May 1, 2020 The Joe Vig Show

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]

En Espanol! No Hay Dos Sin Tres

SUBSCRIBEA #19 hit in 1980 on the Billboard Hot 100. Song Review by Joe Viglione at “Three Times In Love” is as exquisite a pop confection as you’ll find, a #1 Adult Contemporary hit for Tommy James which should have ushered in a whole new career for the singer/songwriter in the 1980’s, one that could have had him giving Olivia, Elton, Helen and Barry a good run for their money on the pop charts. Millennium Records single #11785 came at the dawn of that new decade going Top 20 on the singles charts in February of 1980. The guitar strums are even lighter than Nick Lowe’s hit, “Cruel To Be Kind” from the year before, the sentiment a lot more positive than Lowe, a song about falling in love head over heels, not once, not twice, but three times. It’s survival of the fittest from the first love of teen years being a game and and ultimately fading away to the second time around finding the person in question older and wiser, The lyrics take a back seat to the gorgeous hook, a gliding vocal of “three times in love” over cascading acoustic guitars with a stunningly sweet lead right before the bridge. Tommy James made some good records for Fantasy in the ’70’s, including a wonderful re-make of “Tighter, Tighter”, the hit he wrote and produced for Alive ‘n Kickin’. The label change to Millennium Entertainment allowed this title track the opportunity to reach an audience, and it deserved to. Sophisticated adult pop by a craftsman who has the voice and intuitive charm, this number drives politely, swimming in pretty sounds and is a far cry from the garage rock of “Hanky Panky” which launched James’ storied career. Of the 19 chart songs he wrote or performed, there’s something extra special about this one. Co-written by Tommy James and guitarist/bassist Ronnie Serota, the song clocks in at four minutes and nine seconds. A Spanish version was also released, which has become something of a collectors item.” LYRICS: She was all of a lady, you were all of sixteen, You were king of the mountain, she was your queen. You played in the sunshine, you danced in the rain, It was so easy, when love was a game. But, everybody’s on the label of Producer Jerry Ross, Colossus Records

When Motown had R. Dean TaylorMeatloaf, 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 TransferDave 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.

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]
Despite production by Bob Thiele, Frank Kofsky’s horrifying liner notes comparing Eden’s Children to Jimi Hendrix and Cream are the only thing worse than this music. It’s a weak album, for sure, regardless of Kofsky’s proclamation that Richard Schamach is a better vocalist than Jack Bruce. He isn’t, nor can this Boston band reach the heights of Blue Cheer, never mind Mountain. “Goodbye Girl” is one of the better tracks, resembling very bad Bachman Turner Overdrive. The modulation makes it painfully clear how weak a singer “Sham,” as ABC wanted the non-existent fans to call Richard Schamach, really was. There’s no need for songs like “If She’s Right” with half-baked fuzz guitar, no groove, and drummer Jimmy Sturman all over the map. Emerging from a world where the Beacon Street Union, the Remains, Listening, and the Lost were making musical waves, these poor souls are way out of that league. To be hyped as better than Cream no doubt created expectations this trio could never live up to. “I Wonder Why” is no “White Room,” and “Stone Fox” is a total embarrassment — you actually have to hear this to believe how bad it really and truly is. There is a photo of the legendary Bob Thiele working an amplifier next to keyboardist/guitarist Richard “Sham” Schamach, and maybe he needed the gig, but this is nothing to be proud of. “Bad Habit” displays atrocious guitar sounds, which descend further on “Just Let Go,” a seven-minute-thirty-eight second epic. It is dreadful. That bassist Larry Kiley was 20 with Schamach and Sturman only a year older says something about the desperation of ABC to jump on a bandwagon. “Just Let Go” begins like a track off the Velvet Underground’s first album mutating into bad Jimi Hendrix. The sound quality deteriorates as the record progresses. Unpleasant, difficult, quite disheartening when one thinks this budget could have been spent on another album by Listening or the Remains.

4-29-2020 Wednesday

The Boston Rock And Roll Anthology Vol. #21 is about to happen!

