HOMETOWN : New York City, New York, USA
VIC RUGGIERO's voice has a distinct Bronx accent that has a hard, guttural quality. His lyrics usually follow several themes, including the apocalypse, dark humour, political distrust, paranoia, murder, love and loss. His songs have ranged from narrative ballads to nonsense songs inspired by Beat generation poets, such as Jack Kerouac.
Victor "Vic" Ruggiero, (also known as Bad Vic,Ruggarroo or Lord Sluggo) is a musician, songwriter and producer from New York City who has played in many ska bands, such as THE SLACKERS, Stubborn All-Stars, SKAndalous All-Stars, and Crazy Baldhead.
He has also performed with RANCID and THE TRANSPLANTS, both live and in the studio. He has released three previous solo acoustic albums, and has accompanied acoustic ska musician and singer Chris Murray.
“Something in My Blindspot” is his first solo album to get a full UK release
He is primarily an organist, although he also plays piano, bass, banjo, guitar, harmonica and percussion.
On his latest album he is accompanied on a number of sweet and strange duets by Lisa Müller of the German swing-band Black Cat Zoot and two feature the off-kilter talents of Romanian brass band Fanfara Kalashnikov.
Vic’s trademark production is also very evident in this stunning record. It remains distinctively raw by not erasing sounds that would traditionally be unwanted in a recording, such as doors closing or musicians cueing each other, his productions usually capture the live-band atmosphere more closely.
An earlier review on Blog Party was quick to say
“I really think it’s some of the best songwriting Ruggiero’s done in his 15+ year career. Which is a pretty heavy statement to make, considering that he’s responsible for writing or co-writing roughly 160 of the songs present in my record collection.”
Songs jump from organ-driven shuffles like opener “Taking Care of Business” to throwaway ‘60s pop “Innocent Girl”, then off to a banjo-licked swamp-stomp “If this Night”, but all resonate with melancholic pop joy.
Some of the more unique tunes on the record come courtesy of Fanfara Kalishnikov, and Lisa Müller. The former’s chaotic and inventive arrangements turn “Lonely Nights Reprise” and “Animals” into wild, parade-like explosions.
And the latter? Sometimes, you forget this isn’t her record!
Müller's honey-sweet voice plays the perfect Ella to Ruggiero’s Armstrong, whether it be playful reminiscing “Lonely Nights”, surreal & darkly Waits-ish time travels “Is it You”, or one of the greatest country inspired duets in years “Mad at Me”.
These 14 fresh pop nuggets with a distinctive New York accent on this album should provide a perfect lazy day’s soundtrack to summer 2008!
Something in My Blindspot CD