Monday, October 24, 2016

October Joe Vig Top 40 October 2016 Doctor Strange, Peter Calo, Santana IV, The Beach Boys

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The Joe Vig Top 40 for October 2016

1)Ian Hunter

2)DR STRANGE  Movie Review

Dr Strange

Film review by Joe Viglione

    Marvel, with this wonderful Dr. Strange film, has done what the former Wachowski brothers failed to do with that intensely awful Jupiter Ascending – Stan Lee’s comic book company-turned-movie-maker creating a new Matrix film by utilizing a secondary character from the repertoire of ‘the house of ideas,’ while also engineering a terrific opening into the world of the mystic masters.  

    Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange may have been a minor player compared to Doctor Donald Blake (alter ego of the Mighty Thor, and keep that in mind when watching this film for a surprise) but when he finds his relic – or when his relic finds him – the fun really starts.

    Is it a perfect film?  No, and my hope going in was that it would be, however Dr. Strange is a very, very good movie and takes the world of Computer-generated imagery (CGI – which started expanding its role in films with 1984’s The Last Starfighter, ) into another dimension.  Harry Potter meets the Wachowski creations: Neo and Morpheus and Deus Ex Machina in this exciting and fast-paced film, much more impressive than Justin Lin’s Star Trek: Beyond.  Director Scott Derrickson, who misfired with 2008’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, gets it right this time.  Remember, it was Keanu Reeves in Stood Still, so the Marvel Films plan is obvious …and not a bad way to introduce the good doctor to the world.

The biggest problem is that you’ve got Dormammu from the Dark Dimension looking and sounding like a cheesy version of Deus Ex Machina from the Matrix – as bizarre a let-down as the esoteric film rendition of the embodiment of Galactus in the Fantastic Four / Silver Surfer movie that was almost…getting there…oops, more than a misfire than Day the Earth Stood Still.   You’ve also got the Ancient One morphed into a feminine Morpheus  - Tilda Swinton (the “white witch” from 2005’s  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)  doing a fine job and replacing the wise-old man with a vibrant young woman - along with actor Benedict Cumberbatch slipping in comfortably as his Dr. Strange plays it Neo. 

    One of the “mystic masters” also explains how the spells are to be thought of as computer programs, so that they are blatantly going for that audience the Wachowski sisters (yes, they’ve both transitioned to women) abandoned. Which is fine with this critic as the themes of the Matrix have a huge audience with a need to explore those avenues.    Folding buildings, worlds within worlds, swashbuckling, all the elements Stan Lee and Marvel developed one half a century ago, build a fantastical picture that the 3D (and presumably iMax, which was not available for our early screening) enhance… in fact, the picture enhances the 3D experience, validating its existence.  Dr. Strange doesn’t use 3D to be part of a fad or a trend, it’s just expected that you need this perception in order to get a better feel for the landscape. And perception fits in nicely with Stan Lee’s Alfred Hitchcock-styled cameo in this one.   Quite sure that I will be back at the theater to see this one again, and soon.

TMR Zoo publishes Dr. Strange review


3)Review: Feed The Kitty Goin’ Country

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 He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, 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.

4)Santana IV   Live at the House of Blues

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 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.

5)Peter Calo 
Time Machine

"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 tis is a delightful departure and shows yet another dimension of his talents.
Artist: Peter Calo
CD:  Time Machine
8 tracks

Peter Calo’s Time Machine opens with bayou vibrations on the opening track, “Do I Love You Too Much,” cradling an interesting musical migration, at least to the ears of this long-time listener of Calo’s music.   The eight songs on this 2016 release, Time Machine, have the respected singer/songwriter/session man crafting a work that blends a multitude of styles within his three and a half to five minute essays/tunes.  

