Sunday, December 02, 2012

Top 40 For December 2012

Coming in December!

The Satin Kittens, Ace of Hearts Sampler, Beatles book!, a new DVD on Producer George Martin, Ian Hunter live in Paradise and more!

These are in no particular order just yet- every month the goal is to get the discs up and put them in their proper order perhaps midway through the month.

Fantastic Ian Hunter concert I intend to review on the Rock Journalist Joe Vig page.


New York, NY (November 28, 2012)—An integral part of the 60’s British Blues Boom, legendary rock pioneers The Yardbirds took standard 12-bar blues, doubled the tempo, kicked up the amps, and carved out the mold for modern hard rock. Introducing some of the world’s greatest guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck – the band crafted such classic hits as “Train Kept Rollin’” (later covered by Aerosmith), and “For Your Love.” Now, on the cusp of the band’s 50th Anniversary, the latest incarnation of The Yardbirds will release Making Tracks, a 2DVD tour set available on December 11 via MVD Entertainment Group [MSRP $19.95].
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and founding member/drummer/composer Jim McCarty states “The DVD Making Tracks was great fun to make, and I think it really shows how young and old musicians can work together in a spirit of harmony and energy, giving credence to a great repertoire.”


Nina Simone's first official album, 1958's Jazz as Played in an Exclusive Side Street Club, is pure perfection, an amazing accomplishment for a 24-year-old pianist arranging and singing studio renditions of songs from her live set. Captured here are moments of intrigue, as Simone magically takes the listener through musical caverns that want to be explored again with repeated spins. The rendition of "Plain Gold Ring" is exotic and draws the listener back, just as the Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart classic "Little Girl Blue" (the alternate title of the album stamped on the label of the vinyl as well as on the back cover) is a gorgeous work of art, Simone adding the melody from the traditional "Good King Wenceslas" to the standard Janis Joplin would bring to rock audiences a decade later. The cover photograph of the artist on a park bench in Central Park is a play on her only songwriting contribution, "Central Park Blues," which concludes the LP. In her autobiography,
Read more here:

Release Date: 10/19/2004

For those who grew up hearing only "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer," "Unforgettable," and "The Christmas Song" on the radio, with the perception that Nat King Cole was just a legendary pop singer from somewhere in the past, the When I Fall in Love: The One and Only Nat King Cole DVD will open eyes and serve as an informative and entertaining documentary on the jazz pianist and his pioneering TV show. It is so extraordinary that it doesn't need frills, though there are nine pictures in a photo gallery as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. The 20 selections culled from the television program are presented with narration by Dennis Haysbert and include commentary from wife Maria Cole, twin daughters Timolin and Casey Cole, and musician/brother Freddy Cole, as well as the original writer/producer/director of Nat's TV show, Bob Henry. That mixture of color and black-and-white that helped make The Wizard of Oz such a classic works inadvertently very well here, with the insertion between songs of interviews tracked almost half a century after the precious black-and-white performances first aired nationally on TV. Read more here:


Review to follow

Review to follow

 Review to follow


Journeyman drummer Steve Holley has provided some of the most solid and creative beats for Paul McCartney, Kiki Dee, Joe Cocker, Julian Lennon, and Ian Hunter over the years, and though he recorded a couple of tracks in the U.K. in January of 1980 (included here), those beats never got the opportunity to be heard backing him up until the release of The Reluctant Dog, a 13-track collection of melodies and feelings that are well worth the wait. For those put off by the manufactured pop that Phil Collins runs off the assembly line, The Reluctant Dog will provide much satisfaction. Produced by Holley and bassist/guitarist Keith Lentin, the album is chock-full of surprises -- the short and sweet instrumental "Punta del Este (with daughter Amanda Holley on flute) and a bubbling Genesis-like "Entertain You" to mention just two. Holley (also listed in many credits over the years as Holly without the "e") delivers splashes of Beatles on one of the early tracks, "For Better or for Worse," which resembles the Fab Four's "Free as a Bird" phase, though recorded 15 years before that classic hit the Top Ten. This early recording features Holley on vocals, glockenspiel, piano, and drums, with Nick Pearson's electric guitar and Phil Curtis on bass. The drummer was concerned about adding the two decade-old tracks into this mix, but they bring much to the set.  Read more here:


"Pick Me Up", track 4, is a car-driving pop number that has a distinct groove and might be the best track on this fine collection.

Vol. 1 of 2 disc tribute to Jimi Hendrix, review by yours truly
 Homage and honor to Jimi Hendrix via various artist compilations has become more than a cottage industry, from the Rubber Band's Hendrix Songbook released back in the 1960s, to Pat Boone doing a hideous cover of "The Wind Cries Mary." Jimi has certainly made his mark beyond influence in a world where his music is absolutely adored. In From the Storm and Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix were the most commercial of the lot until 2004's Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix landed on the market. Released almost simultaneously with the Experience Hendrix company's official tribute comes the first of at least two collections from the Lion Music group out of Finland. Regi Hendrix, a cousin of Jimi's, writes the CD booklet essay on The Spirit Lives On, Vol. 1: The Music of Jimi Hendrix Revisited. Regi also performs on "Bold as Love" along with Jason "JMR" Richardson and Greg Howe.  Read more here:

Italian Boys, Gary Private 

PASS THE CONDIMENTS  by Jeff Mastroberti

Eric Lilljequist  NO DISTANCE
album cover is not available online.  Here's a photo of Eric performing on Visual Radio

1.That's What  3:20
2. Push  2:13
3)After All 3:01
4)Don't Make Promises 3:52
5) Listen Up  2:04
6)Thief   3:32
7)I Know 3:24
8)Morning   1:51
9)No Distance  3:14
10)Tell Me Why 2:40
11)Just Like You  3:34
12)Only Good Thing 2:34
13)Born To Sing   2:49
14)This Ain't Love 3:42A truly superb album from veteran Boston musician Eric Lilljequist of the group Orphan, No Distance contains 14 selections that exhibit spirit, tasteful musicianship and precise delivery.  It's a truly obscure gem of a recording up there with Ron Davies' 

The cover of The Beatles "Tell Me Why" is inventive and very pleasant, giving a soulful vocal approach to an essential number from the Lennon/McCartney catalog.  The dreamy addition of a line from "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the conclusion just tremendous.  

