Monday, February 28, 2022

Lou Spinnazola February 28 2022 Stacie Rose SHOTGUN DAISY / Crystal Mansion: THE THOUGHT OF LOVING YOU / Fanny A Place in the Country / June Millington Make Me Happy / Greg Paquette / Garr Lange / Dave Godbey




Crystal Mansion Review

by Joe Viglione


When Motown had R. Dean Taylor, Meatloaf, and Rare Earth, poppy blue-eyed soul with urban leanings on their Rare Earth imprint, the company also released this disc by Crystal Mansion. Engineered by Brooks Arthur, who went on to produce Crystal Mansion's 1979 album on Twentieth Century, Peter Allen, and many middle of the road acts in the '80s, this disc, by what was once a pop band, is a real strange one. Prior to this album they almost hit with "The Thought of Loving You," a timeless pop song written by David White and covered by Sonny & Cher, as well as the Manhattan Transfer. Dave White Tricker appears on this disc courtesy of Bell records, contributing three co-written numbers, "Earth People," "A Song Is Born," and "Satisfied.." David White Tricker also shows up on Len Barry's abysmal Ups and Downs on Buddah the same year, 1972. This album has a better groove than Barry's, but it gets mired in the down side of Atlanta Rhythm Section or Rare Earth, the unfortunate non-hit sides of those bands. Why Collectables would re-release this with an additional track, James Taylor's "Carolina on My Mind," is a mystery. There is nothing here as sublime as their little mini-pop masterpiece, "The Thought of Loving You," and despite having it together better than solo outings by Rob Grill of the Grass Roots or Len Barry, "Peace for a Change" is not the kind of tune you would seek out to play repeatedly, nor would a classic hits music director go out on a limb for "Boogieman." The cover, featuring bare trees over a blue "crystal" mansion, is the best thing about this disc. The gatefold holds the lyrics, but there are no lost Bob Dylan etchings here, nor words that will be published in volumes of important rock poetry. To be kind, "There Always Will Be More," " I Love You," and the final track, "Earth People," aren't bad. "Earth People" is reminiscent of "Calling Occupants," the hit for the Carpenters and Klaatu. It is the highlight of the album. Let's call it Crystal Mansion's "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home." Nice keyboards, good production, great vocals, but the three minutes and 59 seconds seem to drag on, and nothing here is, as mentioned, as stimulating as their signature tune, "The Thought of Loving You," which, unfortunately, is not on this disc.


In his Allmusic review of Crystal Mansion’s 1971 album, The Crystal Mansion (though granting that album only two stars), Joe Viglione calls their 1968 single The Thought of Loving You “a little mini-pop masterpiece” and “a timeless pop song”.  This song, “The Thought of Loving You” was released by Cher in 1968 (as a single only) and was later recorded by the Jimmy Castor Bunch, the Manhattan Transfer, Spiral Starecase, Lou Christie, Astrud Gilberto, and Wayne Newton.  Unfortunately, the earlier Capitol album Crystal Mansion (1969) sold poorly – Allmusic describes it as “an album that turned out a disappointment for all involved” – and information on the Internet about this album is hard to come by. 

9:31 pm #Monday #February 28 2022 #Kind, thank you @RobFraboni @KBRITZofficial @mysticbowie @_KennyRogers @Lawrence @MaddowBlog @AriMelber on Spotify @Spotify #joeviglionemedia #FilmMusic #MusicFilm #MusicSupervisors #Pop #Folk

Wreck at Best from @stacierose on @lspinna @TheSpinRoom00 SHOTGUN DAISY CD on the Spin Room 8:26 pm #Monday #February28 2022 #PopMusic @gregpaquette5 @DaveRagin @GarrLange @junemillington Great song from Stacie @PeterCalo1 @DaliaDavisMusic @IPDKg @zionrock #FilmMusic #MusicFilm

Coming Back for More on #TheSpinRoom @gregpaquette5 from #RetroActive @TheSpinRoom00 @lspinna @DaveRagin @LeightonMedia @stacierose #PopMusic #RockMusic #Music #Rock #Pop @Spotify @spotifypodcasts @spotifycharts

Mon, Feb 28 at 10:05 PM
I heard it on The Spin Room! Lou said some very nice things about it too. Thanks Lou!

