Home Read Now Hear This: Vic Ruggiero | Stuff In My Pockets

Now Hear This: Vic Ruggiero | Stuff In My Pockets

The Slackers frontman trades his keyboard for a guitar & cobbles together another endearingly scrappy set of garage-punk, folk-rock, alt-country & more — but no ska.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since the early ’90s, Vic Ruggiero has had an unprecedentedly diverse music career. With his best-known band The Slackers, he has released a good 20 albums and toured worldwide, and as a studio and live musician with the U.S. punks Rancid, he has repeatedly stepped onto even bigger stages.

But Ruggiero is a thoroughbred musician through and through — his contributions in smaller and lesser-known bands and projects are far more numerous, be it as a permanent musician, guest, songwriter or producer. Since the late ”90s, he has also been releasing solo albums, as a one-man band or with a studio lineup, and while he is primarily perceived as a ska and reggae musician, the multi-instrumentalist and gifted singer has always been a huge fan of all kinds of roots styles.

Folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country, soul, garage, glam and proto-punk characterise his solo work, and so it’s no wonder that Stuff In My Pockets also comes across like a grab bag of the finest song pearls from the late ’60s, held together by his striking vocals with Brooklyn accent, which are unmistakable with their wistful-melancholic timbre.

Born of Italian heritage in the Bronx, Ruggiero now lives in New Jersey. Next to being the singer, organist and songwriter of The Slackers, he is/was involved in various projects like The SKAndalous All-Stars or The Stubborn Allstars. For many years, Vic has also nurtured a dusty alt-country/blues/rock solo project. He’s recorded a slew of solo albums on which he mainly plays the guitar, harmonica and percussion. His solo releases include: Living in Sin/Understanding New Jersey, Alive at the Ladybug House, Hamburguru (2007), Something In My Blindspot (2008), On the Rag Time (2009), Songs For Clandestine Lovers (2009), split discs with ZOOT 16 G.B. (Meatball and Sushi Party, 2009) and Kepi Ghoulie (The Dark Ages, 2009) and Don’t Feed The Cats in Iraq (2010), among others.

Ruggiero is pretty much “the man” when it comes to finding someone to play keyboard instruments in the north American punk scene. He has worked with Rancid, The Transplants and Roger Miret and the Disasters. He was also involved in a side project going by the name of The Silencers with Tim Armstrong.”