Joe Viglione’s History of Boston Rock and Roll and New England Music

Read some of my history of N.E. music here:

Charles Pettigrew of Down Avenue hit with WOULD I LIE TO YOU as Charles and Eddy

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-] 
Alvan Long was the drummer in Boston’s November Group on its 1982 self-titled EP, and was joined by bassist/vocalist Don Foote for 1983’s follow-up, Persistent Memories. They branched off on their own, releasing this five-song EP on the 6L6 label the same year November Group signed to A&M, 1985. “Girlfriend” sounds like the Jonzun Crew with snappy drums and ’80s club/dance keyboards identifying immediately what Down Avenue is all about: a group that was as derivative as it was engaging. The mid-’80s brought a number of artists into this sterile but interesting realm, Adventure Set and Face to Face also making noise in Massachusetts and beyond, the artist’s identities all merged into a synth/dance amalgam on radio and in the clubs. Only Michael Jonzun and his brother Maurice Starr broke out of the mold, with Laurie Sargent from Face to Face also carving a niche beyond the pack. The sad thing is that Down Avenue is among the best players of this sound just before it all fell off the ledge into manufactured disposable Muzak. This EP as well as the release by Adventure Set are the last vestiges of decent Boston music before the scene exploded and band names proliferated on a daily basis. “Nighttime” is another good melody and performance, though there is nothing here that jumps out at you as an unarguable hit. Roxy Music was performing this exact same sentiment on Avalon with far more personality, and for all the slick production and smooth musicianship, there is absolutely nothing to grab onto here. It could be anyone singing “Nighttime” and any group of musicians crafting these sounds. The three songs on side two, “Winter’s Past,” “Way Down the Avenue,” and “These 4 Walls” melt into a seamless essay devoid of peaks and valleys. “Winter’s Past” sounds like a soft rock version of the band New England’s classic “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya.” “Way Down the Avenue” could be the band’s theme song with the hook lifted from Bruce Springsteen and Manfred Mann the decade before — “That’s where the fun is” sounds like it stepped out of “Blinded By the Light.” Nothing here is as outstanding as Adventure Set’s “Blue Is for Boys,” but there’s nothing bad here either. The band was rumored to have signed with RCA and probably did, but then vanished as quickly as November Group did on A&M. Charles Pettigrew’s vocals are slick and soulful, but they are pipes in need of a song that was more than just pleasant background music.