In 1982 his jazz band, Bellvista, released a six song e.p. followed by 1983’s Spoonerism from the Peter Calo Band.  A mainstay of the Boston scene, Calo was involved as an original member of both Down Avenue (the band which had Charles Pettigrew of Charles & Eddie "Would I Lie To You" fame) and The Heavy Metal Horns. After his stints with both groups Peter moved to New York where he began doing session work, producing and eventually hooked up with Carly Simon, beginning what is now a twenty year relationship with the legendary singer/songwriter.   

As the instrumental ending to “Do I Love You Too Much” concludes the singer switches hats with “Ida at the Back Door,” a tune that was already in circulation at online and college radio.  This mix is fully developed and impressive, a different approach from the opening track, though there seems to be some kind of thematic undercurrent threading the material.  “If My Heart Was Yours” opens with a nod to Ian Matthews notable Vertigo lp, If You Saw Thro’ My Eyes, then veers off to a soulful balladeer, think Cat Stevens’ “Here Comes My Baby,” with flamenco sounding guitar and – perhaps – Jay and the Americans dueling with Trini Lopez.  It’s a great pop ditty that is highly commercial.  The modulation and creative backing show Calo’s production skills at the top of their game.

That’s also true with “Elephants Never Forget,” a clearly Beatle-esque tribute to the family of Elephantidae.  There’s a full dimension and depth to the sounds Calo prompts throughout the track.  The five minute and three second “Sail Away”  is a folk song which could have been written in the time of DaVinci or Christopher Columbus (15th and 16th centuries – their dates of birth and passing actually very close) - its timeless story plays today just as well, as does Leonardo’s works of art.   “One Step Ahead of Crazy” brings things back to where “If My Heart Was Yours” started off, it’s as much a sequel as “Judy’s Turn to Cry” was to “It’s My Party” – and Peter Calo played with the late Lesley Gore, so maybe the idea was subliminally programmed. “Every Ordinary Day” and “Don’t Ever Go Away”  are both over four minutes on this double-EP  two songs shy of a full-length ten track disc. “Every Ordinary Day” would fit nicely on a television series – or real pop radio, not the stuff being passed off as pop radio in 2016.

The disc concludes with more magic that the Beatles could have used – the artist having worked on Julie Taymor’s Beatles soundtrack to her film Across the Universe (there’s a deluxe version, check it out) as well as his own instrumental tribute to the Fab IV.   Paul McCartney should sing this one as “Every Ordinary Day” is an absolute bookend to McCartney’s “Another Day,” not in chord changes or melody, just in the beautiful approach. It’s a classy conclusion to a sophisticated new chapter in Peter Calo’s deep catalog of musical contributions.

6)Iggy Pop Live at Royal Albert Hall

7)Instant Shawarma

Instant Shawarma
Just Add Water CD
5 tracls

Review by Joe Viglione

“Waves” opens up this intriguing five song E.P. from Cambridge based foursome Instant Shawarma and it is superb, one of my favorite songs to come out of the local scene in a long time. Ethereal guitar from Andy Constantine envelopes Pat O’Donnell’s voice as the band crafts something as mesmerizing and inspiring as Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac’s 1970’s epic “Albatross.”   Keyboards drift in while drummer Josh Ziemann and bassist Matt Montrose provide the lilting undercurrent.  Just marvelous and as attention-getting as “I’m Your Captain” was to the third Grand Funk Railroad album.  These titles, like fellow Boston area group Stains of a Sunflower, are not your three minute concise pop tunes. Waves is the second shortest at 5:51 while “Lizard Coffee” oozes in at 4:49, the shortest track on the disc, and one of the group’s more popular in concert.  Picture the original Doors jamming with the original Savoy Brown – slinky guitar riffs from O’Donnel and Constantine that Creedence Clearwater would have had a blast with extending a composition onstage. The Deep Purple-styled Jon Lord organ is a surprise and adds depth to the production.