With its pretty vibes the two minute "Listen Up" is a great track on a "Thief" sounds like quasi-Prince merging with 70s folk-rock

The Groundhogs

 Eagle Rock presents Live at the Astoria by The Groundhogs

 Filmed at London's Astoria on February 20th, 1998, this was the first complete Groundhogs show ever filmed. The band was touring in support of their album "Hogs in Wolf's Clothing," their tribute to the great Howlin' Wolf, and the show starts and finishes with tracks from that album, but also includes songs from across the band's career. 


Jim Sullivan interview


Shakin' Our Souls

BLT  Jack Bruce & Robin Trower

It wasn't until the 1980 Victims of the Fury album, seven years into his solo career, that Robin Trower would employ former Procul Harum bandmate Keith Reid to provide lyrics (with Reid probably the only lyricist in history to get band status). Though this is officially a Robin Trower release entitled B.L.T., the marquee giving Jack Bruce and Bill Lordan equal heading above the double-sized name of Robin Trower, the project is shouldered by all talents involved and inhibited by a dreadful cover photo of a white bread sandwich: bacon, lettuce and tomato with -- if you look closely -- raw bacon. All concerned would have been better off titling this a Jack Bruce/Robin Trower project with drummer Bill Lordan. The vocals are all the work of Bruce with the production by Trower, and a moment like "Won't Let You Down" is among the best for both the vocalist of Cream and the guitar player from Procol Harum. "Won't Let You Down" is subtle, stunning, and beautiful. It oozes out of the speakers with double-tracked Trower guitar work that sounds like he was listening to Hendrix's Cry of Love album again. And there's nothing wrong with that. "Into Money," "What It Is" (another song about money), and "No Island Lost" are interesting because they take the West, Bruce & Laing concept further into the realm of progressive rock, a place where all parties concerned feel very comfortable. For the Trower fans who couldn't get enough of him sounding like Hendrix, take the "Voodoo Chile" riffs of "No Island Lost" and add the highly commercial voice of Jack Bruce.   Read more here: 

It should come as no surprise to fans of Captain & Tennille that Toni tackled an album of standards. The duo always threw a nod to yesteryear into the mix, having been influenced so heavily by Tennille's father Frank having recorded with the Bob Crosby Orchestra, and husband, Daryl Dragon being the son of arranger Carmen Dragon. Carly Simon had already released 1981's Torch, while Linda Ronstadt presented her first Nelson Riddle collaboration in 1983, so the way had been paved for the voice that was so successful on Top 40 to do a full album of standards. The captivating sound behind the singer on Gershwin's "Do It Again" is certainly a different setting from when Captain & Tennille dabbled with the format, the "Captain" is missing in action on this original ten-song release recorded live to two-track in Hollywood, in January of 1984. Though the singer tends to overdo it on the title track, "More Than You Know," she gets into a groove on "I've Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," Jeffrey Weber's elegant and understated production. Sammy Nestico's arrangements are gorgeous, especially on "Our Love Is Here to Stay," and after a few spins, one gets used to the singer in this environment. "Let's Do It" could have fit nicely on Toni's pop recordings with her significant other,

Read more here:


Paul McCartney in Dandy cartoon
 LONDON (Reuters) - Paul McCartney will fulfill a lifelong wish on Tuesday when he appears in the final print edition of Britain's longest-running children's comic The Dandy, a favorite of the ex-Beatle when he was growing up in Liverpool. 

Paul & Linda McCartney's RAM Deluxe Box

Deluxe Edition Box Set: 4 CD/1 DVD box set & download Remastered album, bonus audio CD, remastered Mono album, Thrillington CD, bonus film DVD, 112 page book, 5 prints in vintage style photographic wallet, 8 full size facsimiles of Paul's original handwritten lyric sheets and mini photographic book of outtakes from the original album cover photo shoot. 




MICK: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction began life as a filler for their next album. The famous opening guitar riff was to have been played by a horn section.
ROD: "In 1971, when Maggie May came out I had to go on Top of the Pops to promote it, [band] the Faces came along for a laugh and we tried - and failed - to break into the dressing room of Pan's People, the show's resident female dance troupe."
PETE: "My left ear stopped functioning . . . already damaged by [drummer] Keith [Moon's] explosion on the Smothers Brothers' show, it would never be the same again."
KENNY: "We took a minibus from Dunedin to Auckland and did concerts in about 13 cities along the length of the country. We were treated like superstars. They loved us in New Zealand."
- Mick Jagger by Philip Norman, HarperCollins, $36.99; Rod: The Autobiography by Rod Stewart, Random House, $37.99; Who I Am by Pete Townshend, HarperCollins, $44.99; Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir by Kenny Rogers, HarperCollins, $34.99; If I Only Had Time by John Rowles with Angus Gilles, New Holland Publishers, $49.99.


