Best known around town as the frontman for the Ginhouse Bluesband, the past nine years or so have seen Cini championing the broader Australian blues-rock community through his series of Blues Explosion compilation CDs and live events. Yet for all this activity, The Arc Riders is his debut album, and while it’s essentially, as you’d expect with that sort of pedigree, a blues-rock album, he throws in a few more up tempo numbers to showcase his hard rock side. The best of these, Illawarra Train, mixes his love of Texas boogie blues with a bit of incisive social observations, while Rattlesnake Shake keeps things simple but ballsy, Moonchild tips its hat to Led Zeppelin and the spoken-word observation on war, Towers, cites Sabbath.
Proud of his Maltese heritage, he’s even prouder of his father’s decision to bring the family to Australia when he was just three years old, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a bit of fun in a Cream “Mother’s Lament” kind of way in the throwaway final track sure to annoy the purists. But then, Cini has always cut his own path within the blues community and he’s not about to change now. So why not sing about being a cowboy over an acoustic blues riff? It’s all part of the journey for a kid who grew up on a diet of Saturday afternoon television Westerns.
You’re welcome to saddle up and join him for the ride.
Michael Smith, Music Journalist