“Coming Up Roses” veers harder into blues, O’Donnell’s gravel voice in command as the chorus hits hard after the opening lyric’s essay.  Instant Shawarma would be perfect on a bill with Blue Manic and the on-hiatus Apollo Blue, both ensembles covering a similar territory, though where George Conduris of Apollo Blue dips into the Hendrix/Clapton bag, and Mike Tate of Blue Manic rocks even harder, Instant Shawarma have their cosmic / esoteric guitar lines that tends to make it more psychedelic blues. The five minute and forty-two second “French Conniption” a case in point.  It’s that unique style behind the songs that add intrigue. And as with Stains of a Sunflower, the closer here is epic too with “The Fold” having a dangling guitar to open (as well as end) the festivities. The interplay is wonderful three minutes in and builds to a nice climax with in-the-groove intensity that’s hard to describe.

These guys have come up with a great little recording, but it seems that they don’t want to be famous. None of their names appear in the package that’s got beautiful artistry on the wrap-around cover thanks to Nate Haduch.  The inside photo of the group against a graffiti wall is charming but…again, their names are missing in action.
8)Stains of a Sunflower











Stains of a Sunflower 

8 songs 

Review by Joe Viglione 

The purple setting with bare trees is a classy cover photo for Stains of a Sunflower’s February cd, and interesting as the name of the group is not on the spine, the front cover or the CD.  In fact, it’s hidden on the right hand bottom corner of the black back cover, making for a kinda sorta Andy Warhold Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat, tilt it under the fluorescent to see kind of approach. The vocals of the group’s chanteuse, Natalie Renée,are embellished with the electronic guitar of Alex Michael Jones on opener “California Sky” as  the two play off of each other in interesting ways,  The music is velvet smooth over the 5:57 – almost six minutes – in what is one of eight titles that are more like excursions than songs. The band is simply amazing as they stretch out with Renee painting over Shade Tramp’s steady and sometimes exotic drumming.  It’s not easy to get a handle on what they are exactly doing as the songs get dismantled and reassembled throughout the performances. 

At 3:06 “Spells” is the shortest tune, the vocalist singing while offering short bursts as Jones’ guitar follows her lead. Dan Soghomonian’s bass keeps pace with them as “Spells” segues in to “September” (not the Earth, Wind and Fire classic, nothing like it!) Five of the eight are one word titles, think Talking Heads 1979 epic Fear of Music with seven of the eleven going the same route.  The jam on “September” is eloquent and captivating, contrasted with the folk/acoustic of title track “February” which follows with its gut-wrenching set of questions and mental self-discussion. 

Live the quartet recreates this embracing set of sounds, “Pretend” again taking a different turn, as if Nico reprised her days with the Velvet Underground on their quiet third masterpiece.  Kaleb Jacks’ clear and precise production/engineering is reminiscent of the late Wayne Wadham who built Berklee’s original studios (and produced Full Circle for Columbia records, along with other major artists. Check out that disc for a comparison,) and complements the band nicely as Natalie’s pathos switch to a John Lennon-styled primal scream.  “I Love,” “Dreaming of You” and “Tree Song” are further adventures, the acoustic in “I Love” essential to shift the sounds a bit, “Dreaming of You” slipping in like a sixties classic with “Tree Song” ending like a jazzy Abbey Road conclusion, two of my favorite tracks on this excellent disc coming at the end. The chorus behind Renee is as compelling as it is eloquent.  Not your typical Boston area sound, and nicely put together all the way around. 

Natalie Renée | Vocals and Acoustic Guitar 

Alex Michael Jones | Electric Guitar 

Dan Soghomonian | Bass 

Shade Tramp | Drums

9)The Hammond Group  Means Business
 13 tracks
1)Ice Cream Man
3)Volunteers for America
4)Do the Math
5)Get It Together
6)Buttery Goodness
7)Big Hands
8)Body of Work
9)It is What it Is
10)Mosh Pit Girl
11)Milk and Break
12)Conference Room