27) Queen Live in Budapest
3 disc set

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest [Blu Ray/2CD] [Digipak] by Queen (CD, Nov-2012, 3 Discs, Eagle Vision)

28)Rolling Stones Under Reeview 1962-1966

With the immediacy of YouTube and other internet information streams it is tough to accept the tag-line "Ultimate review and critical analysis of the music and career of The Rolling Stones" that adorns the back of this DVD package, The Rolling Stones Under Review 1962-1966. The big tease is the videoclips -- gorgeous video clips -- the Stones sitting on a stage while they present Howlin' Wolf on the TV show Shindig, Buddy Holly with a snippet of "Peggy Sue," and delicious Rolling Stones tracks on film, all too short, and spliced alongside the commentary from Melody Maker magazine's Chris Welch, R&B singer Chris Farlowe (who was also under Andrew Loog Oldham's umbrella and had hits with Jagger/Richards material), Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor -- who had performed with Mick Jagger in the band Little Read more here:

29)Rolling Stones Under Review  1967-1969

Where the Rolling Stones' Under Review: 1962-1966 had its moments with eight commentators giving us the beginnings of Stones history, this part two -- Under Review: 1967-1969 with a dozen critics and musicians interviewed -- is truly superior in its approach and in direction, a perfect segue to the unnamed part three of this trilogy from Chrome Dreams/Sexy Intellectual, the very excellent Under Review for Keith Richards. Critic Keith Altham is on all three documentaries as is Tom Keylock, and they add wonderful insight, notably Altham's essential critiques and historical perspective. Thomas Arnold is the narrator, as he is on the Richards disc, replacing Mandy O'Neal from the first volume, and the storyline is meatier as the "greatest rock & roll band in the world" moves into these new....READ MORE HERE

30)DVD Review: “The Rolling Stones, 1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years”

Robert Barry Francos review

 read more here:

The Rolling Stones are a three-act play, all positioned around lead guitar: The first was the Brian Jones early period (1962-1969), the middle were the Mick Taylor years of growth (1969-1974), and then there is the Ronnie Wood time of pop malaise and decline (1974-present). Obviously, from the title, this British telley documentary deals with the center portion.

While I’m more of a Brian Jones era kinda guy, there is no doubt that the Rolling Stones had a growth spurt under Mick Taylor’s tenure that was bolstered in part by (and not given enough credit for here) producer Jimmy Miller a nice (though drug addled) Brooklyn boy who was very approachable the few times I met him in Joe Viglione’s kitchen in the 1980s.

31)Easy Action Alice Cooper

The author of the book Alice Cooper, Steve Demorest, accurately calls this "the great undiscovered" Cooper album. Pretties for You is a difficult record, and Love It to Death is a classic, but this pre-Bob Ezrin album, created with help from Neil Young producer David Briggs, might be the perfect picture of an evolving Alice Cooper Group. "Mr. & Misdemeanor" has Cooper beginning to define his nasty trademark vocal style: "Here's new pretties for you/nobody likes me but we adore you." Cooper became known for writing two-and-a-half- to three-minute catchy tunes with negative themes, augmented by longer pieces toward the end of the recordings. With that in mind, this is almost pre-production for Love It to Death, although the band is more inventive here. "Shoe Salesman" could be Strawberry Alarm  Read more here  :

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top 40 for November

#1 The Velvet Underground

6 CD Boxed Set on UMG - Universal Music Group

27 minutes and 56 seconds of a wonderful   "The Nothing Song" concludes this set, though it is hard for a critic to gush when the "box" is visible on the internet for 5 listening sessions and a time limit!  I guess major corporations do not realize that sometimes it takes days and days to get a handle on the music being communicated.  That being said, I'll get more information out on this important new Velvet Underground release.

See the tracking here:


#2 Skyfall

#2 Skyfall

2)James Bond 
  by Joe Viglione
As with the gorgeous camerawork in the Robert Zemeckis epic film Flight, the stunning visuals in Skyfall set the tone for the owners of the 007 franchise to go back to what a Bond film is all about: intrigue, drama, a superb score, breathtaking scenery and our hero up against a mentally deranged, maniacal and thoroughly damaged human being.
So what if Daniel Craig comes off less the suave spy and more like a hard-hitting blood ‘n guts detective Mike Hammer from Mickey Spillane’s novels…the film is pure Bond that we know and love from days gone by. And what is an interesting aspect of 007 lore is that without the huge marquee attractions of Sean Connery, Roger Moore (TV’s The Saint) and Pierce Brosnan (TV’s Remington Steele), great stories became the “stars” replacing those big names. Some of the best of these stories were written for the lesser-known Bonds – George Lazenby’s serious (and truly underrated) 1969 performance as 007 in the thrilling On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – directed by Peter R. Hunt with editing by John Glen (who also worked on the TV series “Secret Agent”), Timothy Dalton’s smooth acting in 1987’s very good The Living Daylights with an even better storyline to follow in License to Kill (1989)…and now, Skyfall. Important to note that the aforementioned Glen went from editing Bond films (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and others) to directing both License to Kill and Living Daylights.  Read more here:

image description 

Flight: Taking Drugs And Flying Planes

by Joe Viglione
10 November 2012
Zemeckis' latest offering will have you grasped to your seat and is one you'll have to see more than once at the Cinema.

Flight is a terrific piece of filmmaking and a morality play from one of the masters of the craft. Robert Zemeckis puts everything on the table here, including originality, something one doesn’t see in mainstream motion pictures too often these days. With “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones playing throughout one of the trailers the internal and the external chaos that are the foundation of this movie are delicately put in a two and a half minute YouTube.
As I told Bob Zemeckis during an interview for this film the late Jimmy Miller, producer for Traffic and The Rolling Stones, would be most pleased with the inclusion of his tracks “Sympathy For The Devil” and the aforementioned “Shelter” from the Stones as well as Traffic’s rendition of Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright”.
“Alright” appears at the beginning courtesy of Joe Cocker, then we get Denzel Washington doing his version on the plane sans band, and Traffic’s over the closing credits.  Read more here:

