Continuing this occasional department. . . (Number 1 is HERE.)
• Chuck Cusimano: Cold in Colorado (Cusimusico Records, 2015) New
Chuck Cusimano has a newer album out, which we’ll get to, but this one was new to me only a few months ago (thanks to Lorraine Simon, our Secret Agent in Texas—when she visits, that is). Chuck is originally from Colorado, where his cowboy father had a “Western Swing Dance Band,” but this is Texas music, where country is more the king than in Nashville. Chuck, who looks like a well-fed Grandpa Jones, is an amazingly talented songwriter, singer, and guitarist. “Within this album,” he writes, “are small tributes to some of my Country Music Heros,” songs that fit the styles, respectively, of Merle Haggard (“I Surrender”), Mel Tillis (“She’s Guilty of Lovin’ a Fool”), Waylon Jennings (“Saving Grace”), Charley Pride (I Won’t Need It Anymore”), Ernest Tubb (Swingin’ Christmas”), and George Jones—and Chuck is surely right about “I Said Nothing,” which is a powerful statement that would have been a hit right now if ‘country’ radio were still playing country music, even without George to sing it.
“The other songs,” writes Chuck, “just fell out of my pen and landed on the paper.” But they aren’t at all slight, ranging from the comical, swinging “Are You Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” and the clever “I Won’t Need It Anymore,” which indeed would have fit Country Charlie Pride like a suit from Mr Nudie:
I took my clothes from the closet,
I took my tools from the garage;
I took my pillow, so I’d have something to hold.
I took my razor and my toothbrush, and then I closed the door.
I took everything except my heart—
I won’t need it anymore
to the poignant song called “Difference,” which you can hear:
A stone-country Hit. Available from Chuck HERE.