Delta Moon ate so much stroncatura pasta in Calabria the first two weeks of March that the Italian leg of our trip became called the StroncaTour. Stroncatura is a coarse, dark pasta originally made from the floor sweepings of the pasta factories and sold as food for animals. Human consumption was forbidden. But poor people ate stroncatura anyway, buying it cheaply under the counter and flavoring it with strong spices and anchovies. Once the upper classes caught on, stroncatura became popular and the factories cleaned up the ingredients. It’s a lot like the story of blues, jazz and rock-and-roll.
Without our agent and road manager in Calabria, Vincenzo Tropepe, the StroncaTour would not have been possible. With him it was pretty incredible. Enzo has friends everywhere in southern Italy, and now many of them have become our friends too. On past tours we’ve called such-and-such a dinner “the meal of the trip,” but this time we enjoyed so many wonderful meals served by so many wonderful people that the concept became meaningless. One Italian friend said, “I’ve been seeing more pictures of you on Facebook with food and wine than with musical instruments.”
Here’s a quick video of a rural traffic jam we encountered in an olive grove on our way to a memorable lunch prepared by the 80-year-old father of our friend Daniele Errico.
Of course we did play some shows — several in fact. Here is Enzo Tropepe’s account of the tour, translated (however poorly) from Italian:
The tour of the Delta Moon, now very well known in these parts, has been completed. This was perhaps the fifth time to see them around Calabria and, despite everything, the public loves them in visceral ways. These are the dates they played in Puglia and Calabria. The first date was at La Pecora Nera (Cassano Del Murge) with the legendary Pino Simone who arranged everything to perfection, as he usually does. The second at the Go West Saloon in Roccaforzata (TA), where our dearest Fabio welcomed us in a big way. The third date, returning to Calabria, we stopped in the wonderful Tropea. Even though our dear Bertè sang, “The winter sea is like a black and white movie seen on TV,” we can’t say that. Tropea is colorful in both summer and winter. On stage then at Albin’s Pub, a wonderful place managed by our fearless Albino Lorenzo.
Three days of rest were not bad at all, considering the fatigue accumulated even from the previous tour in Spain and then resting until Wednesday. The fourth gig saw them busy playing at the New Boston in Davoli Marina, where our bastion of music organized an almost-last-minute concert and therefore, thank you very much to Gray Renda with the great Bruno Delfino, Andrea Sabato and all the staff. Friday at La Sosta where the legendary Mimmo delighted us with his unmistakable sound on sax. Thanks to all the staff de La Sosta.
At the end, as they say, final with bang!!! The tour ended in a place where no definition could be the right one, a place where positive energy cuts with a knife and where all and I say everyone, they feel at home. At Il Frantoio delle Idee the band performed the last concert. What to say? I have no words!!! An infinite thank you to my dearest friend Alberto Conia who truly always keeps the flag flying high, together with the amazing Marina Rizzo… I love you. For me the most emotion was when, after inviting me to jam on stage, at some point Tom Gray passed me his wonderful Italia Modena guitar. At first I thought I had to play it, since it was in standard tuning, but instead, last but not least, Tom gave it to me, in front of everyone on stage. I’ll never find the right words to thank him, to him and to the rest of the band. What else to add? Nothing! I can’t wait to get them back. God bless you all guys!!! Miss you: Tom Gray, Mark Johnson, Franher Joseph, Paolo Xeres.
Thank you very much to those who allowed all this and who supported us with their presence, their love and their passion.
Delta Moon seconds those thanks. And, Enzo, we already miss you, too.