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"In the last few years some contemporary bands on Maui have emerged with the potential for appeal far beyond the islands. We can now add Maui Underground to that list based on their new album "World's in a Mess." Describing themselves as performing a mix of Middle Eastern, blues, Latin, funk and hip-hop beats with trippy acid jazz, Maui Undergound is the brainchild of Upcountry musician Greg diPiazza."A number of tracks are strong enough to pop up on rock radio formats like the hard driving "The Beat," which roars with echoes of the Stones, The Doors and the funky rock of INXS. And "Counting Angels" kicks with a U2 groove, while the anthemic, catchy title track, which calls for planetary transformation, could land them a hit."
"Describing themselves as performing a mix of Middle Eastern, blues, Latin, funk and hip-hop beats with trippy acid jazz, Maui Undergound is the brainchild of Upcountry musician Greg diPiazza." Since landing on Maui in the late 1980s, Greg has devoted himself to creating music out of the norm in ensembles like Volcano Jones, Manchild and Twisted Fisherman. Now teamed with his wife, didgeridoo virtuoso Alana Cini, Greg has produced his most impressive work so far.
“A number of tracks are strong enough to pop up on rock radio formats like the hard driving "The Beat," which roars with echoes of the Stones, The Doors and the funky rock of INXS. And "Counting Angels" kicks with a U2 groove, while the anthemic, catchy title track, which calls for planetary transformation, could land them a hit.”
“Besides composing all the tracks and playing all the lead guitar parts on the album, Greg was responsible for most of the keyboards, drums and bass. "I've been playing every instrument my whole life," he says. Additional musicians on "World's in a Mess" include Indio on drums, saxophonist Paul Bunuan on "Hip Hop Rodeo," plus percussionist Tato Melgar, Id Thompson on keyboards on the tripped-out, jazz rock fusion of "Heart Full Of Gold" and the seductive "Sex Fantasy," and keyboardist Toby Coture on the title track.”
"We were invited to perform at the "Playing for Change" event (on Maui) when there were concerts being done on the same day all around the world," Alana says of the song's genesis. "I asked Greg if he would write a song specifically for this event. The whole sound of the tune is very calming and hypnotic." A video to help promote "World's in a Mess" is being produced by Douglas DeBoer, who will contribute a visual backdrop when Maui Underground performs songs from the album at a Full Moon Jam party at Fleetwood's on Front St. on Wednesday.
"I get inspired by what she does and I write stuff with the didgeridoo in mind, like 'Counting Angels' was specifically written for the didgeridoo," says Greg. "I wanted to write an album that was different from any didgeridoo album ever, with the didgeridoo at the forefront of the music the whole time. It's not like a normal didgeridoo album. 'Jupiter and Mars' and 'Hummingbird' were the first songs I wrote for Alana, they're love songs written to her. And 'Razor Love' is about having pain in love and being committed. Mick Fleetwood loved it - he said, 'That song is going to be your hit.' "
“Acclaimed as one of America's leading didg players (and daughter of legendary entertainer Al Martino), Alana previously performed with the Seattle-based band Merkaba before moving to Maui. More recently she opened Aerosmith's epic concert at the War Memorial Stadium, playing with Vince Esquire.”
“The Fleetwood's' gig will feature Greg and Alana performing as a trio with drummer Indio Kualii. And Mick Fleetwood will sit in on percussion. "I'll get my talking drum and other bits and pieces and it will be fun," says Mick Fleetwood. "They're really good and I love what they do. I'm looking forward to it." Mick had previously enjoyed seeing them perform at the Pioneer Inn. "He was impressed with Greg's style of original music and the mix of organic rock and hypnotic overtones of didgeridoo," adds Alana.”