Christine Martucci and Anthony Krizan are two well-known New Jersey-based musicians that have appeared on this page more than once. Seasoned musicians and songwriters, they both have interesting stories to tell.
Krizan first rose to fame in 1994 as lead guitarist for the commercially successful jam band, the Spin Doctors, however, before joining the popular group, he had carved out industry recognition in his right, having been signed to both Polygram and Chrysalis Records. He also wasted no time in lending his superb songwriting skills to the cause, co-writing the band’s third album, which included the theme song for Michael J. Fox’s hit TV show Spin City. In fact, five of Krizan’s songs made the Spin Doctors’ Greatest Hits collection, including “Miss America,” which was adapted for Howard Stern’s book that was released under the same title. He also went on to pen songs for Lenny Kravitz and John Waite, co-writes for Gretchen Wilson, and much, much more.
Christine Martucci is a New Jersey mainstay and has accomplished quite a bit in her career. She is also a veteran, having served some 10-plus years in the military and protecting our country. Christine was raised in the small town of Readington, NJ.
Over the past decade, she has refined a style that marries both raw grit and tender warmth akin to Janis Joplin and Chrissie Hynde. She has cultivated a home for herself within the historic music scene of Asbury Park, and her grassroots following of loyal supporters have dubbed themselves the “Tucci Train.” Christine has opened for national recording acts including Gavin DeGraw, Michelle Branch, Patty Smyth and Scandal, and Mountain.
Most recently, she teamed up with two-time Grammy Award winner Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Hilary Duff, Roger Daltrey) and Brielle Brown (Gedeon Luke, Jacquie Lee). Together they wrote the confessional Angels of War over a four-month period. Topping off the record are two songs co-written by renowned songwriter Charlie Midnight (James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker). The EP was recorded live at Shorefire Recording Studios in Long Branch, NJ and produced by Swersky. It features the musicianship of Steve Holley (Paul McCartney and Wings) on drums, Vincent Mascolo (Tunnels to Holland), and top NYC session keyboardist Alan Markley.
But this story, while it is about music, is also about helping our veterans suffering from PTS come back to a semblance of wholeness after being exposed to the horrors of war. Martucci and Krizan recently teamed up to present a brand new song slated for sale on iTunes called “Jersey Style.” “Jersey Style” was written by Krizan and award-winning songwriter Cheryl DaVeiga as a way of helping vets that need a push in the right direction once they’re back in the States. It is said that roughly 20 veterans take their lives every day. That’s about one every 65 minutes. That’s where VetRest comes in. VetRest exists to accomplish two primary goals: coaching and farming.
VetRest coaches help veterans identify the causes of their PTS and administer healing to the heart of the wound. Once the cause is discovered, their trained and certified coaches establish a directive toward recovery. The second goal is farming. Yes, you heard it right, farming. VetRest’s goal is to place interested veterans on organic farms, teach them farming skills, and, if they show aptitude and desire, eventually provide them with their own farm to work.
Medical studies show that there is a direct link between PTS and suicide. By helping veterans heal and learn how to cope, the numbers of deaths are significantly reduced.
Martucci, as mentioned earlier, was in the military and suffered from her own bout of PTS. Luckily, she has found something to hold onto, and music has kept her grounded. That is why she is the singer behind “Jersey Style.” The individual who sent me this information said, “We believe the song and video capture the spirit and energy of the Jersey shore in the summer.” This project is being used to bring awareness and raise money (through iTunes sales of the single) for the New Jersey-based veteran’s organization, VetREST.org, headed by retired Colonel Robert Vicci.
Vicci is a veteran of 34 years of military service, both active duty, and the NJ Army National Guard. He is a decorated Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and flew over 30 missions as an Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot and commander. “Veech” received his Commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981 as an Infantry Officer and was also a four-year Army football player, and brings a wealth of leadership and team focus to the VetRest Team.
So, with the goal of helping our fellow Americans, Anthony Krizan and Cheryl DaVeiga wrote “Jersey Style” as a way to help our veterans heal. All proceeds go directly to VetRest to help in the fight against PTS that affects so many of our military men and women. Martucci, of course, is the most sensible person to sing it, as her spirit is matched only by vocal talent.
I took a listen to the song, and this is what I thought of it:
First, the song structure itself is solid as hell. This tune is pop-based rock and roll at its finest. Melodic and fist-pumping fun for the masses. Krizan’s guitar work has always been some of my favorite stuff, and he doesn’t disappoint on “Jersey Style.” I like the way they work the “Born to Run” melody into the after-chorus bridges, very smart without being blatantly plagiaristic. Martucci nails it as she always does. I love the verse work and the way it shifts at the second half as well.
The change sets up the chorus like a champ getting ready to knock out his opponent. And of course, the chorus is huge. Filled with horn arrangements, keyboards, saxophone work and Krizan’s chord structures, the song pops. I wish I had the space to mention the players that helped make this song a reality, but this must do. Everyone on the song smokes the tar of the roof, and everything makes perfect sense when it comes to being in place. This composition should be the song of the summer.
There is a video available as well, and it features Martucci singing to the track while she goes through various steps of going from work on a Friday afternoon to heading down the ole’ Parkway to the Jersey Shore. It’s a simple and completely charming presentation, and Martucci handles it as I would expect her to, like a champ.
So, while we bask in our unbridled freedom and go to shows or whatever else it is you do with the free time you have, let’s never forget our veterans and the sacrifice they’ve made to make sure we enjoy these freedoms consistently. Support “Jersey Style” and VetRest so we can keep a few more heroes with us every single day.
“Jersey Style” is available at jerseystyle.bandcamp.com, and as I said earlier, sales go to a great cause. VetRest stands for Restoration, Encouragement, Solace, and Training for our nation’s veterans suffering from PTS by helping them identify the cause of their PTS in an environment that promotes healing. To find out more about VetRest, head over to vetrest.org.