Attaining a new lease on life in the wake of already going through the wringer that is the music industry once before can be as enlightening as it might be daunting. For singer-songwriter-drummer-bandleader Tedi Brunetti (talk about a multi-hyphenate), that first go-around happened to take place in the 70s and 80s-era of New York City so you can get a sense of just how wild that must have been. In light of such a lightning-strike, explosive zeitgeist of a career origin, Tedi would find sobriety (which she has maintained for a phenomenal forty years) and return home to Pittsburgh to raise her two sons and humbly pursue a career issuing cardiac and vascular ultrasounds — shifting from rock stardom to the medical field feels like more of an organic jump than one might initially expect, honestly! She stuck with that for twenty years before boldly returning to music with her solo career, and a skip and hop later, her latest album is on the horizon under the well-earned title The Queen of Pittsburgh.
Honing in on a solid nine song entries, The Queen of Pittsburgh is a resounding album from a greatly decorated hometown hero. Brunetti never takes the piss out on her hometown and instead champions the city, serving up a refreshingly non-cynical breath of fresh air in lieu of the more popular recent trend of downward-punching that some modern artists seem to hold towards their cities of origin. The unbridled pride that Brunetti wears on her sleeve in the song “When You’re From Pittsburgh” doesn’t paint the city as a sparkling example of perfection, but its lyrics do give listeners the image of a perfect city in Brunetti’s eyes, calling Pittsburgh the center of the universe, and where friends treat you like family.
“Every time I roam, my soul is out on loan ‘cause I’m from Pittsburgh.” The raspy voice of Tedi Brunetti carries nothing but love and admiration for her city, and it’s infectious to listeners. “My True Story” is another fun, standout track that similarly showcases Brunetti’s cleverly biting lyrical stylings as she details the tale of slamming a cop’s hand in the door over a particularly groovy track complete with a couple of saxophone solos. In addition to the fact that Brunetti works as a drummer on every track, the overall composition feels well-realized with a depth that appears in a way most songwriters only dream of maintaining.
The secret ingredient to Brunetti’s success on The Queen of Pittsburgh assuredly comes from her self-made attitude and undying adoration for the Pennsylvanian city; the notion she could have started in someplace as broad and alien as New York City feels like a distant memory in the shadow of her Pittsburgh pride. The attention to detail in crafting songs as personal and yet so enjoyable, even to those who have even only vaguely read about Pittsburgh, is a balancing act most musicians will spend their entire careers chasing. Lucky for Tedi Brunetti, she’s been through it before and can see the tricks coming from a mile away — all she has left to give is earnest art, and she’s doing just that.