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Canyon Songs (Bonus Edition)

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Album Review

Tony Lucca has been slyly defying categorization for years. Indie artist? Most definitely; his early recordings, beginning with his 1997 debut Strong Words, Softly Spoken, was released via the internet. Singer/songwriter? Well sure, he won the L.A. Music Award in just that category in 2001. Yet Lucca doesn't fit comfortably in the current crop of artists from either genre. Canyon Songs, his second album for Rock Ridge Music, and a follow-up to 2004's Shotgun, further muddies the waters. Lucca's last set was a road song record, reflecting the artist's own time touring, as well as acting as a soundtrack for fellow travelers. In contrast, Canyon Songs conjures up not highways, but far off the beaten path places where few if any have ventured. The entire album is swathed in an almost dreamy aura, evoking quiet, sun-dappled, empty locales, where clouds chase by overhead and shadows gradually lengthen as dusk falls. The music itself has a timeless quality, gently shimmering from the richness of "Longing," through the upbeat, sun-streaked "Sarah Jane," to the haunting acoustic guitar and harmonica of "The Hustler, The Widow and the Boy from Detroit." That latter number is a wrenching song of desertion, disease, and despair, summing up in three sharp verses the lives of little people ignored by an economy and political system interested only in self-enrichment. But this is Lucca's only foray into the wider world; his preferred realm is the personal, be it the contradictory emotions aroused on the road and beautifully expressed on "Darlin' I," "Longing," and "Around the Bend"; the joy of love with "Sarah Jane"; the glories of "The Songbird"; or the reality check of "Death of Me." An almost mystical, haunting album, this is a canyon few will ever want to leave.


Born: 1976 in Pontiac, MI

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and actor Tony Lucca is a soulful, acoustic pop vocalist who finished in third place on the 2012 season of NBC's The Voice. Born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1976, Lucca grew up in nearby Waterford where he developed an interest in music at a young age. The grandson of Detroit jazz pianist James "Jimmy" Stevenson, Lucca was playing guitar by age three and by the time he was 12 years old, he was performing locally with his cousin, guitarist/vocalist Cole Garlak. Lucca's...
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Canyon Songs (Bonus Edition), Tony Lucca
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