Castagnola, Switzerland; 22, September 2015: Van Aro receives solid musical support from drummer Giordano Colombo, who also produced Endless Roads, and a collection of enthusiastic young European players that includes guitarist Max Elli, bassist Andrea Torresani, and keyboardist Antonio Chindamo.
The results, as with Van Aro’s previous recordings for Eraki, his Switzerland-based label, are irresistibly memorable.
And it’s no surprise that the stunning skillfulness with which Van Aro interprets Endless Roads’ fascinating array of songs has already attracted critical attention.
Reviewer Matthew Forss writes that “Fans of Southern rock, blues, jazz, Americana, roots, folk, and some pop will find a place in their heart for Eric Van Aro’s Endless Roads. Overall, there are endless possibilities of enjoyment with all of the songs on the album.”
Now available, the official release date for Endless Roads was September 17, 2015.
Among the many highlights in the album’s colorful sequence of songs:
“This Is Not America,” the Pat Metheny/David Bowie song that opens the set, was chosen by Van Aro as a reminder of the pathways through which he “got to know and love all of the good sides of the U.S.A.” His soaring vocal, backed by a propulsive rhythmic groove, sets a pattern for the balance of an album in which every track, regardless of style or genre, comes vividly to life.
Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die” a huge hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears, was previously recorded by Van Aro on his From the Heart, album. And the rich, musical intensity of his interpretation affirms his description of the Nyro classic as “one of the best songs ever.”
Van Aro describes “E2E” as a “personal tribute to Eric Clapton, Eric to Eric, E2E.” And the connection is crystal clear in every note. Further underscoring the connection are the familiar Clapton guitar licks surrounding Eric’s electrifying vocal.
Randy Newman’s “I think It’s Going To Rain Today” was selected by Van Aro for two reasons: (1) “Because,” he says, “A singer like me just has to do at least one Randy Newman Song”; (2) “Because I’m crazy about the line, ‘Tin can at my feet, Think I’ll kick it down the street’.” Here, as in the other cover songs on the album, Van Aro has chosen to interpret the song within his own artfully staged musical setting.
Van Aro’s vivid love of jazz surfaces intensely in his hard swinging version of Billy Cobham’s “Stratus.” “I’m a child of the late sixties, when jazz and rock got together,” he says. “And that influence can’t be denied.” Nor does he try to resist it, scatting his way, his powerful voice exploring Cobham’s line with the urgency of a jazz horn player.
The contrasting rock energies of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s “Friends” directly following Van Aro’s crisply swinging jazz romp through “Stratus” provide a stunning example of Van Aro’s remarkable musical versatility. He explains it all by simply noting that “I am known as being a Zeppelin freak..Ha Ha,” adding that “’Friends’ was also the title song of my 2005 Album.”
The title of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” may recall Billy Joel’s similarly titled 1977 Grammy Award winning hit song. But this one, written by Bruno Mars, expresses Van Aro’s desire to “include a contemporary song, one that touches in a very positive way.” As it does, and the result is an ideal combination of singer and song.
The album’s final, appropriately climactic tune, “One Life, One Song” was originally written by Van Aro and his song writing partners, M. Finotello and S.Mambretti , for his EGH Project album. As with the other Van Aro originals, it displays the colorful lyricism and gripping melody-making characteristic of his song writing style. The result is a song that perfectly climaxes Endless Roads with an expression of Van Aro’s “personal take on life on the road.”
Summing up the pleasures of Endless Roads, reviewer Heath Andrews writes, “If there’s one thing you need to know about Eric Van Aro, it’s that he has an incredible voice. He sings with warmth, expression, richness, range, power, and conviction. He’s smooth, compelling, mature, and also just so happens to always be backed up by a tremendous amount of musical talent.”
Van Aro is the first to insist that his many accomplishments should be considered in the context of his creative heritage. His mother, Caterina Valente, has been an international singing star since the early fifties, selling more than 18 million recordings worldwide. His father is Erik Van Aro, Sr., a German juggler and producer.
Endless Roads will no doubt achieve a high position in Eric Van Aro’s impressive catalog of recordings. Its combination of high quality vocalizing, stylistic versatility and stellar musical settings clearly identify him as one of the current music world’s most appealing male vocalists. It’s time for the Grammy voters to begin to recognize his many talents.
For more information about Eric Van Aro and to check out his new album Endless Roads, visit http://www.vanaro.com
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