WOODBURY — A local musician has given Litchfield County the spotlight in his latest music video.
Jeff Tuohy, who describes himself as an Americana musician, recently released the video for his song “Old Roads,” which debuted on CMT.com and the Academy of Country Music’s New Music Friday playlist.
In visualizing the video, the Southbury native and Woodbury resident realized the county he calls home would be the best setting for the project.
“I was hanging out with my friend having a couple of drinks...and we were like this song really needs a video,” Tuohy said. “What if it was me traveling through places that were familiar to me. We worked through the concept that maybe it’s flashbacks and I’m driving through those flashbacks and reminiscing.”
The video features Tuohy driving past some of Litchfield County’s more recognizable locales, including the row of businesses along West Street in Litchfield, the steeples in Washington Depot, Main Street in Woodbury and the Roxbury Airport at Good Hill Farm where Tuohy was married.
He’s also driving by all that in style, sitting in another recognizable Woodbury image: the 1958 red Chevy that his friends used to own, but now currently is owned by and sits outside Woodbury Pewter.
“A lot of comments we would get on YouTube is..is that the pewter truck?” Tuohy said. “It was cool to have something people were familiar with in the area.”
Outside of Litchfield County, Tuohy also featured the flag pole in Newtown, the town neighboring his hometown of Southbury. That, he said, was an essential shot for him.
“It was really important for me to get that shot,” Tuohy said. “The flagpole is not a compromise. We have to capture that. The whole idea of the song is small town America and because of what this area went through...it was important to show the pride of the area and something positive. That shot was crucial.”
Tuohy enlisted the talents of cinematographer Learan Kahanov for the shoot, which happened last October. Kahanov was the cinematographer for the CBS television series “Madam Secretary” and also worked on “Nurse Jackie.” He’s also listed as the cinematographer for the upcoming Kevin Smith film “Clerks III.”
“It was an opportunistic time because a lot of filmmakers weren’t working,” Tuohy said. “A lot of people weren’t investing in television and film at the time. The entire video was filmed outdoors. We were very fortunate. We got the last warm day of the year.”
Tuohy’s love for music started at a very young age, he said.
“I can’t remember a memory without music,” Tuohy said. “It started with raiding my parents record collection. There was Creedence, there was Neil Diamond, there was Abba. I was born right around the cusp of when MTV kicked in. There was Michael jackson and Prince. Music has always been part of my life.”
He played music growing up, and also was big into musical theater, which he majored in during college along with public relations and marketing.
Upon graduation, it was time to pick a path.
“When I got out of college...do you pursue the dream or do you pursue the money?” Tuohy said. “In a perfect reality the dream and the money line up together.”
He chose music and he doesn’t regret it, although it was an uphill battle of sacrificing playing his own music in lieu of making more money playing late night bar gigs covering other people’s music. He also had to make choices between bartending gigs that would pay $300 and music gigs that would pay $150.
Often, he would pick the music.
“What that yielded was meeting the right musicians who I now play with and further honing my craft,” Tuohy said. “There is a ceiling to playing other peoples music. It’s a great time and a great living. If you write a song and it takes off...that has unlimited potential. It’s not just you as a performer. It’s a piece of art that is out there. It’s an investment in itself.”
The work seemingly payed off. His most recent album, “Hudson Delta,” debuted at number six on the iTunes country music chart he said.
“It’s a tri-state area kid playing southern music, which is the roots of the American music tradition,” Tuohy said about his latest album. “A lot of that music originated in the south. I was very fortunate to have the country music community embrace my music because country music fans are avid fans and loyal and are open minded to other genres.”
Tuohy was proud to pull off the album indepently and said his team is currently looking towards the next step in his career, which is seeking representation and looking for a label services deal.
“To know you can do it on your own speaks for the product itself,” Tuohy said. “There’s a great sense of pride in that. It’s showing self-sufficiency. The other thing that shows is that this was made on my own accord and not to satisfy tastemakers or stockholders. It was made from the heart.”