When it comes to getting a project off of the ground, there’s no surefire formula or order of operations to stick to ensure success or an easy preparatory session; unfortunately for most artists attempting to break into the mainstream or make a name for themselves, there’s no clear-cut routine. You’ve gotta go at it with all your might and kick, punch, and flail in every possible direction until something lands — Tedi Brunetti seems pretty aware of such an attitude and has pre-empted the chaos of said flailing by choosing to just focus on doing the absolute most, but in as regimented and controlled a pattern as possible. As if being the singer wasn’t enough, Brunetti’s grown to be an incredibly talented drummer and the balance of being the heart in keeping time and the soul in bringing vocal prowess at the same time is something most wouldn’t dare attempt. There’s no attempting here, though, as Brunetti has no single shred of hesitation within her entire body; there are just stone-cold results.
Releasing her latest project under the name The Queen of Pittsburgh, Brunetti is more than seemingly enamored with her hometown of Pittsburgh. No, across all nine tracks she not only wears her heart on her sleeve and pays deep tributes to the city but she does so in a way that lets listeners know just how personally tied she is to the location. Never are listeners treated to cheap shots born out of undercooked lyrics as Brunetti makes it as intimate as possible. She says “This album began as a legacy album, of sorts. I wanted our grandchildren to know grandma and grandpa were cool once. Recording to me, is what painting or sculpting is to an artist: It’s a permanent record of a joy-filled period of my life.”
This exact sentiment can be heard on tracks like “When You’re From Pittsburgh,” which features distinctly precise lyrics that make you feel like you grew up in the same area as Brunetti. The signature vocal style Brunetti brings to the studio is both a great homage to classic rock vocalists and her spin on a blues-centric growl at points. “White Man Dancing” calls in horn work that greatly benefits the overall air of the track, a trumpet solo segueing beautifully into a guitar solo and a horn section sharply punching their way throughout the entire track. The album sends listeners out on a fantastic farewell track with “Something’s Cooking,” which ultimately feels like a great little jam session piece the band might play to close out shows while introducing band members. Everyone gets a moment to shine and the jovial tone benefits The Queen of Pittsburgh incredibly well.
Whether this is a one-off experiment for Tedi Brunetti or if this is the start of a new era in her highly-decorated musical career, there’s no surefire response; as a one-off piece of musical history both for Brunetti and the city of Pittsburgh, however, there’s a lot to get out of The Queen of Pittsburgh and it feels like a resounding success for the Brunetti family members that featured on the album behind various instruments, too. A family affair bursting at the seams with joy, The Queen of Pittsburgh is a royally good time.
by Bethany Page