Friday, June 11, 2010

Mr. Crooner Carlucci Plays at the Vault

I Axe you very confidentially, Ain’t he great?

Mr. Crooner Carlucci

By Fox Ravenheart

On Friday Night, May 21st, Mr. Crooner Carlucci premiered at our local clip joint, The Vault. With his smooth olive oil voice, he took us back to a time:

“To share some memories of here, there and everywhere,” Crooner tells us at the start of his show.

The house lights go dim. Spirits of cigarette smoke from Lucky Strikes float and mingle in the beams of the stage lights. The audience goes quiet, the only sound the clink of martini glasses and the stirring breath of young lovers at the back of the club. Crooner adorns his sooty fedora, takes the mic in hand and Flies us to the Moon.

I’ve been a Crooner fan since my incipient days in the realm of Second Life. All the man had to do to put me on Cloud 9 and bring a smirk to my mug was sing a little Sinatra, tip his hat and give a wink. I wanted to know this smooth smoky gentleman better, so I got him on the Ameche to talk about his journey.

“Good evening Fox,” he greets in me in that smoky voice of his, reminding me of the factories of industrial world of his home in Niagara, Ontario, the cascading flow of cadence drawn from the waterfalls that flow when he sings.

Crooner Carlucci, in first life David Iannandrea, was a square at school, shy, never did school speeches, just kept to himself and listened to music. At the age of thirty, he visited a local karaoke bar, The Belmont Hotel in his hometown of Port Colborne, Ontario—

“What a dive! It’s still there!” Crooner told me.

He played darts, sucked down a few fingers of gin, but didn’t dare get up in front of an audience to sing. However a friend at the bar kept at him, and one night he joined her in a duet, singing Cruisin’ by Smoky Robinson.

“I didn’t perform it very well.”

But Crooner got an itch. He dug singing for an audience. He did a couple more songs that night, and he started to practice at home. The classic crooner in Rat Pack spirit was born, and the closet lounge singer in Crooner was set free to sing and descant and scat.

His career progressed when a friend emailed him about an Elvis competition. The hip Crooner happily joined, Elvis being a major influence. He began performing a Movie Year’s Elvis Tribute with friends. Then Dean Martin came along, contributing to his style. He’s been performing ever since, drawing from many artists.

He’s performed at points far and wide: Baltimore, Maryland; Albany, New York; Montreal in Quebec, Canada; Jamestown; and his hometown Port Colborne, Ontario—and of course here in Second Life.

Joi—a platinum doll—Crooner’s manager, friend and recent owner of The Star Bar Martini & Jazz club where she has hosted, managed and arranged acts for the last two years, told me of the first time she heard Crooner. She’d learned about him from friends; she was told of a fantastic singer she must go and hear.

“He was amazing. I was awestruck. Lol. Still am. But very glad we have become friends. I joined his 1st Life fan club, and he sent me some MP3s.”

Crooner performs at her club most Wednesdays at 7PM, or if the stars are in our favor, for impromptu performances.

Crooner has many influences, yet he defines his own music. He’s an original, meshing the various styles together into a unique and modern performance. Not only is his voice vivacious and takes you on high like a moonrise, he also mingles his avatar among his audience, often serenading young lovers in the old nightclub style, bringing his listeners into his act.

His song book is varied: Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline and myriad other singers from the last century. His voice is a ship that sets his audience sailing back into time, when nightclub minstrels sang pure of heart, of love—always of love. What else is there to sing of?

On Friday night, Crooner brought his act to The Vault Vintage Jazz Club. Crooner was born to play there. He was the olive in the martini. I’m a regular at The Vault; in fact, in front of the stage you’ll see a green chair and table reserved for me—an iconic ring stained on the tablecloth from my teacup. The place is homage to the nightclubs of the mid twentieth century, complete with spinning door and a stage landing.

The regular Joe Palookas and Marys had already filled the club, wearing fine evening ware—the guys in black suits; the flappers in gowns and pearls. The club was already jumping—tumblers wet with gin in hand and the kids out on the dance floor. Crooner took the stage, started to sing and lit the place up like a match to a vat of kerosene. His energy infected the crowd, stirred them up. After a few numbers, the place was swarming like a mad swarm of bees.

“I had to mop the floors after Crooner melted all those hearts in here,” Quentin Falworth, owner of The Vault, told me after the show.

Crooner will be playing on Friday evenings at The Vault. We hope you come down and hear this talented performer.

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