Monkey Hill Records
Carlo Nuccio has been kicking around New Orleans for over a decade serving as the drummer in residence for the roots rock scene in the Crescent City. Some might recall him from the Continental Drifter's first recordings. He contributed much to that band's earthy soul with such songs as the "Mississippi" and "Mezzanine". His vocals are also distinctive falling somewhere between Tom Waits and Levon Helm on a bender. Nuccio left the Drifters a few years back and has stayed busy by doing session work for such diverse artists as Tori Amos and Buckwheat Zydeco. Finally, he has found the time to put together his first solo record on which he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs while providing most of the instrumental backing.
"Loose Strings" does not disappoint those listeners who heard something special in Nuccio's tenure with the Drifters. While keeping to that band's rootsy sound in songs like "My Home" and "Church of the Dwindling Spirit", Nuccio peppers the record with pop elements, from "White Album"-era John Lennon ("Sake of the Family" and "Jesus Freak") through Byrdsy jangle ("Losing My Direction") to early Elvis Costello ("Don't Call Me a Flirt" and "The Analyst"). However, at the heart all of these pop smarts lies a shadowy side announced in the Waits-like opener, "Zoo". Drunken nights, twisted people, and relationships gone wrong float throughout and are given weight by Nuccio's world weary vocals.
Drummers have often been the brunt of musical humor usually surrounding their replacement, from Spinal Tap to drum machines. While Carlo Nuccio hasn't lost his sense of humor, he also reveals with "Loose Strings" that drummers and their music aren't always a laughing matter. This music stands as solidly as the rhythm he provides.
- Jim Markel