Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 2009

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Michael Jackson's DON'T STOP TILL YOU GET ENOUGH 30th Anniversary of being #1



Joe Viglione talks about a rock classic on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock

Neal Smith of Alice Cooper Group


(NS) My KillSmith CD "Sexual Savior" took four years to complete. It was written and recorded in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2007 it was completely mixed and mastered for an early 2008 release. "Leave Me Alone" was written and conceived in 2004 during the early stages of the CD.

Clint Eastwood's BLOODWORK



Courtesy Photo

Singer/songwriter, and Malden native, Norman Greenbaum, center, recently taped a segment of Live on Tape with MATV’s Assistant Director Anne D’Urso-Rose, left, and Live on Tape’s producer/host Ron Cox.

Courtesy Photo
Singer/songwriter, and Malden native, Norman Greenbaum, center, recently taped a segment of Live on Tape with MATV’s Assistant Director Anne D’Urso-Rose, left, and Live on Tape’s producer/host Ron Cox.

Local music promoter and Malden Observer correspondent Joe Viglione invited him to stop by the MATV studio where he taped this segment with Live on Tape’s producer/host Ron Cox, as well as a segment for Joe’s own Visual Radio show.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 2009

Please note. Because so many discs are flying into the mailbox I'm going to be logging them here in no particular order for March & April of 2009. The "Top 40" is now published on Gemm Magazine - so go there also for the monthly listings.
Thanks JV

Scott Couper (Bass, Guitar, Vocals) and Jay Couper (Production, engineering, drums) have been a formidable duo ever since Richard Nolan of Third Rail discovered them back in the early 1980s.

Syd's The Way We Found It is a smart and professional collection of 12 tracks (including an interlude and a prelude), ten songs that Danny Weinkauf and Syd produce in a fashion that is attractive to the ears. Recorded at Beltayne Studios in Williamstown, Vermont and mastered at the legendary MWorks in Cambridge, Massachusetts, songs like "Far Away" have drama, solid musicianship and something to say.


Calvin Arnold's "Funky Way" (to treat me) is a great indicator of what this veteran Boston soul/funk/r&b group puts out in the live clubs on the scene. Walking across Willie Alexander's "Mass. Ave" one Thursday night in April, 2009, a loud rendition of The Temptations/Rare Earth "Get Ready" (not on this disc) was blasting throughout Central Square - the Chicken Slacks Soul Revue playing to a packed Cantab upstairs where Little Joe Cook kept the college students entertained for years.

Piano/organist The Reverend Curtis Jerome Haynes and drummer Justin Berthiaume co-produced the CD, engineered by Chris Lannon who worked with Girls Night Out back in the 1980s, and though the times have changed from the days when GNO were putting a thousand people into the Channel Club, packing hundreds into the Cantab in this 2009 economy is a major accomplishment. Vocalist Durand Wilkerson takes John Fogerty's "Long As I Can See The Light" and pulls all the pop stylings out of it, bringing it purely into the realm of Stax/Volt. "Any Other Way" could be the reincarnation of Clarence Carter on this R & B party disc.

With J.Geils actually out and about these days performing at The House Of Blues as well as in the mid-west, and Duke & The Drivers releasing their exquisite "Harder Than Before" disc.

(see Calvin Arnold )

CLASSIC ROCK PRESENTS "LOST TUNES" 15 tracks from Mott The Hoople, Spooky Tooth, Blue Cheer, Kingdom Come and others is a tremendous disc, reflecting the beauty found in Mojo Magazine's "I Can See For Miles" compilation, thought not packaged as elegantly, it still is an inspiring blend of wonderful music. "Open The Door Richard" from Thunderclap Newman reinforces the brilliance of that terrific album that spawned a tune from The Strawberry Statement - "Something In The Air" (not included on this disc, but flavors of it remain in "Open The Door, Richard")

Harder Than Before Duke & The Drivers

Hadar Noiberg

Monday, March 02, 2009

March YES, Symphonic Stones, Alizon Lissance

The Definitive Buddy Guy opens with an insightful "Sit and Cry (and sing the blues)", vintage recording opening up this Shout Factory release which is a good one-disc, but certainly only an overview and not "the definitive".

