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NASHVILLE PEOPLE: John Blasucci, Creator of Majestic New A-List Ensemble LUMINARE

Photo courtesy of Jamie Glaser

There I was, traveling down the most wonderful maze-like path, searching for a an incredible new band to captivate each of my senses, when suddenly, there before me…  No.  That’s not how it happened.  Allow me to start over.

There I was, in my living room, scrolling through Spotify for hours, searching for Christmas music by independent artists.  That is how it happened.  Dull beginning, but it gets better.  Way better.  It also proves a very important point about songs on Spotify.  Never be afraid to dig deep.  The best treasures aren’t always found in shallow graves.  I found a version of “Carol of the Bells” by Scotty Kormos with less than 1,000 streams after scrolling a long time.  It was the only song Kormos had on Spotify and he had exactly one follower.  After I listened to the song, he had two.  It was brilliant.  I added it to one of my Christmas playlists and tagged Kormos on social media.  He was astounded and extremely appreciative for the add.   In most cases, that’s where the connection would have ended, but this time the universe had a little more going on.

Spotify Link to Scotty Kormos Song “Carol of the Bells”

Kormos mentioned he’d been working on a project with a new band recently and their debut album, a Christmas album, was just about to release.  Like, the next day.  Talk about impeccable timing.  That old universe sure works in mysterious ways.  Did I want to hear a song?  Well, of course.  He sent me over a copy of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, we’ve all heard that song before, right? Kind of expecting the same old thing with a slight twist.  Wrong.  One song and I knew this wasn’t just a few guys in a garage who knew a chord or two.  This was something a bit more, shall we say, significant?  Nah.  Let’s up that a smidge.  Fantastical.  Yeah.  That’s more in the ballpark.  Fantastical.

This new ensemble called itself LUMINARE and the album was called That Star.   Imagine my excitement when he sent me the whole album the next day.  I tore into that thing and was mesmerized.  I wanted to know everything about this record, but there just wasn’t much to be found about it because the band itself was so new.  I’m a born researcher.  When I want to know something I’ll just keep looking until I find as much as I can, but I was sort of stuck.  So, I just listened to the music and tried to envision what was going on as much as I could.  When Scotty Kormos, who played drums on the album, contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in interviewing the creator of LUMINARE I was thrilled.  Anything that I so instantly fall in love with is something I want to learn about.  Please sign me up.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Wolf Photography

Here we are.  It was only about an hour ago that I hung up the phone with John Blasucci, the creative genius behind LUMINARE.  He is also the keyboard player in the ensemble.  Blasucci is a Chicago native, but now calls Utah home.  You’ll find out why he chose to live in Utah in a bit, but he did tell me there are many amazing musicians there, something most people don’t know.

Hold that thought of amazing musicians, because without one of them, this interview would have never happened.  After all, Nashville drummer Scotty Kormos made this whole connection, so this is where I’m going to let John Blasucci do the talking, and I’m starting from the point where he gives me his thoughts on Kormos.

John Blasucci:  Scotty is, man, I love that guy.  He is good as gold, yeah, and what he brings, not just musically, but his energy, well, musically he brings a whole bunch of worlds to a project.  What he brings in terms of energy, you know PR sensibilities, he’s a huge asset on so many levels.  That’s so cool and it makes sense that that’s how you guys would meet.

Photo courtesy of Scotty Kormos

Patti McClintic:  Yeah, I could tell, he’s definitely so excited about this project.  I’m kind of the same way.  When I latch on to something that I like, I want to tell everybody that I know and I want everybody to get as excited as me, and if they aren’t, I’m kind of like, “Why aren’t you?” and I’m let down.  I’m excited about this though.

Although there’s already a Nashville connection with Scotty Kormos, I learned he wasn’t the only one.  Blasucci is very well-connected to this fine city.  Actually, that wasn’t too surprising.  Anyone that plays with Dennis DeYoung (formerly with Styx) and Mannheim Steamroller would likely know at least a few, if not many people in the music industry here in Nashville.  As it turned out, some of them aren’t just acquaintances or friends, they’re involved with LUMINARE.

I was explaining our Think Country Nashville People section of the website to Blasucci and mentioned that just yesterday I had done a piece on rock/pop artist Jeff Coffey, so it isn’t all country music, it’s interesting people that have a connection to Nashville.  He had a lot to add to our conversation from there.

