EMMA MORTON & THE GRACES
“Emma Morton & the Graces”, is the new project led by the Scottish Singer-writer alongside guitarist Luca Giovacchini and Drummer Piero Perelli. They are preparing to release their new album which explores the notion of’“beautiful contaminations’ — “Our sound tries to offset the sweet tones typical to my Scottish musical heritage with our shared passion for Afro-American music, in particular blues, gospel, soul and jazz. we’re celebrating the changes, growth and new identities born of cross-cultural evolution. These distinct influences provide a backdrop for Emma’s monomythical stories. The dark prosody of daily life is brought alive through the use of folkloric tropes that give voice to the mystical and the sublime.”
The band’s core members Emma Morton, Luca Giovacchini and Piero Perelli have been working within the Italian Jazz scene since 2012. The evolution of “Emma Morton & the Graces” followed their first performance as a trio for an Amatrice Relief concert days following the earthquake last year.
“It was just us three, I felt a strong instinct to make things different and as a group we wanted to respond to the overwhelming sense of solidarity present in Italy at that time. We chose a repertoire of songs that had, at some point in our lives allowed us to access the beauty of even our darkest fears, to weep at the spectrum of our humanity. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, T-Bone Burnett and Nick Cave were some of the artists on that set list. I abandoned all notion of my voice being an instrument that evening; sound became secondary to words, which I instinctively sung in my spoken dialect. Something just clicked and I began my journey home – Luca and Piero the steady train that would take me there.”
Luca’s haunting baritone guitar, ’64 Jazz Master and choice of pedals, Piero’s dirty sounding vintage drums and homemade percussions together with Emma’s soulful moaning in her East-Lothian dialect led them to forge their unique sound and a new collective identity.
The band’s core members Emma Morton, Luca Giovacchini and Piero Perelli, met each other within the Tuscan Jazz Scene and have been performing together in different projects since 2012. This album project came together last year after the band gave an Amatrice Relief concert in the days following the earthquake. “As a band we felt compelled to respond to the overwhelming sense of solidarity present in Italy at that time and for the concert we chose to perform a repertoire of songs which had at some point in our lives allowed us to access the beauty of even our darkest fears, let us weep at the spectrum of our humanity. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, T-Bone Burnett and Nick Cave were some of the artists on that repertoire. I abandoned all notion of my voice being an instrument that evening; sound became secondary to words which I instinctively sung in my spoken dialect. Together with Luca’s choice of pedals and a haunting baritone guitar and Piero’s vintage drums we found our sound and a new collective identity which became “Emma Morton & the Graces”. When we play we each have a voice, our experiences and our identities meet, confront and console each other. There is an intimate interplay which I’ve never experienced with other musicians quite like I have with Piero and Luca.
Emma began writing and performing music after moving to Italy in 2009. She has since released her music with with Sony Italia, Reverb Records and Cramps Records. To date she has collaborated and performed with acclaimed international artists including Raphael Gualazzi, Olly Murs, Gary Lucas, performing her music on popular radio and television networks such as Caterpilla, Rai1, Mediaset and Sky.
Her debut single “Daddy Blues” held a place in the Italian Top 10, getting air play on major radio stations like Radio Deejay, Radio Subasio, Capital. Her collaboration with electro-pop band Teodorf on “Why” saw success as part of the Samsung S7 edge 2016 publicity campaign. The young writer has also released music in partnership with high-fashion brand Pi-Quadro, and has on-going projects with designers Edda Berg and Sergei Grinko. Emma has been profiled in magazines such as Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Officiel.
Piero Perelli and Guitarist Luca Giovacchini have toured across Europe, America, India and Russia with artists like Dana Fuchs, Vinicio Capossela, Bobby Johnson, R.L. Burnside, Frank Frost, Sam Carr, Pianco C. Reed, Maurizio Geri and Francesco Guccini and have performed at festivals such as San Javier Jazz (France), Bospop Blues (Germany), Mahindra Blue (India), Smukfest (Denmark), Django Reindhart Festival (France), Folkest Festival (Italy), Accordian Festival (Austria), Maxwell Street Blues Festival (USA), Ethno Jazz Festival (Russia) and Bayfront Blues Festival (USA).