Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory...
commentaries and essays expand the thought process on RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@] yahoo.com
Many of these albums are available by listening to Boston Free Radio
The Joe Vig Top 40 for October 2016
Review: Feed The Kitty Goin’ Country
ON OCTOBER 23, 2016
3)Santana IV Live at the House of Blues
The superb “Free” opens up Goin’ Country, the album from Feed the Kitty, a trio that performs pop/country with style, a modern-day Orleans / Firefall / J.D. Souther with an up-tempo, happy-go-lucky spring in its step. Generating their sounds from Southern California the FTK bio notes: “Originally from Tucson AZ, band members Jed Mottley (Bass) and Jon Shumway (Drums) moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with Jack Maher (Guitar/Vocals) in 2004.” Eleven years later the 2015 Goin’ Country CD has many hooks and surprises that delight. There’s a dozen tracks and we’ll shuffle in this review to give a glimpse of this hard-working group’s powerful release.
“Wonder,” track 7, is one of my favorites, Maher’s voice is terrific here and in full control. The story unfolds with stellar playing, in a short burst of pop at 2:39 and as perfect for top 40 as opening track “Free, Both songs are more pop than country – pure pop actually giving this trio a solid footing in both genres. “Sleepless Nights” proves that by dipping right into good old c & w from back in the day. What is delivered here is the country that should be played on contemporary radio, crystal clear production with soulful playing and vocals.
I prefer the band when it is straightforward and churning out radio friendly tunes with a smile. However they are reaching out to many and “Orange Country Sky” – like DNA before it – goes into Mick Jagger bad-boy territory with tongue-in-cheek humor along with in-your-face drug references. But that’s the new country side, isn’t it, and the lyrics can all be re-designed if they catapult from the clubs and bars to theaters and stadiums where this group deserves to be. “Orange Country Sky” is a great tune with wonderful playing…it’s just going from clean-cut to the depths of depravity that gets a little jarring.
So much to absorb when Feed the Kitty delivers twelve tracks on this serving, with some titles very special, a case in point being the pause and reflect “Deep Down” with it’s The Band-inspired instrumentation, not as thick as Levon Helm’s ensemble, but the message, spirit and playing is there. Track 6, “Restless Dogs” also comes in less than three minutes, and picking up where The Byrds and even Simon and Garfunkel may have left their audiences off. You’ve felt these flavors before and the influences are many, however Feed the Kitty deliver the message and the sounds and have oh so much brio and strength. A refreshing and professional work with much commercial potential.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.
Santana IV Live at the House of Blues
Review by Joe Viglione
Bobbi Womack in “Trust Me” sings “the older the grape, the sweeter the wine,” and the guitar playing of Carlos Santana has never sounded more sweet. Featuring as part of this eight piece ensemble Journey co-founder Neil Schon on guitar / vocals and Michael Shrieve on drums the authenticity of music which has entertained millions rings true. Add two pages of liner notes from Albany New York, July 2016 via Hal Miller tucked inside the beautiful sixteen page booklet, this perfectly recorded collection is executed with the soul and precision we expect from Carlos and those he surrounds himself with.
The Earth Wind and Fire “family” feel is here in all its glory, “Freedom in Your Mind” having a rousing chorus that inspires both the live audience and the listener.
The first CD opens up with the classics “Soul Sacrifice” featuring a drum solo almost at the very beginning of the concert. It’s followed by “Jingo” and “Evil Ways,” the polished nuances of this classic material magical. Interesting to play this next to the John McLaughlin / Santana releases to get the scope of the gifts of Carlos and how he lets the magic play out in different ways on different recordings.
As with the recent Iggy Pop live at Royal Albert Hall, also on Eagle Vision, the packaging is superb with the four-page fold out with an added twist: here you get mostly classic Santana where Iggy plays all solo Pop material without going into his Stooges back catalog. The Eagle Vision boxes fit nicely on your shelf to pull out when you want to slip into the experience of quality recordings by these iconic artists.
They are such a delight to review and so essential that this writer adds them to the Boston Free Radio http://bostonfreeradio.com library for the dj’s to access immediately.