My flower garden 7:07 pm April 29, 2020 – a daily

The goal is to write on this page daily and keep people entertained and informed. Check out this great rendition of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny”

Sunny by Bobby Hebb Kit Morgan – guitar Jerry Crozier-Cole – guitar
This performance was recorded and filmed on the 8th March 2018 Guitar Extravaganza live at Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School. Recording and editing by Dom Balchin
see Bobby Hebb Dot Blogspot Dot Com

Another Great “Sunny” Maestro
Jerry Crozier-Cole
My flower garden 7:07 pm April 29, 2020
My flower garden 7:07 pm April 29, 2020

Preacher Jack Rest in Peace 4-26-2020

Henry Hornstein Courtesy Photo
Preacher Jack in 1998 sans long hair

My Malden Observer  interview/ article on Preacher Jack
By Joe Viglione /
Posted Sep 5, 2008 at 12:01 AM
Updated Sep 5, 2008 at 5:16 AM

For those who love the unique piano sound heard on the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise/Sydney Pollack movie “The Firm,” the hard-working piano man from Malden offers that style of ivory tickling and so much more.

“Preacher Jack” (a.k.a. Jack Coughlin), commands the stage like an evangelist explaining his “religion” of rock and blues with a raw, distinctive voice that cuts through better than Jimmy Swaggart or Jerry Falwell could ever hope to — probably because when The Preacher dives in to “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” resplendent in Gospel overtones and backing vocalists, you believe him — and understand he believes in what he’S singing and playing.

The Malden Observer caught a performance by Jack on May 8, 2008 at Club Bohemia, the downstairs of the Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Cambridge.

It’s a dark den of sin in need of redemption that Preacher Jack lovingly provides as he bangs away on his traveling keyboard. Offstage, he’s a very personable — and quite reserved — individual, pleasant and engaging.

Here’s a bit of background that the Boston-area legend provided us.

Observer: How long have you lived in Malden?

Preacher Jack: I was born in Malden Feb. 12, 1942 and lived there until the late 1970s. I moved to Salem, Mass., and have resided at the Lafayette Hotel on Washington Street ever since

Observer: Did you first start playing music in Malden in school?

Preacher Jack: Yes. I was influenced at an early age by my mother, who was a runner up on the Major Bowes Radio Show in 1939, and my father, who was an amateur vocalist with a sort of baritone type range. My brother is also a singer with great success.

Malden Observer: What were your first bands?

Preacher Jack: Well, my first band could be considered Malden’s first garage band — we were called “The Jupitors” (sometimes called Jack and the Jupitors) in 1956 with boyhood pals Irving Fineberg on Guitar (self taught, I may add) and Charlie Peavy (later to work at his family’s business “Peavy’s Speed Shop” on Main Street) on drums.

Malden Observer: What were your first live gigs?

Preacher Jack: We played gymnasiums, the YMCA, churches, private parties, lots of clubs that are long gone from the North Shore, and later on worked with Arnie Woo Woo Ginsberg at his famous “Sock Hops” in Saugus on Route 1.

Malden Observer: How did the Rounder album come about?

Preacher Jack: George Thorogood spotted me at the Shipwreck Lounge on Revere Beach, took a liking to me, and brought me to the attention of Ken Irwin at Rounder. We recorded two albums for Rounder with the Delaware Destroyers and Sleepy LaBeef as my backup band(s).

Malden Observer: What was “the demo that got the deal” with Rounder Records?

Preacher Jack: Well, George liked the Luke The Drifter (Hanks Williams alter ego) pieces I was doing and Ken was also a huge Hank fan so I think it was the C & W part of my rep that won the folks at Rounder over.

Malden Observer: Let’s talk about your new disc, “Tales From Life’s Other Side.” What about the double entendre title?

Preacher Jack: It is actually “Pictures From Life’s Other Side,” a play on the Hank Williams song “A Pix From Lifes other side.” Peter (Levine), my manager, and Lady Eleanor (Ramsey) came up with the title. We sat around, listened to the diverse selections on the disc and thought a lot of these songs are snapshots of people’s lives, not necessarily my life, combined with my love of Hank we thought it would be a nice companion title for these tales.

Malden Observer: When did you start developing this album?

