club cafe

pittsburgh, pa
Bill Deasy's Annual Boxing Day Show

43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.

43 minutes.

Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.

Then...just...listen.


Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train

So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.

Timeless things.

"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."

Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.

"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."

The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.

"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."

Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.

"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."

In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.

The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.

"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."

********

Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.

In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.

Bill was recently included in the book “Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred” as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.

43 minutes. That is all Bill Deasy is asking of you.

43 minutes.

Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Block out the world.

Then...just...listen.


Wheels on road
Roads in moonlight
Moonlight falling on a midnight train

So begins "Timeless Things," the lead-off title track for Bill Deasy's eighth full-length studio record. Anton DeFade's driving bass pumps along beside Jake Hanner's steady kick drum. Rob James' (on loan from The Clarks) signature confectionary guitar work assisted by electric rhythm from newcomer Noah Minarik, laces through, tying the musical tapestry together. All are in support of Bill's voice, his acoustic guitar, and, of course, his words.

Timeless things.

"Every now and then you strike a vein," Deasy says, reflecting on this latest batch of songs. "I didn't even know I was wanting to do a new project, but the songs kept coming, each one seeming to lead to the next."

Nowhere is his intuitive approach to songwriting more prominently displayed than on the record's closing track, "End of the Record Song," which recalls vintage Jackson Browne.

"That one was a real labor of love," Bill notes. "I wrote it over a long weekend and just kept singing it and singing it as the lines slowly appeared."

The song shifts at the midway point from third to first person, a choice Deasy explains holds personal significance.

"The first half of that song is about the character I used to be, wallowing in the sad heartache music of my melancholy youth. Then after the solo section, I find the guts to step out from behind the mask of all the story songs and just be myself. I am wallowing in happiness now. A nice change, for sure."

Though at first the songsmith envisioned recording this new material with his long-time band mates in the Gathering Field, scheduling issues made a solo project the best option. Deasy teamed with local producer Jake Hanner (Donora, Meeting of Important People) and the two set to work.

"We built each song from the ground up," Bill explains. "Jake referenced a rehearsal recording to create simple loops to which I then laid down solo acoustic performances. Once we felt great about those we started layering."

In addition to the studio band mentioned above, guests include singers Maia Sharp, Scott Blasey and Clark Slater. Gathering Field member Dave Brown contributes electric guitar on two tracks as well.

The result is a remarkably natural sounding recording of, perhaps, the strongest songs of Deasy's career.

"We realized as we got deeper into it that something really good was happening," he recalls. "Our job from that point on was just to let it."

********

Bill Deasy has recorded and toured nationally both as a solo artist and with the Gathering Field. Bill has also written for other artists including Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus in addition to collaborating on songs with the likes of Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes, Odie Blackmon and many others. Bill's recording of "Good Things are Happening," a song he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme for Good Morning America on ABC and he appeared in the promo spots, strumming his guitar and singing.

In 2006, Bill added "published author" to his list of accomplishments with the release of Ransom Seaborn which went on to win the Golden Needle Award and is currently being adapted for film. Traveling Clothes followed in 2009 and Ghost Tree in 2010, both delivering generously on the promise of Ransom Seaborn.

Bill was recently included in the book “Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred” as one of 500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers from the past 250 years.

The Music of R.E.M. with The Reckoning

The premier REM tribute band, dedicated to presenting faithful recreations of the band's entire musical catalog.

The premier REM tribute band, dedicated to presenting faithful recreations of the band's entire musical catalog.

(Late Show) Ryan Yingst

Ryan plays his live sets from a mix of covers and original material. He performs as both a solo act and with a mix of talented backing musicians. His recorded video projects feature songs from his set as well as an early recording of a song entitled ‘Don’t Go (So Easily)’ from his upcoming album. Many of Ryan’s audio projects come from recordings made at Duquesne University while he was a student. Ryan also creates electronic/instrumental music.

Ryan plays his live sets from a mix of covers and original material. He performs as both a solo act and with a mix of talented backing musicians. His recorded video projects feature songs from his set as well as an early recording of a song entitled ‘Don’t Go (So Easily)’ from his upcoming album. Many of Ryan’s audio projects come from recordings made at Duquesne University while he was a student. Ryan also creates electronic/instrumental music.

