In writing his new song, "New Boots On," Peninsula-based musician Mike Annuzzi took inspiration in part from the community support that he describes experiencing as a local musician over the past two years. The song will be released on May 6.
Among that community, he counts several venues along Palo Alto's California Avenue where he has been playing regularly since the pandemic's start and Club Fox at Redwood City's Fox Theatre, where he filmed the video for "New Boots On."
"It is a country rock song. There's a lot of driving guitar riffs. It's a really big sound. And the song is just really fun and upbeat," he said of the single. "The music video actually is about making the most out of every moment."
The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist recorded all the instruments on the track, including drums, bass and pedal steel guitar and then worked with Nashville-based sound engineer and producer Jamie Tate on the song.
"He was able to make that sound larger than life," Annuzzi said.
Annuzzi, who has been playing guitar since about age 11, grew up around music — his father played the accordion and in fact, hails from the same town in Italy as Maico Campilongo, a co-owner of the California Avenue restaurants Terún and Italico, where Annuzzi regularly plays. He's sometimes joined by Campilongo, a fellow musician.
Annuzzi graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, but grew up in Redwood City, where his family has strong roots.
He grew up around what he calls "traditional" music, which he still sometimes plays at Terún and Italico, but over the years, he said that he's found his sound going more toward country.
"Currently, I am going for the 'California country' sound, which has been a natural progression of my career. A lot of the shows that I was getting on up until 2020 kind of shifted from the singer-songwriter shows and jam band shows to more like country artists," he said.
Annuzzi, who has been performing professionally for about 16 years, began working in the music industry as a talent buyer. Though he had intended to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter while attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, he changed tack and decided to work behind the scenes.
"I was booking a major music venue, and I got to hire on some of my favorite bands,” he said. “And I really got to see how the tour life really worked."
But performing called Annuzzi back on stage when a last-minute opening act was needed.
Since then, he's toured the U.S. extensively, performed internationally and released three albums independently between 2012 and 2016, although he focuses mostly on live performances.
When the pandemic brought touring to an abrupt halt, Annuzzi said, he lost about "60 gigs overnight." Since then, he said, he has found a strong sense of community in regular gigs on California Avenue.
Annuzzi said that he's also working on other songs to be released soon, but "New Boots On," as his first release since 2020, is special.
"I kind of waited on the right time to release this new song. And since things are opening up more and the song was really upbeat, I thought now was the best time to release it. I have had a lot of support from the community — all the friends that I've met on California Avenue in the last couple of years, (are) actually some of the best friends and best music acquaintances that I've made over my whole career," he said.
"New Boots On" will be released May 6 on iTunes. For more information, visit mikeannuzzi.com.