Tony Lucca's journey to becoming one of Americana's next big things took some odd detours. His debut as a performer came at age 14, on the ultimate pop-tart proving ground, The Mickey Mouse Club. A third-place finish on The Voice in 2012 landed him a deal with coach Adam Levine's record label, but these flirtations with pop and rock stardom eventually took a backseat to Lucca's destiny as a Nashville-based songwriter and performer.

Yet if his playlist is any indication, Lucca's trek towards roots music began as soon as his father taught him how to play Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain" on acoustic guitar. "Pretty interesting subject matter for an 8-year-old to be singing," he quips about Young's lament over lost youth.

Beyond songs by such early influences as Young, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, Lucca also includes a couple of modern mainstream cuts: Kacey Musgraves' "Slow Burn" and Blake Shelton's "I'll Name the Dogs."

"I'd say this is a 'guilty pleasure,' but ain't nothing to be guilty about," he says about Shelton's musical dream of wedded bliss. "It's a damn good song. So catchy, so singable. So Blake. Few artists connect as well to their narrative as Blake Shelton. Especially with this song."

Lucca also lauds the work of his peers with selections by Gabe Dixon, Sean McConnell, Amy Gerhartz and others; in fact, he jumps right into highlighting his contemporaries with list-opener "That Rearview Mirror" by Jonathan Bryan Williams.

"Jonathan is a friend of mine who is long overdue to come to Nashville and help reintroduce young listeners with that quintessential classic country crooner style," Lucca says. "He's a beast in the making, and this song simply slays!"

Finally, Lucca sprinkles in a few of his own songs, including "Everything's Changing." "This song helped pull me out of a heartbreak and reminded me what it is I'm here to do, like it or not, and that's write and record songs," Lucca says. "It sort of became a meditation unto itself, a reassurance that everything does in fact change, and that, in the end, that's how it's supposed to be."

With those quotes in mind, press play and get immersed in Lucca's musical muses and lyrical talents.

Hear Tony Lucca's Playlist

Get a Track-By-Track Glimpse Into Tony Lucca's New Album, Ain't No Storm

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