Garr Lange

Careful with that Sax, Jeanine from @DaveRagin @gregpaquette5 @TheSpinRoom00 @lspinna @spotify @HearNowLive1 #joeviglionemedia @ 10:40 pm #Monday #February 28 2022 

Better Generation Review


by Joe Viglione


A truly great artist like Marty Balin deserves so much more than what the record labels who issued his solo work gave him -- and all the good intentions of CD Review magazine founder Wayne Green could not stop the politics of his upstart label from getting in the way of important art. It's a pity because these songs are much better than what you hear from the cold and sterile environment of Green's brand new recording facility used to track most of this disc. The first album cut in the barn in New Hampshire was a tribute to Scott Joplin, and Marty Balin's Better Generation was the second. The late Jimmy Miller always said to use a studio that doesn't need to have the bugs ironed out, and that wisdom rings so true on Better Generation, an album of good music recorded at an inadequate facility. The album deals with GWE (Green With Envy, a terrible name for the short-lived label) emerged from Balin's negotiations with producer Jimmy Miller. Miller very much wanted to produce Balin, and in 1988 a deal was struck with Mission Control Studios (no relation to the company that handles the Jefferson Starship, also, coincidentally, called Mission Control). New Kids on the Block were recording with studio owners the Jonzun Crew and the brothers Jonzun kindly opened the doors to this project -- it was the investor with Jimmy Miller's company who completely dropped the ball. Three years elapsed between the Miller talks and the creation of this album. The songs are there; "Green Light," "Better Generation," "Skydiver," "Treading Water," and "See the Light" are all very workable. "See the Light" is very Jefferson Airplane and, with better production values, had the potential to be another Balin classic. Kerry Kearney's guitar lines are wonderful and Marty Balin is in great voice. Modern Lovers backup singer Ellie Marshall and Kirshner/CBS vocalist Didi Stewart were brought to the sessions, and Marty Balin was thrilled at the prospect of these two great Boston ladies (both with records on CBS at different points in time) singing on Better Generation. His wife, Karen Deal, squashed that immediately, wanting to keep the vocals on the album coming strictly from the musicians. The tragedy of it all -- the new version of "It's No Secret" could have been produced by the late Jimmy Miller, could have had the great Didi Stewart and Ellie Marshall on vocals, could have been a new masterpiece. This is a record and an artist with terrific heart -- both held back by politics of a new label, new studio, and other forces at play. As stated, it is a real heartbreaker. "Summer of Love" was on the original demo tapes Balin sent out prior to the album deal, a version tracked before the reunion of the Jefferson Airplane on CBS. "Mercy of the Moon," perhaps the best recorded track, is from those tapes and features Willie Weeks on bass. What GWE should have done was just release the demos; they were and still are excellent. The song "Even Though" kind of sums it up. A great melody, wonderful performance from the band, music clouded by the new "digital studio" falling apart around them. Some of the songs were remixed at Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle, MA, a world-class facility, but it was a case of too little too late -- the entire disc should have been tracked where the third Joe Perry Project album was born. Writer and Jefferson Airplane biographer Jeff Tamarkin accurately wrote of this disc: "His smooth-as-silk voice as inviting as ever, Balin showcases new material and remakes a couple of Airplane favorites on this 1991 recording." That he does, but the album could have been so much more -- as stated -- great songs, great performances, so much potential. Go find the demos.


Seeds Review

by Joe Viglione

The first of what would be many Christian rock albums by Barry McGuire for the Myrrh and Word record labels starting in 1973, Seeds has a stellar cast backing the veteran frontman who is in fine voice throughout. The problem is that the folk singer abandons what made him so special in order to preach and preach some more. "To Know Love" is a pure pop song starting things off, but the "hallelujahs" here don't have the mass market appeal of, say, "Hallelujah I Just Love Her So" or Sweathog's excellent 1971 hit, simply entitled "Hallelujah." Had McGuire re-cut that tune with a no-nonsense approach, he would have gotten his message out to a much wider audience, and would have done so by being a bit more discrete. "Last Daze Waltz" is a boogie woogie ode to The Bible with a nod to Samson and Delilah, while "David & Goliath" is more of the same, only with a harder-rock edge. "Lear Jets"/"Father's Son" goes into revival mode, and the band is absolutely cooking, which makes one wonder about the possibilities had McGuire taken these energies and focused them on the pop mainstream, which made his name for him. It just seems that Jesus was very much into glorifying The Father, not himself, and by missing that message, too many artists limit the range of their music and melodies. "Love Is" has elegant backing vocals and strings, but the use of scripture just seems awkward. The Hart/Davis composition, "Peace," has the same sentiment and style, excellent music with a dilemma: As the lyrics stay focused on one topic, so too the playing becomes somewhat redundant. Both "Peace" and the McGuire co-write "Love Is" appeared on a Sparrow's The Best of Barry McGuire 1982 release, but they aren't truly representative of the man's many talents. 1974's Lighten Up album does just that, and by being more musical, the results are much more appealing. Still, Seeds was the beginning, and as such, is an important statement on Barry McGuire's faith and mission.


