Bos Meadery Blues Bash to feature Verona musician, band

When Leo Albertoni was a child, he realized he could play melodies by ear on his grandmother’s piano.

To this day, Albertoni, a 2019 Verona Area High School graduate, says he can’t read sheet music; rather, he puts a sound and lyrics to his emotions through improvisation and spontaneity.

To show those talents off, his retro R&B soul project “Leo Albertoni and the Convictions” is performing its debut show – the Bos Meadery Blues Bash – in collaboration with Madison’s The Mannish Boys from 7:30 -11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Bash is taking place at 849 E. Washington St., in Madison. Tickets for the event are $10.

Upon graduating from VAHS, Albertoni became a working musician, getting his start at Madison-area clubs at the age of 16.

He said one of those included the Madison-based Knuckle Down Saloon, where Albertoni – keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter – found fellow bandmates Todd Phipps, organ player; Pete Olig, bass player; Alex Quinnel, drummer; and Jesse Steinberg, guitar player.

He said he would go to the saloon every Thursday for open blues jams. His aforementioned bandmates took notice of him after he would get on stage and perform with them. The band officially came together in May 2019.

The Facebook event page reads that in conjunction with Albertoni’s Knuckle Down Saloon performances, he’s shared the stage with “blues royalty.” Albertoni said before starting his band, he traveled all over the state of Wisconsin to showcase his energetic sound with lyrics to tell stories of love.

The Bos Meadery audience may hear that sound in Leo Albertoni and the Conviction’s original song “All I Need,” which is likely to appear on an upcoming album to debut this summer, Albertoni said.

Albertoni held back on divulging other details about the album, saying he didn’t want to give too much information about it.

The crowd will likely find the band’s sound to be simple and catchy, Albertoni said, as the band will offer cute little tunes and improvisation that he hopes will resonate with the audience.

That’s Albertoni’s process when it comes down to it, he said – just play what you feel and don’t think about it.

Albertoni said The Mannish Boys are a Madison blues staple and he is excited to perform with the likes of such a talented band.

According to the Blues Bash Facebook event page, The Mannish Boys play Chicago-style blues, performing the works of Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Otis Spann – one of Albertoni’s major inspirations – Paul Butterfield and Little Walter. The page stated The Mannish Boys put on a show with raw exuberance and driving rhythms.

For more information about the bash, visit facebook.com/events/bos-meadery-blues-bash.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.