Michael Zuko is a Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter who performs in New York/New Jersey area music clubs as a solo artist, as a duo with Jeff Phillips, and as lead singer of the Voltaires, a power-pop group based in New Jersey. He recorded a solo CD, Miles from a Kiss.
Kipp Elbaum and David Tanner presented an “American music” theme at Fontana’s tonight, and Zuko was among the performers. Zuko sported a retro look, with his cropped mop top, sunglasses and tight jeans. He then played the part, leading his four musicians through 1960s-style pop music with a country lilt similar to Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson, but with a garage band approach that was as 1980s as the Smithereens or the Plimsouls. The band members punctuated the Americana theme with occasional electric violin and harmonica. The 30-minute set included “Crooked Smile” and other original songs whose videos are posted on the World Wide Web. Zuko effectively helped set the tone for the rest of the American music evening.