Eve of Destruction Review

by Joe Viglione

"Eve of Destruction" was so present on the airwaves at its height in 1965 that as it ended play on one station, it would start up on another, a dominating hit single which charted higher than any protest song written by Bob Dylan, the man whose own "Masters of War" must have inspired P.F. Sloan's classic protest song. Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" came close, stalling under the upper reaches of the Top 40 two weeks before McGuire grabbed the brass ring. McGuire even cut "Master's of War," appearing on his 1994 One Way Records Anthology album and evidence of the typecasting which decimated what should have been a huge radio presence beyond this title track and first and only hit. Five years before Ricky Nelson would chart with Dylan's "She Belongs to Me," McGuire makes it the first of two Dylan covers, throwing the similarities right in the listener's face. A Steve Barri/P.F. Sloan title, "You Never Had It So Good," follows that, and the theme and model becomes a bit redundant. Sure, people had commercialized the songs of Bob Zimmerman, but not to the extent where the man behind Carole King's eventual solo success, Lou Adler, along with the Grass Roots' initial production team of Sloan and Barri, would take a former New Christy Minstrel and turn him into a radio-friendly copy of the world-famous protest singer. Engineer Bones Howe, P.F. Sloan, Barri, and McGuire redesign the traditional "Sloop John B," a version that is much different from the Beach Boys', and it's a wise move which backslides and is eradicated as they go after Dylan's "Baby Blue," truly branding the innovative soul that is Barry McGuire. At least his reading of Sylvia Fricker's "You Were on My Mind" is original enough, though McGuire can't hit the notes the We Five's Beverly Bivens easily reached. The pulsating cover of the Ian & Sylvia tune doesn't come close to the We Five's arrangement and majesty which charted simultaneous with "Eve of Destruction," but it works so much better than the "imitation Bob" which permeates this package. The Beach Boys took the traditional "Sloop John B" Top Three in 1966, but McGuire did it first, and he also pre-dated Gladys Knight with a version of the standard "Try to Remember" ten years before she brought the title to popular radio. It is these three notable other covers which succeeded for Barry McGuire and indicated his potential. The man has tons of talent, as witnessed on his Christian albums like Lighten Up, and the dark sounds of his classic moment in the sun and gravelly voice (which probably influenced Alex Chilton) deserved much more success.


Lighten Up    Barry McGuire

Lighten Up Review

by Joe Viglione


Lighten Up is a surprisingly wonderful set of pop tunes by former New Christy Minstrel protest singer Barry McGuire. With a bevy of famous players -- from Dean Parks to Michael Omartian, Leland Sklar, Joe Osborn, Jim Gordon, Larry Knechtel, and others -- the drive and enthusiasm so important to making a good record are on this album, which could be considered the work of a "New Christian Minstrel." Some artists lose their angst in finding Jesus; pulled from the dark side they often misplace (or just give up) their rock & roll edge, but that can't be said for McGuire, and three songs immediately stand out: "Don't Blame God," "Pay the Piper," and "Walk in the Sonshine." There is also a terrific rendition of "Eve of Destruction," with McGuire alone on acoustic guitar giving it the slow and moody treatment, different enough to make secular folk buy the record as well as those who pay attention to the catalogs of the Myrrh and Word record labels. Where Dan Peek was so contrived upon leaving the group America to become a Christian artist/star (an oxymoron when you stop to think about it; the purity of singing to the Lord seems more special if its not manufactured and promoted as Black Sabbath and Celine Dion records are), it is clear on Lighten Up that Barry McGuire is spreading his word the best way he knows how. No nonsense and no tacky cover photo as Peek gave listeners with his All Things Are Possible album. Here McGuire is long-haired at a microphone obscured by darkness -- a very cool cover. When he sings, "I'm not going to sing about anyone but Jesus," you really believe him. The material here is spiritually intact. It's honest folk music, and who would have thought that the gravelly voice which ruled the radio airwaves in 1965 would come back as an honest-to-God folksy Jesus freak? The lyrics are insightful, the playing is superb, and "Hey World" infuses a Traffic-style jazz moment within the message. His electric preacher style works well, and the persona would be just perfect for a motion picture.