John Blasucci:  Let me connect even one more dot for you.  So, three of the songs on this album are original songs and two of them are vocals with lyrics of course, and my co-writer is Joie Scott, who is a Nashville stalwart.  She’s been there forever and has had success with Collin Raye and Shania Twain, and she’s just a wonderful lyricist.  She’s been involved in a bunch of different projects and when this project came out, she was the one to call.  She just does beautiful lyrics.  She helped me with “That Star” and “One Christmas Wish”.  A lot of the songs I had like, a chorus, but I didn’t know how to craft a verse lyrically, not my forte.  So, she’s a good connection there in Nashville as well as Scotty.

Photo courtesy of soundcloud.com

Patti McClintic:  That’s perfect!  Also funny you mentioned Collin Raye.  I interviewed Collin Raye a few years ago and I really liked him, so it’s all connected.  A big, tangled web.

I touched upon Blasucci being a resident of the great state of Utah, but there’s a portion of our conversation that I think people need to hear directly from him.  Some people in Utah might wish this information was kept under wraps, but I’m sure the various Chambers of Commerce will thank John Blasucci if they see this.

Patti McClintic:  You’re in Utah?

John Blasucci:  Yeah, I’ve been in Chicago my whole life and then when I was on tour with Mannheim Steamroller I met my now-wife at a concert hall here in Salt Lake City, and a few months later we were living in a house here just south of Salt Lake.  A year later we have a beautiful little girl, she’s three-and-a-half now, and that’s what took me here to Utah.  I always had dreams about this beautiful place.  Like, I’d be driving down a road and I’d be looking down at a lake.  My dream, it was recurring, and I’d be like, “This is stunning!”  It was like nothing in the Midwest.  Then I had come out here to Utah three times that year, once with Dennis DeYoung, once with Mannheim Steamroller and then again with Mannheim Steamroller.  So, three times all in one year.  I’d never been to Utah in my life.  So, I remember getting off the bus, taking a run and saying, “Man, people get to live here,” and probably eight to ten months later I was in a house out here with my now-wife.  So, that’s how I came to be here, but my roots are in Chicago, my musical family and everything I’ve done is in Chicago until recently.

John Blasucci:  Here in Utah there are phenomenal musicians, incredible musicians.  Who would have thought Utah?  Right?

Patti McClintic:  You wouldn’t.

John Blasucci:  Here’s the thing, with my job, for the last 20 years, well, except for this year (laughs), I traveled the country and sometimes a little bit of the world and to me, this is the crowned jewel of this country.  It’s a little bit of a secret because people don’t really understand it, but they’re starting to, and now California, Seattle and Portland are kind of moving in.  So, it’s a really incredible place, as is Nashville.  Nashville’s got it goin’ on in a big way, the beauty, the climate, certainly the music scene.

Patti McClintic:  Oh yeah, it’s great.  Getting a little crowded now, but we’re in the suburbs so we’re a little ahead of the game, but I don’t think for long.

Here’s where we started talking music.  It’s common to have a musician enthused about their latest project.  To be fair, these are busy people, that’s the main objective, to talk to media about what they’re currently putting out so people know about it.  I don’t begrudge any of them for keeping it to that, but on the flipside, sometimes as a media person, you’re really trying to introduce a name that not everyone recognizes, even if that artist has a resume loaded with familiar names and places.  That’s when it’s so helpful if they’ll go into a little detail about what they’ve done in the past.  Those name drops are often what attract new fans to someone they wouldn’t otherwise take the time to pay attention to.  John Blasucci took that time to tell me a few things about his other work.  It really drew me in and I believe it will do the same for others.

Finally, on the topic of what’s rare in an artist interview.  In my experience, the single thing that stands out, by far, as the most rare, is when an artist shows a genuine interest in what I, the interviewer, am interested in, or what makes me tick.  When they ask questions about me. Not in a condescending manner, as if they’re concerned I’m not qualified enough to be speaking with someone of their caliber, but on an equal level.  It isn’t hard to tell the difference.  John Blasucci did that too.  I’ll spare you that part of the conversation, but he asked about me and music.  Was I a musician?  He thought I might be.  I am not, and we talked about how I became such a passionate lover of music, but I truly appreciated that he asked that.   A sign of an insightful professional and a kind human being.   I won’t ever forget that.  I’ve given you the background on this next section of dialogue.  Let’s roll it.

