McCoy: Album shares Valley vibe
This Side of Berthoud
It’s an understatement to say Tony Rosacci is excited.
The musician is “super-stoked” about debut, self-titled album “Tone and the Vibe,” and so am I. It has a great sound, and the project encompasses the contributions of more than a dozen other Grand County residents.
“It has been the greatest experience,” Rosacci beams. “It’s been a lot of fun. There’s probably someone you know on this record.”
The musician gave me a sneak peek, and after just the first song the waterworks welled up. I was bowled over by the musical passion that oozes out of Rosacci. I was blown away with what he’s done throughout the years, and with the artistry that’s come together for the CD.
Rosacci, one of five Telluride Blues Challenge finalists at the Blues and Brews Festival last September, left the event “sort-of super charged,” he said. When son Dominic asked him why he hasn’t put a recording together, Rosacci asked himself if he even had 10 songs to do it. “I had about 30,” he said. “The next thing you know we have 15 locals dropping by the studio between powder days to help create the Vibe.”
As we took a listen in his car, he admitted I was the first person to hear even more than he had so far. He had been receiving regular edits from producer PJ Olsson (of the Alan Parson’s Live Project), and he had just gotten the most recent.
The collection of songs has now been finalized and the recording has been an incredible feat. Rosacci said he “couldn’t figure out what genre, so (he) included all of them.”
He jokes he had come to “THAT point” in his life — where “it was either recording an album, or buying a Harley.” Music has been a big part of his life (he recently plays with band Blue Cat), and this fulfills a lifelong dream for him.
Tony is the “Tone” part of the Vibe, with lead vocals, acoustic, electric, resonator and Dobro guitars, ukulele, and a few drum and percussion parts. The Vibe represents a collection of family, friends and neighbors who are local artists.
Olsson provided guidance, wisdom, and “angelic” vocals for song “Worried Mind” (as well as background vocals for other songs). “His blood, sweat and tears are in this project,” Rosacci said about Olsson. “He’s always on. I couldn’t’ve done it without him. — And that voice! — Forget about it.”
Percussion was brought together with the chops of Rusty Thompson. Steve DiSciullo and Tom Camillo are both featured on bass. Other guests include Rick “Rock” Stone on guitar and Andy Straus.
Don “Duck” Thompson plays the harmonica for song “Love Makes Me Blue”. It starts with what Rosacci says is a “Motown feel,” and ends up “a bit swampy.” The song is “another one of those boundary-crossers” Rosacci says, referring to genre. He and Olsson researched some old ‘60s songs to get the sound down, along with some G Love and Dave Matthews influence.
Every song on the album is a story in itself. Blues tune “Guitar Lady” pays tribute to Rosacci’s first guitar teacher, a “sweet” and “gruff” old lady who taught him the “Boogie-Woogie,” when he was around eight years old.
Brad Pregeant, Rosacci said, “wails” on keyboard during song “Daytona” — a promise kept to Rosacci’s U.S. Navy buddy Dan Tranfaglia. Pregeant was also a big help for ballad “Worried Mind”.
Like many locals in Grand County, Rosacci eagerly awaits a powder day. The area’s been a “big influence” on the music he writes. Reggae / bluegrass tune “Quaff the Fresh,” Rosacci says, “epitomizes our (valley) here.” It’s a “funny look at mountain folk.” Aaron Miller, 14, played some ukulele on his lunch hour for the tune.
Rossaci’s daughter Mia helps with vocals and backing tracks on the song, and friends Stacy Strayer and Jason Stigers also provided vocals. A fun rhythm track includes the dollar-bill trick borrowed from Johnny Cash. “I laughed ‘til I cried the day we recorded these backing human percussion tracks,” Rosacci said.
Rosacci met sax player Mike McMahon when Thompson introduced them at the Telluride festival. McMahon mentioned he used to play sax in high school, and “the next morning the sax was out of the closet” and McMahon was in the studio with his 25-year-old saxophone reed. The impromptu jam ended up on song “29 Days”, a tribute to B.B. King. It holds a special place in Rosacci’s heart, he said, and is the one he’s most proud of.
The album consists of nine originals (most written within the last decade) and is set for digital release April 21 (available on iTunes, Amazon, and http://www.toneandthevibe.com ). CD release is set for May 14 (the anniversary of B.B. King’s passing), and a release party is set for June. CDs will also be available at the Salon at Winter Park. One dollar from every CD sale goes to a local charity.
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