In 1977 Jonathan Richman put Ice cream man, (ice cream man) ring your bell (ding ding) on vinyl.  The Hammond Group, however, take the part-time-jobIce Cream Man” and write about the angst and frustration with their 60’s garage/punk self-pity pathos in a decidedly different dimension than dear Jonathan and his lovable goofiness.  “Hazmat” goes even deeper and darker and is one of the best songs on this 13 tune helping, the cd Hammond Group Means Business, a strong 70’s Who-styled adventure with lines like “You smoked all your weed/now you think you’re a poet” and “relaxing in your Hazmat suit/wonderin’/who’s gonna peel your fruit.”  The lyric doesn’t impede the great rock and roll song that this is; a tongue-in-cheek attitude that hardly sneaks through each and every composition, it is the requirement as the trio dismantle the Jefferson Airplane with Volunteer for America, the Jorma Kaukonen guitar sound backing a Beastie Boys snarl.  “Do the Math” would be comfortable on a Pebbles or Nuggets compilation while “Buttery Goodness” in its elastic, watery guitar setting again takes on the Who, specifically “Pictures of Lily.”  But while Lily’s pornographic photographs were meant to excite, this song about putting on the pounds – with the same melody as “Pictures of Lily” – has a healthy heaping of insanity to go along with the low self-esteem.  “Mosh Pit Girl” sort of says it all while the ballad for “Stephanie” has a sick wonderfulness to it, his love for her as pure as his vulgarity – “get your ass in the car for me.”  Perhaps it is The Modern Lovers finding a stash of expired Quaalude?   That old sedative with its hypnotic effect is what the Hammond Group has down: exactly what Richman would sound like on the stuff!   

Darrell Morrow - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Edmund Jones - bass, keyboards, vocals
Scott Howe - guitar, vocals



Robin McNamara is scheduled for an interview on the Joe Vig POP EXPLOSION 11/2/16 on

AllMusic Review by   [-]

Robin McNamara'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 MeLP 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." Albrightand 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 ChangesJeff 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.

This is a terrific 6 song power pop E.P. with lots of jangle jangle guitar and Nick Gaynier's energetic and smooth vocals.   "All of a Sudden," "Either Way," and "We're Alright" open the disc up in a torrent of sound - "We're Alright" a bit more menacing and deeper than the first two, drenched in a perfect production that brings the point of view to the surface.  James and Dave are the other 2/3rds of the power trio with Nick, and they take "Gotta Run" into Buzzcocks territory and back out - and would be great on a bill with Pete Shelly's boys and perhaps Teenage Head.  "Create to Break" ends the impressive onslaught. 

 1)All of a Sudden
2)Either Way
3)We're Alright
4)Again and Again 
5)Gotta Run
6)Create to Break

12)Syd  The Way We Found It

Another superb find, the minute and thirty-nine second "All Time High" takes you to a wonderful place, only to bring you somewhere else with "On a Friday"














released April 24, 2007 

13)Betty Buckley    Quintessence

AllMusic Review by  [-]

Quintessence is the "pure and concentrated essence of a substance" and the title of a beautiful album from vocalist Betty Buckley and longtime producer/musical arranger/pianist Kenny Werner, who is co-credited on the cover. Not actually a "compilation," the liner notes by Betty Lynn Buckley explain that this studio disc, the musical duo's ninth album over a span of two decades, represents more of an open arrangement to rework the music the singer is associated with. For example, she extends Arthur Alexander's classic "Cry Me a River" from the sparse -- and shorter -- 3:09 version on 1997's Much More album to a more elaborate and experimental vamp that is double in length. Where Jane Olivor is overpowering in her sublime grandiosity, Buckley takes the subtle approach, though with a dash of Olivor's inflections. For those not in touch with Buckley's recordings, this will serve as a good starting point, the rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "No One Is Alone" adding a bit more pop to the tune's jazz leanings, and also contrasting with Buckley's own cautious rendition from 1993's Children Will Listen CD. Some purists may object to the treatment of the Rex Harrison nugget "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," not spoken à la Harrison, and further morphed by being combined in a medley with Oscar Levant's "Blame It on My Youth." Where Janice Borla on From Every Angle gives a breathy rendition to the Levant classic, Werner and Buckley make it introspective and daintily methodical. Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" is absorbed by Buckley's persona, material so well-loved that reinterpretation, though imperative, comes with risks.

