The music of Black Water Boogie, according to its founder and multi-instrumentalist Michael Patrizzi (13 instruments!), is exactly what its name suggests. But defining it in just three words would be a disservice to the creativity and diversity involved. Its “true Southern, Mississippi made and influenced, folk music with a very comfortable and bluegrassy sound” but with influences from The Eagles, BB King, John Denver, as well as “harder music” like Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Five Finger Death Punch. And if that wasn’t interesting enough, as a former hip hop artist, he cites rappers like Matisyahu, Yo Gotti, E.L.I and members of the Odd Future collective as influences too. The result is an incredibly creative brand of folky indie Americana, with, as Patrizzi guarantees “has at least one song for everyone, no matter what genre you may think you’re partial to.” Depending on the mood, his music can be “playful and full of punchlines like an old cheesy comic, or a tale of a cryptic river that leads you to your slow demise.”
It’s an ever-changing project, inspired by “different feelings, emotions, thoughts, solutions, and even more recently, jokes.” “I’ve found that you just have to live and love to embrace the side of you that is constantly changing from album to album and even song to song, just like year to year with your wisdom and your thoughts.” While it constantly evolves, “growing stronger and more inventive with each EP and album”, “its message and our sound have generally always been the same”. The project’s purpose is simply “about the sheer fun of making music, and the sheer fun of writing, entertaining an audience, and even the embrace of a fair amount of improvisational techniques even in our live performances just to add the element of surprise and fun to our music.”
His passion all began when as “a young man, at the age of 2”, his grandmother introduced him to an extremely talented bluegrass-Fiddle player named Johnny Sweat. “I’d stand back and watch in amazement, I swore that one day, although I couldn’t understand how that piece of wood and those metal strings made such a wonderful sound, that I would learn to be the man that could conquer any string instrument that I came across.” Years later he learnt to play Modest Mouse’s ‘Dramamine’ on guitar, enjoying “hearing the sounds of my favourite band spill from my own fingers”, and since then, music has been his life. At the age of 15 he “was able to lead my symphonic band in first trumpet solo in the illustrious Carnegie Hall in New York City, in front of a packed house.” It was the moment he realised that he “had a future in something I had only dreamed of since I was 3.” Unsurprisingly, Patrizzi is just as confident in his performing his ‘folk with a difference’ as he is passionate about creating it, saying “I can guarantee a show like no other from Black Water Boogie”.