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Dalton - Paciana Story CD (album) cover

PACIANA STORY

Dalton

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.00 | 4 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Little known half-Dalton rarity

"Paciana Story" may be called an "opera" on the front but really the music is folk-rock with light prog touches. It was a conceptual work based on the life of a Robin Hood type brigand from the Bergamo area named Pacin Paciana (1773-1806). Legend has it this man stole from the rich and gave to the poor (kinda the opposite concept of today's Capitalism) going so far as to leave food for them in mountain shelters. He apparently is still something of a folk hero in the Bergamo area to this day representing rebellion against authority. The "pop opera" was even transformed into a theatrical presentation with actors and musicians touring theatres for a few years. The album itself was recorded in the studio of Raminghi's Franco Mussita and privately pressed. It was an offshoot project from Dalton written by keyboardist Temi Reduzzi and featuring their guitarist Aronne Cereda. Reduzzi apparently left Dalton between their first and second albums along with their flautist while Cereda appears on both Dalton albums (Argitari and Paciana Story both came out in 1975). The Dalton history is pretty hard to follow.

Musically "Paciana Story" is simply wonderful albeit for a pretty limited audience. It is a mixture of traditional Italian folk music and melodies with light rock, pop, and some marginally prog treatments. It is tailor made for those with a love for Italian folk-rock. As often happens with these rarities the first time I played it I wondered what the hell I just spend $20 bucks on! But does this ever weave its way into your heart after a few plays! Like many of these projects it was more of a musicians collective than a rock band per se and the recording definitely has the "home-made" feel to it. Loose, warm, personal, and festive, much of it plays like party music that I hear frequently blasted by Mexican immigrants in our working class neighborhood. Lots of gregarious vocals accompanied by acoustic guitars, bass, flutes, piano, trumpet, sax, and percussion. The proggier touches come courtesy of the piano, occasional mellotron washes, and swirly brass effects-again there are what seem like speed variances as you listen, and I just can't be sure whether these are intentional for effect, or actual sound problems. Either way, they only enhance the charm factor for me personally. "Tema Conduttore" features a somewhat cheesy synth earworm part that is reprised at the end of the last song adding to the concept feel, you'll laugh at it but it will stay in your head for days afterwards. "Tema D'Amore" is another highlight with beautiful piano and mellotron, lovely male/female vocals, trumpet, and dreamy atmospherics. "Alla Moda" and "Licenziamento" both feature some '60s sounding trippy psych guitar leads. "Rapimento" is pure wide-eyed sing-along folk music. The closer "Salto Dal Ponte" is actually some pretty dramatic Ital-prog though not loud or harsh certainly. Musicianship throughout is not flashy but it is quite good nonetheless.

All in all this is a wonderful little album of music that is quite moving to me even if its interest may be limited to the Italian prog/folk fan community. Another huge thanks to AMS/BTF for issuing this rarity in fine gatefold mini-lp sleeve format. It features remastered sound, nice booklet, gorgeous cover painting, and inside a drawing of Pacin and photo of the mountains he adventured in.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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