Preacher Jack: It is a combination of two sessions, one in 1982 with Dick Berwun at his home studio in Lexington and another done in 1996 at Sound Technique in Boston, which was financed by Gary Cherone of Extreme. When Bill Hunt from Cow Island Music approached us about signing me we had the material just sitting around, so it all came about quickly last year. We released on Feb. 12 of this year and it has been a wonderful relationship with Bill at Cow Island.

The MySpace is full of information on Preacher Jack, including a 10-minute YouTube video posted on the front page.

Jack’s in great voice and the deep piano sounds resonate through the computer as he dips into more gospel: “Preacher Jack is at your service.”

Over a dozen gigs are booked through Oct. 25, including key ones at The Beehive ( located at 541 Tremont St. in Boston (617-423-0069) Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., and The Pawtucket Film Festival, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, R.I., on Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. (

Check out for more dates or go on to You Tube and put in the name “Preacher Jack” to watch the videos that are getting thousands of hits, taped live at Dodge Street, Sandy’s Jazz & Blues and other venues.

Henry Hornstein Courtesy Photo
Preacher Jack in 1998 sans long hair

Checkmates “Black Pearl” Posting 2:29 pm 4-26-2020

“Black Pearl” is one of the great Phil Spector  productions, a phenomenal song with his extraordinary sound. That being said, it would be easy to try to dismiss this excellent album and focus just on the hit. That’s the wonderful paradox of Love Is All We Have to Give by the Checkmates, Ltd. and Sonny Charles. Charles only re-scratched the Top 40 once (and that in 1983), but it is this album which showcases his major voice. The Leiber & Stoller composition “I Keep Forgettin'” has that sound from the 1966 Billy Stewart hit version of Gershwin’s “Summertime” without the scat singing. Spector’s remake of his own 1961 classic for Ben E. King, “Spanish Harlem,” fits perfectly here, while “Proud Mary,” the simple John Fogerty title, becomes a gospel tour de force falling somewhere between Tina Turner and the Edwin Hawkin Singers. The indomitable Perry Botkin, Jr., who would hit seven years later with “Nadia’s Theme” (aka “The Young & the Restless”), arranges and conducts side one with assistance from Dee Barton. Side two is another kettle of fish. Barton arranges Spector’s adaption of “The Hair Anthology Suite” from the play Hair, most notably the material made famous by the 5th Dimension (“Age of Aquarius”/”Let the Sunshine In”). Though both artists probably tracked it around the same time — the 5th Dimension hitting in March and “Black Pearl” hitting in May 1969 — there is none of the life here that Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., and their group put into their first number one hit. Like a classic Spector  45, this album has one side that is totally inspired and brilliant, and a flip that won’t get as many spins. All in all, it’s a very important, and largely forgotten, bridge in Spector’s catalog and his only hit in America on A&M, the same label he brought the Ronettes and Ike & Tina Turner’s classic “River Deep, Mountain High.”

Sunday 2:07 pm April 26, 2020

Flowers for Smokey Joe 2:36 pm Saturday April 25

April 25, 2020 I didn’t have the strength to post…Smokey Joe passed away at 8 am under my bed…peacefully… I petted his head and told him he was loved. Here’s a photo of Smokey in the rafters…he loved playing in secret places. It’s difficult to go through the thickness of the day when a long-time pet goes on to the next journey. My little double-pawed kitty.

Flowers for Smokey Joe 2:36 pm Saturday April 25
Flowers for Smokey Joe 2:36 pm Saturday April 25
5:53 pm Saturday April 25, 2020 bringing Smokey Joe’s little body to the vet in Somerville

