Tucci review…July 15, 2017….





Blues-rock band Tucci consist of Steve Tucci on guitar and vocals, Michael Tucci on drums, Shawn Murphy on sax and vocals, and Harry DeBusk on bass and vocals.  Also on this set of all-original material entitled “Olivia,” Larry McCray adds vocals and guitar, and, also, on one cut, is perhaps the last recording of a  Southern rock legend, guitarist  “Dangerous Dan” Toler, who passed in 2013 after battling ALS.

Fans, it’s billed as “blues-rock,” but this whole set hearkens back to the glory days of our youth, when Southern rock ruled the airwaves and the record stores.  Things kick off with Larry on guitar and vocals, setting up over a rhumba-rockin’ Albert King-styled groove with his tale of being a “High Roller.”    Shawn Murphy is up next on vocals on the summery title cut, an ode to a lover who emanates “shiny golden rays” of sunshine to brighten his days!  This one has some fine slide from Ira Stanley, and B-3 from Donnie Richards.

Two stellar examples of how this group channels its inner Southern rock ancestry are evident in the song that lauds the virtues of the Sunshine State, including “jazz, blues, plenty of sunshine, and white sugar beaches, too,” and it’s called “Hey Florida,” and features Steve on vocal, who shares guitar duty with Larry.  Everybody gets in a jam-ish groove from mid-song until the climax.  The set closes on a similar note, except this one is twelve minutes of pure bliss as Shawn sings “Third Eye,” and the whole unit hits that groove that conjures up memories of every band from the Allman Brothers on down within this genre’.

Those two would have easily been our favorites had it not been for two others.  Al Owen is on lead vocal with Dangerous Dan on guitar in the slow-blues story of a man plagued by always having to “Play By The Rules.”  And, a stone shot of humor in the midst of hard times finds Steve taking the vocal turn on a shout-out to “D. C. land” and, even to His Orangeness, as, “Mr. President, I got them hard-workin’ man, Overtaxed Blues!”

When Dan Toler approached Steve Tucci about forming a band, (which would ultimately become The Toler-Tucci Band, which yielded “Doc’s Hideaway,” Toler’s last full CD), Dan placed a strong emphasis on the band members all being friends first.  He believed that the friendship aspect would lead to better cohesiveness and stronger song quality, and nowhere is that more evident in the material contained within “Olivia.”  RIP, Dangerous Dan….Until next time,…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.


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