The Mason Williams Album

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     Producer Mike Post and composer Mason Williams packed all sorts of experiments into this half-hour listening experience called The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, and though there are some interesting moments from the clever singer, it is the instrumental masterpiece “Classical Gas” that displays the highest level of creativity. The 45-rpm was a number one adult contemporary hit in the summer of 1968 while the award-winning artist was writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It won Grammys in 1968 for composition, performance, and Mike Post’s arrangement, and maybe because of its huge popularity, it feels out of place in the context of this concept disc. The 27 seconds of folksy banter that make up “Life Song” or the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” riff that is all 30 seconds of “Dylan Thomas” are disposable bridges between musical elements that matter, the closing instrumental “Sunflower” — part of a film project where the songwriter “set up cameras in the desert” to capture “the largest flower ever done” — a skywriting airplane drawing underneath the rising sun. Stan Cornyn’s always difficult liner notes explain it, but not as well as the photo of the plane on the back cover. “Wanderlove” emulates Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” without the flamenco guitar — the artist saved that for “Classical Gas” — and it appears the folksinging duo was a major inspiration to him in the development of this project. Al Capps’ arrangement of “Baroque-a-Nova” is noteworthy — sounding like the Bob Crewe Generation on speed, and a candidate for a much better segue after the hit than the downer that is “Long Time Blues.” A politically incorrect “The Prince’s Panties” is another excessive track, showing that Warner Bros. Seven Arts allowed the team many indulgences. It paid off as there are a couple of gems and one diamond found when sifting through The Mason Williams Phonograph Record.

Nils Lofgren Night Fades Away

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     If you combine portions of the titles of Neil Young’s 1973 Time Fades Away and his 1975 LP with Nils Lofgren, Tonight’s the Night, voila, you have Night Fades Away. Some erstwhile rock critic said that Neil’s Time Fades Away is an album that reviews itself — just erase the word “Time” and you have “Neil Young Fades Away.” Lofgren has less to risk at this point in his career than his former musical cohort, and the LP is more about exploring styles and experimenting than a fully realized musical statement. Nils’ disheveled five o’clock shadow and torn, stained shirt on the front and back covers give a glimpse of the musical image, though Skunk Baxter from Steely Dan, on guitar and production here, takes the opposite tack, employing the oh so professional name Jeffrey Baxter. Jeff Porcaro, Nicky Hopkins, and even Del Shannon (with vocals on his own “I Go to Pieces” ) all show up and bring their individual talents, though some of it gets lost in the thin sound Baxter crafts for his fellow guitarist. As with the I Came to Dance album, the best moments here are the covers. The Beatles’ “Anytime at All” is lots of fun, and though the rendition of Peter & Gordon’s Top Ten smash from 12 years prior, “I Go to Pieces,” moves nicely and is substantial, it doesn’t come close to the original, despite Shannon’s presence. The title track, “Night Fades Away,” opens the album, and it is the best and most memorable original. “Ancient History” runs a close second with “In Motion” having some good moments and a neat line in “Streets Again” — “I treat my victims like my friends” — showing some humor. The song suffers from a nursery rhyme slipped in between the verses and co-writer Baxter’s very nondescript production. The material and production keep Night Fades Away in the shadows, a dilemma for an artist as creative as Nils Lofgren. If only the music inside were as ragged as the cover photo of a star as enigmatic as he is handsome.

1:01 am Esoteric Diary for Saturday June 19th

I promise you the plethora of record albums on this site day after day after day are purely from the subconscious. It wasn’t my intent to have pages and pages of vinyl LP reviews, they just started proliferating again; that’s just a big part of my life so here it is:

You might say “this guy’s totally insane” but I did get a good deal for about $6.50 tonight for a bunch more vinyl – Petula Clark, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton John, Al Martino (with some interesting liner notes,) too good to pass up….excuse me as I mix drinks….my icewater and Cranberry juice at 1:08 am…

…Not only do I OWN vinyl records, I review them as well! Found my old Manhole CD/LP review (I reviewed it off the vinyl all those years ago) …so many eBay dealers using my thoughts on the music!