11:53 am 4-24-2020

Varulven Records Page on Facebook Established April 24, 2020

See my page AMG Reviews by Joe Viglione

In 1982, David Bowie released In Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal”; four years earlier, the prestigious RCA Red Seal classical label had Bowie narrating Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and with his stint on Broadway as The Elephant Man, the artist stretched himself brilliantly. There is not enough spoken word by popular recording artists in today’s world. Steven Tyler may show up on a Kerouac tribute performing one track; Grace Slick, Lou Reed, Peter Frampton, Marty Balin, and so many others have cut promotional interview discs for insiders, but it is surprising how the record industry has, for the most part, ignored this inexpensive and wonderful format to further endear artists to their fans. Jim Morrison’s poetry, after all, was all that was left when Elektra published An American Prayer — and that fans purchase low-quality bootlegs of many artists should have been a signal in the past to deliver this type of product to the marketplace. The scarcity of such projects makes Bowie’s close to 30 minutes of narration that much more delightful. The Peter and the Wolf album is divided into two sides. The narration by David Bowie of public domain material originally written by Prokofiev takes up 27 minutes and eight seconds, while the second side of this green-colored vinyl LP has 17 minutes and ten seconds of Eugene Ormandy conducting Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ormandy and the aforementioned musicians from Philly also back up Bowie on side one. This RCA Red Seal release includes detailed liners and the project, according to Mary Campbell’s notes, is specifically geared to “introduce children to the sounds of the individual instruments in the symphony orchestra.” Both Prokofiev and Britten wrote their respective pieces with this aim in mind. That makes this record all the more charming — imagine what it could do if teachers would actually use it on a large scale to educate? As for Bowie’s performance, it is splendid. He tells the well-known fable with his usual eloquence and style, and gives instructions at the beginning for kids to understand how the music corresponds to characters in the story. The accompaniment from the Philadelphia Orchestra is first rate, the lush sounds more exciting on the Bowie side than on Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell, which makes up side B. Interesting how this project, if promoted today, could bring the name David Bowie to a huge audience of young people. A remarkable and well-crafted project. ~ Joe Viglione

Sometimes I forget my own resume’ … I can’t believe ten years have slipped by …today, Friday, is cold and rainy – a strange sort of rain, not sprinkling but kinda on and off showers…so Thursday March 4, 2010 at Bookends author Noah Boyd stopped by.

David Selby utilizing Visual Radio at the Harvard Coop footage. Thank you, David.
55:30 in 19th of September 2011 David Selby Richie Havens, Patty Saunders art gallery, Ian Lloyd at the Club Bohemia, The Cowsills with Barry Scott, The Guess Who


Flowers of the day 4-23-2020 as they blossom…daily…

Welcome to the Thursday, 4-23-2020 edition of Joe V is an expert on pop culture, psychic phenomena and rocket science. In fact, he’s quickly speeding towards his sixty-sixth travel around the sun! And proud of it. In fact, having survived obstacles that would make the Mos Eisley spaceport blush with envy, he has the street cred to say:” You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” We filter out the craziness so that you can enjoy this humble yet fascinating website. Who needs a site menu when as above so below. Above is our table of contents, below the page pertinent links to other like-minded genius types.