4)Etta James Live at Montreux

Live At Montreux 1993 
Etta James
Live At Montreux 1993
$ 26.11
Blu Ray Disc
Eagle Vision
Release date: 08/24/2012
I wish Janis Joplin were sitting next to me to help with the comments on this extraordinary Etta James disc. When a powerhouse like Etta interprets The Eagles and makes them listenable, achieving what mere humans believe to be impossible, you know those vocal chords and that spirit were touched by the hand of God. Live At Montreux 1993 gives the 1993 concert plus bonus tracks from 1975, 1977, 1989 and is a delightfully delicious smorgasbord of the master’s classics and more.
“Take It To The Limit” goes from the slow Eagles ballad to a bountiful blues number that would have been preferable on pop radio. Four years after the Staple Singers had a 1971 hit with “Respect Yourself” it got Ettazized – and a testament to the hard-working performer is how consistent her voice is across the decades, 70s, 80s and 90s all providing a perfect picture of Ms. James ability to communicate material in a way foreign to the multitude of lesser talents.
“Sugar on the Floor” was the flip side of Elton John’s 1975 45 RPM “Island Girl”, a Kiki Dee composition from her 1973 album “Loving and Free” (see my review on In Etta’s hands it is absolutely amazing, and something Kiki has got to be very proud of.
“Tell Mama”, a terrific Cadet single from Etta – re-established by Janis Joplin on her final concert tour which included the now-famous Festival Express – is re-worked here along with the 1967 flip side to that treasure, “I’d Rather Go Blind” (Cadet #5578 for you completists! I’ve got my copy). Etta-heads everywhere will adore each and every track, and it brings back the glorious memories for those of us lucky enough to have seen her in concert.

5)DVD Review: The Who Live in Texas ’75

by Joe Viglione on October 23, 2012
Post image for DVD Review: The Who Live in Texas ’75 The Who when they were great, with Keith Moon slashing away on the drums, vintage stuff that starts off with a superb rendition of “Substitute” followed by “I Can’t Explain”  Even the deplorable “Squeeze Box” sounds good in this setting and on this outing…thankfully followed by the antidote… “Baba O’Reilly”.
This is an amazing trip back with an 8 page booklet to boot and film footage that is in the style of the old TV show, Rock Concert. The material is at the mercy of the stage lighting but it feels real and sounds excellent. Roger Daltrey is in good voice and after so many Superbowl and other high-profile gigs of the new millennium it’s amazing how those pounds and wrinkles just melt away.   This is a raw, hungry Who, superstars with a mission and playing an enormous amount of hits for their fans.  Pete Townshend strains for the notes on his part in “O’Reilly”, but the youthful abandon of The Who as the entertainers in their teenage wasteland is amazing…November 20th 1975 at The Summit in Houston, Texas is now etched in stone with selections from the rock opera Tommy as well as essential hits and a splashy and very exciting “Roadrunner.”
This is the Who as I remember them when they played Boston in 1973…there was nothing quite like it…and by the time Quadrophenia rolled around, so did a bit of the magic, which pretty much evaporated with the passing of Keith Moon.
This IS the magical Who that we know and love with Moon in great form…and his bandmates orbiting his controlled chaos.  It’s simply wonderful and essential for your collection.
Some notes: Keith Moon passed away on September 7, 1978, less than 3 years after this performance captured the madman drummer in his prime.  Born on August 23, 1946 he had just turned twenty-nine and here on this tape a true force, making this an essential snapshot of one of the all-time great rock drummers at the absolute peak of his power.  Read more here:

6)Music Review: Steve Gilligan – Jacob’s Well

by Joe Viglione on November 5, 2012
Post image for Music Review: Steve Gilligan – Jacob’s Well Steve Gilligan of The Stompers and Fox Pass has put together one of the most musical albums of the year, a lengthy 15 track disc that covers multiple genres. I call it New Wave Celtic Folk, pretty sounds from stringed instruments with the perfect performances we expect from this veteran Boston area musician and his friends. Two tracks feature a Stompers reunion (WMWM DJ Doug Mascott loves that!) while an instrumental, “Niki’s Blue Waltz,” sounds like an out-take from September Song or Lost in the Stars, two notable Kurt Weil tributes discs “Little Willow” could be a lost Jethro Tull track while “Waiting for Winter” is drawn from Neil Young’s Harvest “well.” And while the collection is most consistent the final chapter, “Wounds”, seems a bit out of place, almost going into a quasi-Velvet Underground third album moment in conflict with most of the other music presented here.. “What’s a Little Rock & Roll Between Friends” also throws you for a curve, a sort of rockabilly moment amidst the borderline classical sounds.
The title, Jacob’s Well, probably references the karstic spring located in Texas Hill Country north of Wimberley Texas (according to Wikipedia), not to be confused with Jacob’s ladder. Eleven of the fifteen tracks are under four minutes, most of them short bursts of joyous ideas that features playing which is simply exquisite. Conspicuous in their absence are the members of Fox Pass, though Mr. Gilligan may have wanted to stretch a little and present a different side of his personality. When added to the duo CD with Jon Macey, Everything Under the Sun, and work with folk trio City of Roses as well as Fox Pass, Jacob’s Well – along with FP frontman Jon Macey’s current release, Intention (15 more tracks – even lengthier than Jacob’s Well), one gets a clearer since of the vibrant and knowledgeable parts that make up the endearing New England groups Gilligan, Macey and their comrades are part of.

7)Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Gary DeCarlo

Some artists become synonomous with the song they are famous for - Little Joe Cook is inseparable from "Peanuts" and he calls himself the "peanut man" with a big Cadillac - the Peanut mobile; Bobby Hebb toured with the Beatles and co-wrote the Grammy winner for Lou Rawls - "A Natural Man", and has the mega Northern Soul hit "You Want to Change Me", but "Sunny" is what tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of people around the world know him by.   Jimmy Buffet takes his huge following to "Margaritaville" while Ian Lloyd of Stories is Mr. Brother Louie himself.   

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye: The Story Behind the Record" by Marie Rose Scinto is chock full of photos of DeCarlo and gives long time fans of the song a very intimate portrait of the singer that one can never get from hearing a #1 hit.    Hopefully it will generate more interest in both DeCarlo and the immortal song.

