Abruzzo Music – Meet ‘Terre del Sud’

On a warm Sunday evening towards the end of last month, we drove up to Paglieta, high in the hills overlooking the Val di Sangro for the Sentieri d’Autunno festa, an excuse – as if anyone ever really needs an excuse – to taste the year’s new wine and olive oil and tuck into mounds of roasted chestnuts. 

Terre del Sud in actionAbruzzo festa – invariably terrific. Traditional Abruzzo music – invariably not. Usually – with just a couple of honourable exceptions so far this year – the kind of bland Europop that you’d normally switch-off in a blink, but, wreathed in a festa-induced spirito di benevolenza, you tolerate and twitch along to.

But just this once, on that warm October evening in Paglieta, we heard a band who were so outstandingly and blindingly good, they held us – and everyone else within earshot – happily spellbound.

Terre del Sud are a hugely-talented, multi-instrumental, multi-vocal six-piece playing the traditional folk music – and dances – of central and southern Italy. Their sound swoops and soars; intensely rhythmic, bitter-sweet and instantly captivating. 

Engagingly, the music enticed just one or two to dance; then one or two more; then a host of people in the centre of Paglieta’s old town were remembering and recreating the traditional dances they’d learned at school, or been taught by nonno and nonna. Except nonno and nonna wouldn’t have taught the grandkids that most famous and sensual of all Italian folk dances the Tarantella. 

Alessandro, Cinzia, Marco, Emanuele, Mimmo and MartinaThe band were formed in 2003. A gift to Abruzzo music. The tall guy in the back row is Alessandro (who produces beautiful hand-made tambourines). Next to him is Cinzia – with the amazing voice – then violinist Marco and Emanuele, who seems to play a different instrument on each song. Mimmo supplies guitar, voice and charisma; and according to the band’s online biog,  Martina has a great voice and great legs. Both true. She also dances and plays percussion !

Terre del Sud perform mainly in and around Abruzzo. Especially Chieti province. Lucky us ! If you get the chance during your Abruzzo holiday, hold the flight; cancel the dinner reservation; delay the shopping trip. Drop everything. Go and see them.

Click on the pictures in the text for larger images – and thanks to the band for letting me use them. For more info about Terre del Sud – and to listen to a couple more tracks off their CD – visit their website www.terredelsud.biz


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One Comment

  1. Hi David! I’m sorry for my english, it’s too bad.
    Well, I would like to thank you for yuor wonderful words and greetings about us. We hope to find you during some other our concert and see you dancing tarantella.
    Thanks so munch and greetings from Abruzzo.

    Emanuele, TerreDelSud

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