Tony Lucca strolled on to the small stage at The Fire wearing a Led Zeppelin tee and a stylish cap and started off strumming to fit the musical mold that had been set for singer-songwriters decades ago: Move to L.A., hit up some coffee shops or street corners, spin some traditional tales of the three Ls (love, loss and longing) while feather-picking subtle chords and singing with passion.
Passion he has. On this night the crowd was intimate and the singer-songwriter set wouldn’t have it any other way. With a low folk-meets-soul voice that doesn’t come near to matching his appearance, Lucca managed to course through a river of his repertoire ranging from the dulcet, funky swagger of “I Can, I Will, I Do” to the sugary R&B track “Giving It All Away” from his latest album Come Around Again.
Thirty or so dreaming-out-loud fans clung to every word in hushed appreciation. Lucca can be prone to the occasional Stevie Wonder-like vocal gymnastics that plague so many R&B stars, but for the most part his lyrics are cliché-free and his delivery is crooner smooth. His voice has such a quiet campfire warmth to it, however, that several uptempo grooves were lost, meandering within the soft core of his tone.
Nevertheless, his set was a perfect amount of grace under pressure. He let well-rehearsed stories loose between certain songs, while grinning and spinning his way through every one with seamless ease.