Young singer ready to ride

Lucciana Costa bringing fledgling act to BG
Lucciana Costa knew from early on that she wanted a career in music.
"I’ve been singing since I was fresh out of the womb," the singer-songwriter from Ann Arbor,
Mich., said.
She started singing in a children’s choir at 5 – her mother fudged her age so she could join – and by 12
she was singing and playing dobro with a multi-generational alternative-country band.
Now at 21 she’s released her first solo album "Last Chance for a Pony." For her a career in
music was what a pony was to other girls, she explained.
And this recording marks a major move in that direction. "I’m an adult now, I’m ready to take the
leap into making music my life forever."
That also means taking her show on the road beyond Ann Arbor. She will perform Friday at 7 p.m. in The
Cla-Zel in downtown Bowling Green.
Costa’s interest in music runs in the family. Her grandfather Eddie Costa was a well known pianist and
vibraphonist who was active on the New York City jazz scene in the 1950s until his death in a car crash
in 1962 at age 31.
Still Lucciana grew up with his music. "No doubt it’s in my blood."
Though she heard jazz growing up. It wasn’t the music she gravitated toward. Truth is, she said, for the
longest time she wasn’t sure how to realize the sound she felt lurking inside her. "It wasn’t
classical. It wasn’t jazz," she said.
Costa studied piano from 6 to 13, but quit. She also tried drums and fiddle. At 12, after hearing the
Dixie Chicks, she fell in love with the dobro. She searched out the only one for sale in Ann Arbor and
bought it.
That landed her a place as the youngest member of Smithville. The band played clubs, coffeehouses and
festivals. Her parents would accompany her to bars so she could play. When that band broke up she and
another member of the group formed Uses of Wood.
In high school, Costa said, "I was a total theater nerd." She had roles in "A Little Shop
of Horrors" and "Les Miserables."
But all this music, proved to be too much of a good thing, for her voice at least. She developed vocal
nodules and had to give up singing for a year and a half.
It was a learning experience, she said. "I learned to take care of my instrument" meaning her
voice, she said. She should no more misuse it than se should throw her dobro around.
And "I learned how much it meant to me watching people put on the shows I wanted to be in."
Inspired by Ben Folds, she also went back to the piano, and suddenly she started finding the sound she
was looking for.
"For some reason that’s where the songs come from," she said.
"Once I dedicated myself to figuring out what it was, I realized it’s not going to sound like
anything else I’ve heard."
While her style isn’t like her grandfather’s or Ben Folds’, what they showed was an attitude to be
Her piano playing is "very rhythmic, very left hand directed." The basic style is pop, but the
lyrics tell stories like country songs do, she said.
She writes at the piano, starting with a single line. "That usually ends up being the first line of
the song," Costa said. From there a story emerges.Those stories fill the new CD.
Costa got a chance to unveil "Last Chance for a Pony" at The Ark in Ann Arbor. The nationally
known club had a formative influence on the young musician’s influence. In fact, her family moved to Ann
Arbor from Columbus in part because of the club.
Her family had traveled there to hear the Rankin Family and "we fell in love with the town."

Over the years she’s heard many of her musical models at the club. To perform her own music there
"was amazing."
The Ark is a launching pad for her to take her music as far as she can, and her first stop is Bowling