I play double bass and sing stories. I was born in Milan, where my parents commuted for work, from the lovely small town of Rivolta d'Adda. I love Italy, of course, but I especially adore my town. I never really meant to live anywhere else, but life is cheeky that way...
I developed my very own, very unusual songwriting style at a very early age. Why?...well frankly I was no good at manual work and I got bored at a desk, so it seemed like a good idea to be a musician, and back when I started it could be a job like any other, meaning there was enough money to stay alive, not like now...
There was no musician in my family, so I did it the hard way, with 20 years of apprentiship on the road and by becoming "formally self-taught", reading books, listening to the greats and generally finding my own way by trial and error, which I still do.
At age 18 I got signed to a major, and mentored by great musicians like the jazz double bass player Giovanni Tommaso, to learn the trade...I was however still immature and found it difficult to make peace between my working class origin and a possible "pop" career...so I run away abroad before producing anything of musical significance, maybe for the best.
I eventually found myself in Birmingham, England, where I volunteered as a carer for Kyer, a wonderful young man, who taught me to speak English, among many more important things. There I met my wife Lara, with whom I am still madly in love with many years later. We then settled and started a family in Scotland, with our wonderful daughter Ruby.
In Scotland, I returned to music for fun, at first. I started back in local pubs, where I soon realised that my songwriting talent could be coupled with a little humour and my "foreign" accent, to grab the attention of the punters. Almost by accident, these little funny songs became popular and made me tour the world for a while. Much later, I decided to "document" these times with "Live at Falkirk Folk Club" (2020), "Best of Roberto Cassani and the Tickety2 2014 and 2015" (2019) and Badabadoom (2016).
After a period of diversification and some experimentation, even tumbling into some protest punk with "Protest Panda" (2017) , I had the chance to work with my friend and mentor, legendary double bass player Danny Thompson, in 2018. Danny, who is a wonderful human being, made me realise that I had the potential to be a signifcant artist, but at the moment my entire documented work consisted of funny songs...hence, better expanding a little in the realm of things that matter.
From then onwards, I have started a nice period of research and meaningful production, even if of course I have not abandoned my humorous nature...So far, this has produced the album "Oh!...L'amore!" (2019) recorded by the great Andrea Gobbi, the monologue of voice and double bass "Robertografia" (2019), and the singles "Marino" and "L'amore" (2020) flanked by my long-time partner in crime Owen Nicholson and recorded live in my favourite TPot studio, with the wonderful engineer Robin Wynn Evans.
I have managed to notch up countless hours of session playing, live and in studio, with lots of independent Scottish acts, some well known and some not at all, but still good. I was even in a band once, the folk "supergroup" Kilmarnock Edition (2013).
And so here we are. Just now, I am working at my next project, a really big and important one for me. It will take a little while, but please join the mailing list, so I can keep you informed.
Grazie e ciao. Roberto