Saturday, November 25, 2017

November Top 40 Freestones Live, Sharon DiFronzo Joe Vig articles on Revolvy, Wikipedia etc


The Freestones 

The Freestones are a real find, a sound not often present in the Boston area community that got a good taste of this New Hampshire group's fun and musicall style  For those who have heard the amazing recordings of Alan O'Day's "Easy Evil," be it by Genya Ravan, Sarah Vaughan, Sylvia, Lulu - this ensemble present that kind of Rusty Kershaw cajun magic (see Rusty's Domino album release produced by Rob Fraboni) ...and in concert, it's an electric hootenanny - an electric jugband that keeps its rock sensibilities front and center.  The vocals of Mackenzie Hamilton are as essential as the guitar, bass and drums, and when she wants to wail, as on “Going Down,” she dominates the proceedings in a very good way.  Not Janis Joplin taking over the show, but complementing the boys as they churn out this delightful and somewhat aggressive sound…the slide guitar and rhythm section all in unison and brilliantly powerful.  John Webb’s guitar and vocals lead the group in a Jerry Garcia sort of way, not pushy but guiding the elements as they combine to generate a dance groove inside a genre that isn’t recognized as a style that invites dance.  That’s because they are as much a rock and roll group as they are stylists.  “I Need Never Get Old” changes the form but stays within a framework, Matt Smith’s bass and Sean Knight’s drums at times a single unit, at others dimensional parts of the whole.  Is that “Tumblin’ Dice” by the Rolling Stones?  Yes, morphed and melted into the netherworld Jarred Garneau builds.  Just lots of fun on a Stones’ classic starting in the Freestone way, a little dash of Linda Ronstadt’s hit version, the Rolling Stones composition coming full circle as the song concludes.  The encore was a most respectful, but again transitioned, approach to  former Malden, Massachusetts resident Norman Greenbaum’s eternal “Spirit in the Sky.”  As with “Tumblin’ Dice” your brain starts in with “is this…could it be?...” and – yes, a reinvention of a perfect song for this creative crew from Rollinsville, New Hampshire.  

Opening act Max Clark - son of Jerry's Kids / Unnatural Axe drummer Jack Clark - was equally a delight with his Dylan-esque angst, using the guitar as a percussive instrument to drive the statement home without a net - or a loud, active band behind him. (Joe Viglione) 



Drop the Knife 

Going Down 

I Need Never Get Old 

That Ain't You 

I Want to Break Free 


Can't Explain 

Tumbling Dice 

Newfound Love 

Spirit in the Sky 

Jarred Garneau- Lead/Slide Guitar 

John Webb- Lead Guitar/Vocals 

Matt Smith- Bass 

Sean Knight- Drums 

Mackenzie Hamilton- vocals


1)The Hives/Cyndi Lauper LIVE   A Christmas Duet
2)Less Than Jake - I Think I Love You
3)The Rotters   Sit on my Face Stevie Nix
4)Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac   Gypsy
5)Them   Here Comes the Night
6)Donna Summer  - They Can't Take Away Our Music
7)Samantha Allen - The Arsonist's Daughter
8)Aaron Chase  "Stop Me"
9)The Sidney Green St. Band "Muscle Shoals"
10)Satch Kerans  "Out Here in the World"
11)Interview with Samantha Allen, Alan James Patterson
12)War with Eric Burdon "They Can't Take Away the Music"
13)American Beauties "Miles from Nowehere"
14)Todd Rundgren  "I Saw the Light"
15)Gary Santarella "Don't Kick Me When I'm Down"
16)Deniece Williams "It's Gonna Take A Miracle"
17)Carissa Johnson "Fuel Heart"
18)Elsewhere "Multi Man" (radio edit)
19)Massachusetts Concert report 11-29-17 by Mike Feeney
20)Barry Maguire "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog"
21)Ian Cat  "Purgatory Blues"
22)Positive Negative Man "Keep It Together"
23)Rick Wyman  "Everybody Loves You"
24)Samantha Allen "The Palindrome Song"
25)Sharon DiFronzo "I"ll Think of You That Way"
26)Jon Butcher Axis Spanish Castle Magic
27)Chubby Checker  "Stoned in the Bathroom"
28)Mel Tillis    "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
29)Bob Dylan "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Part 1

