True Instigator

Domingo Records

And why shouldn’t good country music come from Argentina? They surely have a tradition of vaqueros riding the pampas roping and branding and singing to the stars and the cows. True, Fernando’s opening cover of Hank Williamson’s “Angel of Death” sounds more Danny Elfman than Ernest Tubb, but I mean that in a good way. “True Instigator” stampedes through fields of distorted rock ‘n’ roll behind a lonesome vocal and tales of lost love, lost life, and a diffuse anger that mirrors what America is emitting from its manhole covers to its radio waves. “It’s a Shame” slows into a more traditional, minimal arrangement with its paean to family and lasting love. It starts with a nice build from the finest days of early folk-country rock fusion. “Tribulation Waltz” is more an introduction than a standalone song, and by now it is clear that “Fernando” Viciconte is a singer/songwriter with the street cred of Nils Lofgren and the arrangement skills of Neil Young. As I traverse this disc, I observe every style and inflection of anything that can claim the Norteamericano C&W moniker from early Gene Autry to later 38 Special with many fruitful side-trips to Merle Haggardland and the Brave Combo Beer Bar. This guy can match or beat any black-hat-band playing dink auditoriums and state fairs across the country and has a fair shot of breaking into the class of musicians with air conditioned tour busses. Honesty, I would never have guessed Mr. V was from anywhere more southerly than Brownsville and if I staggered into him on 6th Street, I’d follow him into whatever Austin City Limit dive he was playing. Country music is dead? Hell no, not if guys like him can get recorded without wearing ridiculous embroidered hats and matching vests to get attention.

Domingo Records: www.reverbnation.com/label/domingorecords • Fernando: www.fernandoviciconte.com

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