Diverse tastes like the Clash and Dierks Bentley shaped singer/songwriter Tony Cutino

Written by Carson James

Tony Cutino offers a different flavor to roots rock. Instead of merely displaying his country influences, both Cutino’s voice and sometimes his ’70s-leaning pop/rock is reminiscent of glam-era David Bowie. Considering the glut of underground Americana acts today, delivering a slight twist on the genre is always a plus.

Carson James: Every singer/songwriter has their own method of inspiration in crafting their music. What is yours? Does it begin with a specific line popping in your head or a riff?

Tony Cutino: When writing songs, sometimes it’s an experience or event that happens which spark a catchy phrase or an idea for a story line or a hook. Then again, there are times I can be playing my guitar and come up with a musical riff that strikes a nerve and gets things going. But its always those personal moments which happen in our lives that create the best songs.

James: When did you first pick up the guitar? What compelled you to play it? Was there anybody who encouraged you to do so or was it something you did on your own?

Cutino: The first time I picked up a guitar I was about five years old, a plastic guitar with a crank on it that played the Mickey Mouse song. I used to play for my family at holiday gatherings. But seriously, I was about 12 when I got my first electric guitar and amp. I happened to hear some older kids in a band practicing in their garage and I’ve been playing since.

James: Which of the tracks on your album are the most personal to you and in what way?

Cutino: The songs that are the most personal to me are the songs I wrote about experiences in my life. I wrote “Find Your Angel” after turning on the TV one morning and watching the World Trade Center towers fall. “Cowboy Now” is a song about my dad who was a real John Wayne kind of guy, a cowboy at heart.  He told me once if he could ever come back as someone else he wanted to be a cowboy. “Big Joe’s Dad’s Guitar” is a song about a dear friend who gave me his dad’s guitar because he couldn’t play it and wanted me to have it.  I took the guitar home and this song just poured out.

James: Growing up, what musicians had the biggest impact on you creativity?

Cutino: Musicians and groups that inspired me while I was developing my talent and playing in a band called Toby Redd, were The Who, Zeppelin, The Beatles, U2 and then early English groups like Elvis Costello, The Clash, and The Jam.  More recently Keith Urban, Jeffrey Steele, and Dierks Bentley.

James: Do you “read” music? Or are you mostly a player by feel?

Cutino: I can read music but not fluently. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve done that. It’s mostly what feels right and sounds good to me and how things flow. Sometimes too much correctness can cause distractions.

http://tonycutino.com

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Published in: on June 7, 2008 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kat Goldman’s ‘Sing Your Song’ grows slowly but remains a keeper

Reviewed by Karla Dettinger, Contributing Writer

Kat Goldman/Sing Your Song

Kat Goldman’s Sing Your Song is one of those albums which sneak up on you. For a while, I couldn’t digest the music on here. It’s not that these are bad tracks or even difficult ones. I simply found them too subtle at first, not even making an attempt to really grab me. However, those are the kind of LPs that probably have the longest shelf life; ones which reward repeated spins.

Goldman’s voice is distinct, not really similar to anyone’s. It’s raspy in places and breathy in others. In fact, on the first two songs – the title cut and “Baby You Gonna Fall in Love” – she doesn’t even sound like the same person. On the first tune, Goldman strikes a more pensive yet hopeful tone while on “Baby You Gonna Fall in Love” she conveys a more distant feeling like a narrator. The music is strikingly different, too, switching from a chamber-pop approach to early ’70s singer/songwriter balladry. I would classify Sing Your Song as a record to play at night when you’re feeling a bit introspective and maybe even lonely. 

http://www.katgoldman.com

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 5:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Katie Marie’s ‘Share My Air’ is a mature, sophisticated effort

 

Reviewed by Brooke Curtis

Katie Marie/Share My Air

Katie Marie looks far younger than she sounds.

Her music and her singing display a maturity and sophistication that many twentysomethings do not possess. Because of her youthful age, industry gurus will probably liken her to Colbie Caillat, but to me Marie is closer in spirit to Karen Capenter. Marie’s voice has the fragile beauty and bittersweet grace of Carpenter in her prime. There is honest emotion and soul in Marie’s singing that I don’t hear in Caillat and most of her contemporaries. Musically, also, Marie is less trendy; many of the tracks here, even the ones with obvious ’70s touches, are quite timeless.

The title cut and “Borrow Your Smile” offer radiant, summer-afternoon pop. “Borrow Your Smile” sounds upbeat, but it seems to be about a one-sided relationship, the woman at the mercy of the man’s nomadic nature. I like the clever, subtle sarcasm of the title; she has to borrow his smile, his smug complacency, because all she can find is intermittent affection. “Can I borrow your joy for a day/As you walk in it,” Marie sings with the same deceptively pleasant tone that Carpenter had in disguising the somber undertow of her songs. On “Walk Away,” Marie switches to a bluesy strut that belies her age; it’s a show-stopping moment, one that elevates a very good album into a great one, probably among the year’s finest. 

http://www.kmrecordsonline.com

Published in: on March 31, 2008 at 1:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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