IN TUNE: There aren’t many artists you’ll find launching their own line of tequila — then again, Christine Martucci isn’t like most artists. And although her solo shows are raw, fiery, connective experiences, Martucci is bringing the full band to the Dog House in Washington Township this weekend.
For one thing, the Jersey Shore singer-songwriter is a former Army sergeant. For another, she’s an OUTMusic award winner.
The premiere of Martucci’s Luna Nueva tequila coincides with the upcoming release of her new album, “Sin and Redemption,” recorded with the Spin Doctors’ Anthony Krizan and due out next March.
Could this be the one that launches the Flemington filly beyond Jersey cult status and into the national spotlight? (Sample cuts: My(Martucci)Space Page)
Martucci will no doubt take it as a complement to be called a piece of work, because she is. Commanding whether she’s headlining or opening, she even produced her own rock musical, “Breakfast With Janis” (and it wasn’t Ian we’re talkin’ about).
And even though she definitely has that Melissa Etheridge thing going on, leaving it at that is like calling John Eddie just another barroom singer.
(Check her out for yourself) Waiting On the Rain:
The most genuine performers don’t set out solely to please an audience. They have something to say, and they’re going to say it. Whether you get it or not is up to you.
It’s what makes Martucci the kind of artist people follow — which, in case you didn’t already know, is no mean feat: Check out her sked and you’ll see Christine in one corner of Jersey one night and in another the next, belting out “Me & Bobbie McGee” at the Surf Club, then the National Anthem at a N.Y. Liberty game. And there’s the “Tucci Train,” pulling into every whistle stop — including a Nov. 19 show at The Strand in Lakewood (limited number of tickets available: The Strand).
Martucci’s shows are full-out frontal assaults, the kind that connect with audiences who aren’t timid about communicating. She also knows from tough. Being a woman in the military, much less a gay woman, isn’t easy. Yet she made it through a full decade, leaving with an honorable discharge. Wherever you stand on war, you have to respect an artist with her priorities in order. Wasn’t exactly Joe D. giving up some of his prime baseball years, but it’s also not a bad comparison, either.
“I would do it all over again,” s
he told GQ, in a piece published last month. “It made me who I am. The military gave me a sense of purpose and a home.”
“You’re putting your life on the line for your country. What makes a homosexual less of a soldier? What makes a homosexual less of an American? I’d like the right to serve as myself without prejudice. There is no prejudice in the Constitution of the United States and that is how we should both follow and lead.”
Right off the bat, you realize there’s no separating the person from the artistry. And, in the end, isn’t that what it should be about?
Martucci was one of those lucky kids you envied growing up: born into a musical family, playing various instruments as a kid, writing her first song when she was all of 9.
The beauty of such a background is its variety — the Beatles to Bessie Smith, Dylan to Gladys Knight, Aretha to Howlin’ Wolf.
“Because of my childhood and being brought up around music, I learned to appreciate it, to really start listening to the songs, the lyrics, the hooks, the meat and potatoes of a song, what made it unique,” she says.
What will make the Washington Township gig unique is the collection of artists Martucci has surrounded herself with. That’s the thing about being a maverick in a business of bland wannabes: The truly talented want to play in your band.
“I want to do this for the rest of my life,” Christine says on her MySpace page. “I guess any one of us just wants to do what we love to do for as long as we can and make a comfortable living doing it.”
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY CHRISTINE MARTUCCI
WHO: Christine Martucci & Band
WHERE: The Dog House, Washington Township (Bergen County)
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 27
MORE INFO: christinemartucci.com
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.