Photo courtesy of MFO Entertainment Group

Patti McClintic:   So, you’ve played with Mannheim Steamroller, which is fabulous all by itself in so many ways, and you’ve been with Dennis DeYoung for quite some time, true?

John Blasucci:  Yeah, just about 20 years, this will be year 18 I believe, you know, you lose track a little bit.  Yeah, we’re coming up on two decades shortly and that’s just been a wild, fun, exciting learning adventure.  We’ve spent a lot of time in Canada and Quebec City, you know, I never would have been there if it weren’t for Dennis, and that’s just a magical city.  We’ve been to Montreal and all over Canada, all over the US, Mexico, we haven’t gone international because Dennis likes to stay close by (laughs).  Dennis is a Chicago guy, through-and-through, he’s even got a little Chicago accent which is great because my grandma and grandpa had the Chicago accent, we’re Sox fans and all that.  You know, I grew up with relatives that were like that, so when I met him it was familiar.  His sense of humor is hysterical.  He’s a good, smart, extremely talented guy.  He’s a living legend.  He’s been very good to me and the people around him and that’s been a wonderful experience.  The thing that I learned from Dennis, I think, the most that sticks out is, well, a few people gave Dennis my name when he needed a keyboard player.  I went over to his house and I was a little nervous, a living legend guy and I’m in his beautiful house.  I sat at the piano, he sang and I played and when the song was over he said, “Alright, let’s do this!  You know, let’s do this!”  Then he said, “One thing John,” and understand, I was a jazz piano major in college.  I’ve been a jazz pianist, my father was a jazz pianist, still is, but that’s what was in my veins.  I dabbled in pop.  My best friend, Larry King, not that Larry King (laughs)…”

Patti McClintic:  (Laughing)  I was gonna say, “Wow, interesting person for a best friend.”

Photo courtesy of KingenSmith

John Blasucci:  (Laughing) I know, and I actually met Joie Scott through him.  Larry’s a wonderful, wonderful guy.  We’ve had a bit of radio success with our band Soleil Moon and that band’s on Frontier Records, so Larry knows what he’s talking about.  So, we were in and out of the studio with that, but in my veins it’s still a jazz sensibility.  So, I go to Dennis’ house, we play, he says, “Cool, we’re gonna do this job, but one thing, look at this house.”  So, he made me look at the house.  “Just take a look at this house.  I didn’t build this house on subtlety.”  Which is, when you’re a jazz musician you have sensitivities to colors and this and that.  He’s like, “I made sure the guy in the very back row of the biggest arena you could think of could hear me and feel me, in the face, you know?”  He’s like, “We had Marshall stacks pounding away at people, you know?  We did not build this thing on subtlety.”

Video courtesy of TurnItUp and YouTube

John Blasucci:   So, I said, “Okay, I get that, you need to project,” which is what I learned from Dennis, and what I try to put into my music, especially this Christmas album.  I want people to feel something.  I want them to feel beauty, majesty, power and moments like I have, and like you have when we listen to music, where we say, “Aaahh!  I am so glad I listened to that!  I feel different, whatever the case may be, and what better opportunity to do that than when people are already feeling the beauty of Christmas and what that means.

Patti McClintic:  I think you took that one sentence he told you and really took it to heart and kept that because, man!  That album, I listened to it once and I needed to get my headphones and a glass of wine and listen again, to let it really sink in.   I mean, wow.

This was the point where Blasucci asked if I was a singer or a musician and we had a short conversation about how I was not, but perhaps I should have been.  Instead, I chose a different route and became a passionate fan of music that crosses multiple genres.  As I said, I will spare you the direct dialogue, but I told him I began my love of music very early.  I started collecting records as early as the age of four or five.  I have never stopped.  I read liner notes.  Every last word.  Even before I understood what engineers or mixers were, I knew the terms.  I relayed a story to Blasucci about a life-changing experience I had with a chance meeting of several now-classic rock bands when I was 14.  While that was more than enough to satisfy a young, star struck girl, it was another individual in their entourage that really made an impact on me.   A record producer named Richard Dashut.  He actually introduced himself to me in the hotel lobby after noticing how big a fan I was, and explained to me what his part in creating the album was.  I listened and soaked that information up like a sponge.  Another one of those small gestures that is so incredibly rare in someone with that kind of talent, something that’s stuck with me and I have never forgotten it.  I owe him so much.  I realized afterward that it took so much more than a singer and some people with instruments to allow me to spin my favorite record.  I knew then that I needed to learn a lot more.  I’ve never stopped learning, but enough of me.  I just wanted everyone to understand what I meant when I said that John Blasucci was interested in what made me tick too.  That was just a cool, and rare thing.