Adam Ezra in today’s Boston Globe

“Shimmy Baby, Pt. 1,” a lively early-’60s rocking studio performance with overdubbed applause and glasses tinkling, easily melts into a creative Hawaiian instrumental from Eden Ahbez entitled “Lonely Island,” which in turn weaves its way into the third track, “Walking Down the Street.” None of Joey Dee’s five Roulette Records Top 40 hits appear on this Scepter release called The Peppermint Twisters, and no one song stands out as memorable, though it is an interesting artifact from the day. Dee singing “hey hey” in “Walking Down the Street” could be the precursor to Chris Montez asking “Let’s Dance,” or Tommy Roe’s plea to “Sheila,” a low-rent predecessor to the two big hits that would emerge a year after this outing. “(Bad) Bulldog” resembles many a Kingsmen album that would follow in these footsteps, so the style of the sound that Joey Dee was imprinting on these Scepter discs would have its impact, which makes these dozen performances all the more interesting. “Coming Back to Me” dips into the ’50s — and though there are no credits other than the star and liner note writer Ira Howard, one wonders if actor Joe Pesci is performing in this 1961 version of a band he was a part of in that era, the Starlighters. Joey Dee sounds more like a teen idol cutting the Doc Pomus classic “Lonely Avenue,” Willie “Loco” Alexander giving it a more intense reading two decades later as documented on El Loco’s Greatest Hits release. The manufactured “live concert” sounds return on the second side, along with “Shimmy Baby, Pt. 2,” and those sounds are as bothersome as they would be showing up on The Kingsmen on Campus a couple of years later. Maybe it was a Scepter/Wand label thing. If you ever had a need to hear the Flamingos backing up Bobby Vee, the song “The Face of an Angel” sure comes close. “These Memories” keeps the mellow mood before the instrumental “The Twister” kicks in like a B-side from the Champs, with presumably Joey Dee on saxophone. “Before We Met” might have the most personality on an album that lacks that quality, though is a pretty accurate imprint of the sock-hop sounds of the early ’60s. ~ Joe Viglione
Great Walsh New Ghosts getting airplay April 21 and 22 on Only Rock Radio
When you’ve written ten or twenty thousand articles, hard to remember them all. Saw this on eBay today All Music Review by Joe Viglione Product Description
Canned Heat includes: Bob “The Bear” Hite (vocals); Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (various instruments); Henry “Sunflower” Vestine, Harvey Mandel (guitar); Larry “The Mole” Taylor, Mark Andes (bass); Frank Cook, Adolfo “Fito” De La Parra (drums).
Recorded between 1967 and 1973. Originally released on Liberty/United Artist Records. Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This initial best-of package, Canned Heat Cookbook, was released rather quickly in 1969 after the band’s initial burst of creativity resulted in four albums and two hit singles between 1967 and 1968. Friend/manager/producer Skip Taylor lists tons of the band’s engagements from 1966 on the gatefold of the album, which constitutes its only liner notes. Dozens and dozens of gigs, from the Monterey International Pop Festival to Club 47, the Boston Tea Party, and what they call the Woodstock Pop Festival, are all listed and this is a staggering resumé suited well to a greatest-hits package. There are baby photos of the five bandmembers (and the obligatory thanks to their moms for providing them), as well as a very cool cover design by Dean Torrence which features his artistic rendition of each performer along with a couple of butterflies. They look somewhat like the Band here, and their rocking blues was actually somewhat similar to the dudes who backed up Bob Dylan. But the sound of their records differed from that other ensemble, and Al Wilson’s personality shines through on “Goin’ up the Country” and “On the Road Again,” two blasts of ’60s pop which were quite different from anything else on the radio at the time. Repackages are often arbitrary and one can quibble that the song named after the group, “Canned Heat,” is missing, but this best-of album is worthy of the moniker regardless and contains “Bullfrog Blues” and “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” from the 1967 self-titled debut; tracks from 1968’s Boogie With Canned Heat, including “Amphetamine Annie,” the hit “On the Road Again,” and the 11-minute-plus “Fried Hockey Boogie”; and material from yet another 1968 album, Living the Blues, including “Goin’ up the Country,” which was as identifiable to the band as “On the Road Again” with Alan Wilson’s high-pitched, earnest, nasal request giving the audience a musical handle, as well as “Boogie Music,” also getting the nod from the Living the Blues disc. Three selections from 1968’s Hallelujah album — “Time Was,” “Sic ‘Em Pigs,” and “Same All Over” — round out the original vinyl version of the LP. The group would release a live album on Liberty in 1970 after this compilation, and hit again with “Let’s Work Together” from another studio album in 1970, Future Blues.  For those who want to get a good glimpse of this band, Canned Heat Cookbook is the place to start. Len Fico at the Fuel 2000 label put together a 2002 compilation which features the same tracks along with the addition of the third hit, “Let’s Work Together.” ~ Joe Viglione

4:38 pm 4-22-2020

Dec 2, 1978 The original show that packed the house, that rocked the house, and that launched Unnatural Axe, Thrills and the Neighborhoods into the Paradise. Show put together by Joe Viglione and Jon Macey, the second of 49 performances by JV at The Best Concert Club in New England. Our first show was June 29, 1978


TWO BONUS TRACKS FROM JOE BLACK – talk about seeing red! 5:28 pm in the wind and rainstorm I fetched this photo of the emerging flower. Today at 4:44 pm it is a cold 44 degrees…I did not plan all the fours in a row, five fours, play that number! Cloudy and windy it feels like it is in the 30’s here five miles north of Boston.