He starred in the film Primi Amori (dir. Mimmo Rafele, RAI, Italy, 1984). His backing band, with line-up changes over the years, has usually been called The Electric Kids throughout the 1980s.
His 1980s songs, from when he was a teenager, have been released on the 20-track CD album Rob Leer & The Electric Kids (1989). Waiting For The Light is made of lo-fi demos for an album-concept in which his streetwise own brand of Rock&Roll met the Techno-Pop of the early 1980s. In the 1990s he performed mostly solo and acoustic, influenced by Delta Blues artists like Robert Johnson and Bob Dylan’s early records, performing with a Dobro steel guitar played with a slide and rack-harmonica. During that time he also had residencies in different venues in London, where he performed with an acoustic band that included double-bass, piano and drums played with brushes. Between 1992 and 1997 he toured constantly all over Europe, with great critical acclaim, and often opened shows as support act for well-known American Blues artists in clubs and Blues festivals in Great Britain. In 1995 Caruso signed with Acetone Records which released the very original, well-produced, well-received album When My Train Comes, followed by a live 4-song EP, Live At The Splash Club (1996) .
As life on the road and constant touring took their tolI, in the early 2000s Robert had a break from live performances, dedicated himself to his love of philosophy and literature (with the possibility of an academic career looming; Caruso has a BA and MA in philosophy and English literary studies) and published limited editions of two poetry collections: Transcendence (2003), and Sublimations (2005). He got back to his Rock’n’Roll in 2006. He played his first gigs in 12 years in Italy in 2008, and articles in Italian newspapers even hailed him as The “King Of Rock&Roll”.
Although an underground figure, Robert Caruso’s music is quite accessible. His Rock’n’Roll style is characterized by his original “buzzsaw” guitar sound (which uses distortion and feedback to great effect), the drone of Indian and Arabic music, with influences from the Blues and Funk to classic 1960s, ’70s and ’80s Garage and Punk Rock, but with no nostalgia trip and a firm footing in contemporary Pop music and our times. His songs have the poetic and street realism of lyrics that deal with a search for spiritual transcendence through love, drugs and metaphysical concerns, often with a subtle social commentary. He’s been described as a charismatic live performer, a musician who updated the Blues form in the mid-1990s, and a bona-fide poet and visionary.
Caruso’s output - & career in general - have often been compromised by the lack of a stable live band to perform live, professional management, and support from the music industry, and until those problems are solved his career shall suffer, and commercial success and exposure to larger audiences will be undermined.
Undeterred, and with a firm belief in his music - which stands the test of time better than most - Caruso soldiers on. In the meantime 3 collections of demo recordings circulated among his fans: “Ecce Homo” (2007), Godspeed (2009) and Revelation (2011). Since 2007 Caruso has performed live regularly in London, and playing a small number of dates in Italy each year, backed by 4-piece band The Shades. The album The Best-kept Secret In Rock’n’Roll has been released worldwide on iTunes in November 2012. It contains 13 of Caruso’s best songs, including Indian Summer, You’re Doing Nothing Now, Speed, Lisa, Rebel, Days Of Wine And Roses, ‘A Conscious Decision’, Interference and She Makes Me Feel Like I’m Dying, and promotional videos have been made for all of the albums’ tracks while Robert Caruso keeps performing live either solo or with his backing band The Shades.
The Best-kept Secret In Rock’n’Roll has been ‘digitally remastered’ and re-released in November 2013. It’s available as a physical CD album with 4-page booklet, back cover/tray, etc…: http://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_3227315
Robert Caruso has also released several singles in 2013 as digital downloads through iTunes and as ‘physical’ CD-singles by AmazonOnDemand: Red Pills (03/13) Sugar Baby Doll (08/13), When I Drink My Pint (11/2013), Get Crazy (02/2014), I Don’t Want To Fall In Love With You (06/2014). There’s a Robert Caruso (Official) channel on YouTube which includes The Best-kept Secret In Rock’n’Roll album in ‘video format’ and videos of his singles, and also a page on ReverbNation with bio, songs, videos, photos (including press reviews), shows’ dates, a smartphone app, and his music for sale in the ‘store’ section…
Several of his recordings, plus poetry, translations and a biography can also be found on the fanclub website www.robertcarusofanclub.it
Apart from the Robert Caruso (Official) channel on YouTube, Robert Caruso’s main pages on the web are: http://www.facebook.com/mr.robertcaruso.
http://robertcaruso.reverbnation.com and/or http://www.reverbnation.com/robertcaruso
His next album is scheduled for release by the end of 2014.
Edited by kidcalabria on 30 Jun 2014, 12:20
Sources (view history)
Claudio Pescetelli, “Lo Stivale E’ Marcio”, Rave Up Books, Rome, 2013.
Various Authors, Sounds And Noises From The City, 2001
Fatti Al Cubo magazine, Italy, 2012
Indie Music newsletter, US, 2012
What’s On, UK, 2011
Rolling Stone magazine, Italy, 2013
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