“Radici Popolari” is a music group from Valle di Comino that generates fascinating rhythms. It all started in 2012 by Lorenzo Rea, a piano accordanist of Broccostella who cannot manage to restrict his musicality just to central-south Italy.
The group is expanding and today it is about eight traditional instruments: accordion, violin, tambourine, bass, guitar, bagpipes, ciaramella (pipita) and flutes.
The bagpipes and ciaramella are the real instruments of this area bordered by Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise and here are still the craftsmen who build these instruments according to century old traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. It is no coincidence that in some towns such as Acquafondata, the Zampogne (Bagpipes) Festival is the most important event of the year when emigrants return home to listen to this music.
Lorenzo is also the group’s singer with a deep voice and a special timbre that makes the music even more engaging. You can go on Youtube to sample a taste of their style.
Ancient music is reinterpreted in a modern way, following the journey initiated by Eugenio Bennato, that revived the pizzica and tarantella dances, highlighting some expressivity of the musical instruments and their arrangements.
Obviously, the favorite music is that of Saltarello and Ballarella, a particular form of Saltarello typical of these areas bordering Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise. The Saltarello is for these regions what Pizzica is for Puglia and Tarantella is for Naples. You cannot imagine a festival without the accompaniment of this music and without being overwhelmed by the dancing.
But Radici Popolari goes beyond this and reinterprets also the role of orchestras and songwriters. It is not only dance music that fills the squares and literally moves the feet of anyone listening to them, but also of modern story tellers.
Some of their original music tells the stories of the Comino Valley such as ‘Canneto’ that tells the story of the Madonna of Canneto and the pilgrimage that every year in August sees more than 60,000 people in the Canneto Valley where the Black Madonna and the White Madonna meet.
Or the “Ballad of the Brigand Cerrone“, who roamed between Abruzzo and Lazio, and tells a piece of Italian history that for years has been muffled or hidden, that of the true role of the brigands in this border area between the Pontifical State and the Bourbon Kingdom.
For their original and enthralling music, capable of infusing people and squares, the Radici Popolari group is invited to every part of Italy and to Ireland where special forms of twinning have been born. Irish and Italian rhythms have a strong energy in common and many Italians have gone to Ireland and Scotland from the Comino Valley to strengthen these bonds.