Fancy "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
(this is a disco act, not the group Fancy who hit with "Wild Thing")

Authorhouse page on the book

Gary DeCarlo sings "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"



What is a "Cheesecake Girl" ? 

A pin-up chick!  Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, WayneJayne County, Marilyn get the picture



Cheesecake Girl: Scenes from Lollipop Lounge

review forthcoming


Elizabeth Borg - Vocals/Lyrics/Misinformation

Aaron Dlugasch - Guitar/Bass/Drums/Synth/Negotiations

Through And Through - Total Brutality Mix (rough)  

Creative and unique, Our Flaws Remain is at times minimalist, other times overwhelming.  "Play With Me" bridges the gap between synth and hardcore, something that would make Lord Manuel the Astral Warrior proud.  Elizabeth Borg's vocals sounds like they were recorded on a Borg ship from Star Trek the Next Generation, Dlugasch's vulgarities straight out of Wendy O'Williams inside her chainsaw going rap.   Almost hypnotic but with enough irritants to keep you from falling asleep.  The march of the clones in Star Wars' Clone Wars, it takes "Mazeh?" with its incessant, repetitive quirks to bring you further down the rabbit hole.   "New Toys" is one of my favorites, dreamy E Borg vocals over angry sounds that don't just underscore her communications but are mixed in like a chocolate and vanilla cake mix, both sounds swirling through the batter as the egg beater descends to throw it into a number of directions...and dimensions.  Good stuff.

Listen to this radio show

 11)Spot Mary

Music Review: Spot Mary Full Of Grace – Joey Ammo

by Joe Viglione on October 18, 2012
Post image for Music Review: Spot Mary Full Of Grace –  Joey Ammo Arlocor Music has released a 5 song maxi-CD from Joey Ammo, recorded at  New Alliance Audio in Cambridge.  It is a terrific outing from the former lead singer of Boston area legend Birdbrain in a nice compact package rife with the obligatory religious overtones.   Opening with a quick burst of “Love Me”, in all its glorious two minutes and fifty seconds, the authoritative riff brings Seattle-styled alt rock to this era with the gritty determination that was such a big part of Birdbrain. The unrequited love hook is followed by Badfinger/Eric Clapton/Cream kinda jangles.  Mike Davy and Ammo are a charging guitar duo with lines that flourish, Davy and Alan Ferix (bass) also adding great vocal harmonies.
“Glue” is even shorter (and heavier) on the Beatles melody flavors and absolute George Harrison guitar lines that are a delight and make this possibly my favorite track of the half a dozen tunes offered – 5 official titles and one “bonus track.”  What is it with this “bonus track” mania? Steve Gilligan of Fox Pass/The Stompers has one on his new release, Jacob’s Ladder, and like…people?…can we just call these 6 song or 15 track releases?  Now that we’ve got that out of the way…”Glue” has all the elements of a hit single, nice vocal break, great hook and a quick fadeout.  “Bigger” clocks in at 2:35 and it crosses a plodding Black Sabbath riff with the original New York Dolls after the Dolls learned how to play.  It’s menacing and would be great for the next Godzilla flick.   Read more here:

12) The Rolling Stones
"Doom and Gloom"

13)Jon Macey "Look Both Ways"
     a song from the cd INTENTION

Published on May 20, 2012 by
Video from the Jon Macey album "Intention" on Actuality Records. Concept by Jon Macey; execution and editing by Tim Casey.

SEE FULL REVIEW AT #30 on this blog

14)David Smale of Yardbirds at Tupelo Hall with Joe Viglione on Visual Radio Sept. 9, 2012

15) HITCHCOCK  From Anthony Perkins to Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock (the film) is an improvement over Toby Jones portrayal of Hitch in the TV movie “The Girl”, both playing “the Master of Suspense” – the 60 year old “most famous director in the history of the medium” as the trailer brags.   This Hitchock movie puts its emphasis on Psycho, the film that emerged after Hitch picked up the rights to Robert Bloch’s classic and what we get is, essentially,  a big budget look at author Stephen Rebello’s work -Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho – with mixed results.

Hopkins fares better here than Leonardo DiCaprio taking on J. Edgar Hoover, the subject matter of each film having rather large larger than life figures.  But one needs to suspend belief in both instances, and that’s where other elements take center stage – Helen Mirren as Alma Reville Hitchcock, as well as the selling, promoting and story of the legendary black and white film, Psycho.

Wikipedia reports that Rebello “wrote additional drafts that shifted the story’s focus to the complex personal and professional relationship of Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, during the filming of Psycho.”  Interesting that the author got to participate in the major motion picture, and if this was of anyone but Hitchcock, some of the lethal criticisms would never even be entertained.   It’s not as bad as some critics might think at first glance (Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe comes to mind as someone in that category), and as stated in part 1 of this series, it’s nice to have the Hitchcock brand getting some recognition 32 years after his April 29, 1980 passing.

Read more here:

16) THE GIRL - Toby Jones and the silly putty effect
What sounds like a movie version of the Marlo Thomas TV series, That Girl, is a title lacking in distinction for the HBO British offering (distributed by the BBC) in advance of the Anthony Hopkins feature film, Hitchcock. And with attention focused on a multitude of iconic collectibles this autumn – the 6 CD Velvet Underground boxed set, books on Rod Stewart, Kenny Rogers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the timing is right for the Alfred Hitchcock brand to go mainstream again. Problem is that both The Girl and the Hitchcock films in some way dilute rather than add to the legend, though both flawed works have their redeeming qualities. This two-part series will focus on the made for TV film, which I’ve watched numerous times now only to come away with one provocative line that quickly defines what this exercise is all about – “You will make yourself sexually available to me at all times.” That sums up and exposes the lurid “shock” director Julian Jarrold went for – National Enquirer-type sensationalism rather than a focus on the horror of thousands of birds pecking away at your head.