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What's Happening Radio with Aaron Borenstein and Bob Nelson Sat Feb 26 2022


32 minutes of the show   Tommy Castro Interview w Bob Wolfman today on WMWM FM 91.7 and online--CD release party for his Hendrix "Tribute to a Friend" album at Breakaway Danvers MA (3/27, 5 pm)

 Bob Wolfman interview on his Hendrix Tribute Album Today's What's Happening show with Aaron and me on WMWM FM 91.7 and online incl. Zoe WIllis song premiere and an interview with Bob Wolfman (Mar 27 at Breakaway, Danvers MA). First half hr missing for now but will restore it later on  
Bird Mancini
Adam West 
Can You Talk
Gypsy Moths


Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Very Best of Walter Hawkins - Doris Troy The Rainbow Testament


Product Description:

Twenty-Six gorgeous tracks from Walter Hawkins & the Hawkins Family appear on this wonderful double-disc set, each CD containing 13 songs. As with the work of older brother Edwin Hawkins the family here combines inspiration with soaring pop power that is both relentless and irresistible. "Changed" is swimming in a sea of vocals and rhythm, a mood changing event that starts off this journey through Hawkins extensive catalog of music. Outside of a cover of Jessy Dixon's "God Is Standing By," Edwin Hawkins' "What Is This?" and a co-write between the brothers, "I Love You Lord," the other 23 tracks are composed solely by Walter. There are many standouts and the sounds shift from song to song with a perfect balance of Christianity and pop sensibilities that never get in the way of each other. Just listen to the show-stopping "Goin' Up Yonder" and see if you aren't pulled into another dimension by the performance's depth and majesty. As Doris Troy's Rainbow Testament effectively fused pop and gospel, this best-of collection, neatly compiled by Mick Lloyd, delivers a satisfying overview of Bishop Hawkins' work, praising the higher power while entertaining and motivating. ~ Joe Viglione

In his review of Troy's 1972 album The Rainbow Testament, Joe Viglione of AllMusic describes Doris Troy as her "critically acclaimed album on Apple".[42] Beatles author Bruce Spizer views the singer's Apple output as "first rate" and singles out "Ain't That Cute" as "a great gospel-style R&B rocker".[12] Reviewing the 1992 CD, Billboard described the album as an "unjustly neglected gem" and "[a] 14-carat soul nugget", while also praising its "smokingest track, the stormy 'Ain't That Cute'".[36] Record Collector's reviewer wrote that Troy's "self-titled riot of gospel, soul and rock epitomised Apple's fusion of musical cultures".[40]

Doris Troy (album) - Wikipedia


Rainbow Testament Review

by Joe Viglione


Two years after Doris Troy's critically acclaimed album on Apple, the voice which made records by the Rolling Stones, Sky, Tom Jones, Humble Pie, Carly Simon, and, especially, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, among many, many others, so very extra special, is in full command as Doris Troy & the Gospel Truth perform at the Rainbow Theater in London. Gospel originals like Troy's "Morning Train" and "My Father's House" are electrifying, and the singer's friends Claudia Lennear and Rufus Thomas show up, adding to the fun and festive atmosphere. There's an incredible wall of sound with the combination of horn players, percussion, Hammond organ, piano, singers, and master of ceremonies, Doris Troy, inviting notables like the New Seekers up on-stage. The singer told Allmusic, "I love that album. It was live. We had a really great time. The audience was fantastic." You can feel the high-energy vibe on Gene MacLellan's "Put Your Hand in the Hand," as well as all over the tremendous rendition of Joe South's 1969 hit "Games People Play." It's slowed down and soulful with the simply amazing vocal prowess of Troy creating a definitive version of the multi-format songwriter's chestnut. South had Deep Purple putting the hard rock stamp on "Hush," Lynn Anderson taking "Rose Garden" country, and produced slick pop for Billy Joe Royal, but this performance must have given the veteran songwriter chills when he first heard it. Released in 1972 on Polydor Records in Germany, the album design is very classy, a photo of "Mama Troy" on the cover, a positive message throughout the music and the uplifting poem on the back cover with thoughts like "We believe the world's a friendly place/We believe in all our many blessings...We believe we're helped by hidden powers" bringing the message home. A driving Taylor/Clinton title, "(I Wanna) Testify" opens the album contrasted with the Doris Troy original "Steal Away," voices swelling and Jimmy Helms taking a vocal lead along with the star. Troy arranged and produced this highly collectible album, her work sought after on eBay and at record shows, and justifiably so. A classic performance by an important and multi-talented artist, The Rainbow Testament by Doris Troy & the Gospel Truth deserves to be expanded and re-released.