Part 2

Carissa Johnson

Review: Sharon DiFronzo – Tributes and Treasures

Singer Sharon DiFronzo recorded a terrific song from New Hampshire artists Keith Linscott and Steve Ieule, “This Love is Forever,” back in the 1990s as well as a self-titled solo album in 1999. Almost two decades later the singer who is a mainstay in the nightlife region of the Woburn / Saugus area puts her immense talents on disc again with redesigned workings of well-known classics and a couple of originals entitling this collection Tributes and Treasures (Screamin’ Heart Records.)
“I Only Want To Be With You” intentionally turns Dusty Springfield’s tour-de-force pop blast into a ballad while a seriously heartfelt “To Love Somebody,” the Bee Gees classic that has interpretations ranging from the late Kathi McDonald (she replaced Janis Joplin in Big Brother and the Holding Company for a spell,) to Janis herself, finding yet another perspective from the Medford, Massachusetts recording artist.
Yvonne Elliman from Jesus Christ Superstar and Top 40 artist Helen Reddy put their imprint on “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” back in the 1970s, almost 5 decades later DiFronzo brings the ascending lines to different heights, and that’s the beauty of this album, Tributes and Treasures, reinventing the music in a classy and delightful way.
Well-named and professionally organized, it is a true tribute to the artists and melodies that DiFronzo respects and brings to the dinner circuit. Smith, The Shirelles and the Beatles all gave three different takes on “Baby, It’s You.” Sharon takes elements from all three classics and gives a slinky, smart groove with subtle horns underlining the sentiment. The restrained desperate power, believe it or not, could fit nicely with as mellow an act as James Taylor adding his charm, a bit of a paradox, which – of course – is what separates this artist from the many others attempting to approach these melodic essays. “Long Long Time” has a lone piano that its producer, my friend the late Nik Venet, would find impressive. He, of course, produced “Different Drum” for Ronstadt (Eliot Mazer produced “Long Long Time”) and Harriet Schock’s “Rosebud” which has elements so reminiscent of this.
“I Saw the Light” is terrific, perhaps my favorite on this outstanding effort. Just play the YouTube of Sheena Easton’s elegant 1983 “Almost Over You” and then a/b it with Sharon DiFronzo and you can feel the nuances of each artist, giving great insight into the Tributes and Treasures theme.
“If I Believe” and “The Child in You” are the two originals here, and they blend in so very well with the music Sharon has chosen for this second album. The songs are in the 3-5 minute range and are pop delights. Very nice job all the way around.
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.


DVD Review: Johnny Winter: Live from Japan; John Lee Hooker: Cook with the Hook Live in 1974

Text © Robert Barry Francos/FFanzeen, 2012
Images from the Internet

John Lee Hooker – Cook with the Hook: Live in 1974 
Directed by Bob Boyd
MVD Visual,
45 minutes, 1974 / 2012

Mississippi-Delta Blues musician John Lee Hooker (d. 2001) was one of the bigger influences in the blues rock movement of the ‘60s, a definite link between, say, Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton. His driving rhythms and vocal intensity was different than many of the other blues players of the time, who were closer to early rock’n’roll than Sgt. Pepper’speriod rock. Hooker’s improvisational fierceness and hypnotic repetitions made him the forefront of what would become the Yardbirds (all three incarnations), Cream, and Led Zeppelin, to name a few.

There are a number of items on the checklist that makes this document so important, both directly and indirectly to Hooker. Public access television was just becoming a glimmer on the horizon when this was shot on July 6, 1974, during the Down in the Dumps music festival in Gardner, Massachusetts. Its faded black and white image (most with a white line going through it, possibly from the playback heads scratching the video as it went through an early tape player (reel-to-reel is my guess, as it was pre-VHS) is reminiscent of early kinescope (look it up). But despite the washed-out jeans look, the sound is solid, if a little on the tinny side (ah, technology and its Faustian bargains…).

Though nearly a decade before the advent of MTV-style quick cuts that would revolutionize the way we view film editing, the line producer here jumps between the three cameras quickly (sometimes too much so) between Hooker from the mostly long-haired and shaggy audience. Way ahead of its time in both video usage and use of the fader bars. I wonder if any of the rest of the festival’s music will resurface. Fortunately, Hooker’s has now, and that is just fine. 

Backed by the Coast to Coast Blues Band (who would do so for 30 years), Hooker sits front and center (much like Johnny Winter does now), showing some rock chops with the likes of the great “Boom Boom” and “Sweet, Sweet Thing.” There’s also some solid Delta blues, of course, with the likes of “It Serves You Right to Suffer” and “Whiskey and Women.” For the last number of his set, listed as “Boogie,” Hooker stands up and roams the stage a bit. The band plays the same riff over and over while Hooker improvs for over 16 minutes. Honestly, I would rather he would have played some set numbers, because it is just a bit too much of a ramble for that long a period.

After this number, Hooker leaves the stage and a very enthusiastic emcee brings him back, where he actually continues the same number (listed as “Medley” for some reason, rather than “Reprise”) for another five minutes. 

