Michael Guggino is well known as the mandolin player with the Steep Canyon Rangers. But his Italian-American background has led him to play traditional Italian music on the mandolin. Barret Smith has spent a lot of time in Italy teaching guitar, but also experiencing the musical tradition with folk songs, tarantellas and mandolins.
For years they have played together for Italian Nights and other occasions. For some time they played as “Trio Guggino” with Nicky Sanders on the violin.
In the following video of an Italian Night Mike Guggino and Barret Smith give some information about their background.
Micheal Guggino and Barrett Smith of the Grammy award winning Bluegrass Band @The Steep Canyon Rangers preform classic Italian Folk songs at “Italian Night” at the Jordan Street Cafe in Brevard NC.
Michael Guggino and Barret Smith have used to make a recording of their favorite Italian tunes, “Mia Dolce Farfalla”. The CD is available at Spotify and youtube.
Mike and Barrett have been performing traditional Italian folk music on the mandolin and guitar for nearly two decades. The duo first met in college, while both were studying jazz and classical music but also getting their feet wet in bluegrass and American folk music. When Mike and Barrett aren’t touring with the band, they host “Italian Night” performances at local restaurants, music venues, and house concerts. Over the years, these widely popular events have provided them the perfect setting to develop their own unique musical expression of these exotic, Italian folk songs. The pandemic allowed them the time to finally record some of these songs.