The Abominable Snow Jam 2019 Featuring Identity X (Special Acoustic Performance) with Special Guests TBA

Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Priding themselves on a sound thats rich in dynamics, melodies, and aggression, Identity X pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria. Identity X recently released their 2nd full-length album titled “Wounds of Our History” on June 16th, 2019.

The album was recorded, engineered, and produced in Long Island, NY by James Miller and mastered by Nathan James of the Vault Mastering Studios out of Phoenix, AZ.

The album “Wounds of Our History” features the modern hard rock sound the band is known for while showcasing maturity in both songwriting and overall production. New listeners and long time fans can expect the signature 4+ octave vocal acrobatics and lyrical storytelling of singer David Toole of Cranberry Township, paired with the lush rock/metal (and at times ambient) instrumental backbone created onstage by guitarist Darin DiNapoli of Pittsburgh, bassist Roman Prokopenko of Penn Hills, drummer David Ardale of Youngstown, OH, and guitarist Albert Park of Beaver. The first single "Wounds of our History" premiered on Pittsburgh rock station 105.9 The X.!

Identity X is a constantly evolving original modern rock/alternative band based out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Priding themselves on a sound thats rich in dynamics, melodies, and aggression, Identity X pulls influence from the writing style of Incubus blended with the hard rock roots of the 80's metal scene, and progressive stylings of bands like Rush and Coheed & Cambria. Identity X recently released their 2nd full-length album titled “Wounds of Our History” on June 16th, 2019.

The album was recorded, engineered, and produced in Long Island, NY by James Miller and mastered by Nathan James of the Vault Mastering Studios out of Phoenix, AZ.

The album “Wounds of Our History” features the modern hard rock sound the band is known for while showcasing maturity in both songwriting and overall production. New listeners and long time fans can expect the signature 4+ octave vocal acrobatics and lyrical storytelling of singer David Toole of Cranberry Township, paired with the lush rock/metal (and at times ambient) instrumental backbone created onstage by guitarist Darin DiNapoli of Pittsburgh, bassist Roman Prokopenko of Penn Hills, drummer David Ardale of Youngstown, OH, and guitarist Albert Park of Beaver. The first single "Wounds of our History" premiered on Pittsburgh rock station 105.9 The X.!

(Late Show) Da Funny Team Presents White Mike with One Eye, Ian McIntosh, Chrissy Costa and DJ Yas the Empress

(Early Show) Michael Christopher with Special Guest Dawn Savage

Michael Christopher found perseverance and grit during his childhood growing up in rural Pennsylvania, and the lessons he learned along the way would be right at home in the lyrics of today’s most popular country music.

For the last decade, Michael’s focus and passion has been on music: writing, singing, and performing in clubs, amphitheaters, and festivals across the country. While headlining events across the northeast and beyond, Michael has also opened for some major country stars, including Tyler Farr, Sammy Kershaw, Lonestar, Chris Lane, Jamey Johnson, Phil Vassar, William Michael Morgan and Walker Hayes. His guitar-heavy, rock-edged sound intertwines with invocative lyrical virtuosity and positions him with elite company in the country music scene.

In his self-titled album, Michael worked with an exclusive group of hit songwriters and producers including Dennis D’Amico recording at Ronnie’s Place/Black River Entertainment Studios, and Grammy-Award winning engineer Jamie Tate at The Rukkus Room. The result is a twelve-song anecdote of life and love that not only displays Michael’s flexibility and ingenuity as a songwriter, but also expands the boundaries of the country music genre. “There is something for everyone on this record. We really tried to offer a perspective, a sound and a voice that is relatable for everyone…no matter what you’re feeling, no matter what you’ve been through…this record has something for you,” mentions Michael.

To follow up his debut album, Michael decided to do an EP devoted to his favorite season; summer. “Summer Vibes” is an eclectic modern country summer time soundtrack!

With a ton of new music under his belt and a full tour schedule, Michael Christopher continues to excel on his way to the next chapter of his career.

Michael Christopher found perseverance and grit during his childhood growing up in rural Pennsylvania, and the lessons he learned along the way would be right at home in the lyrics of today’s most popular country music.