This version of the Blind Faith CD, most likely the initial issue from Polydor/RSO in the digital format, has two bonus tracks that are worth seeking out. Recorded at Morgan Studios, October 7, 1969. Both the 8 song CD with the bonus tracks and 6 song traditional version have the same catalog #825-094-2. There are additional vinyl album covers as well to seek out (a la the Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsies "Puppet" cover) It is extremely rare now, a budget version was issued rather quickly, replacing the bonus disc. Perhaps because the two extra tracks, "Exchange & Mart" and "Spending All My Days", just don't sound like the polished Blind Faith that we know and love, that producer Jimmy Miller labored over. Clapton's guitar is unique, sounding more like he's joining The Seeds, and the band drops the beat about thirty-eight seconds in. But, come on, it's rare Blind Faith and it is fun! The entire song is just over three minutes while the instrumental, "Exchange & Mart", comes in at 4:18 and has the essence of BF, though it still is dramatically different...different enough. As for other Blind Faith rarities "Sleeping In The Ground" (not on this single disc) appeared on Eric Clapton's Crossroads box, and then showed up on Blind Faith "Deluxe Edition" with a previously unreleased mix as well as a slow blues version. This stuff is fun and, no, I haven't listened closely to Disc 2 of the Deluxe to see if the powers that be pulled "Exchange And Mart" out of the long jams. These 2 tracks have charm and make this pretty special. Jimmy Miller left Island Records for The Rolling Stones. But when Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood spent months jamming without a finished project Chris Blackwell invited Jimmy Miller to dinner and asked him to produce Blind Faith. According to Jimmy it took 3 days and 3 nights of non-stop work, but the masterpiece that emerged is rock and roll legend. Expert Review by Joe Viglione

Stephen Stills elegant "Spanish Suite", the 13th track on Man Alive, the first studio album from Stills in 14 years, is indicative of the fine music within, a true milestone of a recording that will, no doubt, get lost in the depths of Stephen's vast catalog. If you factor in that 1991's "Stills Alone" was just that - a pure solo effort - and that James Chrispell of called (paraphrasing him now) 1984's Right By You disc a CD whose title reviewed the disc (didn't another critic say that about Neil Young's Time Fades Away, that if you replace the word "time" with Neil Young the title reviewed the disc - Neil Young Fades Away?) - well this could be called Stephen Still's Positive Revenge because track by track it is a keeper, a very strong selection of music production, vocal prowess and superb and catchy melodies and chord changes. It is vintage stills from "Ain't It Always" (which sounds like Paint It Away...or you could sing "Young Fades Away" to the melody) to the heartfelt "Piece Of Me", there are lots of things to like about Stills working with Herbie Hancock, Neil Young and Graham Nash. In fact, "Piece Of Me" would've fit nicely on the Rusty Kershaw album Young played on, the many facets to this complicated artist all come together on this long-awaited outing. Hopefully Stills will stay in the studio and give us more...along with those rare Jimi Hendrix sessions he has in his vault. "You'll judge nobody ever out of anger" he sings on "Wounded World" which is "full of love lies". Great stuff.

This dreamy recording - Symphonic Live - is vintage Yes. Now that might seem like a redundant statement, but truth be told, in a world where artists are morphing into variations of what they once were, this sublime presentation adds to the legend in a way that "Symphonic Tributes", say - The Symphonic Stones, could never be. The ethereal atmosphere is expected and on "Standing On Sacred Ground" it works to fine effect. "Don't Go" has superb drama, but the Symphony aspect still takes the hard rock edge off the group. Where Procul Harum drove the orchestra to their pounding heights, the backing here builds a pleasant foundation to give Yes a superb platform. Very listenable and extremely effective. Joe Viglione 8:58 PM 3-2-09 Lou Reed's birthday

