Our Unsung Hero of TX Music - Cristian

Pubblicato da Remo Ricaldone |


Ok...questo è l'ultimo post di Lonestartime.com dopo molti anni di vita, grazie alla passione e alla perseveranza di Cristian Gualandri che lo ha fortemente voluto, creato e accudito...grazie a lui abbiamo potuto godere di una serie incredibile di concerti come mai si era potuto credere di assistere...negli ultimi anni queste pagine sono andate avanti quasi per forza di inerzia e per il mio voler dedicare a lui ogni parola e ogni suggerimento...dopo che ci ha lasciato (troppo troppo presto) è iniziata una china che purtroppo, a malincuore, ha portato alla decisione di chiudere questa bella avventura, certi che non è stata vissuta invano e nella speranza che abbia lasciato qualcosa di bello in ognuno di noi, come certamente ha fatto Cristian che continueremo a ricordare con profondo affetto...e l'ultimo post è questa appassionata e commovente lettera di un caro amico come Bruce Kalmick che ben descrive quanto abbia fatto Cristian per la diffusione della musica texana qui da noi...so long, my friend...
Remo Ricaldone

Our Unsung Hero of TX Music - Cristian

It was 2005 and early in my career in the music business, as a booking agent in the early days. My partner, Ricky Brown, and I made it a major part of our development to get on the road and see the venues, crowds, and towns all over TX for ourselves. I had no intention of first discovering how big the music world really is but our then client Rodney Hayden was asked to tour through parts of France and Italy, and he asked me to go with. We scraped together some money and I managed to get myself to Europe. It was my first time crossing the Atlantic.

I quickly realized how great music can travel anywhere in the world and the fans were discovering music by buying Cd’s of Texas/Regional artists for whatever they cost; which could range from $25-100 depending on the cost of shipping and the available quantities on some of these somewhat obscure and unknown regional artists. We had a great time navigating our way through Paris and then we booked a Train car from Paris to Bologna, Italy… We had our own 2 bed Car and we would spend the next 12 hours with no food (The Train told us they ran out after we boarded) and so we tried to sleep and take in some of the passing landscape. I think Rodney wrote a few songs that he has since released on that train ride.

Basically, upon arrival in Italy and our greeting from Max and Cristian; we instantly knew this was going to be much more memorable trip. Both Cristian and Max treated us like family almost right away. We ate the best food in every town, we drank the best wine, and Rodney played a few packed shows for Italian fans of Texas music that sang every word to every song. I was floored by Cristian and Max’s knowledge of Texas, the music scene, and their love of live music. Cristian introduced me to the real Jack Ingram on a car ride from Maranello to Ferrara, Italy. Yes, I knew Jack; but I didn’t know “Electric” and Cristian knew every word; as did I by the end of the next few days listening to the album nonstop.

I left Italy with a completely new approach to artist development and discovery. Since that trip, we started a management company and have developed some of the greatest bands in Texas history; starting with Whiskey Myers and Josh Abbott Band, who was accompanied by Kacey Musgraves to sing their now Gold Record “Oh Tonight”. Both of which would then make trips to France and Italy and play in front of thousands in southern France at Rendezvous’ and then jumping in with Cristian and Max (who did this on their off days from their day jobs) and touring across Italy playing shows C&M would promote themselves, risk their own money, and still not let any of us buy a single meal or glass of wine along the way. Cristian and Max have now brought Randy Rogers Band, Stoney Larue, Bart Crow, Mike and the Moonpies, Cody Canada, etc. etc. etc. over to Italy and single handedly created a market for TX music in foreign speaking Italy of all places.

I have now signed bands and artists from all over the world (KALEO, FERBY, BELLE MT, Seaforth, etc.) and I have continued to tour all over the UK and Europe with my clients, building artists from all genres like; Chase Rice, Whiskey Myers, The Cadillac Three, KALEO, etc. into major headline acts from Scotland, London, Wales, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Austria, Greece, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and more...

I have gotten to see most of the world, and it all started with these two guys in small town northern Italy. Passionate about real music and about telling everyone they know until they built a market in one of the most surprising markets. Now we have streaming, and music is discoverable anywhere you go in some way without leaving your house, but it's guys like Cristian and Max that really build markets and create consumer demand for new genres.

Sadly, we lost Cristian this morning to a very sudden heart attack.

He was young, he was full of passion, love, faith, and drive to keep discovering and keep building just about every act that I have signed in the last 15 years. He leaves behind his wife Simona, who is absolutely the rock and one of the kindest people I have ever met. I was lucky to be able to hang out with Cristian one last time in Jan when Kaleo played a showcase for the global Warner team in Milan. We ate the best meal of my life. Again. We hung out and talked music and life. They fell in love with JJ and KALEO and we all spent time together for a couple days before we had to say goodbye. I’m listening to Jack Ingrams “one thing” right now and I can smell his little Italian truck and hear him talking about how much he loves Simona.

Cristian is the hope that the music business needs everywhere.

He believed so strongly in a sub-genre of country music in Texas that he risked his savings to bring the bands to his home country. It worked! His legacy should live on in the halls, honky tonks, and backstages of Texas music forever. I know we have lost some of the greatest TX artists in history in the last month, and now we lost one of unsung heroes of our genre.

RIP Cristian. We have so much to thank you for! Enjoy your playtime and snuggles with Cody (His puppy they named after Cody Canada, who passed last summer). I will miss the checkups, the Italian jokes, and music talks.

Now you are the “Chosen One”…

Keep an eye on TEXAS Music for us!

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