For the last decade, Michael’s focus and passion has been on music: writing, singing, and performing in clubs, amphitheaters, and festivals across the country. While headlining events across the northeast and beyond, Michael has also opened for some major country stars, including Tyler Farr, Sammy Kershaw, Lonestar, Chris Lane, Jamey Johnson, Phil Vassar, William Michael Morgan and Walker Hayes. His guitar-heavy, rock-edged sound intertwines with invocative lyrical virtuosity and positions him with elite company in the country music scene.

In his self-titled album, Michael worked with an exclusive group of hit songwriters and producers including Dennis D’Amico recording at Ronnie’s Place/Black River Entertainment Studios, and Grammy-Award winning engineer Jamie Tate at The Rukkus Room. The result is a twelve-song anecdote of life and love that not only displays Michael’s flexibility and ingenuity as a songwriter, but also expands the boundaries of the country music genre. “There is something for everyone on this record. We really tried to offer a perspective, a sound and a voice that is relatable for everyone…no matter what you’re feeling, no matter what you’ve been through…this record has something for you,” mentions Michael.

To follow up his debut album, Michael decided to do an EP devoted to his favorite season; summer. “Summer Vibes” is an eclectic modern country summer time soundtrack!

With a ton of new music under his belt and a full tour schedule, Michael Christopher continues to excel on his way to the next chapter of his career.

(Early Show) Sawyer Fredericks / JD Eicher

Sawyer Fredericks
Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family's farm in central New York State, is fast establishing himself as an authentic original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US.

As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice.

Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm, with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or cowritten by Sawyer. His 2016 A Good Storm Tour included 62 shows across the US.
For 2018, Sawyer has once again gone independent, the highly-anticipated Hide Your Ghost sheds the high gloss major label treatment, and stays true to Frederick’s honest and elegantly stripped down style, a self-described “free range folk”, incorporating elements of blues, roots rock, and jazz with live instrumental arrangements throughout.

JD Eicher
“The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true.” So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. “I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”

The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: “The truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.”

Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are “love, hope, and acceptance.” Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. “Not a premeditated one,” he is quick to clarify. “I really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. It’s more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.”

With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eicher’s aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, “This Heart,” in which he sings, “All my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart.” Eicher expounds, “This whole record - and definitely that song – is moodier, and there’s a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, ‘This Heart,’ it sounds like it’s gonna be a love song, but it’s really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever you’re dealing with in that moment.”

Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line “Maybe we’ve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeat” and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on “Be Well,” a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cutie’s catalog. An audio oasis to the overall “moodier” sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy “The Little Bit,” which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, “I didn’t write any lyrics for this part of the song… everybody relax.” Eicher’s songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - “Not Everybody Runs,” a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; “Not Afraid,” in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and “Man of Faith,” in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: “And I’m pretty sure my heaven’s just the answer to my questions.”

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of

this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?

“Yeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like there’s a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. I’m married now. We’ve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.”

For those reasons and more, it’s fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where he’s at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musician’s equivalent of a long distance runner’s high.

Sawyer Fredericks
Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family's farm in central New York State, is fast establishing himself as an authentic original, Americana artist with an old soul. His deep, beyond-his-years lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances have attracted an ever growing number of devoted fans of all ages, selling out shows throughout the US.

As a folk/blues singer-songwriter, who cut his teeth at local farmers markets, open mics, and iconic New York venues like Caffe Lena, the Towne Crier Cafe, and The Bitter End, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going on to win season 8 of NBC's The Voice.

Fresh from that whirlwind, Sawyer went forward with the release of his major label debut, A Good Storm, with Republic Records, an impressive blend of soulful Folk, blues, and rock, entirely written or cowritten by Sawyer. His 2016 A Good Storm Tour included 62 shows across the US.
For 2018, Sawyer has once again gone independent, the highly-anticipated Hide Your Ghost sheds the high gloss major label treatment, and stays true to Frederick’s honest and elegantly stripped down style, a self-described “free range folk”, incorporating elements of blues, roots rock, and jazz with live instrumental arrangements throughout.