Marianne Faithfull doing Melanie Safka doing Marianne Faithfull is what you get when Mick Jagger's ex-girlfriend performs on a majestic version of "Ruby Tuesday" backed up by the London Symphony Orchestra. It's a reunion of sorts for Jagger and Faithfull, as the lead singer of the Rolling Stones follows his ex with a similar version of "Angie," with deeper textures than the original pop hit. This elaborate package comes in a cardboard sleeve with six pages of photos and liner notes, and is a worthwhile addition to the Rolling Stones' catalog of music. Sure there are "symphonic" albums of music by Creed, the Beatles, Depeche Mode, heck, even Symphonic Star Trek, but this package, all in black with silver ink, of course, is something special. "Angie" is downright eerie. Perhaps the late Michael Hutchence wasn't the best choice to open up the voices, beginning with his rendition of "Under My Thumb," but at least he's not awful. It's tough to make such diverse compositions as "She's a Rainbow," "Gimme Shelter," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" melt into each other with little definition, but they do that here, fading into background Muzak without a cutting voice like Faithfull to pronounce the mood. Faithfull walks away the star of the show on this project produced by Chris Kimsey, a triumphant survivor who witnessed some of this music's emergence the first time around. In that light, having the operatic Maire Brennan vocal on "As Tears Go By" comes off as a twisted joke.
for more click here:

Alizon Lissance
The title track of this intriguing dozen songs from Boston veteran Alizon Lissance tosses some splashy Bonnie Raitt influenced pop/rock bordering on country into a full array of musical styles (there's a video version embedded on the disc for your computer). Lissance asks the question "Maybe you can be my dream come true" on this album she composed and co-produced. It's a Who's Who of Boston veterans including her former bandmates from Girls Night Out, vocalist Didi Stewart and guitarist Wendy Sobel along with Myanna on tenor sax. That's 4/7ths of that famous group. Add the redoubtable Ed Spargo on bass, Steven Paul Perry from Luna/Berlin Airlift, the great Ducky Carlisle engineering, the thrice great Richard "Rosy" Rosenblatt on the engineering boards as well, and this would've gotten substantial play on 93.7's Boston Music Showcase if this writer were still producing that program on Curt Gowdy's old WCGY. Track 11 "It'll Be Alright" is a slow and stirring tour-de-force (hey, blame my computer for the tracks jumping around), but 11 segues very nicely with track #1, and that's the sign of a true pro, Myanna's sax wailing through this terrific piece. Imagine Ian Hunter covering the drama here? After many spins of this disc, "It'll Be Alright" is emerging as my favorite track. "Only Time Will Tell" is a pensive, moody number that Etta James could have a ball with. You can hear traces of mega songwriters Karla Bonoff and Harriet Schock in the background, but it is pure Lissance, her personality in control as she paints with different time signatures and vocal expressions. As hinted at in this review, Alizon runs the gamut, "Broken In Two" talks about affairs of the heart - a theme that Girls Night Out explored, but here Lissance is identifying the feelings through an uptempo country romp with boogie woogie piano and harmonica. "Icy Blue Heart" is a jazzy, bluesy cabaret-moment-in-a-spy-movie adventure with prompt piano stabs that tug at the ex-lover, a soothing vocal from Alizon, and a lovely organ/piano Spooky Tooth/Traffic feel creating a nifty undercurrent. Good sounding, well performed, and with classy graphics, it's nice to see all her friends coming out to play with Alizon and the truly inspiring result that is "So What About You." Expert review by Joe Viglione 3-4-09


The New Christy Minstrels under the Direction of Randy Sparks


Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 2009

Joe Viglione's writings are on the New York,,,,,, Second,,, Steve, Shirley, Texas Pop,,,,,,,, Barnes &,,,,, Legacy Recordings/Sony-BMG site,,