14)Ron Davies  RIP October 30, 2003
CD Where Does the Time Go?

Music Review by  [-]

Ron Davies' Where Does the Time Go is an important and soulful work from the major songwriter whose "It Ain't Easy" was covered by such diverse artists as Three Dog Night, David Bowie, and Mitch Ryder. The theme of the title track makes even more of an impact because of Davies' untimely passing at age 57 in October of 2003, the year of this disc's release. Notable are "Beyond the Realm of Words," which would make Rusty Kershaw proud with its laid-back Cajun feel, and "Mama, Take Me With You." Engineer/guitarist Brent Moyer co-produced the album with Davies, the ten originals from the singer/composer having a crisp sound and mellow authority. With a similar vocal to what Gerry Goffin put on his It Ain't Exactly Entertainment album three decades earlier, Davies' sentiments are more to the point here than on Goffin's experimental work, songs like "You Come, Call on Me" and "You Were Right on Time" affectionate and appealing. Lana Brown and sister Gail Davies add their harmonies to the album, which should launch many a cover, the country-folk essay "I'll Still Be Lovin' You" just perfect for Barry and Holly Tashian, a compelling duet with beautiful guitar. "Cool, Southern Breeze" is tasty pop that Maria Muldaur could easily embrace. "Time is precious, don't let it slip through your hands," he sings on the final track, "The Moon Tonight," with its New Orleans flavor over a thoughtful melody. Where Does the Time Go is a treasure chest of strong compositions, a wonderful gift Ron Davies gave to the world. Hopefully it will find an audience to appreciate its depth.

15)Steve Gilligan and Spider Farm
Dog Patch Garage

Dog Patch Garage

Steve Gilligan & Spider Farm

12 tracks

Review by Joe Viglione

About 13 years ago Willie “Loco” Alexander, contemporary of Steve Gilligan and friends, released the excellent Dog Bar Yacht Club.  A baker’s dozen spins of the earth around the sun and Gilligan’s Spider Farm – a veritable super group of people on the folk scene – issues this 12 song disc.   With a nod to Loco’s hero Kerouac Spider Farm open the album with a terrific pop tune, “The Sun Belongs to Anyone” which flows with the best elements of Americana wrapped up in hit record dressing.  It’s simply superb and deserves a huge audience.   “She Was My Girl” clocks in at 4:15 and could be Rock E. Rollins, the alter ego of Gilligan’s bandmate from the Stompers, Sal Baglio.   “Roline” and “Halfway to Wichita” are short bursts at 3:12 and 3:13 respectively, and what exudes from the stylistically different pair is the fun that this ensemble puts into the playing. Drummer Lenny Shea (percussion, glockenspiel and vocals) and Dave Friedman (Piano and organ) – both Stompers themselves – join Kenny Selcer – a local legend who didn’t need to perform with presidential candidate Jill Stein to be famous, though he did when they were in a duo Somebody’s Sister.  Bird Mancini’s Billy Carl Mancini along with fiddle player Jackie Damsky and guitarist John Gibson add to the thick sound.   It’s one thing to perform on bills with the bands your friends are in, another to blend all these veteran musical talents into one CD that has so much to offer from so many different styles.   “I Wanna Know” has bending guitars borrowing from the Ventures, but adding that sound to a different dimension the Ventures dare not go, specifically Beau Brummels and Searchers territory.  “Dead End Angel” could be the Everly Brothers joining George Harrison’s Bangla Desh multitude, and perhaps that’s the key to the charm at play here. Harrison brought together divergent talents from Dylan to Badfinger to Phil Spector and it worked in a new and refreshing way.  Steve Gilligan and Spider Farm, comprised of so many masters that have emerged from our under-appreciated music scene have crafted a stunningly beautiful set of essays that enlighten and entertain.  Then they turn on a dime with “Would You Kiss Me Now,” stripped down pop where the embellishments pop up at opportune times.  Things turn around again with “The Other Side of the Rain,” great music but as jarring as Santana’s 1999 Supernatural disc which had a wide scope that, somehow, people were able to adjust to.  How did Clive Davis get fired for being too old when he put out the biggest record in the world is just one aspect of the music industry that keeps things…interesting.   “The Great Beyond” asks the eternal, perpetual questions and “Heaven Allows” states the obvious at five minutes and nineteen seconds…with delicious harmonica.  “A Little Lovin’ Tonight” at 4:19 bridges the gap with songs that go from three minutes and under to Richard Harris Top 40 territory. “Rain Don’t Fall” concludes this excellent set with sounds of the old west, as recaptured by Peter Calo on his “Cowboy Song” disc, but with the added twist of religious overtones and neo-gospel.