Product Description
Originally released on Grunt Records.
Personnel includes: Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, David Crosby, Pete Sears, Jack Casady, John Barbata, David Freiberg, Gary Duncan.
Producers includes: Paul Kantner.
Liner Note Author: Jeff Tamarkin.
Recording information: Wally Heider’s, San Francisco.
Manhole was the last of the experimental Jefferson Airplane, and Grace Slick’s first official solo album. While Bark and Long John Silver, the final stages of the original Airplane, displayed the excessive psychedelic nature of the musicians within the confines of their group format, Blows Against the Empire, Sunfighter, and Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun allowed for total artistic expression. Manhole concluded this phase with 1974’s other release, the Jefferson Starship’s Dragonfly. By taking the name from Paul Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire solo project, Dragonfly began the renewed focus on commercial FM which would turn into Top 40 airplay. Manhole is the antithesis of that aim, but is itself a striking picture of Grace Slick as the debutante turned hippy being as musically radical as possible. To the kids who think she’s the cool singer on the mechanical Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Manhole is an alien concoction, but it works on many levels as great head music. The title track itself is almost 15-and-a-half minutes of orchestrated underground rock with Craig Chaquico on lead guitar; Jack Casady on bass, along with Ron Carter; voices from David Crosby, David Freiberg, Slick and Paul Kantner; mandolin by Peter Kaukonen; and a 42-piece orchestra (51, if you include the fragments of the Airplane/Starship onboard). It’s fun stuff, but looking back one wonders how they maintained a distribution deal for Grunt records with R.C.A., the material being so far from commercial. The title track has a left-hand piano part which “was stolen from an improvisation by Ivan Wing,” Slick’s father, and the epic is rife with Spanish/English by the singer, translated in the booklet with Slick’s “phonetic Spanish spelling.” Again, this is total underground excess, but it is actually more than listenable than it looks on paper, and for fans, it has the serious/eccentric nature of this woman who emerged as a big, big star due to her quirky personality having the talent to back it up. Attacks on the government and Clive Davis in the elaborate booklet only prove all involved were not out to make friends, but songs like “Come Again? Toucan” are compelling and intriguing, more so than some of what would constitute 1981’s Welcome to the Wrecking Ball, which contained more elements of guitarist Scott Zito than the star. On Manhole, the music is wonderfully dense, macabre, exhilarating, and totally out there. This is a great portion of music from the lead singer of one of America’s great music groups. Maybe David Freiberg’s “It’s Only Music” deserved to be on an Airplane project or solo LP of his own, but it sounds great and works. “Better Lying Down” is Grace Slick and Pete Sears re-writing Janis Joplin’s “Turtle Blues,” a nice change of pace from the heavy instrumental backing of the other tracks. Slick is in great voice, and reflecting on the album years after it was recorded, the conclusion is that Manhole has much to offer fans. Compare this to Deep Space — recorded live at the Hollywood House of Blues in the 1990s to see the difference between capturing the time and trying to recapture the magic. Despite the eye toward success and the more serious nature of that later project, it just doesn’t have the charm of this artifact from the glory days. It’s also a far cry from the 1980s, when Slick returned with three more solo outings: Dreams, Welcome to the Wrecking Ball, and Software, projects which differ vastly from Manhole. The hard rock of Wrecking Ball and the synths and post-Kantner Starship feel of producer Peter Wolf’s collaborations on Software show a woman dabbling with other rock formats. Put those three discs in a boxed set with Manhole, and you have true culture shock from a major counterculture figure. Manhole is orchestrated psychedelia at its finest with the voice from “White Rabbit” stretching that concept across two sides. ~ Joe Viglione