JD Eicher
“The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at that time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true.” So says JD Eicher, the Youngstown, OH-area born and bred musician who is set to release The Middle Distance via Rock Ridge Music on May 6, 2016. “I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”

The Middle Distance marks the first album Eicher will issue since sunsetting JD Eicher & the Goodnights, the moniker used on the trilogy of titles, The Shape of Things, Shifting, and Into Place, released previously. So why put The Goodnights to bed? Eicher explains: “The truth of the matter is, not a whole lot has changed. There will still be a band. But the name shift felt natural with the very personal nature of this new music and the very strong desire to simplify.”

Eicher has noted that the common themes running through his previous three releases are “love, hope, and acceptance.” Common sense would call for speculating whether there is a common thread that ties together the ten songs found on The Middle Distance. “Not a premeditated one,” he is quick to clarify. “I really wanted to just sit down and write the best songs I could, saying what I needed to say at the time. It’s more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around.”

With that as a forward, the first chapter of Eicher’s aural journal begins with nearly one minute of U2-ish guitar that sets the sonic table for the album opener, “This Heart,” in which he sings, “All my fears, all my worries, are alive and well inside this heart.” Eicher expounds, “This whole record - and definitely that song – is moodier, and there’s a lot of internal struggle, internal processing. When you hear the song title, ‘This Heart,’ it sounds like it’s gonna be a love song, but it’s really more about coping and figuring out how to get past whatever you’re dealing with in that moment.”

Songwriting and superb singing are at the center of each track on The Middle Distance, exemplified by the lyric line “Maybe we’ve been trained to wash, rinse, and then repeat” and the heavenly falsetto vocals found on “Be Well,” a song which sounds like it would fit perfectly into Death Cab For Cutie’s catalog. An audio oasis to the overall “moodier” sound of the record is refreshingly felt when the soundscape lightens up for the bouncy “The Little Bit,” which musically and lyrically has a Jason Mraz vibe to it, most notably on the playful line, “I didn’t write any lyrics for this part of the song… everybody relax.” Eicher’s songwriting gravitas shines in the more serious selections - “Not Everybody Runs,” a sonic commitment to, well, commitment; “Not Afraid,” in which abstract fears about our dreams not coming true, relationships going wrong, internal struggles and pressures, letting your guard down and being hurt, and failure are all tackled; and “Man of Faith,” in which Eicher espouses the somewhat ambiguous supplication: “And I’m pretty sure my heaven’s just the answer to my questions.”

Far less ambiguous is how much Eicher’s Rust Belt upbringing seeps into, or serves as, the foundation of his songwriting. “I think it definitely affects the music,” he affirms without hesitation, “even in the way I approach touring and my overall work ethic with songwriting and recording. There’s a world-wariness that comes out of this area that gets into the songs. I think there’s a realism that comes out of

this part of the country, too, and I think that gets in there as well.” It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh, not far from his hometown of Youngstown, has embraced the performer and his music as their own.

With his band, The Goodnights, Eicher’s soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft garnered favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. Alternative Addiction named the group one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie, Departure Date. Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Train, Maroon 5, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Cartel, Sister Hazel, and Matt Nathanson, among many others.

Now facing a new morning with the added weight of offering up The Middle Distance with just his name on the album cover, does Eicher like the way the shape of things have shifted into place (to borrow a phrase from past album titles), both personally and professionally?

“Yeah, definitely. I do feel a lot more firmly-rooted. I feel like there’s a lot less doubt. I know who I am a lot better than I used to, and a lot of my life is starting to make more sense. I’m married now. We’ve got a house. The real world stuff has come together in a really meaningful way. And my musical life mirrors those sentiments as well. This was the first time I felt comfortable producing a record on my own. I knew how I wanted it to feel, start to finish.”

For those reasons and more, it’s fair to say The Middle Distance is destined to take JD Eicher even farther than where he’s at today. That prospect makes it a near certainty that his steady pace to the top will likely result in him experiencing the musician’s equivalent of a long distance runner’s high.

The Matt Barranti Band with special guests (opener) Tina Daniels and Tom Lagi

Winners of the Western Pennsylvania Blues Challenge, Matt, Fred, Will and Greg are going to Memphis in January of 2018 to compete in the IBC's

Winners of the Western Pennsylvania Blues Challenge, Matt, Fred, Will and Greg are going to Memphis in January of 2018 to compete in the IBC's

(Early Show) Tony Lucca - 20/20 X Request Retrospective with Special Guest Justin Fabus

“For me, it all comes down to timing.”

