Written by Eddie Ferranti
Sep 30, 2008 at 08:00 PM
ImageHouston continued its healing process from Hurricane Ike by welcoming back an old stalwart by the name of Mary Cutrufello. It has been seven years since she hauled off to Minnesota and three years since she battled vocal nodes problems. MC has made it back to Austin and brought with her “35”, a new album which shows off her bad ass powerful voice again.

I remember when she was so strong in Houston that she was the “Queen” of Rudyards, Thee Edge Bar and Satellite Lounge. Hell, she even was on the same bill at the Woodlands opening for John Mellencamp.  I always dug her rock and roll style in a country honky tonk delivery. This night she was on her own, which I’d never seen before.

Early on her voice was quite raspy, but it warmed up quickly. “Loving You is All I’ve Ever Seen”, “Promise into Darkness” ( a song about her sister’s wedding) and “Rescue You” (performed at a real wedding by request) were great show starters. Mary has a way with words that tell the story, but do not drag on too long between songs.

“Beg Forgiveness” and especially “Jackson Motel” made me think back to why I really dug this lady from the beginning!  Cutrufello gives this reviewer what I like in a performer. Talent that is raw, honest and very cool. Her new song “That’s What You Get” said that, too.

MC told a classic story about the song “Sonic Girls”, which detailed how a Sonic drive Inn burger joint was just opening in Minnesota when she left. Imagining the girls on ice skates serving the patrons outside was a gas!  She also cracked me up telling how on Sundays in Minnesota that no beer or cars can be bought.

Cutrufello had her swagger back that is both cocky and sweet at the same time.  Other highlights were “Zooage” (classic about Ft.Worth zoo), “Pan Handle Wind” and a sweet “Good Night Dark Angel”. Then she wrapped up the gig by saying “Here’s the one that almost got us there”!  It was the still killer “Alive on a Sunny Day”!!  Mary demonstrated big time that she still has “it”, being dynamic on stage all by her lonesome.  It is so great that Miss Cutrufello has found her voice AND Texas again.  Here’s hoping she hits H-Town with a full band in tow next time around.  I know I’ll be there!  Until the next gig, CYA…