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Band Rock Blues


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"CD Review"

John Mameli
By Bob Silvestri
John Mameli, the 2005 winner of the WNED North American Rock Guitar Competition, has released a new CD titled simply Mameli. This Niagara Falls, NY native who now resides in Florida wowed the crowd at the Festival and is equally impressive in the studio as well. This is not some guitar wanking music but rather solid well written material, he wrote all the songs sans one, that highlight his unique guitar prowess and his rather distinct vocal style best described as velvety smooth with sandpaper roughness around the edges. The fourteen tracks are all top notch and cover a variety of playing and musical styles. Check out the funky sound of “Bad Girl” or the Latin flavor of “Ode To Joe”. If that doesn’t win you over than perhaps the one two punch of “Can’t Imagine” a beautiful love song done both as a vocal track and later in the disc as an instrumental, will. For fans of the blues Mameli does them low down and dirty on the harp driven tune “Shake” and the outstanding cut “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman”. The ballad “For Your Love” and the lone cover tune an instrumental of the Gene Pitney classic “Town With Out Pity” score points as well. One of the best guitar players I’ve seen in awhile, bar none, John Mameli is the real deal. Check out his new CD and find out why he was the runaway winner of the Guitar Competition for 2005 at

- Bob Silvestry


Selected songs from the debut release, "MAMELI"



John Mameli of Naples, Fl. was named the winner out of five finalists who competed at the North American Rock Guitar Competition on Monday, June 20, 2005. The event, which was co-presented by the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts and WNED took place as part of the fifth annual WNED Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival at U.B’s Center for the Arts.

John picked up the guitar at the age of twelve and started playing professionally in the music business at the age of fifteen. Since then he has been on and off the road throughout the United States with various major, local, cover and original bands in venues from nightclubs to small bards, concerts to festivals. John will soon be on the road promoting his new project "Mameli" a three piece rhythm & blues, rock and roll band.

The judges who determined the winner of the NORTH AMERICAN ROCK GUITAR COMPETITION before an audience of over 1000 people were: Vernon Reid, lead guitarist for the band Living Colour; Guitarist-vocalist, composer and artist Kat Dyson; Brett Scallions, lead singer of the band Fuel; Guitarist/singer/songwriter Debbie Davies; Associate Editor of Guitar Player magazine Jude Gold and Frank Johns from Gibson Guitar. Criteria for judging included technique/accuracy, range and variety, choice of material, melodic and rhythmic creativity, overall artistry/musical expression and stage presence.

Mameli received a cash prize of $1,500; a Gibson guitar and an “Austin City Limits” Festival getaway package. He also received the Tommy Tedesco Award, honoring the legendary Niagara Falls, NY-native, billed as “the most recorded guitarist in history” by Guitar Player magazine.