That’s how Tony Lucca summarizes the career milestones that led him to Nashville — and on the brink of his most important album yet.

As a teenager, his time as a “Mouseketeer” on the infamous Mickey Mouse Club came when he was mature enough to understand what the exposure meant for his young career — and more importantly, what it didn’t mean.

In the early 2000s, Lucca found himself at the epicenter of the burgeoning Hotel Café singer-songwriter movement in Los Angeles. A scene that eventually helped craft his critically lauded 2006 album Canyon Songs, which came during not only a creative peak, but after he had built a steady following both as a headlining artist and tour support for his fellow Disney alumni Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez in NSYNC.

In 2012, Lucca burned up The Voice stage, making it all the way to the finals on the back of his electric performances, each time performing as if he had “nothing to lose” — thanks to more than a decade of development and an already passionate fan base. Oh, and Lucca’s season still ranks as the most-watched season of the show by total audience size.

But as monumental as those moments may seem, it was his 2013 move to Nashville that may be the greatest stroke of good timing. Just as many of Lucca’s contemporaries were moving to Nashville to cash in “not on country, but on the community,” as he says, Lucca felt poised for a change. One that included elevating his own songwriting — a personal challenge that is as admirable as it is eyebrow raising to those already familiar with Lucca’s stalwart catalog.

“Truth be told, all roads lead to Nashville,” Lucca sings on his new single, aptly titled “Nashville,” in homage to the town. “You can come and go there as you please. Ain’t nobody waiting on the next big thing to come along if it ain’t a song that brings them to their knees.”

Lucca has spent his fair share of time exploring the country’s greatest music scenes. From his hometown Motown mecca of Detroit, to the hills of Hollywood, to the borough of Brooklyn. Each has made its impact on Lucca, but none quite like Nashville.

“In Nashville when you visit, people say, ‘Anything I can do for you, just let me know,’” Lucca says. “And then you move here and you realize those arms really are wide open and those people aren’t full of shit. They really do want you to be part of the community here.”

Lucca’s admiration and respect for Nashville’s songwriting community, it turns out, was mutual. He quickly found his calendar consumed with co-writes from old and new friends alike. Those include tour-mate turned co-writer and “Nashville treasure” Gabe Dixon, as well as the Grammy-nominated Billy Montana (“Sage wisdom — bit of a mentor,” Lucca says of Montana).

Lucca brought his same workman-like mentality to songwriting in his new hometown, writing “daily and diligently.” He eventually developed a songwriter residency at Midtown venue The Local, all the while touring the country.

Over those formative years at the beginning of Lucca’s Act II, the songwriter again found himself falling in love with the purity of it all. “It was restorative for me on the creative side,” Lucca says. “It was also educational as I really tuned into the creative community and Nashville rhythm.”

Throughout that process, Lucca began “salting away” the songs that really reached out and grabbed him. “Those songs that make me sit in an empty room with an acoustic guitar and go, ‘Yeah, I’d be playing this song right now even if nobody were listening,’” Lucca says.

There’s one song in particular so arresting it became the cornerstone for all the work to come after it. “I wrote something that reminded me I still have something sufficient to say, something that still matters to me — and that was the song ‘Everything’s Changing,’” Lucca says. The emotive, dynamic song became a live show stunner and the catalyst for Lucca’s forthcoming 2019 LP.

After following a long-winding path that led him to Nashville, Lucca spent years honing his craft. In the process, he found the songs that “started to feel like my expression — how I want to channel my creative energy,” as he says. “It took my whole career to get to the point where I just went into the studio and, as Ray Charles said, ‘Make it do what it’s gonna do.’”

The combination of meticulously crafting songs and freewheeling in the studio led to a record that is ready to announce Lucca as a force not just for his vocals, but also for his voice. Talk about good timing.

“For me, it all comes down to timing.”

That’s how Tony Lucca summarizes the career milestones that led him to Nashville — and on the brink of his most important album yet.

As a teenager, his time as a “Mouseketeer” on the infamous Mickey Mouse Club came when he was mature enough to understand what the exposure meant for his young career — and more importantly, what it didn’t mean.