16)Willie Loco Alexander Dog Bar Yacht Club

AllMusic Review by   [-]

When Willie "Loco" Alexander & the Boom Boom Band split after 1979's Meanwhile...Back in the States on MCA, Alexander immediately picked up the slack by having a Boston area power trio, the Neighborhoods, back him up on-stage while he began recording the first of his many releases on the European New Rose label. The original Boom Boom Band reunited 23 years later, only to go into the studio owned by the Neighborhoods' guitarist/vocalist David Minehan. The results are phenomenally great, only proving that had the rock & roll minefields not existed to stand in this juggernaut's way, Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band would have emerged as Boston's answer to the Rolling Stones, and then some. While there is new material here, the band doesn't shy away from recovering some of the music Alexanderreleased after the split. "Oh Daddy Oh" from 1982's A Girl Like You album gets a driving new finish, while "Ogalala," originally issued on 1997's Persistence of Memory Orchestra CD, has a new perspective that gives Alexander the platform to go "loco," the stuff that made this group so irresistible in the first place. "Who Killed Deanna" from 1999's East Main Street Suite is one of the album's highlights -- the "Som-Som-Somerville" hook is haunting inside a true murder mystery that happened on the outskirts of Boston. That album also featured a track entitled "Ocean Condo II," which was a reworking of the original "Ocean Condo" from 1988's The Dragons Are Still Out, reprised here with Billy Loosigian's amazing guitar work as "Ocean Condo III," of course. The band also rocks out "AAWW" -- which some of the fans decipher as "All American Woman Wife" -- the flip of a 45 that was originally intensified by the band from the live Autre Chose album in 1982. It's a tasty way for the devoted to see how this material would've played out had the Boom Boom Band stayed together. Even the underground classic "Telephone Sex" from 1984's Taxi-Stand Diane EP finds itself resurrected here to good effect. Keep in mind that this group began by picking up the material Alexander was releasing on the independent Garage label in the mid-'70s, so one also gets the vibe that the group is truly going back to its roots and reinventing stuff that Willie did separately. A cover of scenester Emily XYZ's "Hey Kid" gives the band a different "new wave" feel, while Alexander and Loosigian combine to write four new tunes, including the interesting "Mystery Training," which dips into Willie's jazzier influences. The Boom Booms deliver close to 60 minutes of triumph, an album that is among their finest studio work to date, equal to the superb (and still missing in action) Craig Leon-produced demos from Dimension Studios in 1977 that landed them their deal with MCA. Dog Bar Yacht Club is no fluke; in performance Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band play this material flawlessly and with the fury they had when they reigned as the kings of the Boston scene.

