Rarely does a guitarist possess both chops and soul. The names of those who do are usually etched in history. Now another name can be added to that exclusive list — Axemunkee’s Catherine Capozzi.
A native of Connecticut, Capozzi began playing guitar at the age of ten. After college, she moved to Boston and paid her dues in a number of local rock bands, most notably the critically lauded All the Queen’s Men (Madam Static, Curvy Baby), a band that also achieved some acclaim in Europe. As a result of her work with AQM, she was tapped to play guitar for several productions by The Boston Rock Opera.
Prior to launching Axemunkee in 2007, Capozzi spent two years as the guitarist for Ziaf, a well-respected Edith Piaf tribute act which released three albums and toured extensively in Europe and the Far East, as well as the U.S. Ziaf was also featured in a documentary on Piaf collaborator Marguerite Monnot for French television.
Once she decided to front her own band, Capozzi chose to keep Axemunkee entirely instrumental and let her six strings do the singing. Her influences are broad, including jazz and classical music, but they are always filtered through the rock idiom, and more times than not, they are draped in an psychedelic-hued aural coat. And while the guitar goddess is schooled in the lexicon of classic rock, she is by no means limited by that. In a day, when so much rock sounds tired, Capozzi excites with her inventive playing and composing.
Not surprisingly, when it came to actually performing her new music live and in the studio, she reached out to two of her former AQM bandmates,Tamora Gooding (electronic drums) and Chris Farrell (bass) She also enlisted Count Zero keyboardist Joel Simches and Bentmen drummer Geoff Chase. Chase ended up coproducing, recording and mixing Axemunkee’s debut, Sidewalk Mary, an album which places Capozzi squarely in the company of rock’s most innovative guitarists.
AXEMUNKEE Tigrette Records SideWalk Mary 10-song CD
\"The last time I got my head completely smacked like this was by a record from Abunai! many years ago. It’s that rare kinda mind-melt that can be many things to many people. It’s psychedelic, dark, jaunty, spiritual, playful, sinister, even world-beatish, and sometimes all in the same friggin’ song. Usually, stuff that’s this all-over-the-place is doomed to fail, but there isn’t a single misstep or contrived-sounding second here. One minute you’re on the beach, the next you’re on Jupiter, and the next you’re getting reamed up the woo-hoo by James Bond in the jungle or something. Oh, and they do it all without vocals, save for an odd sample here and there. While every note played by everyone here is crucial to the staggering success of this thing, it’d be impossible (and stupid) not to single out guitarist and songwriter Catherine Capozzi, who might be my new favorite musician in about the last million years. I’d call it a minor miracle, but there’s nothing minor about it. World-class head-fuckery from start to finish. If this doesn’t leave you scratchin’ your noggin in wonder, you must not have any arms. (Joe Coughlin)\"
Metronome (August 2008)
Axemunkee picked as Doug Sloan\'s top 5
\"Axemunkee is guitarist Catherine Capozzi\'s latest musical adventure...and a good one it is. The former lead guitarist with the Boston bands Ziaf (Edith Piaf tribute) and All the Queen\'s Men, strikes out on her own with an album of guitar driven instrumentals that are quirky and innovative. Drummer Geoff Chase, electronic drummer & ex-bandmate Tamora Gooding, bassist Chris Farrell and keyboardist Joel Simches all clock in on their respective instrumentation to help Capozzi fill the soundscape with a myriad of inventive sounds.
On her debut, SideWalk Mary, Capozzi prove\'s to be a very good guitar player but her real strength lies in the sounds she\'s able to wrangle out of her axe. She howls and squeals, bellows and wails and when she\'s done strangling her six strings, it\'s evident that she\'s deliberately mapped out a song with emotive intent and a whole host of sounds you may never have heard before.
Most instrumental music has been difficult for audiences to wrap their brain around and few people have had real success (Satriani; Vai; ?), but Capozzi manages to keep things more than just interesting on SideWalk Mary. Favorite cuts include \"Acid Django\", \"BlasFamous\", and \"Dali\'s Dark Dream\". If you\'re looking for a cool listening experience outside of the \"America\'s Got Talent\" crap you\'re force fed, I highly recommend that you check out Axemunkee.\"