Photo courtesy of Patti McClintic

Our conversation then led into a short discussion about Dennis DeYoung’s success since his departure from Styx.  Obviously, as any Styx fan knows, DeYoung was a key component of that band, but also too, were each of the other members.  At the very top of its game, there could have been (and were, as I recall) arguments as to who actually led the charge in that band.  In my mind, as a longtime Styx fan, each member played an important role, and whether playing together or not, they are all gifted musicians and songwriters and they all deserve credit for what they contributed.

Patti McClintic:  You’ve been with Dennis for such a long time, obviously, it’s working for you and it’s working for him as a solo artist.

John Blasucci:  Oh, yeah, I mean I think he’s had, from where I’m looking at it and from what I see, people have listed him beyond Styx, you know?  Everywhere we go, “Dennis, you are Styx,” but like now, he’s so much in the talent and I see what he’s done to take over his band, and I’ll just sum it up to say, some people got it, you know?  He’s got it.

Patti McClintic:  He’s definitely got it.  I’ve been a Styx fan for ages, and I think his voice is incredible and he’s so talented.  To work for him must be an honor.

John Blasucci:  It is an honor, but I don’t want to take away from part of the magic that made that happen.  It’s not just Dennis, you know, Tommy (Shaw), JY (Young), the Panozzo brothers (twins the late John and Chuck).  John Panozzo was one of the most underrated drummers, Chuck, they all knew their place and they all shined in their respective roles.  I know we just want to touch on this, but I just wanted to say that because Tommy is a talent by himself, and the fact that they’re not together is sad for a lot of people, but it’s great for me because I get to be with Dennis and do our thing, so what are you gonna do? (Laughs)

Photo courtesy of Patti McClintic

Now, we were about to dive into his latest project, LUMINARE.  I was so ready to hear about this.  I was already addicted to the That Star album.

Patti McClintic:  Right.  So, part of what you’ve taken from him has got to have influenced what you’re doing with LUMINARE.

John Blasucci:  Yes, without a doubt.

Patti McClintic:  And Mannheim Steamroller as well.

John Blasucci:  Mannheim Steamroller, it fascinates me.  Their story about how they started out and whatnot, and what they became, I love it.  I don’t want to say it’s rags-to-riches, but it’s certainly a “to riches” story, and I was with them for about seven years I want to say, I would sit there on stage playing, listening to the music as I’m playing it and checking out the audience’s reaction and seeing what they’re reacting to.  Then you could see after the show people would come up to us and just tell us what an impression the music made on them and I’m putting that all together.  Mannheim Steamroller pre-dates me slightly, so I was aware of it, but I was too young, let’s put it that way.  So, I was on stage and I’m saying, “What is this that people are reacting to?  They’re having good, strong reactions to this music.  What is going on here?  I’m gonna kind of study this.”  You know, while I’m performing, because when you’re doing eight shows a week you’re not just focused on the music, you can take in everything, you know?  What the audience is doing, what your bandmates are doing, it’s more than just, “What is my little part here?”  So, that’s what I would do.

John Blasucci:  I have the utmost respect for what they’ve accomplished and Trans-Siberian Orchestra for that matter.  I mean, shoot, it doesn’t get any bigger in this genre than those two, but from what I saw, because I wasn’t about to go into trying to sound like one or the other, I thought Trans-Siberian was way over here to the left and Mannheim Steamroller is way over here to the right, and there’s this huge gap in the middle.  There’s this huge opportunity to reach people with a different voice.  Something that’s powerful, but not heavy metal.  Something majestic and “Oh my gosh!”, but not “New Age-y”, if that makes sense.  So, it’s my natural inclination coming from jazz, playing with Dennis in a rock band for 20 years, it’s an amalgam of all these different styles and I wanted to put that into this LUMINARE project.  I loved strings and orchestra sounds, the power and the fury that you can get from that instrumentation, as well as the beauty of it.  So, I’m thinking of myself as just naturally right down the middle and I’m hoping there’s room for that honestly.

