From Calabria to Firenze to Portland, Andrea Algieri’s Mbrascatu is a fusion of the cobbled streets and cafés of the Old World and the creative melting pot of Portland, which brought the artists that play on the self-titled debut together.
If you’ve ever spent some time in Italy, Algieri’s spirited vocals, expelling lyric after lyric in Italian, are enough to guide you down the winding alleyways and rich aromas of your memory. Even if you’ve only listened to a few Italian folk records, his strumming, alongside the distinctive bowing the violin and plucking of several other stringed instruments, will transport you to another place, and maybe even another time or season.
Pronounced mm-brah-ska-too, the name is actually the nickname of Algieri’s grandfather, the man who gave him his first guitar, influencing Algieri’s arc in more way than one.
Growing up in Southern Italy, band leader, singer and guitarist Algieri started to play music at age 8 “when my grandfather bought me my first guitar and I began composing,” he says. “When I was 12, I started singing with a band and when I was 16, started writing lyrics to go with my music. I left my small village of Luzzi, in Calabria, when I was 18 and moved north to Florence, where I spent much time in live music venues. Together with a friend, I began to play and sing cover songs in local bars and restaurants. At the same time, off stage, I was focusing on songwriting and looking for opportunities to bring my original songs to the music scene.
“When I moved to the United States, I wanted to communicate that Italian music can be more than the same old favorites so I presented a set list that was entirely my own, and I found audiences with open minds that welcomed my songs. Thanks to the expansive Portland musical influence, my music has matured to a sound that is a mix of my Italian roots with my experience in the US.”
That maturation also includes the release of Mbrascatu’s debut record, and a band that includes Mathieu Lewis-Rolland (drums), Michael Doherty (bass), Dylan Dean (violin, viola), and John Sabestinas (banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, lap steel).

- Excerpted from Oregon Music News - June 2012

Eclectic Approach

ECLECTIC Pronunciation: ..e-klek-tik, 1: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles 2: composed of elements drawn from various sources ; also : heterogeneous
We are a 5 piece rock band. After over 8 years of playing together we continue to create music that is fun, exciting, and from the heart.

Ryan VanDordrecht

Portland musician, Ryan VanDordrecht, took time to reconnect with the music that had inspired him as a kid after writing a record full of songs which attracted producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, Counting Crows) to work with him on his former band, Castella's album. With the maturity brought on by that experience, VanDordrecht set out to study some of the great records of the past to help him understand how truly great records are made. After spending a few years writing songs inspired by this period of discovery and exploration, he finally enlisted the help of friend and producer Rian Lewis (Crosstide, Ravishers) to embark on the musical journey that has become Ryan's debut record, Beast of Love.

On Beast of Love VanDordrecht captures depth and vulnerability with his songwriting, exposing himself in a far more endearing and honest fashion than the sometimes forced product he had released with his previous bands - Castella and Sidestar. He says, “I constantly find myself aiming for a sound that walks a fine line between polish and unrefined beauty.” This is all done while still maintaining his keen sensibility for creating accessible, melodic pop/rock music. The "Beast", in the record's title is representative of the many difficulties and tragedies life can bring, while "Love", taps into the idea that you get what you give in life, and if you give love, the possibilities of what a person can achieve and endure are endless.

Since both Lewis and VanDordrecht are multi-instrumentalists they were confident they could capture all of the performances and sounds they needed for the record. However, the two humble friends agreed that during the recording process if either one felt they had a better part or could play something better than the other guy, they would not let egos get in the way and let the other one take over. This agreement was forged for the sake of always serving the best interest of the song. This along with a dedication to not just finding one of ten or so musical parts that would work and sound ‘OK', but finding ‘THE' part that was meant to be in the song. This extreme focus on quality without sacrificing true emotion and authenticity is what makes, Beast of Love, a truly exciting record that is poised to put Ryan VanDordrecht on the map as an important up and coming figure in American songwriting.

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