percussion and glockenspiel. When his band does make an appearance, it’s on the rocker “Little Queenie”, an original song that shares its name (and unbridled energy) with the Chuck Berry classic. They take the opportunity for a little showboating, though it doesn’t stop them ripping into the song like a starving man presented with porkchops.
There’s no shortage of influences mentioned on Allessandro’s Facebook page, though Springsteen and Southside Johnny stand tall amongst them, and his sound and style is firmly rooted in the New Jersey tradition. That’s no bad thing, and he stamps his own identity on his chosen genre with a series of strong songs, which ooze blue collar imagery, and come fully loaded with hooks aplenty. He kicks of with “The Ride” and Allessandro’s musicianship is instantly apparent. The production is full and hearty, and he sings his song with passion, and no little soul. “Mary Lou” marks a change of pace and “Surrender to the Heart” (feat. Marc Del Giudice) is a fantastic track, with great harmonies and a horn section adding extra punch.