It was the philosopher Brad Paisley who called America “one big Country Nation”. What Brad meant was that modern country music has less to do with geography and more to do with a certain state of mind: respect for tradition, a straight-shooting attitude, a taste for musical economy and simplicity, and, perhaps most importantly a sense of fun. In 2018, it’s as easy to find a real country musician in the city as it is on a rural back road. And judging by the recent success of European singers and songwriters like Lucie Silvas, American country music has gone worldwide. Nadia Lanfranconi was born on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, but the moment she starts to strum and sing (in a very fetching accent), there’s no doubt about it – you’re in the presence of a country true believer.
That’s the theme of “Italian Country Song”, which is very honest, very funny, very catchy, and impossible to resist. Lanfranconi may not be a native American, but she’s got the basics down as well as any Music City troubadour. She’s been writing and releasing music since 2008, with her American debut EP Bad Story. Over a pure country groove – spiked with slide guitar, naturally – she tells her life story, and lays her motivation and her passion bare. It helps that she’s got a good sense of humor, too. She confesses she’s not much for pickup trucks and reveals a very Italian preference for coffee over beer. But she pledges her allegiance to the verities: Jesus, Johnny Cash, and sweet romance. (And maybe not in that order.)
If Lanfranconi looks familiar to you, there’s a reason for that. She’s an actress as well as a musician, and one with an impressive small-screen resume – her credits include Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Entourage. She knows exactly how to approach the camera and how to captivate viewers, and she puts her skills on display in the beautifully-shot video for “Italian Country Song”. Lanfranconi has retained the services of a director who shares her heritage, and her story of emigration to America to chase an artistic dream – frequent collaborator Andrea “Vonjako” Giacomini, who was behind the camera for her “Always” and “Let That Baby Ride” videos. Together, they present Nadia Lanfranconi as a pure country girl, riding horses, climbing trees, wearing boots and a broad-brimmed hat, and sitting in the steps of a rural church. There’s one departure from American country expectation, though, and it’s a big one. Midway through the clip, she grabs an Italian flag – and she waves that Tricolore proudly.