At the end of the set, the unseen announcer excitedly shouts out, “A man in his fifties! Imagine that! …And he’s doing rock’n’roll!” I heard this in a kind of bemusement as I realize that Johnny Winter, a version of the Who, and even the Zombies are still out there touring into their 60s and 70s. As the camera quickly pans the hippie-ish / stoner-looking audience, it was, indeed, hard to imagine someone of his generation could still give the guitar a hard lickin’. To put it in perspective, when he died at age 83, he was just about to tour Europe. 

This DVD comes with an informative sheet with liner notes written by Massachusetts rock and cable television historian Joe Viglione that is worth checking out, as well.

Set List: 
It Serves You Right to Suffer (Hooker)
Sweet, Sweet Thing
Boom Boom
Whiskey & Women

Slacker Radio

It's Only Love

Tommy James & the Shondells1967


Tommy James & the Shondells' second album, It's Only Love, put forth a bubblegum image that haunted the artist through most of the '60s and '70s. The title track sounds like David Cassidy's Partridge Family and is actually the first of many hits Ritchie Cordell would write for the group, though it isn't as classic as his "Mony Mony" or "I Think We're Alone Now" would become. "Juanita (Nothin's Gonna Stop Our Love)" is or could be the McCoys backing up Tony Orlando and Dawn -- this Henry Glover production feels a bit more contrived and is an abrupt change from the sound and the collegiate look of the debut disc, Hanky Panky. On that long-player, the Shondells resembled the Kingsmen on campus, and as a public relations move that earlier style worked much better. Still, this is a great learning period for an important and innovative artist and should be viewed as such, despite its musical limitations. "Big Time Operator" is typical low-budget '60s teenybop, while the cover of Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya" is authentic enough to indicate a sense of direction taking shape. Side two fares much better; "We'll Have a World" and "Don't Let My Love Pass You By" may have influenced popular songs of the day, the latter displaying a touch of the American Breed's 1968 hit "Bend Me Shape Me" and a whole lot of 1967's "Come on Down to My Boat Baby" by Every Mother's Son, to the point where it is too close to call. The cover of B.J. Thomas' 1966 ballad "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," which was itself a cover of a 1949 Hank Willams composition, is quaint, but definitely not the Tommy James who would sing with authority and soon dominate the charts. He's still getting his feet wet with It's Only Love and it gives his fans the opportunity to watch him grow as they look back and see the transition from "Hanky Panky" to "Crimson and Clover." This is what came in between, and though not as substantial as the highly consistent other albums by the Shondells, it has its place. ~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide

Bruce Johnston    RIP David Cassidy

AllMusic Review by   [-]

"I Write the Songs" was covered by the Captain & Tennille both in English and Spanish, by David Cassidy, and, of course, hit big for Barry Manilow two years before the release of this solo disc by one of the Beach Boys. With Elton John alum Caleb Quaye on electric guitar, along with Richie ZitoKathy Dragon on flute, the California Boys Choir, and a song each co-written with Brian Wilson and Rocket Records recording artist the Hudson Brothers, this outing does not have the star power of David Cassidy's The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall album from 1975, which was co-produced by Johnston; however, Johnston does much more with less. "I Write the Songs" is nice, but Manilow's voice and overproduction is what the song needed, and got. That said, having the songwriter's emotions on record is important, and the hit presence of the song doesn't disturb the seamless presentation here. Johnston, like Randy EdelmanTim Moore, and other quality songwriters from the era, has a pleasant voice, which is very effective on "Disney Girls." "Rock and Roll Survivors," with references to being a "dried out troubadour," is more like "C&W Survivor" -- it sounds like a rocker in his sixties lamenting his former profession. 
read more here:

 It is total pop sophistication, Mama Cass' voice soaring over the strings, piano, and backing that is a Phil Spector hit without the wall of sound. Really brilliant pop to be studied and cherished. Her solo hits coming in 1969, this 1972 recording is the singer just two years before her passing. Say Hello has real pop magic that Bette Midler fully understood on her 1972 debut. This album is almost like the passing of the torch. "Who in the World is exquisite, a real departure from the rest of the album; beautiful Larry Fallon strings help Elliot convey the sentiment. Fallon hit with "Brandy" by Looking Glass that same year, and Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller had Fallon add strings to an unreleased version of "Wild Horses." That so many talents in their prime help Mama Cass deliver on each song, the sweeping chorus of "Love Was Not a Word," the tremendous early version of Pink Floydproducer Hurricane Smith's "Oh Babe, What Would You Say" who would hit with it just a few months later, to the title track, emphasizes what a musical time the early '70s were, and how respected Mama Cass was in musical circles. An uplifting album by an underrated star.

