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Jack Savoretti

If ever there was a case of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”, then the persistent London-born/Italian-raised, acoustic-rock artist JACK SAVORETTI (born 10 October 1983) was probably the proverb’s best benefactor. With two good albums filling unworthy bargain bins as the recession bit hard, the singer/songwriter was in a mind to completely hang up his guitar, but his inbred love of music kept his motor running for sets three and four: `Before The Storm’ (2012) and `Written In Scars’ (2015). Prior to these meisterstrokes of songsmanship, he’d spent all his savings, bust up with his manager in a legal dispute and got married with a baby on the way. Had the 26 year-old had his 15 minutes of fame?
Both critically acclaimed sets in the tradition of post-millennium folkies PAOLO NUTINI, DAMIEN RICE or JAMES MORRISON (if one was forced to compare), the first of these of these “comeback” sets, BEFORE THE STORM {*7}, was apparently recorded in four days and produced by The Suppliers, a hit factory from Sweden. Augmented by The Dirty Romantics, a nationwide tour helped prolong his profile, and with songs such as `Hate & Love’ (with a video featuring actress Sienna Miller), `Knock Knock’, `Changes’ and `Crazy Fool’, reviews were more than gracious to a man with a new-found passion.
Bolstered by his signing to BMG Chrysalis (from Fulfill Records), SAVORETTI’s fourth album WRITTEN IN SCARS {*7} best described his retrospective feelings on the hardships of making it big in today’s X-Factor-fixated world of pop. Elevated by guest spots on the Dermot O’Leary and Chris Evans BBC Radio shows (big guns Tesco made it their Album of the Week in April 2015, two months after its release date!), Jack’s voice was on song for the cool and collective `Back To Me’, `Don’t Mind Me’, `Broken Glass’, `The Other Side Of Love’ and an obscure DYLAN cut `Nobody ‘Cept You’. Sticking around the charts having hit No.13, SAVORETTI could thank his lucky stars that he was matched with Midas touch scribes Sam Dixon (ADELE and SIA), Matt Benbrook (NUTINI, BUGG, et al) and his electric guitar accompaniment Pedro Vito (alongside producer Seb Sternberg).
It seemed a million miles away from his days starting out a troubadour in 2005, encouraged by his fashion-model mum to put his poetry to music; she bought him his first guitar in the hopes he might play it like JIMI HENDRIX or KEITH RICHARDS, two guys she’d hung out with in the late 60s. SAVORETTI’s first taste of success came when contributing a couple of duets with Shelly Poole (daughter of BRIAN POOLE) on her 2005 album `Hard Time For The Dreamer’. Subsequently operating as a solo artist the following year, SAVORETTI almost broke through with his inaugural single, `Without’, although it stalled at No.90; a second, `Dreamers’, although play-listed on Radio 2, also bombed.
Feeling his chances looked promising after an enterprising support slot on tour with CORINNE BAILEY RAE, Jack unveiled his debut set, BETWEEN THE MINDS (2007) {*7}. Produced by Rick Barraclough at De Angelis Records, it sold reasonably well for an independent album, the label even giving it another shot a year later with cherry-picked CD bonus tracks of `Without’, `Dr. Frankenstein’ and the title track. There was also a live-in-Paris take of JOHNNY CASH’s `Ring Of Fire’ and the insertion of outtake single `Gypsy Love’ (b/w `One Man Band’).
Put back a few months, while mixes were settled on (by either The Suppliers or Jack Joseph Puig), 2009’s HARDER THAN EASY {*5} never quite got the attention it required. Although recorded with Larry Taylor and Steve Hodges (of TOM WAITS’ backing band) at JACKSON BROWNE’s West Coast studio, and given a belated download-only release in the States, it was a shame that `Map Of The World’, `Russian Roulette’ and `Lost America’ didn’t ferment. With words of wisdom from his nearest and dearest and backing from his Italian clan, SAVORETTI took a gap year – so to speak – to re-charge his batteries. And boy how it worked.
Reconvening with “Scars” cohorts Benbrook and Dixon for 2016’s SLEEP NO MORE {*7}, Jack was free to portray himself as the everyman’s lyricist. And as usual he didn’t fail to force through his message. Tackling subject matter of the often forgotten father, spiritual brother and other people just trying to get on in life, songs/ballads such as `When We Were Lovers’, `I’m Yours’ and the title track, turned the clock back to a time in the 90s when the HORNSBYs, BOLTONs and COHNs ruled the FM airwaves.
© MC Strong/MCS Apr2015

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