Individually, the members of TFDI (Totally F***in’ Doing It) are some of the most prolific, musical, and creative artists in the singer/songwriter circuit, so I could only imagine what these three amazing musicians would do when recording together. Their first EP of four songs was just a tiny taste of what they can do – rich harmonies, masterful guitar work, and some lyrics that inspire thought. Their second outing, the full album titled When I Stop Running, includes everything from the first offering and then some. This time, in addition to group efforts, there are some solo pieces interspersed. It gave me a chance to focus not just on the group as a whole, but also on each member and what he could offer to the ensemble. It’s an interesting collection of songs – originals and covers, which had me hitting the repeat button.
The members of TFDI – Tony Lucca, Jay Nash, and Matt Duke – have each experienced some amazing success as solo artists. They’re well connected in music circles, and have earned respect from fans and other musicians alike. It is their desire to keep doing what they do that keeps people coming back for more. That same commitment to their individual styles is evident on the album, even on the group tracks. Lucca is a master of the blues/country sound, Nash is brilliant with the acoustic pop, and Duke infuses some incredible soul in his work.
Some standout pieces include Nash’s Sweet Talking Liar, Lucca’s Darlin’ I, and Duke’s Lover I Don’t Have to Love. With these tunes, it’s clear to see the styles of each songwriter, and yet they all work together to create a new magic. I shamelessly hit repeat on Nash’s If I Was a Ghost, too. It’s a haunting tune that will stick with you long after you’ve walked away from it.
The covers include American Girl and On the Road Again. It’s hard to believe that anyone could do something new with these tunes, but the guys make them their own. A different tempo, some push and pull, and a bit of freedom with the melody here and there and suddenly the songs are fresh and exciting all over again. There aren’t many groups out there who could take someone else’s song and leave new marks on it, but TFDI does it and does it well.
One more thing that really sets this stellar group apart from others is their live performances. They sound just as good on the stage as they do in the studio, if not better. To experience a concert, where you can drown in the music and laugh at their stories…that’s something more than special. If you’re in the Nashville area, you have your chance. TFDI will be at 3rd and Lindsley on Monday, September 26. You can follow their other tour dates on their Facebook page. If you can’t get to a show to buy the album directly, you can get it on iTunes.