At 8:21 “Soul Sacrifice” with its throbbing percussion throws you into this mystical world, keeping the commercial hits tucked into the full performance while the band weaves its thick fabric of sound. David K. Matthews and Gregg Rolie’s keyboards swell up inside that tapestry, driving the vibrations in a fashion that is as fun as it is obvious, the opposing perspective to Mountain’s Steve Knight who would build rhythmic undercurrents - sometimes almost invisible, but making the quartet essential (where the Mountain trio without Knight resorted to pure hard rock to get its point home.) Santana IV has double the musicians to Lesley West’s crew, and a hugely different voyage in sound, the serious approach both band leaders take providing a bit of historic perspective.
The addition of Jimi Hendrix pal Ronald Isley, founding member and lead vocalist of The Isley Brothers, and the band performing Jimi’s “Third Stone from the Sun” and “Them Changes” (in the Hendrix catalog via his friend Buddy Miles) Carlos pays tributes to one of his contemporaries.
“Evil Ways” opens with pure aggression but the tender vocal and band dynamics make it a welcome treat for the Top 40 fans and a strong component of this double disc CD project and DVD. There’s lots of great music to explore on both discs and the accompanying film.
"Deep in love and starry-eyed" Peter Calo sings "If My Heart Was Yours..."
The eight songs on Peter Calo's 2016 release, Time Machine, are a new direction for the highly respected songwriter/singer/session man. For those who know Calo's soundtrack work
5)Iggy Pop Live at Royal Albert Hall
7)Stains of a Sunflower
'LAY A LITTLE LOVIN' ON ME"
Robin McNamara is scheduled for an interview on the Joe Vig POP EXPLOSION 11/2/16 on http://bostonfreeradio.com
20)The Beach Boys
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]
's album, titled after his big 1970 hit "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me," appeared on Jeff Barry
's Steed label and features that singer from the Broadway show Hair along with his cast members. The 45, as well as its non-LP B-side "I'll Tell You Tomorrow," were both co-written by the singer and his producer, with songwriter Jim Cretecos
helping out on the title track. That radio-friendly bubblegum confection brightened up the summer of 1970, but it is not indicative of the adult contemporary sound on the rest of this very listenable disc. The music on the Lay a Little Lovin' on Me
LP is actually a better reflection of the hip Broadway shows of the day. Neil Goldberg
's "Now Is the Time" would fit just as well on the Godspell
album, so different from the number 11 hit from July 1970, which no doubt inspired the likes of Richard Mondo, aka Daddy Dewdrop
, and his irreverent 1971 novelty tune "Chick a Boom" -- a frosty little bubblegum number like "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me."McNamara
is a credible songwriter on his own and it is a wonder he didn't land a couple of other hits, but it's more a wonder that he faded so quickly from the musical landscape. He did show up on radio station WMEX in Boston, allegedly ripping his shirt off like some Hair promo for DJ John H. Garabedian (famous for discovering the hit "Maggie Mae" for Rod Stewart
) and appears as a musician on aMonkees
compilation, but he just didn't reap the rewards promised by this very sophisticated endeavor. Side one ends with a tune co-written with Ned Albright
called "Lost in Boston," a fun little ditty mentioning Fenway Park that's a lot like McNamara
's solo composition "Beer Drinkin' Man." Albright
and Bob Dylan
cohort Steven Soles
co-write a very the Band
-ish "Together, Forever," and they were responsible for "All Alone in the Dark" from the Monkees
1970 disc Changes
. Jeff Barry
was a co-producer of that Monkees
event and this album's engineer, Mike Moran
, showed up there, as well, giving McNamara
's 11-song collection a certain value for the fans of that TV show. There are some great lost moments here, unexpected on a disc that became popular by putting the cast of a Broadway show on a tune appropriate for the Partridge Family
. "Got to Believe in Love" could have changed the perception as it fuses the gospel of "Hang in There Baby" and "Glory, Glory" with the pop that brought this LP to the attention of the masses. This is a solid effort all the way around.