The Sutherland Brothers And Quiver – Dream Kid                                                  
Track Listing 
1. You and Me
2. I Hear Thunder
3. Flying Down To Rio
4. Seagull/Lonely Love
5. Champian the Underdog
6. Bluesy World
7. Bad Loser
8. Dream Kid
9. Maker
10. Rollin’ Away/Rocky Road/Saved By the Angel
Bonus Tracks
11. Silver Sister
12. Don’t Mess Up
Number of CDs:       1
Recording Type:       Studio
EAN:   5028479022823
Album Notes
An artists conception of The Dream Kid looking out into a blue universe, standing in a clear cube with clouds and seagulls in his line of sight, is a colorful and good visual equivalent to the music inside this team-up of two musical forces. Songwriters Ian Sutherland and his brother Gavin Sutherland recruit three members of the Warner Bros. group Quiver — drummer Willie Wilson, guitarist Tim Renwick, and bassist Bruce Thomas — and come up with a smooth and very satisfying product. Gone is Quiver songwriter vocalist Cal Batchelor, and it is a unique transition concept. Where Chris Thomas produced 1972’s Gone in the Morning album for Quiver, Muff Winwood is enlisted to guide the rhythm section and guitarist behind the singing and playing Sutherland Brothers. Interestingly enough, they’ve retained Quiver engineer Bill Price and cover artist Barney Bubbles from the Warner Bros. days and issue the newer sounds on Island. The album’s history lesson aside, the music is an excellent early- to mid-’70s hybrid of folk-rock and pop, with more emphasis on the clever pop side of things. This is Eric Carmen’s Raspberries gone underground with less of the jangle guitar — sounds more borrowed from early Beatles’ hits by way of latter day Traffic, and that comfortable silky vocal sound, especially on the five-minute-55-second suite which ends the album, track ten, comprised of three titles, “Rollin’ Away,” “Rocky Road,” and “Saved By the Angel.” These Ian Sutherland titles all melt into one another and are easy on the ears, good listening music, though there is nothing on this album as extraordinary as their minor hit “You Got Me Anyway” or the song Rod Stewart picked up from them, “Sailing.” Like labelmates Traffic, this is an adult rock endeavor, meant for those who want to hear the lyrics as they take in the solid melodies. “Seagull” is a song that embodies what the band is all about, ebbing and flowing with hooks and pauses, not your typical rock outfit, which might explain why they slipped through the cracks without making a bigger noise. Peter Noone, like Stewart, was smart enough to cover their music, and it is a pity that “Flying Down to Rio” and “You and Me” didn’t get more time on FM radio. “I Hear Thunder” and “Lonely Love” are standouts, precursors to AAA radio like Barclay James Harvest and Matthew’s Southern Comfort. The strong lyrics are included on the album sleeve, and enough good things can’t be said about this album: bouncy guitars and spirited rock which producer Muff Winwood squeezes into the grooves. You’ve got to spin it three or four times before it catches you; it’s one of those special discs that doesn’t grab the listener first time around, but when it does, it gets you good. ~ Joe Viglione

Esoteric Music Reviews to go along with our Esoteric Diary Gary Wright Reviewed by JV with Ken Barnes Liner Notes

Wikipedia referencing my review of Gary Wright …someone on eBay using the review to sell the disc June 18, 2021


