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Jan 2021

isolation Blues from The Nesrallah Artuso Project album Wearing The Blues   written by Victor Nesrallah, was recently selected as a finalist in the Blues Roots Radio International Song Contest. A finalist in the band group or duo category , the song reflects the times we live during   the current global pandemic 

"Driven by a raw shuffling percussive groove with gospel flavoured piano and echoing background vocals,the incisive yet spiritrd track meets our bizarro world moment with eqaulm parts frustration and humour .....  see press release 

Dec 2020
By: Jonathan Wdran L.A Music Writer

MULTI-FACETED OTTAWA MUSICAL VETERANS
VICTOR NESRALLAH AND DANNY ARTUSO
AREN’T JUST SINGING AND PLAYING,
BUT ALSO ‘WEARING THE BLUES’ ON THEIR
FIRST FULL LENGTH COLLABORATION

Friends and on and off collaborators for over 30 years, multi-talented veteran Ottawa based musicians Victor Nesrallah (guitar, piano, vocals, bass) and Danny Artuso (guitar, bass, piano) had the crazy- cool idea early in 2020 to join forces (as the Nesrallah Artuso Project) to push full steam ahead on a blues project. Little did they know as the writing and recording sessions for Wearing the Blues evolved organically that in the midst of all kinds of different blues expressions, they would come up with a tune that perfectly captured everything that’s making us crazy in the age of COVID-19: “Isolation Blues.”

Driven by a raw, shuffling percussion groove with gospel flavored piano and echoing backing vocals, the incisive yet spirited track meets our bizarro world moment with equal parts frustration and humor: “This new norm I don’t like what I see/Don’t get too close just keep your distance from me. . .If I’m not wearing a mask people stare at me/Better safe than sorry you might end up dead. . .I stay inside sometimes for more than a week/Only go outside to take my dog for a leak. . .All I do is pray this will end.”

Two other songs on the lively, freewheeling Wearing the Blues capture other aspects of our current predicament. More traditional in structure, the fiery, electric guitar charged title track features Nesrallah and guest vocalist, two-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner Lynne Hanson lamenting both lost love and the fact that there’s nowhere to play and enjoy music: “I’m all dressed up got a new pair of shoes/Got nowhere to go I’m just wearing the blues. . .I’m gonna miss you honey, I’ll just be wearing the blues.” Nesrallah talks and sings his way through the moody, reflective “Nostalgia Blues,” which finds him and Artuso longing for the good old days “Back when the nights were as long as the days/Back when our lives were the music we made.” Balancing more romantic songs (“I Can’t Help Myself”) and whimsical story songs like “Devil’s Cadillac,” the two also engage in a bit of edgy social commentary knocking the current confusing media culture with “Fake News.”

The duo’s colorful dual history reaches back to the vibrant Ottawa club scene of the 80s, with Artuso appearing in Nesrallah’s live shows and on his early recordings. While working the circuit at now legendary haunts like the Rainbow Bistro and Tucson’s Roadhouse, they also contributed their individual talents to the sessions of notable Ottawa artists like Juno Award winners Lynn Miles, Tony D and Guy Del Villano. Over the years, Artuso has performed with internationally known Miles, Dario Domingues and as a member of Fat Man Waving, while Nesrallah – whose multi-faceted vibe has always been informed by “roots world folk and blues” – has released a dozen indie solo albums, toured nationally and performed abroad.

The two reconnected while working on the production of two recent albums by Canadian country artist Norm Brunet. They thought it might be fun to explore their mutual passion for the blues – and soon, building song by song, they found themselves in full blown recording mode on Wearing the Blues, which both call a true labor of love. “Danny comes from a tight arranging background, and my history has more spontaneous music, which made for a unique complementary chemistry,” Nesrallah says. “So many genres are based on the blues – jazz blues, gospel blues, country blues, folk blues. It offered such a broad foundation for us to build on. So many of the classic blues songs we love are from storytellers sharing tales of personal hardship, and we tried to balance this narrative approach with tunes offering a broader perspective on life’s simple truths.”

Oct 2020

The  highly anticipated  Nesrallah Artuso Project "Wearing The Blues" , Enjoy the stream , download tracks and buy the album. All  tracks produced, composed, arranged ,recorded, and performed by Victor Nesrallah and Danny Artuso, recorded at Studio Artuso Stiittsville and mastered by Grammy nominated Philip Shaw Bova .  Featuring ten songs in the tradition of the Blues , stellar performances all around featuring  guest performances by Lynne Hanson, Billboard's top 100  on the title track "Wearing The Blues", Juno ward winning Guy DelVillano stompin barrelhouse piano on "Confused" and Shelley Garrison Artuso background vocals .     Only on Bandcamp  for now so leave a note on the bandcamp page or  drop a line to nesrallahartusoproject@gmail.com.

Sep 2020
By: Blues Roots Radio

Victor Nesrallah​
Label: Free Flying Music
Album: Collections
Tracks : 14
Website: freeflyingmusic.com

 

When you listen to Victor Nesrallah speak it's an education, when you listen to this album the teaching goes further, he has immersed himself in many cultural styles of music from a very young age, and this release is a wonderful showcase of his journey so far. Not only a multi instrumentalist with a mastery of the guitar, he is a sought after producer and has worked on many independent releases in the Folk, Jazz and World Music genres, an award winning singer / songwriter he has been entertaining audiences with his unique blend of Roots, World Jazz and Blues Fusion at festivals and small venues winning new fans along the way.