1 The Book of Taliesyn Deep Purple

A year after the innovative remake of "You Keep Me Hanging On," England's answer to Vanilla Fudge, was this early version of Deep Purple, which featured vocalist Rod Evans, and bassist Nick Simper, along with mainstays Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice. This, their second album, followed on the heels of "Hush," a dynamic arrangement of a Joe South tune, far removed from the flavor of one of his own hits, "Walk a Mile in My Shoes." Four months later, this album's cover of Neil Diamond's Top 25, 1967 gem "Kentucky Woman," went Top 40 for Deep Purple. Also like Vanilla Fudge, the group's own originals were creative, thought-provoking, but not nearly as interesting as their take on cover tunes. Vanilla Fudge did "Eleanor Rigby," and Deep Purple respond by going inside "We Can Work It Out" -- it falls out of nowhere after the progressive rock jam "Exposition," Ritchie Blackmore's leads zipping in between Rod Evans smooth and precise vocals. As Vanilla Fudge was progressively leaning more towards psychedelia, here Deep Purple are the opposite. The boys claim to be inspired by the Bard of King Arthur's court in Camelot, Taliesyn. John Vernon Lord, under the art direction of Les Weisbrich, paints a superb wonderland on the album jacket, equal to the madness of Hieronymous Bosch's cover painting used for the third album. Originals "The Shield" and "Anthem" make early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd appear punk in comparison. Novel sounds are aided by Lord's dominating keyboards, a signature of this group.Read more here:

2)TOWELHEAD Movie review on MSN

Calling this motion picture Towelhead makes the filmgoer blink for a second, as the original title, Nothing Is Private, is a bit less leading and more descriptive. Director Alan Ball creates an immediately uncomfortable setting when a young girl is sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend, betrayed by her mom, and shipped off to her frighteningly overbearing father. The central theme is the dysfunction of everyone around the 13-year-old protagonist, Jasira (played by 18-year-old actress Summer Bishil), and how the perpetual victim of circumstance has to find a survival mechanism while surrounded by huge amounts of chaos. Read more here:

3)Merle Haggard: New Light Through Old Windows on Legacy

4)Pendragon - And Now Everybody To The Stage

This very classy limited-edition triple-disc box entitled And Now Everybody to the Stage... features an 18-song, 15-track DVD with bonus material to boot -- 240 minutes total running time along with two audio discs containing 146 minutes (of the same material). Filmed and recorded on May 22, 2006, at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland, this music from the Believe 2006 tour finds the band rocking out with a harder edge. For a group that is a cult favorite, And Now Everybody to the Stage... is an enormous package usually reserved for more commercial acts, the set including a four-page booklet and eight-panel fold-out box. The slick textured presentation is a follow-up to the 2002 DVD Live...

At Last and More, taking things a step further. Drummer Fudge Smith is replaced here by Joe Crabtree, but few if any non-fans will notice, as the music is as pristine and exotic as ever, culminating in a tremendous version of Am I Really Losing You? The song is so sublime here that it screams out FM radio hit, although that kind of creature is a rare bird in the new millennium. Frontman/songwriter Nick Barrett is clearly enjoying himself re-exploring titles like Nostradamus, As Good as Gold, Breaking the Spell, and Masters of Illusion, all found on the earlier DVD Live...

At Last and More, only this time out the handsome and youthful Crabtree adds some new energy to the venerable but aging group. A bit heavier here in concert than on the retrospective The History: 1984-2000, this deluxe treasure contains a band history, an interview with Nick Barrett, and other extras including The Progumentary, a home video recording. [There's also a regular DVD edition without the two audio discs.] ~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide

5)Peter Frampton - Breaking All The Rules on

Breaking All the Rules is a good, solid effort by Peter Frampton which would have been better had he decided to break a few rules. The problem here is that Frampton is treading water, in familiar territory, singing and playing within the confines of a well constructed safe record. There is a brilliant hook in "Going to L.A." which might have been a hit had co-producer David Kershenbaum given it a little of what he would inject into Tracy Chapman seven years after this. A strong vocal from Frampton as well as a strong performance, but a failure to do what his last three albums did: generate a Top 20 hit! Billy & Bobby Alessi's "Rise Up" is in the pocket, one of the album's highlights, though it tends to sound like John Cougar's 1979 chart climber "I Need a Lover," chock full of the sound from that record and a little out of place here. Vanda and Young's eternal "Friday on My Mind" is decent, certainly better than Alice Cooper guitarist Michael Bruce's version, but not typical of Peter Frampton's repertoire and almost unnecessary. Read more here:

6.Alice Cooper's EASY ACTION on Second

7.Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes - Tooth, Fang & Claw
As Ted Nugent's dominant persona took over the sound as well as the band name, Tooth, Fang & Claw brought his Amboy Dukes concept a step closer to the stadiums than its predecessor, Call of the Wild. The bandmembers don't get photos on the back this time, it's just Nugent being a madman up against some Fender and Marshall amps. The songwriting credits on the originals are all his now as well. "Lady Luck" plays as if the "American Woman" riff by the Guess Who got inverted, placed upside down in the middle of the song, and then finds itself coated in Ted Nugent's flashy and glitzy guitar work. The instrumental "Hibernation kinda touches upon the "Journey to the Center of the Mind" riff just for a moment and veers off into points unknown. Where on previous albums, Marriage on the Rocks/Rock Bottom and even Call of the Wild, there was musical experimentation, the axe is front and center on this platter and all the experimentation is now with notes and how fast they can be played -- and in what order. Read more here:

Brainbox is also a late ‘60’s, early 70’s Dutch rhythm & blues/psychedelic band, in which Jan Akkerman played before he went on to form Focus.

Review by Joe Viglione
Holland’s Brainbox was part of the North- European Invasion consisting of Stockholm’s ABBA, Shocking Blue from the Netherlands, Denmark’s the Savage Rose, and, of course, Blue Swede, a convergence a bit more subtle than the British Invasion and spanning over a decade. While H.P. Lovecraft kept changing members around the drummer, this band would release a record with totally new people in 1972, that work entitled Parts. Yet the original Brainbox does have qualities somewhat resembling the earlier H.P. Lovecraft, and is a worthwhile collection of musically diverse and eclectic performances. The decent liner notes call this “progressive pop,” and in some respects it is, though they shift gears from the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” to the 17-minute plus original “Sea of Delight,” and take lots of other directions in between. The Damned had a song called “New Rose,” which is where the French record label got its name, and there was the aforementioned Savage Rose, but Brainbox start the album with “Dark Rose,” a blend of Jethro Tull meets the Mothers of Invention. Brainbox ups the ante by sliding into Tim Hardin and a very credible cover of “Reason to Believe” a full two years before Rod Stewart would get a B-side hit with it (the original A-side of the “Maggie Mae” single), they pull off a chameleon-like change on this to become folk rockers. Casimirz Lux has a very appealing voice with a bit of Stewart’s rasp, making “Reason to Believe” a highlight of the album.
Read more here:

Recorded in Hollywood on Valentines Day, 1981, 707 open the set up with "Live with the Girl," which could be Deep Purple's "Highway Star" gone pop. "Feel This Way" follows with the same Cars-ish thumpa thumpa riff and '80s high-end vocal setting the stage for what is found throughout this close to 46-minute concert CD. It's a spirited romp through music that .38 Special and Loverboy embraced -- think Crowded House with less creativity but a serious enough approach. That these fellows are almost as forgotten as late-'70s rockers Whiteface (or the even more obscure group White Witch from the earlier '70s) makes this release all the more appealing. It's nice to know someone cares about the music they made! Even when a Beatlesque piano opens a tune like "Rockin' Is Easy" with its Utopia/Todd Rundgren chorus, it is still solidly locked in a time warp and can't help remain an exhibit solely for those who enjoy these dated sounds. Read more here:!16413001&pid=17550&aid=744078