Photo courtesy of Billy Hefton/Enid News & Eagle

Patti McClintic:  Oh, there’s room.

John Blasucci:  Well, good. (Laughing)

Patti McClintic:  How did you get your group together?  Obviously, you have some really good people.

John Blasucci:  Yes, that’s a really great question.  So, when I met Ashley (his now-wife) and we had Scarlett (his daughter), I didn’t want to be on the road because that’s hard.  It’s hard to be away from your daughter.  Your wife and your daughter need you and I want to be there.  I don’t want to be the guy that goes out on the road with a newborn at home and leave my wife to tend to that all herself, it didn’t feel right to me.  So, Mannheim Steamroller, being the awesome people they are, understood and were completely cool with that and said, “Go, we understand.”  So, that first year I’m home I’m supposed to be on a bus, it’s November, I feel weird.  I had serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) going on (laughs), so I was like, “I want to do this, but I want to do this how I want to do it,” and a little bit on my terms.  I want to bring in musicians I want, I want it arranged how I’m hearing it.

John Blasucci:  So, I created a bunch of demos of a few things that were in my head, which has now become the record.  So, I roughed out some parts, and I’ve been a drummer my whole life so I’m decent at programming drums.  So, I programmed the drums to one of the songs, I don’t remember what it was.  I had already been talking with Scotty.  Scotty had reached out to me because he had heard there was an opening in Dennis’ band for a drummer.  So, I heard Scotty’s thing he sent to me and you couldn’t help but notice that not only were his parts amazing and solid, but his tones were literally unlike anything I had ever heard.  Drums and piano are the hardest things to mic up in a studio and get to translate, and he has a way of miking up his drums in his studio at home, he never touches them so the microphone doesn’t move.  He probably spent hours and weeks getting the perfect sound.  I’m a sound guy.  I like good fidelity and he just nailed it.  So, it became time for me to send him a song and see what happens, but I’m listening to my song and I said, “But I like what I programmed, I don’t want to touch it.  I’m feeling really good about this, if I give this one up maybe it won’t be as good as what I’m hearing in my ears right now.”  So, I said, “What the heck,” and I sent it to Scotty and I got it back.  Again, the energy, creativity, the power, everything he brought to it made me say, “I’m gonna make a record,” because I know, with him in my corner it’s gonna be as terrific as I think it might be, honestly.  So, that’s how I got Scotty.  It’s a long story, so I apologize.

Video courtesy of Scotty Kormos and YouTube

Patti McClintic:  No, I love long stories, they make my job easier.

John Blasucci:  Oh, good!  Really, though, I can’t speak highly enough about what he brought to this project and he’s become a brother to me.  You know, we text every day, talk about this project, he’s made it his own, which as a band leader is what you want, what you love, because it becomes collaborative and wonderful in every way.

John Blasucci:  I’ve had several guitarists play on this record.  Scott Bernard, who’s in Nashville.  Scott is an A-list Nashville guitar player and singer.  He’s been with Kenny Loggins for a while and he’s just a phenomenal singer.  I mean, I can’t speak highly enough of these people.  You know, I meet them through friends and call ’em up and say, “Hey man, I love what you do.  Would you have a listen to this and see what you could do on it?”  Then they do, they have their home studios and they send it back.  You may say, “Give me an alternate solo or something like that, but you get it back and it’s like, “Wow!”  When you’re working with musicians on this level you don’t have to tell them what to do, they just do their thing and it’s better than you could have thought or instructed them to do.

Video courtesy of Kenny Loggins and YouTube

John Blasucci:  My very good friend, Jimmy Leahey played guitar.  He’s in Dennis’ band and he’s a phenomenal talent.  I have Jamie Glaser here in Utah, and Jamie is a fascinating guy.  He played guitar on all the TV sitcoms like, Friends, Saved By the Bell, he was the guitarist on all of that stuff.  He was connected with one of the producers, so he’s playing guitar.  So, the guitar players are exceptional.