Placing tracks on an album is an art form in itself, and I can only imagine the depth of thought that must have gone into this project, with a dozen recordings to date there was a wealth of material to choose from, Victor wanted to give a broad spectrum of the varying styles of music that he has composed and in my opinion he has struck the balance brilliantly on ' Collections ', he has to be highly commended for that.

Influences growing up included middle eastern ensembles, jazz collectives, folk music right through to rock and roll and the Beatles, he played woodwind and brass instruments at school, going on to obtain a degree in Jazz performance which have all shaped his journey.Stand out tracks are many, I am highlighting three that are all different, but fit seamlessly into the collection of fourteen tracks, and that in essence, demonstrate the beauty of the recording.

' The Hills Of Liban ' is a song that reflects an experience of a visit to Lebanon, it's also a commentary on the state of the country, it references historical and geographical places, honest thoughts on the political and religious ideologies that have left the country in turmoil throughout the ages, realizing that everyone is not free in such a bountiful country.

' Forgive and Forget ' is a fingerstyle composition which captures well how Victor performs live as a soloist, it has a rock steady bass string beat throughout which is hugely compelling to listen to, his vocal style is mesmerizing creating a superbly crafted track.

' Blood From The Stone ' is an ensemble piece with beautifully arranged orchestrated parts featuring some amazingly talented Arabic musicians including virtuoso violinist Rabih Yazbek from Beirut.

I am in wonder at the way this album crosses many musical boundaries yet nothing is lost or out of place, it truly is a fabulous collection of music, Victor Nesrallah continues to educate the more I listen, I'm sure there will be other recordings to come and I personally can't wait, but until they do I am perfectly happy to press repeat on this one, Victors music certainly knows no boundaries.


Stevie Connor

Visit Victor Nesrallah's website freeflyingmusic.com

Victor Nesrallah​
Label: Free Flying Music
Album: Once A Rebel
Tracks : 10
Website: freeflyingmusic.com

 

I am a big fan of Victor Nesrallah ever since being introduced to his music via ' Collections: Roots, World, Folk, Blues ' and on this his latest release ' Once A Rebel ' he has not disappointed. It's another showcase of stellar songwriting, gritty performance and amazing musicianship.

For those not aware of his music I'd highly recommend tuning in to this collection from Ottawa based Victor Nesrallah, Victor’s compositions have been praised for their originality and hard-hitting message . A multi-instrumentalist with a mastery of guitar, comparisons range from Keb Mo' to Harry Manx and Bruce Coburn. He draws from the roots and world traditions to inspire his writing, arranging and live shows.

Victor's roots lie in folk and country rock, he stays true to that foundation of his musical past on this release and once again crosses genres with songs that fit seamlessly together with hints of swamp blues, americana and even a touch of bluegrass with celtic tinges on tracks with banjo and fiddle work being provided by Keith Snider, an Ottawa Valley mainstay in bluegrass circles and current bandmate.

This release really showcases the strengths of his arsenal, a great composer, wonderful arranger who has a fabulous ear for harmony., and one component that draws you in further is his art of storytelling. Each song has an element of telling a subjects story as with ' The Lion The Sheep and the Self Made Man ' based on the life story of his grandfather Alex, the song portrays the struggles of early nineteenth century immigrants to Canada, or the rendition and remake of his brother Stephan’s folk rock tune ' Lonely Times ' which portrays the struggles of life on the road for any travelling songwriter.

If blues is your thing then ' Once A Rebel ' gives a whole lot of bang for your buck with tracks paying homage to fingerstyle blues in the style of Mississippi John Hurt capturing the essence of that tradition with two ballad-like renderings in ' Driftin ' and ' Low Down Blues '.

There are ten tracks on the album, it's thoroughly captivating from start to finish with a magnificent blend of compositions, it's well produced as we've come to expect from Victor and each time I've gone back to listen I find another facet that I had missed previously.

A highly recommended release that will pull you in with intrigue throughout, the lyrical content is compelling and the musicianship and arrangements are top class. ' Once A Rebel ' might just be his best release to date.

 

Stevie Connor

Visit Victor Nesrallah's website freeflyingmusic.com

Jun 2020

Victor is performing a Live Stream concert via facebook live Thursday June 4th 700pm -800pm EDT  Tune in to hear this intimate solo show featuring some new material from a forthcoming release and songs from Once A Rebel and Collections. Here's hoping y'all tune in.

Virtual tip jar  PayPal.Me/freeflyingmusic

etransfer direct  victor@freeflyingmusic.com 

http://freeflyimusic.com/store

Apr 2020

On Thursday April 16 Victor gave his first live concert stream Liftin the Spirits live to hundreds of viewers via facebook live, In case you missed the concert click  the link below and enjoy the concert. Victor dedicated the show to first responders worldwide in the fight against Covid 19 pandemic. Artists worldwide are streaming concerts in an effort to provide entertainment and relief to all  during this period of self isolation. Musicians and touring artists who perform live and for many have lost their primary source of income   as a direct result of the pandemic and the closing of live music venues locally  worldwide. Musicians and artists alike   are accepting  donations to provide a means of sustinance through this global pandemic. If you want to make a donation which is entirely voluntary and tremendously appreciated  do so via etransfer to victor@freeflyingmusic.com or purchase CDs directly from this website at the store.

Stayed tuned for more up coming news. Stay well and healthy . 

  https://www.facebook.com/victor.nesrallah/videos/10221219349849977/