Seemingly out of nowhere, Oakland’s Dick Stusso snuck onto our radar with a cassette on the small-yet-solid Vacant Stare Records that is easily one of my favorite albums of the year. Nashville Dreams/Sings The Blues is essentially two albums with slightly different vibes, but everything’s held together with a common theme of effortlessly transitioning from pure sillyness to something truly touching and sentimental, sometimes within the same track. Some songs dip their toes in twang, blues, and grimy garage rock all at once, while others are simply beautiful DIY ballads.
“The record is a result of years of alcohol abuse, internal struggles against nihilism, and a love for a good old fashioned tune,” explains Stusso, who hopes the project will lead to a career as a lounge singer or truck driver. “I broke a few home recording consoles while making it and in the process got to know myself a little more, for better or worse.” Get to know Stusso yourself over the 16 tracks below, and pick up the cassette at his release show December 10 at the Night Light in Oakland.