17)  TOMMY  JAMES   A Night in Big City

AllMusic Review by   [-]



AllMusic Review by   [-]

This is an ambitious project by songsmith Tommy James featuring 11 songs and ten tracks of dialogue linking them together. Concept albums are tough -- a great example of a successful marriage of music and dialogue on CD being The Wizard Of Oz soundtrack. When Lou Reed released Berlin in 1973, the RCA label touted it as a "film for the ear." It was a soap opera set to music, a downer version of the "rock opera" format the Who launched with Tommy. In order to grab the listener, a storyline must be as compelling as the music. The narrative on A Night in Big City is confusing, but the music is among Tommy James' best solo work. This audio-movie has the smart pop Tommy James is known for, suspended by an unnecessary story thread. A natural evolution from his Christian of the World phase (which included the hit "Draggin' the Line"), the song "Baby Tonight" is vintage Tommy James with modern sounds. But it's necessary to get up and hit "next" on the CD player to skip the interruption and get to the next song, "Give It All," another hook-laden tune with James' great vocals and guitar work. It's nice to see he's still working with arranger and co-producer Jimmy "Wiz" Wisner (keyboards, synths, strings), who worked on the Christian of the World album. "Give It All" segues nicely into a revision of "I Think We're Alone Now," a very sparse, very cool "new wave" version. "Who Do You Love is ethereal Tommy James music, very nice indeed. James then picks up a chick for a ride in his limo, tuning his radio in to hear the single from this CD, "Megamation Man." This is a Ray Davies kind of "20th Century Man" that comes during the century after, a solid tune. "Madd Blue" is unique solo TJ. Unlike his Roulette discs without the Shondells, this is downright psychotic, sounding like Boris Karloff meets Richard O'Brien from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In the comic book accompanying this disc -- which features a "3D" cover a la Chuck Negron's The Long Road Back -- Willoughby, the crazed maître d', attempts to explain the night's show. "Blue Bird" begins in a Tiny Tim-ish '40s style (which Mama Cass Elliot embraced so well -- this song would've been perfect for her). "Angels and Strangers," written by James and Glen Wyka, has a great hook that is classic Tommy James, a bit of "Crimson and Clover's riff speeded up a tad.
James is in excellent voice on this disc. "Tighter, Tighter" -- the hit he wrote for Alive 'n Kickin' (which became Brooklyn Dreams and appeared on Donna Summer's "Heaven Knows") -- is different than the version James re-recorded for his Fantasy Records debut in 1976. Co-produced by his old friends Ritchie Cordell and Kenny Laguna of "Mony Mony" fame, the Fantasy version is dreamier. This is more up-tempo and rocking. The band gets into a limo and ends up in a nightclub that burned down in 1937 -- some kind of script right out of Quantum Leap (not as much fun as the music, although it sounds good in theory). The final track, "In Slow Motion," is reminiscent of "Crystal Blue Persuasion." Despite the flaws in this endeavor, it is music that radio desperately needs. Maybe a new script for what comes between these songs upon re-release is in order, for without the interruptions, A Night in Big City is a classy effort.


18)The Secret Commonwealth   Uninvited Guest

Uninvited Guest is a deep yet soothing album of Celtic songs from the Nashville group Secret Commonwealth. Released five years after their 1997 self-titled debut, the band refers to this disc as

a "concept album collecting many Halloween and supernatural-tinged original songs." "The Last of the H.M.S. Gannett" could be Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" with Loreena McKennitt and Ian Anderson adding vocals and flute, respectively. It's not, of course, but that's what it sounds like, an intriguing mix of styles that carries the storytelling in a professional and compelling way. "The Silke" is more traditional pop and as such is the anomaly on this collection, a side dish which makes the entire package all the more eclectic. "The Glowin' Bones of Craggy Hope" comes off like a serious version of "Theme to Gilligan's Island," not only in the fact that the protagonist vanishes à la Gilligan, but that the melody is a close cousin to what was heard each episode during the opening to the hit TV show. There's an underlying theme of fun that pervades this sincere and sometimes somber music and that's what makes Uninvited Guest work on so many levels. "Frost on the Pumpkin" will take the listener into a different world, the flute, mandolin, and Uillean pipes on the various tunes coupled with studied

