A heavily pierced and tattooed Ronnie Tucker stares out on the cover of his debut CD ''Get a Grip.''
Don't expect to throw up devil horns and bang your head when the music starts.
That's an acoustic guitar slung over his shoulder on the back cover, and that is the 28-year-old musician's instrument of choice on his introspective songs inspired by the turmoil in his life.
''I've been in a couple bands where I played electric, but it didn't work out,'' Tucker said. ''Acoustic is my thing.''
Tucker said he's been singing since he was 5 years old growing up in West Virginia. His grandparents would tell him to be quiet, so he would go outside and sing in a nearby Indian burial ground.
Music became an escape when he was a teenager.
''I had to go through a lot of pain and abuse when I was 13,'' he said. ''I had an event that came into my life that caused a lot of misery, and the only place to turn was the guitar my mom just bought me. I made my own world with it.''
After stints in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Tucker moved to Warren because he had family here. The family went back to West Virginia, but he decided to stay and keep playing music.
Tucker currently hosts an open mic night every other Tuesday at S.O.I. Nick Rizzi 2850, 155 Chestnut Ave. S.E., Warren, and frequently joins Rick Hartley when he plays there.
Unlike most open mic players, Tucker doesn't fill his set with cover songs
''I only know one cover, 'I'll Be' by Edwin McCain,'' Tucker said. ''Everything else, I just do originals. I tried to take the time to learn other people's songs, but it didn't touch me the way writing and explaining my story does. I can't get their feel, their rhythms.''
Tucker said ''Fly Away,'' ''Don't Let This World Bring You Down'' and ''Scar'' are the songs that get the biggest reaction from the crowd when he plays live.
Music from the CD is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and other Internet music sites, and he is selling physical CDs at his shows.