 Photo courtesy of tnonline.com

Photo courtesy of blues.gr

John Blasucci:  Then on bass I have Craig Carter who is a Nashville-based player extraordinaire and good friend, you know?  People hire their friends, right?

Patti McClintic:  That’s always a good way to start.  That’s awesome.

Photo courtesy of Don Nickel and Craig Carter

John Blasucci:  Yeah!  Then on violin, and this is the last I’ll mention about musicians, I have Emi Tanabe out of Chicago.  She’s insane, insanely good.  She’s playing on “What Child is This”.

Patti McClintic:  That violin in that song sounds so amazing.

John Blasucci:  Yeah, I mean you want to talk about no words, she’s just exquisite.

Photo courtesy of Emi Tanabe

John Blasucci:  And then the guy that played on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a guy out here who I found through a friend, and we’re becoming friends.  I have sessions that I produce for other people, and we live in the mountains up here and there are a lot of amateur musicians who are very talented and they found out I live up here.  So, we’re going into the studio all the time working on their music and I just got a need for a violinist, and Rob Landes is the guy playing on that and three or four other songs on the record.  He is a YouTube sensation, he’s got like, three million followers on YouTube, so he’s doing extremely well with that.  So, he came out to the house and what can I say about Rob?  It’s like, I need these people and like you said, there are no words for the talent and what these people bring, you know, and the professionalism.

Video courtesy of Rob Landes and YouTube

John Blasucci:  Anyway, those are some of the players and I did everything else.  Keyboards, some of the string programming and all the arranging.

Patti McClintic:  The arrangements are absolutely brilliant because the songs are still recognizable, not the originals but the ones that people will know and that they love, yet they are so brand new.

John Blasucci:  Thank you!

Patti McClintic:  You’re hearing them in a way that you will have never heard them before, but at the same time you’re gonna go, “I know and love this song,” you know?  So, there’s that and the originals are just wonderful and you immediately, instantly fall in love with them.  The album is just, I just can’t say enough.

Image courtesy of LUMINARE

John Blasucci:  Thank you, thank you, and you know, Joie, when I approached her about “That Star” I had all the music done and I said, “I think this needs a lyric,” because you know, things hit you.  When I go running up here that’s when a lot of thoughts come to me.  That’s actually my listening to thoughts, “get close to God” kind of thing, you know?

Patti McClintic:  Sure, yes.

John Blasucci:  I just be quiet and things come to me.  Sometimes they’re profound and this time it was, “You need to put lyrics on ‘That Star’.”  So, I called Joie and we’re talking and brainstorming and we both had the idea at the same time.  I’m like, “What about, like, there’s a storm?”  Then she said, “What if that star didn’t shine and the Wise Men couldn’t get where they needed to go because they were guided by the star?”  I was like, “That’s it,” that hit me, “yes, let’s write about that.  What if that star didn’t shine?”  So, that’s what that’s about.

John Blasucci:  The “One Christmas Wish” song I wanted to do a little bit of a, what’s the word?  Campy?  Bubblegum pop?  Just fun.  I wanted to do a fun song that featured this girl Madilyn Paige, a singer who was on Team Blake (Shelton) on The Voice.  She’s just a wonderful singer out here in Utah, again the talent here.  “One Christmas Wish, Santa can you make love happen, hurry up and bring me my love.”  She’s a young girl, she wants love for Christmas, you know, we’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re making something cute and fun and I kind of like it.

Photo courtesy of youtube.com

Patti McClintic:  Well, yeah and there’s always that certain demographic that loves that kind of “poppish” thing on any album.

John Blasucci:  It’s “Mr. Roboto,” the song that doesn’t fit.

Patti McClintic:  Yes!

John Blasucci:  It doesn’t fit and people are gonna be like, “What?” and other people are gonna be like, “That’s my favorite song,” and that’s exactly the reaction that’s it has gotten.  I sent this to famous record promoters and they’re like, “That’s the song,” and I’ve sent it to my friends and they’re like, “What?” (Laughing)

Patti McClintic:  But you know what?  Who doesn’t know what “Mr. Roboto” is?

