Wednesday, August 7, 2013

'A friend of a friend of ...': Mario Cipollina

Much like the Hayes siblings (Chris, Kevin, and Bonnie), Mario Cipollina carries a name that has quite a history in the Bay Area music scene.

Mario Cipollina
Aside from being a part of the musical merger that turned into Huey Lewis and the News -- cranking out a string of Top 40 hits and an Academy Award-nominated song ("The Power of Love" from "Back to the Future") in the 1980s and early '90s -- he's provided solid timekeeping on bass to the likes of Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Nick Lowe, Michael Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Paul Carrack, Tony Williams, Ronnie Montrose, Brian Auger, Billy Cobham, Narada Michael Walden, Jerry Garcia, Craig Chaquico, Steve Smith, and many others.

His bio is enough to earn recognition by itself.   The "family ties" in Cipollina's case come from being a brother to renowned Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cipollina, among the giants of the San Francisco psychedelic music era.

Make no mistake, though, Mario's earned a name for himself based on his own talent.  These days, his talent's on display with a newer trio, Reckless In Vegas.  It's a band that gives a hard edge to some classic songs from the classic Las Vegas era, with powerful drums, a more metalish guitar style, and some thick bass sounds from Cipollina.

When you recognize the music played by Reckless In Vegas (this ain't your grandparents' Vegas-style lounge sound), one thought can come to mind:  They really do make it "hip to be square."

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