Brian Collins
Brian Collins' album cover to That's the Way Love Should Be finds the ABC/Dot label utilizing a photo and color scheme one would expect on releases from Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. It hardly is representative of the decent blend of country and pop material found inside, music anticipating the eventual merger of these two genres but still a bit out of time. Noted producer Jim Foglesong gives an island feel to the remake of Jay & the Americans' hit "Come a Little Bit Closer," but the Wes Farrell/Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart composition is indicative of the quandary the artist finds himself in here. The pure pop of that number is in conflict with the country rendition of Jim Croce's "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" or country & western staple "Six Days on the Road." Folk-pop artist Livingston Taylorhad recently covered that title, as had the Flying Burrito Brothers, so it's a bit redundant here.

Johnny Mathis
Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

There are no musical revelations other than the fact that this artist could take George Harrison's "Something" and bring it to another arena, just as Frank Sinatra did, the two artists playing to the same audience. It's where they both leave a one-dimensional crooner like Bobby Vinton off the train. Mathis rarely gets credit for the way he can bend and shape notes, obvious on "Something" as well as his reading of "Honey Come Back," Glen Campbell's 1970 hit. Hearing Mathis sing "Alfie" is the revelation, though, for it is truly a groundbreaking moment. Here is a man singing a love song to another man -- "I believe in love, Alfie..." -- without the camp of Neil Sedaka bringing the house down with his rendition of "Where the Boys Are." That this brilliant performance of the Bacharach/David/Dionne Warwick classic is followed by the theme to a gay hustler film, "Midnight Cowboy" (with producer Jack Gold getting co-writing credit here with John Barry), is beyond innuendo. It's a quiet but brilliant move for a singer playing to the middle-of-the-road set, female backing vocalists emulating the sound of Vinnie Bell's guitar


Joe Viglione of Allmusic remarked that "Mathis rarely gets credit for the way he can bend and shape notes, obvious on "Something" as well as his reading of "Honey Come Back", Glen Campbell's 1970 hit."[2] He also praised the album as a whole. "The sound with Jack Gold steering the ship is much more restrained than when Percy Faith and Nelson Riddleadded their magic to Mathis's voice, but for the time it was just perfect."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1.  "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head – Johnny Mathis" All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 21 September 2016.


It's Time for Peter Allen

Quizzes Lists Topics
 It Is Time for Peter Allen

It Is Time for Peter Allen is the first live album by the Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen, released in 1977. The album peaked at number 30 on the Australian Kent Music Report.[2]
Critical reception
Joe Viglione of AllMusic retrospectively wrote, "This double vinyl live album from Peter Allen may be the best representation of the songwriter, covering many of the highlights of his career. Less sterile than his studio recordings, It Is Time for Peter Allen showcases the man's strengths." Viglione also complimented Allen's piano playing, adding that it "provides the real treat".[3]
Track listing
  • A1 "Love Crazy" – 3:54
  • A2 "She Loves to Hear the Music" – 3:34
  • A3 "Everything Old Is New Again" – 3:18
  • A4 "Interesting Changes" – 3:46
  • A5 "I Honestly Love You" – 3:49
  • B1 "Continental American" – 5:26
  • B2 "The Natural Thing to Do" – 4:39
  • B3 "The More I See You" – 2:55
  • B4 "As Time Goes By" – 3:36
  • B5 "Intermission / I Honestly Love You" – 0:54
  • C1 "Don't Wish Too Hard" – 4:38
  • C2 "Don't Cry Out Loud" – 3:42
  • C3 "Tenterfield Saddler" – 4:07
  • C4 "Puttin' Out Roots / The Sideshow's Leaving Town" – 6:36
  • D1 "I Go to Rio" – 7:05
  • D2 "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on the Stage" – 5:28
  • D3 "Audience" – 3:14
  1. It Is Time for Peter Allen at AllMusic
  2. David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  3. "It Is Time for Peter Allen"AllMusic. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  4. "Peter Allen - It is Time for Peter Allen"Discogs. Retrieved 9 September 2015.

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It Is Time for Peter Allen


It Is Time for Peter Allen is the first live album by the Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen , released in 1977. The album peaked at number 30 on the Australian Kent Music Report . Critical reception Joe Viglione of AllMusic retrospectively wrote, "This double vinyl live album from Peter Allen may be the best representation of the songwriter, covering many of the highlights of his career. Less sterile than his studio recordings, It Is Time for Peter Allen showcases the man's strengths." Viglione also complimented Allen's piano playing, adding that it "provides the real treat". Track listing A1 "Love Crazy" – 3:54 A2 "She Loves to Hear the Music" – 3:34 A3 "Everything Old Is New Again" – 3:18 A4 "Interesting Changes" – 3:46 A5 " I Honestly Love You " – 3:49 B1 "Continental American" – 5:26 B2 "The Natural Thing to Do" – 4:39 B3 " The More I See You " – 2:55 B4 " As Time Goes By " – 3:36 B5 "Intermission / I Honestly Love You" – 0:54 C1 "Don't Wish Too Hard" – 4:38 C2 " Don't Cry Out Loud " – 3:42 C3 " Te

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