There are very few things that ever render me speechless. I guess if you know me, you know I’m almost never at a loss for words. EVER.

That said, it took me a a few weeks to figure out how to even begin to describe or even discuss Tony Lucca’s “Rendezvous with the Angels.” That, and I needed to find my old thesaurus to figure out exactly how many ways one can say “phenomenal”, without being too repetitive.

I’m a little too old to have ever watched the “Mickey Mouse Club” back in the 90’s (you know, the one with Justin Timberlake, Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilera, et al), I was too busy with college and loving all things grunge (oh yes,  I was SO in LOVE with Eddie Vedder back then.. wow),  so I had NO idea who Tony Lucca was when Rachel (yes, the music guru), dragged me to see him play (also on the bill that evening: Keaton Simons and Curtis Peoples).  I hadn’t as of yet taken any of her musical suggestions, so didn’t realize that when Rachel says “go see so and so” the correct response was to, well, go.

She decided that since she was planning on coming in to NYC to see the show again (she’d seen them the night before in Boston) she would  take the Staten Island Ferry to come visit me and MAKE SURE I was going to make it to the Bitter End that evening.

On the ferry ride in to Manhattan, she told me about Tony’s background on MMC, and I remember thinking “well, I hope the other two are worth it.” Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting. But when Tony took the stage, I was mesmerized by his voice, his lyrics (and the fact that he literally switched between Piano and guitar almost every other song).  Needless to say, by the end of his set, I had run to the merch table and bought his “Canyon Songs” and have been a fan since.

Because I literally never miss an opportunity to see Tony play, I’d already heard a few of the songs that were going to be on his recent offering “Rendezvous with the Angels.” Because it’s Tony Lucca, I knew the CD was going to be amazing.  What I didn’t expect was to be stunned silent by the sheer beauty of the entire collection. I REALLY didn’t expect, to put it in the words of one of my friends, to be “paralyzed” by a few of the songs. It’s really THAT good.

I’ve heard folks call Tony a “story teller.” I can find no better term to use myself. Tony’s lyrics do indeed take you on a journey. Whether it is one of loss and the longing to find the strength to move on after heartbreak in “Undertow”; The hopes and wishes and eternal love an expectant father has for his child in the beautiful “Always”; The desire to relive a lost love even if it’s just for one night “Stay with Me”; or the happy fluttery feeling at hearing from your long distance love in “Long Love Letter”; or, to the song that literally floored me, (and had me hit repeat a few times before I was ready to listen to the rest of the CD), “Song to a Martyr” (yeah, I relate to the theme… and yes, I guess I can say it’s my favorite track on a CD full of favorites).

Musically the CD takes you from the happy/poppy (I actually read one review that said it could be a toothpaste commercial?), “Make You Mine;” To the bluesy/gritty “Like Love”; to the heartbreakingly melodic “Nobody but You.”

In addition to the songs Tony penned himself, the CD includes a stunning cover of Billy Joel’s “Vienna” (PS:  my favorite Billy Joel song!) and a song Tony co-wrote with Melissa Polinar (I’m telling you folks you MUST check her out! http://www.myspace.com/melissapolinar), called “Back to Me,” which includes guest vocals by Sara Bareilles.

I can go on and on about how stunningly poignant and beautiful the CD is; How one minute you’ll be dancing around the living room, the next contemplating your broken heart.  But instead, I’ll leave you with a few video clips of some of the live performances of a few of the album’s songs.

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