The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds — 50th Anniversary DVD
25)Peter Calo SPOONERISM
26)Cape Ann Peter Calo
27)Wired To The Moon
28) Cowboy Song
29)Peaceful Easy Feeling Peter Calo
35)Eight Days a Week - Ron Howard
36)Clint Eastwood film SULLY
38)8 Days a Week
DOCTOR STRANGE / IMAX® 3D SCREENING
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton
Director: Scott Derrickson
Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth, Stan Lee (credit not final)
Written by: Jon Spaihts and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill (credit not final)
From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying, and totally mind-bending journey when Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016.
Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” follows the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange who, in his quest for healing after a horrific car accident, discovers powerful magic in a mysterious place known as Kamar-Taj—the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality.
From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
“Doctor Strange” stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt and Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Scott Derrickson is directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. Jon Spaihts and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill wrote the screenplay. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying and totally mind-bending journey when Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016.
ROLLING STONES STRIPPED
1)Ian Hunter "Dandy"
2)Everly Brothers Harmonies from Heaven
3)Jimi Hendrix "Power of Love
4)Charles Berthoud "Luna"
5)Journey Live in Manila
#1 "Dandy" Ian Hunter from Fingers Crossed
Artist: The Everly
Title: Harmonies from
Review by Joe Viglione
Watching the mighty Cadence Records label
spin on the documentary disc is pure magic for those of us who grew up during
and immediately after that era. My older
sister had Everly Brothers 45 rpm recordings so I remember the darker maroon
version of the label on those amazing hit recordings.
The BBC TV special includes bonus
interviews the television audience missed out on, and is as entertaining a look
to the six decades back as the music is on hit radio, even if it is the echo of
being the inspiration for Linda Ronstadt resurrecting “When Will I Be Loved” to
go to Billboard #2 in 1975, 15 years after the Phil Everly composition had lifted
itself to #8 on the Top 10 in 1960.
Their 1960 rendition of “Love Hurts” (not released as a single,) became
a #8 hit for hard rock band Nazareth in 1976, the point being that fifteen and
sixteen years after the original recordings seemed to be a lifetime, while
almost six decades later – generations later - it is up
to the documentary format to keep this vital music alive, it has – somehow –
been kept away from the fragmented radio that is such a jungle in 2016, a not very fun jungle at that, especially without a "Wake Up Little Susie" to brighten the day. That's been my gripe with Classic Rock radio stations all along, forgetting that "Locomotion" by Little Eva, "All I Have to Do is Dream" by the Everly Bros., "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, "Sky Pilot" by the Animals, "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procul Harum are timeless and so short (well, except for Sky Pilot) that they can brighten up any playlist that is bogged down with too much Bob Seger, Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd,
The exploration of what made the Everly
Brothers sound so special is essential. Their influence on the Beatles, the
Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy,
Hall and Oates leaves more on the table to investigate down the road. The Everly Brothers became the template and
it is a wonder why the songs haven’t experienced more hit cover versions in the
wilderness of new musical genres.
Keith Richards is said to have called
Don Everly "one of the finest rhythm players" – but the
quintessential rhythm guitarist, John Lennon, “borrowed” the “Wake Up Little
Susie” riff for the now-classic Yoko Ono 45 rpm “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s
Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)” – especially the live in Toronto
version with Eric Clapton. The
Beatles quoting the Everly harmonies is true honor, but Lennon utilizing the
riff of the once banned-in-Boston song, “Wake Up Little Susie” is the ultimate compliment for
Phil and Don (beyond being referenced in Paul McCartney’s “Let ‘em In”) and the
songwriting genius of Felice and Boudleaux (how DO you say his name?) Bryant.
CHEQUERS NIGHTCLUB is a real find. Here’s
something that needs to be an Eagle Rock CD, The Everly Brothers Live at
Chequers. Catching the youthful duo on
tour in Australia with these fourteen tracks is Smithsonian material. That it was a television special from down
under just shows how behind the times American TV was way back when. Brilliant and noteworthy that so much other
material missed out on being captured. Makes one more thankful that we’ve got
what we’ve got. Superb all the way
around, and the #2 disc on my personal JoeVigtop40.com for the month of
September 2016, just edging out the new Jimi Hendrix/Band of Gypsys Machine Gun
3)Jimi Hendrix Machine Gun CD
The first show from the Band of Gypsys MSG performances
5)Journey Live in Manila
6)Hayden Arp For Gabriel
released August 12, 2016