Bruce Sudano performed his record release show this month at The Cutting Room in New York City for his new album “21st Century World". In front of a full crowd at the renowned midtown venue, Sudano guided us through his journey of love, reflection and acceptance, while also brilliantly examining the societal, political and emotional facets we endure today.
A prolific singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, Bruce Sudano has had a distinguished career co-writing songs for Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and his late wife, the Grammy-awarding winning and generation-defining artist, Donna Summer.
For music enthusiasts out there (including you hardcore disco fans), Sudano managed most of Donna Summer’s career and co-wrote some of her biggest hits including “Bad Girls”. Sudano was also one of the founding members of late 60’s pop-rock band Alive N’ Kickin’ and late 70’s doo-wop/soul band Brooklyn Dreams. Alive N’ Kickin earned a Billboard Hot 100 spot with their record “Tighter, Tighter,” as well as Brooklyn Dreams with their song “Music, Harmony and Rhythm".
Just coming off a European tour with emerging New York rock band, Hollis Brown, Sudano’s masterful performance was an inspiring, bold and informative excursion into the human element of today’s social and political challenges. The veteran musician’s distinct range of sound, beautifully coiled melodies and visionary storytelling illustrated Sudano’s brilliance on stage and the meticulous artistry he provides in his music.
As opposed to the jazz, pop and soulful elements portrayed in previous solo works, Sudano’s recent masterpiece provides listeners with components of American rock & roll, folk and activist song-writing that merge the lines between music and politics. Since the untimely passing on his late wife, Sudano’s music has increasingly gone into the fabrics of adulthood and the issues surrounding our society through his personal experiences.
In a direct testament to Sudano’s versatility and reach as an artist, we witnessed the singer-songwriter’s adaptive lyricism and precise compositions in his songs “Your World Now” and “It Ain’t Cool". Sudano’s intuitive arrangements gave off indie-folk and rock elements that enhanced a collection of voluminous beats, sassy strings and fine narratives. His passion and confident eloquence were illustrated beautifully in these performances as he sat intimately close to us, singing the memoirs of our time.
His songs “True Believer” and “Common Sense” exemplify Sudano’s strength as a vivid storyteller and a measured songwriter. His take on the meaning of Christianity in “True Believer” are presented with still folk harmonies and revealing Americana vibes. In “Common Sense", Sudano provides a softer piece coupled with a smoldering outrage that calls for us to wake up and understand the responsibilities within our fragile society.
One of the more memorable segments of the evening featured Mike Montali, lead singer of New York rock band Hollis Brown and producer of Sudano’s “21st Century World” album, who performed over Sudano’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution". As the crowd majestically clapped their hands, Montali and Sudano delivered a resounding performance that was filled with a communal and defiant sound.
With storied musicianship, gifted songwriting and avid storytelling, Bruce Sudano’s sound has transcended throughout the decades from timeless dance hits to protest memoirs. Despite the ups and downs throughout his career, Bruce Sudano has maintained relevancy with an ever-changing sound that customizes to the changing times. “21st Century World” is a brilliant example of Sudano’s resilient lyricism, indulging musicianship and embracive measure. Certainly a must listen for the year.