The “redeeming value” is that this film also, inadvertently, gives us a look into the making of The Birds which, along with Psycho, is one of the greatest one-two punches in cinematic history. With the Alfred Hitchcock Hour on television, 93 episodes from 1962-1965, there was great activity from Hitch in between 1960′s PSYCHO and 1963′s The Birds. The TV series reads like a who’s who of Hollywood at the time, it’s library containing huge, celebrated names for directors, stars and writers. “Off Season”, the 29th episode of Season 3 was directed by William Friedkin eight years before 1973′s The Exorcist and stars John Gavin of “Psycho” while being written by Robert Bloch, who authored the book Psycho (not the screenplay).
Read more here:

17) Rolling Stones Some Girls Live

18) Muddy Waters / The Rolling Stones

(From the publicity sheet)  Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones: Checkerboard Lounge Live

 On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Buddy Guys’ club, The Checkerboard Lounge, to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn’t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time.

19) Chris Byers of New England Studios on Visual Radio

20)Black Diamond  Groundhogs
With the opening chords of "Body Talk" on Black Diamond, this pop/rock collection of Tony "T.S." McPhee tunes is a decidedly different affair from the Groundhogs of the 1960s. Sure, "Fantasy Partner" has an updated blues feel, but the longtime rhythm section of bassist Pete Cruickshank and drummer Ken Pustelnik are replaced here by Martin Kent and Mick Cook, respectively, with Rick Adams added on guitar to complement McPhee's interesting playing. The foursome surround a white pyramid on the back while McPhee stares out from the cover alone, looking like Carlos Santana in the throes of musical ecstasy. It's not to say that the music on Black Diamond isn't the Groundhogs. The original trio did do an admirable job of interpreting the blues. This edition of the band is sort of like Bob Welch taking over Fleetwood Mac  Read more here:

21)Groundhogs Blues Obituary  1969
 [-] by Joe Viglione

Recorded during June of 1969 at Marquee Studios in London with Gary Collins and Colin Caldwell engineering, the trio of Groundhogs put the blues to rest on Blues Obituary in front of a castle on the Hogart-designed cover while six black and whites from photographer Zorin Matic grace the back in morbid Creepy or Eerie Magazine comic book fashion. Composed, written, and arranged by Tony "T.S." McPhee, there are seven tracks hovering from the around four- to seven-minute mark. The traditional "Natchez Burning," arranged by McPhee, fits in nicely with his originals while the longest track, the six-minute-and-50-second "Light Is the Day," features the most innovation -- a Ginger Baker-style tribal rant by drummer Ken Pustelnik allowing McPhee to lay down some muted slide work  Read more here: 

22)The Groundhogs

Groundhogs, The
- Live At The Astoria  
New York, NY (August 28, 2012)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the September 18 DVD release of Live At The Astoria by The Groundhogs [Pre-book Order Date August 24, MSRP $11.98].

Filmed in London on February 20, 1998, with audio in Dolby Digital Stereo, this 12-song 81-minute excursion

A comic book hero idea put to music with Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas' Jim Dandy, the Who's John Entwistle, Justin Hayward, Carmine Appice, Eddie Jobson, Keith Moon, Nicky Hopkins, Kenny Jones, the then-hip backing vocalist of the Thunderthighs, Bill Bruford and others add performances here which remind one of the film project Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The problem with Flash Fearless is that it is all names and no substance, the songwriting subpar. Elkie Brooks has a great voice, but the song "Sacrifice" has little to offer, Terence Hillyer and Dave Pierce's music and lyrics pedestrian at best. John Entwistle's vocal on "To the Chop" sounds like it is straight from Rocky Horror Picture Show, Leslie Duncan, Doreen Chanter and Jill Mackintosh's background vocals are way out in the mix, in a song that can't decide if it is '50s, '60s or perhaps out of place on this strange project.  Read more here:


Review: George Martin DVD goes deep into record producer's career

25) A QUESTION OF TIME  Jack Bruce
A Question of Time is an album to appreciate, as Jack Bruce nicely wraps his diverse styles up in rock & roll packaging. Willie Dixon's "Blues You Can't Lose" is extraordinary noise, the late Nicky Hopkins bringing his unmistakable piano to a mix of Albert Collins' leads, Jimmy Ripp's slide and rhythms, Bruce's bass, harmonica, and voice, and the strong drumming of Dougie Bowne. In its slow dirge statement, "Blues You Can't Lose" is as powerful as the blistering Bruce tune that opens the set, "Life on Earth." "Make Love" is a great change of pace; the first of eight Pete Brown/Jack Bruce collaborations, it utilizes innovative percussion, subtle keyboards, and -- surprise of surprises -- effects on Bruce's voice. Ginger Baker toured with Bruce at this point in time, and though Bowne is admirable on the epic pop/rock of "No Surrender," it is Baker's contributions to "Hey Now Princess" (with Ripp doing his best Clapton) and his definite drums on "Obsession" (with guitars by Allan Holdsworth and Vivian Campbell) that bring this disc to the Cream level. The transition from "Hey Now Princess" to the Willie Dixon tune is just lovely, while "Obsession" is perfect Disraeli Gears-type music.  Read more here:

26) Frank Dello Stritto and Joe Viglione discuss Alfred Hitchcock, "The Girl", and the Anthony Hopkins film HITCHCOCK on Visual Radio November 23, 2012

27) Sophia Loren in Two Women discussed by Frank Dello Stritto and Joe Viglione on WinCAM Movies, broadcast at 9 PM in Winchester, Mass

28)Demos That Got The Deal for Harriet Schock, Visual Radio November 2, 2012

29)   The Demo That Got The Deal for         Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter Solo