Gatefold sleeve. Inside gatefold are liner notes by Ken Barnes and a Gary Wright/Spooky Tooth personnel lineup listing.AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione
     In 1971, United Artists Records released a double LP entitled Winwood, which was called off the market almost as quickly as ABKCO’s Grand Funk meets Terry Knight & the Pack amalgam, Mark, Don & Terry. Gary Wright’s That Was Only Yesterday compilation fares a little better, and should have been much bigger. The late Jimmy Miller, former producer of Spooky Tooth, had put together a production company which boasted Gary Wright, Chrissie Hynde, and others. When the money people fell off the stock market, Miller’s company was no more, and he told this writer he had to release Gary Wright prior to The Dream Weaver. Wright made the jump from A & M to Warner Brothers, where he hit big time, resulting in this marvelous collection of 19 tracks for A & M to cash in on their original investment. Credited as a Gary Wright/Spooky Tooth album, the tracks are scattered across four sides with no apparent rhyme or reason (except that they sound pretty good in this order). There’s a 20-paragraph essay by the brilliant Ken Barnes, former editor of Radio & Records and Ice Magazine, now at USA TODAY. Barnes neatly wraps up the treasures, the two excellent singles “I Know” and “I Can’t See the Reason; four tracks from the Jimmy Miller-produced Spooky Two and one from Tobacco Road; four titles from Footprint, the album that featured George Harrison and Doris Troy; two from Extraction; and only the single from Wonderwheel. There are also tracks from the latter-day Spooky Tooth projects, You Broke My Heart, so I Busted Your Jaw and The Last Puff. So musically, how does this hold up? Incredibly. “Sing a Song,” from the Extraction album, is in the same vein as the Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition from The Last Puff, “Son of Your Father.” These recordings are classic and every bit as valuable as the work of Steve Winwood. The beauty of all this is it is before Wright went off on his keyboard kick, saturating everything in keys and becoming some astral minstrel. It’s bothersome to give a record label credit after they’ve let an artist move on, but the placement of “Holy Water” with “Stand for Our Rights,” from Wright solo to Spooky Tooth, show how influential his contributions were to a band that boasted a future Mott the Hoople guitarist in Luther Grosvenor and future Foreigner with Mick Jones. While Black Sabbath covered Crow’s song “Evil Woman,” the Spooky Tooth song by Weiss became an underground classic. The dirge-like epic, all nine and a half minutes of it, is included here. As Jethro Tull was able to turn “Living in the Past” into a hit years after it was recorded, it is certainly a statement that A & M couldn’t climb the charts with a single from That Was Only Yesterday. Regardless, it is a treat to hear these songs in this context, and a great primer for Gary Wright’s pre-The Dream Weaver work.

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]
Like Peter Frampton’s Breaking All the Rules, this is a solid album by “the Dreamweaver,” former Spooky Tooth member Gary Wright. “I’m the One Who’ll Be by Your Side” has a solid hook, but like the aforementioned Frampton disc, it breaks no new ground. “My dreams were shattered” he sings in “Follow Next to You,” which is “Dreamweaver” redux, but not as much as “Moonbeams,” which is an absolute sequel to “Dreamweaver” in melody and in sound. The album is a consistent clone of previous work with one exception: “Love Is Why,” a melodic, together, perfect pop tune with simple, bouncy rhythms and keyboard providing a dancing Gary Wright lead solo. It is the brightest light on Headin’ Home, which is quite entertaining despite the repetition. Transplanted from New Jersey to Great Britain, he sounds very much like Denny Laine on “Keep Love in Your Soul,” not only vocally, but in the songwriting, if you strip away the heavy keyboards. “Love is alive within your back doors” he sings, referring to past work. The mystery of how radio and records hit or miss is inherent in this album, as Wright would reach the Top 20 in 1981, while this and albums that came before it were part of a Top 40 dry spell, a void spanning five years. Though not extraordinary, “Keep Love in Your Soul” is at least as good as “Love Is Alive” and would have been a nice addition to the airwaves in 1979. Rare acoustic guitars open “Love’s Awake Inside,” and it boasts a great chorus. Wright‘s voice is perfect on this outing, an album seemingly driven by a serious relationship in crisis. As Bobby Hebb poured his first divorce into the Epic album Lovegames, Wright makes it clear to his significant other “You Don’t Own Me”: “Give me room” he says, to “discover who I really am inside.” The sentiment is quite different from Lesley Gore’s hit of the same name, and the album appears to be an exploration of various themes of love. With David Crosby, Graham Nash, Hugh McCracken, Steve Lukather, Wright‘s sister Lorna Wright (a.k.a. Lorna Doone), Michael MacDonald, and so many others, this fine album should have had a good run on the charts. Maybe the problem is that Wright‘s production keeps his guests in the background. With a different producer, the same songs and performances could have possibly had much greater success — the magic is there, it just sounds too immersed in previous efforts. Nonetheless, Headin’ Home has much merit, and for fans of Gary Wright, it is very enjoyable.
Lynn Anderson calls Live at The Renaissance Center her first video, and the venue sure looks different from when Freddy Fender played there (and released a DVD by the same name). Backed up by four guys and two gals, the singer abandons the heartbreak for a lovely rendition of the Drifters “Under the Boardwalk,” adding “Michael,” “Ed” and “John” — allegedly from her fan club — doing ridiculous Drifters moves out of sync and out of time. The singer makes it all charming, of course, taking a costume change while the band rumbles through “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” “Someday Soon” is as elegant as ever after an uptempo “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.” The DVD set is chock-full of goodies, interviews with Anderson before and after the show, web links, a discography, a slide show; 44 chapters in all with the concert right in the middle. “Rose Garden,” of course, gets the audience off their seats, and the accompaniment, including Wanda Vick on fiddle, mandolin, and acoustic guitar, Buddy Skipper on piano, and Richard Stickley on drums, doesn’t skip a beat. It’s a solid package for the singer’s following and country/pop music fans in general. ~ Joe Viglione