In the early 2000s, Lucca found himself at the epicenter of the burgeoning Hotel Café singer-songwriter movement in Los Angeles. A scene that eventually helped craft his critically lauded 2006 album Canyon Songs, which came during not only a creative peak, but after he had built a steady following both as a headlining artist and tour support for his fellow Disney alumni Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez in NSYNC.

In 2012, Lucca burned up The Voice stage, making it all the way to the finals on the back of his electric performances, each time performing as if he had “nothing to lose” — thanks to more than a decade of development and an already passionate fan base. Oh, and Lucca’s season still ranks as the most-watched season of the show by total audience size.

But as monumental as those moments may seem, it was his 2013 move to Nashville that may be the greatest stroke of good timing. Just as many of Lucca’s contemporaries were moving to Nashville to cash in “not on country, but on the community,” as he says, Lucca felt poised for a change. One that included elevating his own songwriting — a personal challenge that is as admirable as it is eyebrow raising to those already familiar with Lucca’s stalwart catalog.

“Truth be told, all roads lead to Nashville,” Lucca sings on his new single, aptly titled “Nashville,” in homage to the town. “You can come and go there as you please. Ain’t nobody waiting on the next big thing to come along if it ain’t a song that brings them to their knees.”

Lucca has spent his fair share of time exploring the country’s greatest music scenes. From his hometown Motown mecca of Detroit, to the hills of Hollywood, to the borough of Brooklyn. Each has made its impact on Lucca, but none quite like Nashville.

“In Nashville when you visit, people say, ‘Anything I can do for you, just let me know,’” Lucca says. “And then you move here and you realize those arms really are wide open and those people aren’t full of shit. They really do want you to be part of the community here.”

Lucca’s admiration and respect for Nashville’s songwriting community, it turns out, was mutual. He quickly found his calendar consumed with co-writes from old and new friends alike. Those include tour-mate turned co-writer and “Nashville treasure” Gabe Dixon, as well as the Grammy-nominated Billy Montana (“Sage wisdom — bit of a mentor,” Lucca says of Montana).

Lucca brought his same workman-like mentality to songwriting in his new hometown, writing “daily and diligently.” He eventually developed a songwriter residency at Midtown venue The Local, all the while touring the country.

Over those formative years at the beginning of Lucca’s Act II, the songwriter again found himself falling in love with the purity of it all. “It was restorative for me on the creative side,” Lucca says. “It was also educational as I really tuned into the creative community and Nashville rhythm.”

Throughout that process, Lucca began “salting away” the songs that really reached out and grabbed him. “Those songs that make me sit in an empty room with an acoustic guitar and go, ‘Yeah, I’d be playing this song right now even if nobody were listening,’” Lucca says.

There’s one song in particular so arresting it became the cornerstone for all the work to come after it. “I wrote something that reminded me I still have something sufficient to say, something that still matters to me — and that was the song ‘Everything’s Changing,’” Lucca says. The emotive, dynamic song became a live show stunner and the catalyst for Lucca’s forthcoming 2019 LP.

After following a long-winding path that led him to Nashville, Lucca spent years honing his craft. In the process, he found the songs that “started to feel like my expression — how I want to channel my creative energy,” as he says. “It took my whole career to get to the point where I just went into the studio and, as Ray Charles said, ‘Make it do what it’s gonna do.’”

The combination of meticulously crafting songs and freewheeling in the studio led to a record that is ready to announce Lucca as a force not just for his vocals, but also for his voice. Talk about good timing.

(Early Show) Lucy Wainwright Roche

Those familiar with Lucy Wainwright Roche are aware of her bell tone voice, her unshakable melodies, and her knack for wise, wry lyrics that clench the heart. It’s no surprise that Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy Roche (The Roches) and Loudon Wainwright III, half sibling to Rufus and Martha Wainwright. She grew up steeped in music.

But Lucy has carved out her own career as a touring singer/songwriter and recording artist, having sold over 50 thousand copies of her four critically acclaimed solo recordings released on her own label: Eight Songs, Eight More, Lucy, and There’s a Last Time for Everything. Other recordings include a collaboration with her sister Martha Wainwright on Songs In the Dark, a collection of lullabies, and two duet recordings with her mother Suzzy Roche: Fairytale and Myth (winner of Vox Pop Independent Music Awards) and most recently Mud and Apples.

