Happy Columbus Day from Beppe Gambetta, Italy’s flat-picking ambassador

Beppe Gambetta, at the Folk Project's Acoustic Getaway. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Beppe Gambetta, at the Folk Project's Acoustic Getaway. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Video: La Città Vecchia performed by Beppe Gambetta

By Kevin Coughlin

We are delighted to bring you a Columbus Day treat from Beppe Gambetta, the Pride of Genova.

The guitarist headlined over the weekend at the Folk Project’s Acoustic Getaway, accompanied by his “cousin Gino,” as he affectionately calls his audio looping pedal.

Beppe Gambetta, at the Folk Project's Acoustic Getaway. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Beppe Gambetta, at the Folk Project’s Fall 2015 Acoustic Getaway. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Gambetta’s loopy sense of humor is displayed in the intros to La Città Vecchia, a mazurka about the old country, and Chipmunk Licks, inspired by a critter under his porch in Hunterdon County.

He’s also a mesmerizing musician, as you can see in the videos.

As a teen in Italy, Gambetta played Led Zeppelin and Simon & Garfunkel tunes… until someone brought him an album of the Newport Folk Festival.

Two tracks on that recording changed his life: One by Doc Watson, the other by Flatt & Scruggs.

Painstakingly, Gambetta dissected those songs note by note, until he could copy their distinctive flat-picking styles.

The results, coupled with his disarmingly charming personality, make him one of our favorite Italian imports.

Bellissimo, Beppe!

MORE ABOUT THE ACOUSTIC GETAWAY

The Minstrel acoustic concert series in Morris Township resumes this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, with Pat Donohue, former guitarist for A Prairie Home Companion. With opener Diane Perry& Friends. Showtime is 8 pm, at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road. Admission: $9; children 12 and under, free.

Video: ‘Chipmunk Licks’ by Beppe Gambetta

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