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By Jeff Pack

Suraci to perform originals at Old Town Temecula concert


Last updated 7/4/2019 at 11:10pm

Jeff Pack photo

Tony Suraci will perform his entire catalog of original music during a Friday, July 5 performance at Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

Local artist Tony Suraci will debut material from his upcoming new album, "Serious," in a one-night-only performance Friday, July 5, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

Suraci said he is thrilled to take the stage in the town he got his start performing.

"Very excited, mostly because I know that there will be no stopping from here," he said. "For too long I've been performing cover songs to support my acting habit and then to sustain myself as a father of four.

"However, I was graced by a fan and friend, Faye Hall, with a plan and a budget to make a record – my first 'all me' record. There's not a chance in hell that these songs won't achieve notoriety, and when they're on the radio. I'll be touring my own music and leaving the cover tunes mostly as a thing of the past," he said.

Suraci will perform about 85 minutes worth of his own music, which he described as, "Commercial, country, catchy, musical vs. edgy, diverse, no cuss-words and worthy of radio play."

"'Serious' is an interesting mix of types of songs," Suraci said. "There are love songs such as 'Diamonds & Pearls & Everlasting Love,' attitudinal songs such as 'Serious' and 'Mikey Fly,' and a signature drinking song called 'Bottoms Up' which was written with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.

"When playing in bars, I have always been a fan of delivering a variety of styles verses. I love to mix it up in ways which might be surprising like going from Willie Nelson to Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra to Chris Cornell, Motown to Beatles," he said.

He said "Serious" is true to that presentation with a country twist.

"Variety, but all recorded for a country release using instruments which include banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar and accordion. I am thrilled with the flow and weaving of the styles and I hope it is seen as a plus to the end listener," he said.

Suraci said he wrote "Serious," the song, with his friend Jacques de Groot 20 years ago.

"We parted ways geographically – mostly because I had a baby, Anthony Jr. – and stayed home in Temecula from Los Angeles," he said. "I rediscovered its appeal when I had the opportunity to record at Johnny Cash's home studio Cash Cabin near Nashville. The producer there, Chuck Turner, wanted to hear all originals and selected 'Serious' as one of 12 which should go on this new record."

Suraci said the album isn't finished yet, even though all the instrumentation and vocals are complete. But mixing the record has been a problem.

"I have had to pull the project from two engineers," he said. "The person who has agreed to take on the task is the acclaimed Canadian producer, Arnold Lanni. He has expressed high regard for my voice and the material and will attempt to mix my record when he returns from working with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback."

Suraci has planned the pace of the concert to best compliment his work throughout all his years as an artist.

"This concert starts with the mellow, artsy, vibey songs and spirals upward to more raucous songs which I used to play on the Sunset Strip," he said. "I'll also be playing piano on two songs – one of which, a song called 'My Only Faith,' was written for the movie 'Rescue Dawn.' Writing this song was an assignment from a gentleman who invested in the movie starring Christian Bale. I read the script and wrote the song."

While Suraci will sing and play the guitar and piano, he will bring with him a host of talented musicians to back him.

His son, Anthony Jr., would normally serve as his drummer, but he's been in school and couldn't participate in rehearsals, so Jason VanSlyke will take his place.

On bass will be local musician Michael Emory, and Jim Soldi will be on lead guitar. Soldi played with Johnny Cash, late in Cash's career.

"(He) has played in The Highwayman Show for the last decade and is one of the tastiest guitar players I've ever performed with," Suraci said.

Suraci last performed in the Old Town Temecula Community Theater five years ago with his Highwayman Show, which he said sold out twice.

He said he is looking forward to coming back to perform his original music, even though the road to get into the space hasn't been easy.

"The theater is beautiful, the acoustics are amazing," he said. "I fought hard to get to play here after being rejected by the manager, Beatriz Barnett, regardless of the fact that I sold out the theater twice with the Highwayman Show. (I'm) not sure why she wasn't interested in showcasing local live music – so, I went to Beverly Stephenson who raised the money to create the theater in the first place to see what she could do (and) she took care of it."

Suraci will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main Street in Temecula.

Tickets are $21 for balcony seats, $23 for parterre and $25 for orchestra. There is a $2 discount off pricing for seniors age 65 and older and military in orchestra and parterre.

Tickets can be purchased at the theater's box office or online at

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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