19)Chicken Slacks  Can You Dig It cd

13 tracks starting with Too Much Time 

The Chicken Slacks
Can You Dig It
13 songs

Review by Joe Viglione

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 was a major accomplishment – and that their residency endures in 2016 speaks volumes about their ability to please the crowds.  Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd’s classic, “On a Saturday Night,” gets a loving and direct cover from the venerable group. It’s pure reinvention that – somehow – remains genuine. The group is such a part of our musical landscape these days as Duke and the Drivers and early J Geils were to the 70s.
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 while "Any Other Way" could be the reincarnation of Clarence Carter on this R & B party disc.  The thirteen songs on this 2008 outing are still the most recent Chicken Slacks on record, a follow-up to the 2005 Soul Shack disc.  Word is in 2016 the Slacks are coming up with a new album – good news for the thousands of fans that check ‘em out as they tour New England

On a Saturday Night

 1. Too Much Time
  2. On a Saturday Night
  3. Hook and Sling
  4. I'm in Love
  5. Going to the Shack
  6. I Wanna Take a Shower with You
  7. Funky Way to Treat Somebody
  8. You Don't Know What You Mean to Me
  9. Long as I Can See the Light
  10. Any Other Way
  11. Tragedy
  12. Only a Fool Gets to Heaven

  13. She's Looking Good

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
(see Calvin Arnold )

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  and Gerry Beaudoin out and about  performing in the club scene, and Duke & The Drivers having released their exquisite Harder Than Before a few years back, Chicken Slacks pick up where those Boston r & b pioneers

(see Calvin Arnold )

20)The Beach Boys

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

30)Joe Viglione Writes on Peter Calo's Music

31)Bellvista featuring Peter Calo
The Painter
35)Eight Days a Week - Ron Howard

36)Clint Eastwood film  SULLY


38)8 Days a Week



40)Bobbie Gentry  

An American Quilt 1967-1974

Bobbie Gentry An American Quilt 1967-1974 added to the library, here's my review: Song Review by Joe Viglione [-]

A simple acoustic guitar played against a background of strings creates the perfect setting for Bobbie Gentry's almost-raspy voice reminiscing about her protagonist's friend, Billie Joe MacAllister, and his suicide. The dinnertime conversation about the death is told so matter-of-fact that it creates an under-current in this masterful story/song - that the woman describing the event is more affected than she can let on. Her father dismisses the tragedy because "Billy Joe never had a lick of sense" and that there are more urgent matters at hand - like the fact five more acres of farmland have to be plowed. According to musician Buzzy Linhart the song uses a traditional blues scale (flat the 3rd and the 7th) as in "Black Magic Woman" - "I got a black magic woman and she's trying to make a devil out of me" descends in the same fashion as "the day Billy Joe McGallister jumped off the Tallahachee Bridge". The tune would be covered, veteran guitarist Cornell Dupree giving an amazing instrumental take on the title while The 5th Dimension created a superb soulful version with a voice coming in when mama hollered "Y'all remember to wipe your feet", playing roles with the characters in the song. There are scores of covers including Ellen McIlwaine's uptempo blues/folk rendition recorded in 1973 - quite a variety of talents from across the spectrum giving their interpretation of a story which at first glance would seem as type-cast as Jeannie C. Riley's "Harper Valley P.T.A.", a #1 hit from 1968. And don't discount the importance of Bobbie Gentry hitting #1 exactly a year before Jeannie C. Riley, both were country story-songs and the more serious composition from Gentry found on Capitol Records 45 #5950 was music that definitely cut the path. This was a full year and a half before Tammy Wynette would proclaim it was ok to "Stand By Your Man" while the mystery of Billie Joe's death was compounded by the relationship he had with the woman telling the story. And what they threw off the Tallahachee Bridge was a question that made the song more of a conversation piece than who the culprit was in Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" five years later. Some surmised they threw an unborn child into the water, leading to Billie Joe's depression and desperation. It also led to water cooler conversations before cable TV came up with similar soap operas. The song became the title of a film in 1976, produced by Max Baer, Jr..



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Cast:                             Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton
Director:                       Scott Derrickson   
Producer:                      Kevin Feige
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.




Postcard radio

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....