10)Art Garfunkel & Amy Grant The Animal's Christmas
Writer David A. Milberg calls The Animals' Christmas, the 1986 album by Art Garfunkel with Amy Grant, "one of the best Christmas albums of the '80s ...[featuring] 'Carol of the Birds.'" ... It's a unique concept and quite a different Christmas album in presentation and feel. The London Symphony Orchestra backs up the vocals of Amy Grant and Art Garfunkel alongside co-producer and lyricist Jimmy Webb's piano. Conducted by Carl Davis with the Kings College School Choir, the album fuses pop legends with classical musicianship to good effect. On the upside for consumers, none of these tunes are familiar "Christmas classics" hammered into the consciousness during the holidays. The churchlike feel of the project keeps "The Creatures of the Field," "Just a Simple Little Tune," "The Friendly Beasts," and other titles from being able to break out on seasonal radio next to tracks from Phil Spector's Christmas Album, Brenda Lee, Bing Crosby, and the other perennials who show up on the airwaves around Thanksgiving time and beyond.
Read more here:

England Dan & John Ford Coley - Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive (1979, Big Tree, 76015)

The sincerity of their days on A&M Records has turned to total formula by the time Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Jive came around — and Robert Louis Stevenson expert, author Ray McNally, makes it clear in his book on Mr. Hyde that the true pronunciation is Dr. Jeekill (as in, "I Kill and Hide"). It is quite a paradox that this justified attack on the Hollywood system uses the mispronunciation of this famous title which Hollywood forced upon the world. Were these singers that clever to have slipped this in as a sly parody? Probably not — because the sentiment in the poem here is right on, but the execution of the title track, is as musically contrived as it sounds. This album shows the worst, and the best, of this productive duo.

12)Lita Ford In Concert (Cleopatra Records)

Nazz/Stewkey Biography on Texas Pop

13)The Nazz/Stewkey
What does Robert Antoni have in common with Vincent Furnier? Both men fronted 1960s bands called Nazz and came up with theatrical stage names — Alice Cooper for Furnier, and Stewkey for lead vocalist/keyboardist Antoni. Stewkey first got the idea for the name Nazz from Richard "Lord" Buckley, a preacher/rap artist from the '50s and '60s who proclaimed "the Nazz" is coming — meaning the Nazarene, or Christ. The Yardbirds' single "The Nazz Are Blue," the flip of "Shapes of Things," also probably added a tilt toward Nazz as the name of this innovative ensemble.

14)Kerry Kearney Welcome To The Psychedelta

15)Deepfield Archetypes & Repetition

16)Peter Noone Biography on
His friend John Lennon sang "Remember remember the fifth of November" in the song "Remember" off of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, and on that day in 1947, the eternally young Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone was born in Manchester, England. The son of Joan Blair Noone and Denis Patrick Noone, he was raised in a Roman Catholic family that included five children of diverse ages, brother Damon along with sisters Denise, Suzanne, and Louise. Read more here:

17)Pure Prairie League Fire It Up

18)Composing The Beatles' Songbook (
An eighty minute documentary on the songwriting of Lennon & McCartney titled Composing The Beatles Songbook but including commentary by Johnny Rogan on songs written by the pair that were utilized by other artists -Billy J. Kramer, Peter and Gordon, Cilla Black and others. A dozen panelists including Rolling Stone Magazine's Anthony De Curtis, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice and Klaus Voorman discuss the songwriting of John and Paul and that catalog's influence. ~ Joe Viglione, All Movie Guide

19)Bobby Hebb's SUNNY on;title;1&om_act=convert&om_clk=artalb

That's All I Wanna Know on FYE

20)Grand Funk's Mark Farner on Visual Radio

21)Gabriel Gordon Gypsy Living

THE T-BONES No Matter What Shape

No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)/Sippin 'N Chippin' 2008
No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)

May Top 40 Mare Winningham, Planet of the Apes, Andy Mendelson

  Happy Birthday Mare! Years ago Mare Winningham and her husband saw me at the Paradise Theater in Boston, a club I booked for many years....