Tony Cuchetti’s Freer Street

By Brian Rock

Minnesota Americana singer, Tony Cuchetti freely combines folk, country, soul and blues on his second album, Freer Street. The North Star singer captures the funky, folk feel of his Northern neighbor, the late great Gordon Lightfoot. He adds a little King Curtis style Memphis soul stew and a dash of Chris Stapleton earthiness to create a musical mélange that ranges from sweet to soulful and from somber to swampy.

The album starts with the ironically titled, “The After.” Acoustic guitar and a sustained Hammond organ chord play softly while Cuchetti sings, “Seems like the face in the mirror looking my way is a little more concerned, trying to find more time to borrow.” Contemplating the passing of time, he realizes how much time we waste, promising we’ll do the thing we want after we meet this condition or that goal or some other arbitrary moving goalpost of success. The tempo of the rolling folk rhythm increases with the addition of an electric guitar; mimicking the acceleration of time as we grow older. Continuing his musing, Cuchetti sings, “What a shame. What a waste, waiting on the ‘after’.” A gentle reminder to seize the day and make the most of each moment, “The After” encourages us to focus on The Now.

Gritty blues guitar introduces, “Convince My Heart.” Cuchetti’s voice subtly transforms from soothing folk tones to yearning soul moans as he sings, “I don’t need you. I’m glad that I freed you. I don’t miss you in the nighttime since we’re apart. Got my head on straight now. All my friends think I’m great now. Now there’s one thing left to do and that’s convince my heart.” The hybrid Memphis/Piedmont blues rhythms create an irresistible anthem of heartbreak and denial. He continues the Memphis vibe on the sultry soul ballad, “Lay It On Me.” And again, on “Hey Brother,” he hits the sweet soul notes of mother Memphis. With gospel-tinged Hammond organ in the background, he offers words of comfort: “You won’t find Jesus in the bottom of a glass. Wasting your time getting back the days gone by. Leave them behind. Start living life.” Stripping away the Soul and Gospel influences, Cuchetti sings straight Memphis blues on “Heartbreak Town.” 

Revealing another layer of his persona, Cuchetti ventures into country. “Stubborn Bones,” is a country noir ballad about facing up to your past. “I Never Knew,” is a tender ballad about a man running out on his family and living long enough to regret it. Tying up his themes of living in the moment and making peace with the past, he finishes strong on the rocking, outlaw country of “Time Moves On.” The song is a hard-edged reminder that whether we make the most of our time or not, it’s still moving full speed ahead. Making the most of his time, and freed from the confines of any single genre, Tony Chuetti shines on “Freer Street.”  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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