After 15 years away from his passion of making music, Jimmy Marino returned to writing songs and playing again in 2014, busking and doing open mics in his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh. Learning many lessons along the way as he developed his rock, roots, blues and Americana based sound, the multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist learned the importance of the quirky concept of “failing forward” and so powerfully embracing The Beautiful Mistakes that the phrase was the obvious choice for his band’s clever moniker. Though like many rising indie groups, The Beautiful Mistakes has had a few shifts in personnel, a fantastic lineup joined Marino in creating a full-length debut album from which they created their eclectic, emotionally impactful new EP Love’s Never Wasted.
“Our sound came about by experimenting with each song I brought to work on,” Marino says. “Ben’s drumming shaped some of the songs like ‘Burn It Down’ and ‘Find My Freedom.’ As a creator, I’m a believer in letting the story or emotion of the song drive choices in tempo, clean vs. overdrive sounds, arrangement and dynamics. I grew up listening to bands like Queen where every album and every song on an album can sound different, yet there’s still a distinct flavor. I strive to never do the same thing twice. We are all musicians with full time jobs and careers – and Cory and Ben had never been in a band making original music before. On the other hand, I had no desire to be in a working cover band. I wanted to create and make my music come alive with other musicians. Cory’s new to playing bass, but you wouldn’t know it listening to what he put down on these tracks, and Rick’s decades of experience as a professional musician comes through.”
Marino’s tireless dedication to his craft has led him to take a cue from legendary sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, who suggested that aspiring writers should write a short story a week for a year with the assumption that quality will emerge from quantity. Throughout 2023, he’s been devout about trying to write a song per week and bringing the fruits of this prolific push to the next iteration of The Beautiful Mistakes. He also recently joined a musical improv team which has helped him develop his chops as an “on the spot” songwriter and learn more about structure and creating memorable melodies.
” Loves Never Wasted” by The Beautiful Mistakes release is a great EP and introduction to a band that truly hits the mark and knows their stuff. The group works in complete harmony and provides endless entertainment, high energy music and soulful performance. Their music is multi category, some blues / rock infused foundation mixed with pop and dance rhythms, but I feel trying to define it does not do justice to their sound.
I find the writing style of Jimmy Marino is truly a singer / songwriter style, writing for an audience that wants it all. From the opening track, “Find My Freedom” the music pops, and the drum opening catches your attention and keeps it throughout the EP, making the opening track a view and sound of what’s to come. The track “Be Here with You”. introduces the album title “Loves Never Wasted” it is charming and endearing, being a love song, but not “Ballady”, not the stale “oh here’s a love song” but more of here is a soundtrack to your life.
There are moments where he introduces jazz textures to the Rock Sound Ensemble, which again supports my theory that his music is not for a singe listener, but is a new music for the masses. Key Track “Burn it Down” is really powerful, and the blend of the male and female vocals is perfect. “Slow Train” to me is reminiscent of the 80’s somewhat stoic philosophical view of living in a state of balance and opening yourself up to the possibilities of truly being happy.
Followed by “Leaving Soon” which does not sound sad like the title my presume, but acceptance of something “bad” while remembering the good that once was. The final Track “Road to Eden” ends the EP with the high energy and vibrancy that opened the EP and keeps the joyfulness going, I really wish the EP was longer, but this just means you have to listen as often as possible. , Jimmy Marino and The Beautiful Mistakes is definitely the ones to watch and hear in these times where joyful noise is something we really need more of. No politics, no judgements… just some good time music and a rock & roll daydream.
I contacted, Jimmy Marino and did a brief interview for this review, just to get his opinion and see what he had to say about his hiatus from the music scene, his definitely triumphant return, and his view on what he is doing for his fans old and new.
IPM: What are some of your inspirations for the material on your latest release?
I think the title of the EP, “Love’s Never Wasted,” speaks to the emotions and sentiment that brought these songs to life. I think we’re all stumbling toward our better selves and it’s not a straight line. And love, whether in friendship, romance, creative endeavors or especially in how we love ourselves, is never a waste of time or energy. I think of this as failing forward and never being afraid to put yourself out there and try to create something beautiful.