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Rainbow Testament Review

The Disastrous Reopening of the Cantab Lounge: Mr. and Mrs. Tim Dibble's Self-Centered Purchased Has Damaged The Music Community

A Report from Joe Viglione


      A colleague of mine from out of state questioned the opening of a nightclub during the COVID crisis.   A dicey proposition, for sure.

      Smart business people need to assess a situation before jumping in to a hostile world of medical uncertainty.

       The Dibbles failed to do that, especially with a highly suspicious staff that exhibited little or no experience with the entertainment industry.

        Add an egotistical and inexperienced bar manager in Kylie Connors and you have a massive prescription for failure.  

        This veteran of the club scene submits that a great injustice was exacted on our community all for Tim Dibble's sensitive ego.  

        Exhibit A is the COVID outbreak at the club immediately on the weekend after the long-delayed grand opening.

        Dibble's questionable choice of a General Manager in Michael Cronin is the first place the public needs to look for that I consider the failure of the lounge to be as successful as it could be.

        Cronin's ego needs to be reined in.  He brags about working at Bill's Bar, but in what capacity?  His exploits at the new Cantab indicate he was probably below the janitor position at Bill's Bar! The Cronin actions that I witnessed, beyond his weakness as a manager,  was a totally hostile work environment that would make Vladmir Putin green with envy.

   Add to Cronin's crazy outbursts, of which there were many, cancellations, artists feeling bullied, and a failure to promote the artists the club has a fiduciary obligation to work with, not against, and you see why the club has been empty on many a night.   

     You can't trust Cronin's Jekyll and Hyde routine and the lunacy of bar manager Kylie Connors.  It's a toxic mix that has the community reeling from the unfulfilled promises the Dibbles put out there: first and foremost to be a good neighbor to Central Square.


    As the Chicken Slacks had to stand on stage for an hour on December 16, 2021, Cronin was defaming iconic local figure Mickey Bliss to a large crowd in the back of the club.  Immaturely, and unprofessionally, yelling "I PAID A LOT OF MONEY FOR MICKEY BLISS TO LEARN HOW TO WORK THE (INAPPROPRIATE)P.A. SYSTEM (Cronin spent 15k allegedly on a super P.A. for a 140 seat room.  Ridiculous! and what a waste of funds and resources) I asked myself "Why didn't Cronin and egotistical bar manager Kylie Connors sit in on the education so that you had people on back-up!  Cronin would scream and yell and blackmail me over my job on the phone until he got what he wanted.   It was extortion and it was wrong.  It will be dealt with in a legal forum, and soon.

    Cronin is a maniac, unfit for duty, and Dibble can't re-hire me until Connors and Cronin are fired.   They hurt the community that this online website helps.   Mickey told me that Cronin laid me off (I call it FIRED for not taking Cronin's constant harassment and abuse,) I think the guy had a crush on me from his behavior.  What boss tells you "I love you, Joe" on the phone, then yells and screams at you, then walks up to you to tell you "You look like a million bucks."  Wow, how nice.  I think of myself as some old dude pushing 70, but if that's what Cronin is into, file under alleged sexual harassment on the job!

I'd love me too for my sterling promotion selling the first night out.  But when a manager told me to be silent about the COVID outbreak on the 17th, 18th right up to New Year's Eve, yikes, how is that being a "good neighbor," to Central Square, Mr. Dibble.   All the hypocrisy will be coming out in another forum; I might need a bodyguard given Kylie Connors penchant for embracing her inner Glenn in, Fatal Attraction.  The rock and roll community doesn't need or deserve the lunacy from Mr. and Mrs Dibble wanting to play nightclub owners.


Marcy Chin on the Beam FM Live / Jourdan #Money @WBCARadio

  Jourdan #Money see review on @WBCARadio 102.9 fm Boston @zionrock @...