With the band splitting up Cesare moves back to Sicily and records his first solo record, titled La pelle (the skin), considered by the press the best debut record of 1996. A couple of years later the album Stereoscope (Blackout/Mercury) is released. Closet Meraviglia (ExtraLabels/Virgin), produced by Hugo Race (Nick Cave - True Spirit), is the third solo record and features also John Bonnar (Dead Can Dance) who wrote the strings scores and the italian cult band Massimo Volume. The album has a very international feel to it, and Cesare Basile plays also various shows outside Italy as part of the Closet Meraviglia tour.
The following album, titled Gran Calavera Elettrica, is another important step in Cesare Basiles musical journey. Now with an amazing backing band and produced by John Parish (P.J. Harvey, Sparklehorse, Giant Sand, Tracy Chapman, Eels, Goldfrapp) the record digs deep into the roots of rock and blues, with poignant lyrics that speak about love and death, and is made even more special by important collaborations like John Bonnar (Dead Can Dance), Lorenzo Corti and Nada Malanima. Shortly before the release of the album Cesare Basile leaves Catania and moves to Milan. Gran Calavera Elettrica (Mescal/Sony) is released at the end of 2003, and is hailed by the press as a real masterpiece; it is also followed by a long and very succesful tour that reaches also Belgium (where Cesare performs with Zita Swoon) and Germany.
The collaboration between Cesare Basile and John Parish developes naturally on the live side too with Songs With Other Strangers, a project born from the mutual vision of a group of likeminded musicians and songwriters. This open-band idea features Basile and Parish, Manuel Agnelli from Afterhours, Hugo Race (ex Bad Seeds, now True Spirits / Sepiatone), Marta Collica (Sepiatone), Stef Kamil Carlens (ex Deus, now with Zita Swoon), Jean-Marc Butty (P.J. Harvey- Venus) and many others. This bizarre big-band extensively tour Italy in some of the most prestigious locations and Festivals with a huge success. After producing various indie acts (The Jains, Songs For Ulan), Cesare Basile writes the songs that will be the core of Hellequin Song, his lastest album, again produced by now long-time friend John Parish. The album is released on Mescal/Sony in Jan 2006 and features, among others, Hugo Race, Kris Reichert, Jean Marc Butty, Stef Kamil Carlens, and Manuel Agnelli.
Hellequin Song is probably the best record of the Sicilian songwriter, with 5 songs in English, a fascinating mix of dark-blues (reminescent of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash), alt-country and Italian tradition. The result is unique and in a few months the sales of Hellequin Song have already exceeded the previous records, while Basile takes the album on tour to packed clubs in every corner of Italy. Highlight of the tour are the double-headline shows with John Parish and the unforgettable performance at Arezzo Wave Festival.
With a double headline Italian tour with Willard Grant Conspiracys Robert Fisher, a short European tour, both due in fall, and a live DVD in the pipeline, Cesare Basile is going to end 2006 being considered one of the most relevant and innovative Italian singer-songwriters. Line-up Cesare Basile (vocals, guitars and percussions) Marcello Caudullo (guitar and keyboards) Marcello Sorge (drums) Michela Manfroi (piano/keyboards) Luca Recchia (bass).
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Edited by Tazione on 22 Nov 2006, 10:35
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