IPM: I saw from your press release you had taken some time from music and have returned invigorated, was the time away from the music scene allow you to be more creative and to perfect your sound?
There was a time in my life when I let other people control my priorities and who I really was, and that is when I gave up music. It wasn’t until my life kind of fell apart that I decided to see if I could still do this, if any of that magic was still there. Thankfully, my muse was right there, asking, “what took you so ‘effing long” and it was like I never stopped. I’ve been writing and playing music almost constantly since I made that choice to truly be who I am again. Writing music, busking, playing the open mic scene here in Pittsburgh, and eventually putting together a band to record these songs. So, it’s actually now that I’m being more creative and invigorated and my skill level as a musician has never been higher.
IPM: Tell us about your group, and some of the chemistry between the artists that make the line up unique.
I’ve always approached music as a place of collaboration. I may write all the songs for the group, but where a piece begins and where it ends is always different, and that’s due in large part to the talent, energy and honestly just good vibes and fun everyone who worked on this LP brought to the table. We all got together and had a lot of fun, worked really hard and in the end, we made some really amazing music. The Beautiful Mistakes has a commitment to making sure we go with the best idea in the room as we’re trying different things and making artistic decisions. Being able to have that level of collaboration and honesty in a chill way without egos is really rare and I think that’s really reflected in the music.
IPM: What are some of the plans around this release, tours or major performance plans?
Getting our music heard and connecting with people through our music either live or virtually is always our priority. We have a great gig lined up in a couple weeks at one of the best venues for independent music here in Pittsburgh. We’re building a local following and we’re looking forward to expanding out into surrounding cities like Cleveland, DC, and Philly, and are booking some gigs at festivals this fall.
IPM: How would you say your present sound will evolve or shape future releases?
As a songwriter I don’t like to do the same thing twice. As a multi-instrumentalist I like to bring some other elements into the mix. Lately I’ve been writing songs on keys versus guitar, and that brings a really different sound to the music. It’s always gonna be rock, but the feel and tone are different.
IPM: The Love’s Never Wasted EP is a fantastic collection of work, were there any songs that did not make the EP but will be released at another time?
Absolutely! This is part of a larger set of 12 songs that we’ve recorded. There are a couple of great tunes not included in this EP. One is a slow rock anthem called Giving Dreams Away that’s our take on an old school power ballad. Another track called No Secrets features a string quartet and me on violin that still gives me chills. Really, I think the entire album speaks to some of the same set of songs but with a wider variety of sounds, rhythms and tempos.
IPM: Since you mentioned an addition to the group during the pandemic, I like to ask how the global crises affected your view on how music can be a motivational force and well as a healing for people working through the present post pandemic world?
Music has always been at the forefront of social change. It’s always a few years ahead of where we’re going as a society. Music helped get me through the last three years and I know it did the same for many people. Listening to music heals, writing music heals, and playing music heals. I always knew that was true, but I think it became more so during the covid-19 pandemic and during the social unrest happening at the same time.
For me as a songwriter, music has always been cathartic. When I really let go and write, emotions and ideas that were under the surface of my consciousness bubble up. I’m writing different kinds of songs right now that are part of my own healing journey. I create music to heal. I think the hope for any singer/songwriter is that they’re touching on things other people are feeling and they can connect or relate to it. When someone hears your music they feel, ‘yeah I get that, I’m going through that too’ and they’re also thinking, ‘I’m going to get through this’ because that’s why I’m writing, to heal and to keep stumbling forward to better days. That’s the power of music.
IPM: Where can our readers find out more about you and for more of your music?
We are active on social media (FB, Instagram, TikTok) and we are on all streaming services. We also have a bandcamp page, a Soundcloud page, and a website. We love hearing from people who enjoy our music so if your readers like what they hear they should definitely reach out and say hey!
IPM: Any final thoughts you may wish to share?
Any chance you have to get out and enjoy new music or art or create, do it. Go to the show!
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