For over a decade, as a solo act, armed with a guitar, a deadpan sense of humor, killer songs, and a voice that makes tough guys cry, she’s built a solid following across the US and Europe. As an opening act she has often appeared with such luminaries as the Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Neko Case, and she’s one of a few who can step out alone in front of a thousand strangers and play an entire set to a rapt audience.

Now, on her new 2018 release Little Beast (2019 Independent Music Award winner, “Best Album” Singer-Songwriter/Folk category), Lucy ups the ante with a dynamic, emotional recording masterfully and artfully co-produced with Jordan Brooke Hamlin. This collection of songs is an urgent and poetic call to a world gone awry. The journey from song to song is downright cinematic. One minute she eases us in with her flat-footed authenticity, and the next she lets loose with her wild side, and we imagine her howling at the moon. In Heroin, the first single from Little Beast, Lucy Wainwright Roche is hugging hairpin turns on the outside lane and you know it’s true. Sometimes chasing love is dangerous business:

It’s the Million Dollar Highway on a snowy day

It’s why I had to go, it’s why I longed to stay

There are many standouts on Little Beast: Heroin, Quit with Me, In Relation to Disaster, Trouble, Behind the Wheel, and Ohio is for Lovers are a few, but perhaps Soft Line, a wrenching plea to a lost love as it slips away, is the most haunting track. Simply put, the song is a dagger to the heart:

Watch out or the sun will set
On the picture we tried to get
On the story of why we met…

There’s nothing “little “about Lucy Wainwright Roche’s Little Beast. It’s fierce, unflinching, and will undoubtedly place her squarely at the top of her game.

Those familiar with Lucy Wainwright Roche are aware of her bell tone voice, her unshakable melodies, and her knack for wise, wry lyrics that clench the heart. It’s no surprise that Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy Roche (The Roches) and Loudon Wainwright III, half sibling to Rufus and Martha Wainwright. She grew up steeped in music.

But Lucy has carved out her own career as a touring singer/songwriter and recording artist, having sold over 50 thousand copies of her four critically acclaimed solo recordings released on her own label: Eight Songs, Eight More, Lucy, and There’s a Last Time for Everything. Other recordings include a collaboration with her sister Martha Wainwright on Songs In the Dark, a collection of lullabies, and two duet recordings with her mother Suzzy Roche: Fairytale and Myth (winner of Vox Pop Independent Music Awards) and most recently Mud and Apples.

For over a decade, as a solo act, armed with a guitar, a deadpan sense of humor, killer songs, and a voice that makes tough guys cry, she’s built a solid following across the US and Europe. As an opening act she has often appeared with such luminaries as the Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Neko Case, and she’s one of a few who can step out alone in front of a thousand strangers and play an entire set to a rapt audience.

Now, on her new 2018 release Little Beast (2019 Independent Music Award winner, “Best Album” Singer-Songwriter/Folk category), Lucy ups the ante with a dynamic, emotional recording masterfully and artfully co-produced with Jordan Brooke Hamlin. This collection of songs is an urgent and poetic call to a world gone awry. The journey from song to song is downright cinematic. One minute she eases us in with her flat-footed authenticity, and the next she lets loose with her wild side, and we imagine her howling at the moon. In Heroin, the first single from Little Beast, Lucy Wainwright Roche is hugging hairpin turns on the outside lane and you know it’s true. Sometimes chasing love is dangerous business:

It’s the Million Dollar Highway on a snowy day

It’s why I had to go, it’s why I longed to stay

There are many standouts on Little Beast: Heroin, Quit with Me, In Relation to Disaster, Trouble, Behind the Wheel, and Ohio is for Lovers are a few, but perhaps Soft Line, a wrenching plea to a lost love as it slips away, is the most haunting track. Simply put, the song is a dagger to the heart:

Watch out or the sun will set
On the picture we tried to get
On the story of why we met…

There’s nothing “little “about Lucy Wainwright Roche’s Little Beast. It’s fierce, unflinching, and will undoubtedly place her squarely at the top of her game.

@clubcafelive

56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)