This Bird Has Flown…Record Production 101…

My pet seagulls, Wednesday June 16, 2021 around 6:04 pm ….I bought some dreadful potato chips that sounded delightful, but they weren’t as advertised; they were for the birds…so my pet seagulls had a party.

The Esoteric Diary of Joe Viglione 1:48 am June 18, 2021…

So I invested in a rock band, a four piece group who came up with an amazing song. First, I promoted the music which got airplay from Spain to Australia, Los Angeles to parts across the known universe. The band had no direction, and when I set up an interview the 29 year old lead singer wanted to say the most incredibly obnoxious things. Calmly this writer explained to him that a bad tattoo is something you may regret ten years later and need to have scrubbed off. The band leader forgot to give the websites so the interviewer was kind enough to let him send an update and actually promote the music.

The level of serious that they presented was absent.

I get a phone call and the band leader explained that he had a blowout with two of the band members. Not good. The leader/bassist/singer said that the two gentlemen were “egotistical.” He also called them lazy. Some lawyer friend of a relative was working out a deal where they would pay off the guitarist and a drummer and come back as a trio. The trio were going for a Leslie West sound – but the big problem is, the exquisite sound that I was promoting was replaced with a 23 year old amateur with bad drumming habits.

A prescription for disaster. Since I funded the project and the trio started deciding how the session would go. They wanted to record at 8 AM. What do I know? I’ve only been doing this for fifty years, half a century. My outline is simple: don’t have a session go over five hours, no pot smoking, no alcohol, we are there to work not to party. The band got too close to the engineer, the son-in-law of my pals who own the studio. Incredibly, the engineer was telling me that he could record the band without me, and that he would. What am I after producing Grammy winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and such? Some kid who can’t even stay awake during the ten hour session, looking like he’s losing the digital information that I’m paying for (the late Jimmy Miller called erasing any part of a session akin to murder,) and now I’m getting a lecture on the law from the upstart. Sheesh.

I get an apology:

Tue, Jun 1 at 5:27 PM

Hey Joe,
I wanted to apologize for my unprofessionalism and crossing any boundaries I might have crossed with you. I have never worked with a real producer before so I was not aware of the proper workflow or procedures during a session like this. I did not mean to step on your toes or overstep my position as the engineer. It was never my intention to undermine you, I only wanted to make sure the music coming into the system was good and usable for what you and the band want to do with it. My ambition got the best of me this weekend, but please know that I have your best interest in mind. 
In regards to the files, all track sessions are on your hard drive already. I still need to condense them down to just the stems of each track. Those will be on a separate folder on your hard drive once that’s been done. 
Once again, I apologize for my behavior for this past weekend as I really do feel terrible about it all. I hope that I have not tarnished my relationship with you. I look forward to keep on building this relationship with you, and moving onward and upward!
Best regards,

Feels terrible about it all? I gave two examples of bands in 1978 and 1979 that the lad’s father-in-law worked on with me. How great it was to work with the bands Unnatural Axe and Phobia. Indeed, Kurt from Phobia also played in Tall Paul with a member of the Axe, Frank, and they hired me to promote their single years after I launched Unnatural Axe and their classic e.p. They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

Well, after praising Phobia and our reunion, which I thought was a couple of years ago but the lead singer, a dear friend, wrote to tell me our Phobia Reunion was five years ago, August of 2016…how time flies. While I’m praising the band in comparison to the trio that caused a ruckus and thought partying was how you make records, we get word that guitarist Kurt passed away on Monday, June 14, 2021. Five years younger than me, it puts a stamp on the fact that life is too short to argue.