30) INTENTION by Jon Macey

Review by Joe Viglione

“Trapped (By My Own Creation)”  - the Frankenstein complex gone pop – opens Intention, the Fox Pass co-founder taking things to a different space – a big departure from his work with Steve Gilligan on 2007’s Everything Under The Sun, veering off into a Velvet’s Third direction and away from the powerful sound generated by Fox Pass.  And therein occurs the dilemma for long-time Fox Pass fans, with the band tight and solid my preference would be for less gigging and more recording.  Intention seems to cry out for the full band sound, the songs here like black and white sketches of what could be.   Take “Fourth Time’s the Charm” for example, the pretty guitars beg for accompaniment.   Perhaps the band can take these performances and go for that mystical 3rd Velvet Underground sound, the muted guitar, the jazz-band feel behind some of Lou Reed’s most introspective deliveries after the onslaught of “Sister Ray” the album before.
“As the Twig is Bent” could come to life with a slippery bass line and throbbing Moe Tucker boom boom sounds.  The seven and a half minutes of “Jefferson County, Early November” seeming like a cross between Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 Nebraska and Bob Dylan’s The Great White Wonder bootleg, certainly parallel to the influences that Fox Pass draws from, but not fully finding the sparkle.  “All These Ghosts” and “This is Just a Song” would both benefit from additional guitars, a Badfinger sound backing up the essayist to delight the audience that is drawn to this type of poetry put to music.  The 5:37 of “Paris Street” seems like a man lamenting something but not quite sure of what’s absent in his life, the melancholy picked up quickly by the 3:46 of “Look Both Ways.”  With Fox Pass taking one track here, maybe “Right in Front of Your Eyes” or “Look Both Ways”, and seeking a “hit single” (whatever that is in the 21st century), the message would get out to a wider audience.  Spruced up and ready for radio is what some of these titles cry out for.  The CD Baby site notes that the disc is “Veteran Boston songwriter/producer's new solo album featuring philosophical folk rock minus the rock.” 
This long-time listener wants the artist to put the rock back in.

Jon Macey and Fox Pass released seventy-two and a half minutes on Intemporel, the 17 track 2nd full-length Fox Pass CD in 2010. The follow-up a year later, Intention, is Macey solo , 15 songs – close to seventy-two additional minutes (71:56 to be precise), which CD Baby lists as “urban folk”.   It’s an enormous amount of sound for critics to consume, especially with other artists of the genre issuing dozens of titles – Fred Gillen Jr. with 11 on Match Against a New Moon (2010; 39 minutes, 21 seconds) or his 17 tracks on 2012’s Silence of the Night or the 12 tracks on Christopher Brown’s Characterist, which leads me to believe the CD single is the way for veteran artists like Jon Macey to go.  Get Fox Pass to take on a couple of these songs, have Macey put on his substantial producer’s hat, and let the music play.

31) Gallagher on Visual Radio with Joe Viglione October 11, 2011 at WinCAM



17th Season of Joe Viglione's Visual Radio - a quick pre-production clip January 5, 2012

33) Mitch Ryder
The Detroit-Memphis Experiment

Mitch Ryder's voice is in great shape as Steve Cropper takes over the production reigns from industry legend Bob Crewe. There are more than a few digs at Ryder's past in the liner notes, but the music is truly the voice from Detroit meeting the sound of Memphis. The 12 songs here are statements, all clocking in under four minutes and above two and a half. These compact tunes like "I Get Hot" and the Cropper/Levise original "Long Long Time" -- not the Linda Ronstadt hit -- have Ryder/Levise pouring his well-known voice all over the grooves. "Boredom" is the strangest, and prettiest, song in the lot, written by Matthew Fisher, Gary Brooker and Keith Reid of Procul Harum bringing a British progressive pop sound to this rhythm and blues album, to good effect. Island vibes pervade this departure from the expected Mitch Ryder as well as Booker T sound. It's a delight. "Push Aroun'" would be fine for Wilson Pickett but it sounds like early Lou Reed circa Cycle Annie, Ryder's voice smoother than usual, with super little guitar licks bubbling under and over the hot rhythm. Cropper says in his liner notes that this started as an "Experiment" but became the "Detroit Memphis Experience." That is a more accurate description. The blues/gospel touches of "I Believe" and the Cropper/Redding co-write "Direct Me" on the second side blend nicely with the subtle rendition of "Raise Your Hand," a tune Janis Joplin performed with her Kozmic Blues Band and which obtained more noteriety because of the rekindled interest in her through the magic of box sets. "Sugar Bee" and "I Get Hot" are fine little numbers.  Read more here:

 Mention my review of Kiki Dee's LOVING & FREE in my new Etta James Blu ray areview as she covers SUGAR ON THE FLOOR

35)Ray Charles

Live in Concert 


  by Joe Viglione
This classic 1964 recording by Ray Charles includes 12 vintage tracks performed to perfection. His voice is in great shape, and the recording by Wally Heider is a marvel for its day; all the instruments are placed nicely with Charles' voice out front where it belongs. There's a slinky version of "Hallelujah I Love Her So," the musicians creating nice little changes behind Charles' soulful nuances. The singer tells us Miss Lillian Ford of the Raelets "helps out" on "Don't Set Me Free"; it's a duet and a nice change of pace. Rick Ward's tacky liner notes fail to say who is backing up the singer at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, except for David "Fathead" Newman credited with the tenor solo on "Swing a Little Taste," the opening track. Not to be confused with the 1973 re-release Ray Charles Live, which is comprised of 1958 and 1959 concerts, this album is called Live in Concert, and is Charles in Los Angeles after a Japanese tour in 1964. "What I'd Say" and a nice version of "Margie" are here, along with a six-minute take on "I Gotta Woman." For the finale he has the Ray Charles Choir come out to help close the show with a marching-band version of "Pop Goes the Weasel.  Read more here:

#36)Fox Pass
The mark of craftsmanship on songs like "Hit or Miss," "Saving Grace," and "Dream Inside Your Heart" would be hard to find on many "debut" albums, and 32 years after their 1972 formation in Arlington, MA, Fox Pass bring insightful lyrics and strong melodies to the world on their first full album. Of course having released a classic indie single with "I Believed" in 1976 -- a year that saw them opening for Roxy Music in Boston -- with the duo of Mike Roy and Jon Macey heading off to Mercury Records to record two albums with Tom Dickie & the Desires in the early '80s, well, this debut is actually more like a diamond hewn from decades in a business rife with uncertainty. Barry Marshall's production crystallizes the performances -- taking a "Sometime Saturday Girl" to bring that Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart vibe into the new millennium. Marshall has known the group almost since its inception and truly understands the work of Jon Macey and Mike Roy better than Ed Sprigg and Martin Rushent did for the Tom Dickie albums -- all due respect to the highly competent Sprigg and Rushent. The chemistry between the artist and the producers on those Desires albums just wasn't there. Read more here:

37)Everything Under the Sun  - Jon Macey / Steve Gilligan


[-] by Joe Viglione
Steve Gilligan and Jon Macey are two veterans of the Boston music scene as well as half of the band Fox Pass, and their debut CD as a duo, Everything Under the Sun, features a dozen fine original compositions that are democratically split -- five from each songwriter with two collaborations. The title track is one of those co-writes and it features an uptempo Everly Brothers harmony à la the Beatles on "Two of Us" from the Let It Be CD, and is one of the poppier episodes before the singers touch upon the other musical worlds they fancy. With longtime producer Barry Marshall intentionally keeping the production sparse, it allows Gilligan's superb use of mandocello, mandolin, Dobro, and harmonica -- as well as Jon Macey's dulcimer playing -- to shine under the perfect guitar strums. When experienced live in concert, it is those exotic instruments coupled with the strong songwriting that help the pair create a magic that their friend and colleague Jonathan Richman sought when he traded the loud underground rock in for the flamenco guitar. But where Richman tells his song-stories from the protagonist's point of view, Macey and Gilligan indulge their passion for the music of Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, the Louvin Brothers, and, deliberate or not, Bob Dylan, in a reverent way that keeps their personalities from overpowering the material.   Read more here:

38) Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon
Review by Joe Viglione

Elektra Records and their superstar, Carly Simon, repeated Paul McCartney's July 1973 feat of reaching #2 with a James Bond theme four summers later as Elektra single #45413, "Nobody Does It Better", bubbled under the top spot on the hot 100 for a few weeks (hitting #1 for a long stretch on he Adult Contemporary charts). The singer's distinctive voice which opens and closes the James Bond Spy Who Loved me soundtrack lp (with an instrumental version included on the album as well, naturally) was written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager giving Carly that cachet of being included in the very exclusive club that is the world of 007 film music. It is one of the many impressive Bond themes, a song eventually covered by Julie Andrews, Mantovani, London Pop Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Captain & Tennille and so many others. The 1977 Spy Who Loved Me film's score garnered nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Academy Award, while the Hamlisch/Sager song was nominated by both organizations that year as well. Perry Mason may have lost only one case, but as Sean Connery says in Never Say Never Again, James Bond has never lost.    Read more here:

 39)Yvonne Elliman  Night Flight

 Night Flight is a gorgeous album containing Yvonne Elliman's only number-one hit, "If I Can't Have You," written by the three Bee Gees brothers, from the film Saturday Night Fever. It is a pop masterpiece, the only track on the album produced by Freddie Perren. Perren gives the song a big production, which sounds like the Bee Gees's work with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, and the hardworking singer from Honolulu gets a much deserved chart topper to help spread her gospel. She opens the album with Neil Sedaka's "Baby Don't Let It Mess Your Mind," featuring a slow tempo more laid-back than the composer's version, and simply delightful. She covers "Prince of Fools," a song co-written by Nickey Barclay from the group Fanny, Stephen Bishop's moody "Sailing Ships," her distinctive and powerful voice gliding over Robert Appere's shimmering production work, and Mentor Williams' "I'll Be Around," not the much covered Spinners' hit but a nice ballad co-written by the famous producer and Jack Conrad. There's a taste of reggae with "Lady of the Silver Spoon," and a truly elegant adult contemporary number, "Down the Backstairs of My Life." As Grace Slick left the sexual ambiguity in "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," so too does Elliman on this rendition, and good for her.
read more here:
40)Endless Flight  Leo Sayer

Endless Flight

Richard Perry's production on Endless Flight, coupled with the tremendous song selection, makes it superior to the 1977 follow-up, Thunder in My Heart (also produced by Perry, but with not as much heart), with this project remaining big through most of that same year. The two number one hits, a catchy Vini Poncia/Leo Sayer co-write, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," and a cover of the title track to Albert Hammond's 1976 disc, When I Need You, are essential career components that sound great years later. It's amazing how much more substantial this album is over the somewhat contrived Thunder in My Heart which followed. Opening the disc with a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Leo Sayer song like "Hold on to My Love" is how to get yourself into the history books before the record is even out of the box. The Barry Mann/Leo Sayer composition "How Much Love" on side two was the third chart single, going a bit beyond the Top 20 in the U.S. With strings arranged by Gene Page, Ray Parker on guitar, and Steve Gadd on drums, Sayer had a leg up on the competition. There's a cool photo of the tall Richard Perry walking down the street with the smaller-framed Sayer, and their working relationship reached its commercial zenith here. Willie Weeks provided the bass to "When I Need You" with Jeff Porcaro on drums, David Bowie's guitarist Earl Slick on guitar, and Michael Omartian and James Newton Howard on keys (Omartian and Larry Carlton both show up on Albert Hammond recordings as well); it's perfect musicianship and perfect timing for this most artistic project by Sayer.  Read more here: 


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....