Artist Chris Ruggiero presents a reimagined take on old-school rock and roll with “I Am Chris Ruggiero”

Artist Chris Ruggieroalbum of, I am Chris Ruggiero ‘ offers a scope of 12 refreshed songs belonging to the golden age of rock and roll. The album features some of the iconic era’s greatest hits with a twist. Some of the songs include “Run to Me”, “Betcha by Golly Wow” and “My Cherie Amour”.

Daily music roll: Do you think reinventing an old song that was also an iconic hit is more difficult than making your own music?

Chris Ruggiero: I think all singers who sing someone else’s lyrics or actors who read lines have a mountain to climb, but I think as a singer we have more challenges because people associate already this song in someone else’s voice. So what I tried to do on this album was to forget about the original recordings as much as possible, and read the lyrics and interpret the lyrics in a way that tells my story, my injury, or my excitement. be in love, or on my loneliness. Of course, there’s always a bit of a fear that people won’t like what you’ve done with a particular song or that people will hear your voice and decide they prefer the voice of the guy who sang it. originally. So my way of proceeding in the future will always be not to try to outdo the original. It will always be for me to find my way of interpreting the lyrics and telling the story.

Daily music roll: How do you get the confidence to record songs that were already big hits in their day?

Chris Ruggiero: Well, that’s just something that happened recently, and thanks for using the word trust. I was pushed onto the stage from the start and heard the applause. It was my first vote of confidence. I didn’t trust it originally, but I heard the audience vote with their applause and they weren’t throwing tomatoes. Some of them even stood up to clap, so I knew I was hitting a chord. The route I took from there was surrounding myself with people who I knew would be honest with me, so that I didn’t have to rely on my own ear to know if what I was doing worth it. I had Clint Holmes, a guy who was the Las Vegas artist for years more often than anyone, I had my manager, Joe Mirrione, who produced the original 50’s, 60’s and 70’s performers in concert, I had Bucky Heard and Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers and then, the kicker, I had Charlie Calello to produce the album. Charlie has been more successful as an arranger and producer than anyone in history. He’s worked with Sinatra, Streisand, Humperdinck, Paul Anka, Bobby Vinton, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond… So when guys like the ones I had around me say, “Yeah, I think you got something here” , you listen, and it’s easier to trust when you have a cheering section from legendary guys like that.

Daily music roll: Do you think music is timeless?

Chris Ruggiero: I do, and I think people – all of us – are also timeless. I try to remind my audience that small wrinkles or gray hair don’t define them. Look at it this way, if you’re playing “Would’t it Be Nice” for a 16 year old who has no idea this song came out in 1966 and doesn’t know about a Pet Sounds of a Pet Turtle, chances are they’ll love this song because of what it says and because the melody is just amazing. It’s going to resonate with them because the idea of ​​being in love and wanting to be older so that you can sleep or spend more time with someone you have a crush on – these ideas are timeless. Wanting love, losing love – all these ideas – and the sentimentality about it – these things are truly timeless, and if there’s any doubt, check out TikTok, which is primarily a teen platform. , and find another explanation why “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” is one of the greatest songs out there. These songs are timeless and I don’t think they go anywhere.

Daily music roll: Would you consider composing your own music?

Chris Ruggiero: See Q10.

Daily music roll: What are your biggest musical influences?

Chris Ruggiero: Paul Anka for his tone, Frankie Valli for his falsetto, Clint Holmes for his ability to perform a song and Jerry Vale for his sweetness.

Daily music roll: Are there contemporary artists whose work you follow?

Chris Ruggiero: Shawn Mendes and Bruno Mars are two artists that I would say try to listen to everything they put out and definitely every time Bruno performs on TV or there is a chance to see him live – I want to absorb as much energy as possible.

Daily music roll: Do you think the music of the golden age still finds its relevance and engagement in modern times?

Chris Ruggiero: Watch any movie or watch a few hours on TV and you’ll see an ad or an episode of a show that uses a song from the 50s, 60s, or 70s and I think that’s the answer. The songs are used to highlight these scenes or to sell a minibus, or to make you feel somehow about the relationships of a few characters. Thus, they are not only always relevant, they are effective. Come to one of my concerts and you will see 2 or sometimes 3 generations there. I have people in their fifties who come with a parent who is 70 or even 80 because music connects them. It’s a meeting place, it transcends age and it gives them something to bond with. I had someone come to my show in Cleveland a few months ago and she brought her grandchildren because they were going through a tragedy in the family and she knew it would be therapeutic for them. I think this music heals in a way that only true classics can be.

Daily music roll: Everyone says that rock and roll is being replaced in the modern history of music by other dynamic genres. Do you think this is true?

Chris Ruggiero: Well it is certainly possible that it has been put on the sidelines, but I don’t know if it has been replaced. I think artists like Harry Styles and certainly Bruno Mars, will make sure that there is always a place in the Top Ten for a real rock’n’roll song. And of course, who were they all inspired by? All the artists and songwriters whose songs I relaunch – all the guys and girls who did it in the ’60s and’ 70s.

Daily music roll: Would you consider giving your audience a taste of modern day rock and roll?

Chris Ruggiero: Well, on the album, I did “And I Love Her” and sort of followed up on “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” which came out in 1981. It’s modern times for me ! But seriously, I don’t want to shock anyone or say to a concert audience, “I know you came to hear this kind of music, but I’ll do something else instead.” However, in my show I sing a little bit of Bruno Mars “Nothin ‘on You” and weave it into “I Only Have Eyes for You” and, speaking of Bruno, I put a little Are “in” This Magic Moment ” I’m doing this because there’s a connection between the songwriters of the 50’s and 60’s and the guys who wrote all the soul and Philly pop-rock of the 70’s and 80’s, and the people who still write songs. strong melodies and lyrics today. I think Billie Eilish’s writing partner Finneas has released some great music and there is a very good chance that I will do one of his songs on my next album. So , what is the difference between modern and vintage? If he has good lyrics and a strong melody – if he has good bones – it’s fair game.

Daily music roll: Do you have an interest in songwriting?

Chris Ruggiero: I know that and I don’t know if God gave me this gift where you just sit down and it spills out onto the paper, but I’m trying. I’m lucky that 2 different teams of professional songwriters gave me the chance to collaborate with them and so I’m trying. I can’t say what will happen to it, but the fact that there is a ton of good material just begging to be rearranged and re-recorded seems like a good insurance policy for my future.

Daily music roll: Do you play instruments?

Chris Ruggiero: I can play the piano enough to find notes and hear what a chord should sound like. I know enough that when my producer says “hit that note” and swears it’s not really that high, I can find him on the piano and confront him that he’s lying to me to make me try to widen my range a little! At some point, I’ll learn enough to be able to accompany me on a song or two in my shows. For now, I’m leaving that to the pros on stage with me.

Daily music roll: What is your advice for new artists?

Chris Ruggiero: Practice your voice or instrument every day as if it were work. Do not abandon. Find someone who believes in you and find someone who knows better or has been there, then listen to them. God gave you 2 ears and a mouth – you are supposed to use them in this proportion.

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