Video courtesy of TurnItUp and YouTube

John Blasucci:  There you go.  You know, it tore the band apart and it’s nobody’s favorite and Dennis’ famous slogan is, “I wish I’d written more of those because it put the kids through college.”  (We were both laughing now)  He didn’t mean it though.  He didn’t know that was gonna be a hit, and that’s the other thing I love about Dennis, his favorite thing to say is, “I’m lucky I have dumb, stupid luck.”  Or how does he word it?  What’s the phrase?  Something like that, “Dumb, stupid luck.  I stumbled into it on some of these,” and it’s like, yeah, you know how it is, you have to get lucky and hopefully you put something out and people like it and you go from there.  Patti, let me say that the point of this record, to kind of sum it up is, we want to tour.  We want to have fun.  Everyone in the band likes the music, it’s satisfying musically to play and we want to do it.  We want to hang out, we want to spend five weeks on a couple buses bringing this music and hopefully bringing it to people’s hearts and making a difference, and doing something nice.  I humbly mean that.

Photo courtesy of Sheri Hastings and WillToRock

Patti McClintic:  I hope it happens and if and when it does, will it be something like what Trans-Siberian Orchestra does?

John Blasucci:  Well, we’re going for it.  So, I would say everything has its starting point, everything has its growing point, but our eyes are definitely down the road several years seeing this as not only a big musical production, but a bit of a big theatrical production too, as much as we can.  Whether that’s a story, whether there are some interesting visuals, dance, Cirque, you know.  We’re working on a bunch of different elements because we want to make this something that people see, hear, feel, you know, can’t really touch it (laughs).

Patti McClintic:  I’ll be the first one in line to go see this thing.

John Blasucci:  Thank you.  Like, from my heart, thank you.  I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about it.  I always tell my wife we’re not like, at the beginning, but we’re very close to at the beginning.  We have our music, we have our product, we have something to show the world.  We’ll feed it, water it and grow it and see where it goes.

Patti McClintic:  Well, thank you for talking to me because it’s been wonderful and I hope that we get to meet someday in person when pandemic life is over

John Blasucci:  Oh, my gosh, I hope that’s soon, and they’re saying summer of next year.  I’m thinking by Christmas we hope to get it sorted out. My Production Manager, Dave Radley, he’s an amazing help.  He’s invaluable, you can’t put a value on him.  He’s Dennis’ Production Manager and all the people we’ve met over 20 years, Dave is friends with.  He’s like, “I think we can put together a bit of a tour with everyone we know.”  We’re not going to be playing The Taj Mahal, but we’ll have places where we can get out and start a little tour.

Patti McClintic:  I sure hope so.  I would love to see it.  Thank you so much for talking with me today, this started my weekend off on a very happy note.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.

John Blasucci:  Thank you, you too, and we’ll talk again soon.

How in the world do I tie this one up?  With a great big, sparkly red bow?  That would be so appropriate.  What a gift!  For me, for all of you and for so many more people around the world who are going to hear this glorious music and eventually see a tour that sounds completely magical!  Yes, if I could wrap this interview in the prettiest paper and hand deliver it to everybody that reads it, I would.  I was more cheerful and felt more optimistic for 2021 after speaking with John Blasucci.  That Star by LUMINARE has that special power of being able to invigorate me, bring me peace and make me smile.  I love the artistry that these gifted people have come together to share with us, and nothing represents the Christmas spirit better than that.

Image courtesy of LUMINARE

LUMINARE can be found:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/luminaremusic/

Website:  https://www.facebook.com/luminaremusic/

That Star Track List

  1. “We Three Kings” – Performed by Dave Giraldo, Emi Tanabe, LUMINARE
  2. “One Christmas Wish” (John Blasucci, Joie Scott) – Performed by LUMINARE, Madilyn Paige
  3. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – Performed by LUMINARE
  4. “That Star” (John Blasucci, Joie Scott) – Performed by LUMINARE, Rudy Cardenas
  5. “I Saw Three Ships” – Performed by John Blasucci, LUMINARE 
  6. “Little Drummer Boy” – Performed by LUMINARE, Pino Farina
  7. “The Battle for Heaven” (John Blasucci) – Performed by LUMINARE, Rob Landes 
  8. “Joy to the World” – Performed by LUMINARE 
  9. “Angels We Have Heard On High” – Performed by LUMINARE 
  10. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – Performed by LUMINARE
  11. “What Child is This” – Performed by LUMINARE

*Featured photo courtesy of infoentertainmentgroupinc


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