Photo: Ernie Halter

With ‘Ain’t No Storm’, Tony Lucca Brings Nashville Influence to His Sound (album stream) (premiere)

Singer-songwriter Tony Lucca's first full-length album following a "self-imposed time-out" offers a refreshing look outward as he expands his musical boundaries.

When Tony Lucca first grounded himself in Music City one year ago, he gave us the gift of an aptly-titled single, “Nashville”. Originally written several years back, the single was his first release since his Kickstarter-back LP, Made to Shine, and was seen as his ode to a well-loved city that he sinking his roots into. It wasn’t long, though, before Lucca had come to the realization that Nashville had a limitless amount of songs to gift him. As he had previously stated, “In Nashville when you visit, people say, ‘Anything I can do for you, just let me know.’ And then you move here, and you realize those arms really are wide open and those people aren’t full of shit. They really do want you to be part of the community here.”

It was then that Lucca got back into the full swing of songwriting, readying his first full-length album of newly-written songs after four years spent searching for his next creative vision. Gathering a collective of well-regarded names from throughout East Nashville—ranging between the likes of Michael Webb, Ted Pecchio, Joe Garcia, and Patrick Sweany—Lucca’s latest ultimately plays out like an ode to his new city. Yet, nothing is trite. This is an album borne of a deep-seated respect and admiration for Nashville, paired with a versed knowledge of its history.

Throughout Ain’t No Storm, Lucca is all about expanding his musical boundaries. Breaking out of the standard bag of whatever would be labelled as “singer-songwriter” at Starbucks, Lucca flirts with textured pop-rock and Americana, recalling in spouts the likes of Amos Lee, Jason Isbell, and Ben Schneider without falling into the trap of imitation. Each of the eight album tracks offers itself to an inspiring whole. It’s all at once an inviting, familiar embrace and a refreshing step in a brand new direction for Lucca, whose easygoing soul fits well within the roots realm.

Lucca engaged in a Q&A with PopMatters on Ain’t No Storm, seen below. The album is set to release independently on 29 March and is currently up for pre-order and pre-save.

You spent a lot of time writing and honing your songwriting craft for this album. Can you walk us through what the process was like for you?

The songs for this record sort of emerged from a period I refer to as a self-imposed “time-out” from making records. I realized I could be as prolific as I want to be, but if the songs aren’t my best, then so what. I pretty much dove into the deep end of the Nashville songwriting community, scheduling co-write appointments up to five days a week, sometimes even twice a day. As the songs began piling up, I was able to more easily select the ones that spoke to me and my narrative the most. Interestingly enough, three of the eight songs Ken Coomer (producer) wound up selecting were ones I wrote myself. Go figure.

How did being in Nashville inspire this album?

I didn’t know that Nashville was as inspiring geographically as it has been vibe-wise. There’s a tremendous spirit of momentum down here these days. It’s a very exciting time to be in Nashville. Everyone here is, for the most part, excited to be here. I feel like I was able to tap into that excitement, that momentum, and make a really cool record with it.

How would you describe this album and your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

Refreshingly familiar.

Pick three tracks on the album that you particularly love, and tell us why they really resonate for you and what you like best about them.

I love the album’s lead off track, “Everything’s Changing”. I love the sentiment, the uplifting progression and harmonies. It’s always been one of my favorite to play live as well. Same thing with “Come Around”. It’s just one of those songs you get excited to see in the set list during a show. It’s got a real upbeat, classic, old school rock ‘n’ roll feel to it. “Room With a View” is a fun one, too. I dig it because it’s a true departure for me — a taste of real Americana. We had a ton of fun recording it live, all of us together in the same room. Funny, but it kind of ties the room together for me.”