Six degrees of Mary Cutrufello

A look back at her late-'90s career peak.

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Mary Cutrufello singing, with bandmates Jordan Carlson, drums, and Randy Engelmayer, bass.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Dml - Star Tribune Star Tribune

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"THE TONIGHT SHOW"

Halle Berry and Rob Schneider watched from the couch as Jay Leno tripped over her name in the newly YouTubed clip of Cutrufello performing "She Can't Let Go". "It was such a rush of adrenaline," she said -- so much so that she has a better memory of calling her hometown rock bar, Rudyard's Pub in Houston, when the show aired that night. "They held up the phone for me. That part was a thrill."

DANNY FEDERICI

The late E Street Band member toured as Cutrufello's keyboardist after the release of her Mercury Records album in 1998. She said, "He taught me a lot about trying to be great every night."

ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND

She opened the Allmans' first tour with a young Derek Trucks and one of its last with Dickey Betts in 1999. "As a fan, it was a fascinating time to be around the band," she said, but her excitement was tempered by the demise of her record deal. "Things were falling apart behind the scenes. I just tried to make the most of it when I hit the stage."

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