Probably going to offer ‘bugger all’ in terms of background about Tom DeLuca, apart from his rust-belt origins in Pittsburgh, before moving to Florida.
Written by: GDMOnline
ARTIST: Tom DeLuca
ALBUM: Down To The Wire
SERIAL: E 40283
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Tom DeLuca – vocals, guitars, harmonica * Derek O’Neil – guitars * Mickey Feat – bass, vocals * Danny Schogger – keyboards * Taylor Rhodes – keyboards, vocals * Gary Barnacle – saxophone * Martin Ditcham – percussion * Jamie Lane – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 57 Chevy * 02 Runaway Hearts * 03 Chasing Shadows * 04 Dirty Fingers * 05 Fire In The Night * 06 Down To The Wire * 07 Going The Distance * 08 Stone In Your Heart * 09 Betrayed * 10 Reunion
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Probably going to offer ‘bugger all’ in terms of background about Tom DeLuca, apart from his rust-belt origins in Pittsburgh, before moving to Florida. His musical history starts off in Nashville, where he became a songwriter. His two-album deal with Epic, which kicked off with this release, and ended with 1987’s unreleased ‘Captured’ album.
Of note, was DeLuca’s assistance to Molly Hatchet on their 1984 album ‘The Deed Is Done’. Tom contributes a co-write on the song ‘Satisfied Man’, and along with Jimi Jamison, provides backing vocals on the album. Tom also worked with Aldo Nova on his 1985 ‘Twitch’ album, contributing three songs.
He must have impressed someone at MH’s label Epic, because they signed him, and sent him over to England to record his debut album ‘Down To The Wire’ with noted British producer James Guthrie (Judas Priest, Ambrosia) at the helm. The recording session took place between October 1985 and January 1986, the album released later that year.
Musically, it’s a bit of everything. A melting pot of Bruce Springsteen, Jude Cole, Jimmy Davis. It’s a bit rough-house in places, with an edge that keeps it out of commercial reach. On other parts it’s very melodic.
DeLuca’s vocal isn’t a smooth voice to be honest. It has a harsh edge like Robin McAuley, but it’s not too bad either. Surprising that Guthrie didn’t stamp his mark on this album as it doesn’t have a British ‘feel’ at all. This is particularly obvious on the opener ’57 Chevy’, a barnstorming made-for-US radio anthem. ‘Runaway Hearts’ has more of a poppy edge, lightweight fare at best.
Of the other songs, there are a handful that stack up very well. ‘Fire In The Night’ is a real stormer, played in that late 80’s style that Petra occupied. The title track is a pretty cool tune too. ‘Going The Distance’ has this power-ballad thing going on, as does ‘Stone In Your Heart’ – this one is quite classy actually.
Not sure what the stats were on this album, but as mentioned, Tom was fortunate enough to work on a second album called ‘Captured’ which was recorded in 1987, though I Wire it was never officially released. I haven’t seen that one as yet, hopefully soon. Beyond that, the man was resurrected in 2022 with a collection of tunes called ‘Street Rock’ released by the MelodicRock Classics label. We might look at reviewing that one at some point.
Down To The Wire