Maurice Tani has been a popular fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene for many years, dating back to stints with a pair of eclectic retro party bands, the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra and Big Bang Beat. However, when he went solo as a singer-songwriter a number of years ago, audiences saw a new side of him: His country- and jazz-tinged songs were intimate stories about love and loss in the modern world, sung in a distinctive, resonant baritone. He has some serious vocal chops.
When he stopped by for Acoustic Guitar Sessions, along with bass player Mike Anderson (from Tani’s 77 El Deora group), he played three fine originals: “Poison,” “Radio City” (both of which appeared on Tani and Anderson’s 2014 Two-Stroke: Acoustic Duos & Trios), and the noir-ish “Take Me With You When You Go Too Far,” playing a guitar made by Bay Area luthier Mario DeSio. Tani reveals the top of the guitar comes from a recycled 100-year-old upright piano’s soundboard: “I like the idea that this piece of wood already had like a billion notes played through it before it ever became a guitar.”