Gary and I were making GREAT classic punk / new wave before the bands of today were even born. Classic recordings that go for big dollars, and some punks calling their ex bandmates “egotistical” put ego on display rather than talent.

Now the group who took ten hours to record six basic tracks…what a waste of time…I could have written and recorded two albums at the piano in that time, blowing each one of their compositions out of the water and off the map. Insult upon insult, investing in them, they abused my time, my consideration for their emerging songwriting, and now they want to steal the tapes without compensating me for my time, energy and efforts on their behalf. It is truly stunning their own self-sabotage of their career.
The studio e mails me that the band who didn’t pay a nickel, who started drinking a bottle of liquor at the studio that didn’t even belong to them, how they – with no cause – want to sue the studio

Wow, how to make friends and contacts in the record industry. Of course all three are either married or getting married…as soon as they start having offspring, well, you know the routine …the women in their lives will start that immortal chant “Isn’t it time you grew up? You tried it, you failed, now be responsible.” They go off to their day jobs, chained to life outside of rock and roll…maybe reuniting with the two members they screwed over because the 23 year old drummer going on five years of age still has his bad drumming habits- can’t remember the full songs, can’t keep time, and his drum rolls sounding like a seagull burping. Music not BY the Byrds, but music FOR THE BIRDS.

Imagine someone offering to put up the money for studio time, give his production ear, and an engineer and band ignoring a man with half a century of production experience.

They know better than everyone with an amateur drummer when I got have brought in any number of Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummers to make a real record that would entertain the world.

But it wasn’t about entertainment. It’s about their enormous, bloated idea of self-worth, their self-indulgence, their partying and ransacking the serious art of recording that I set up, and that I paid for.

And now, with no cause, they want to sue the recording studio where they created chaos and acted unprofessionally, foolishly, and didn’t burn bridges…they blew them up.

The Esoteric Diaries 10:12 pm June 17, 2021

Welcome to today’s edition of Esoteric Diaries…

es·o·ter·ic/ˌesəˈterik/ Learn to pronounce adjectiveadjective: esoteric

  1. intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.”esoteric philosophical debates” h Similar:abstruse


di·a·ry/ˈdī(ə)rē/ Learn to pronounce nounplural noun: diaries

  1. a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.”I resolved to keep a diary of events during the war” h Similar:journal

memoirchronicleloglogbookweblogblogvlogday-by-day accountdaily recordhistoryannalrecordmoblogdaybook

It’s interesting to write thoughts contemporaneous with our position in the universe at what man calls 10:28 pm Eastern daylight time on Thursday 6/17/21 but which, in actuality, is where the Architect has us situated in the Matrix; where the Talosians have us in their imaginations on Talos IV, or what petrie dish we are in at any given moment in time or space or on the spiritual switchboard. Captain Kirk, of all people, on William Shatner’s recent birthday says as he is in his 9th decade that none of it matters anyway. Not the Mr. Spock article in today’s Boston Globe interview with Adam Nimoy.

  • British

As some of you know I’ve been working on tapes recorded August 4, 1971, my dad singing standards like “Release Me,” “My Way,” “Green Green Grass of Home,” “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.”

well, we have three renditions of “Green Green Grass of Home” so for Father’s Day this weekend, June 20, 2021 I had Eric Lee put some fiddle tracks down and asked Peter to add some drums, bass, keys etc. and add Lee’s fiddle and do a mix. What is amazing is the authenticity of Mr. Calo and his cowboy acoustic guitar. Then it was like, duh, I wrote a review of his amazing Cowboy Song CD, so Pete is the perfect guy to put early cowboy guitar playing on dad’s country CD. It’s not that he’s my pa and that these tapes are a half a century old now, recorded on August 4, 1971 at 7-8 pm on my two track reel-to-reel, but that the music is so much more entertaining than this new 2021 slick country/pop/rap hybrid. The original is still the greatest. AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]
Peter Calo is known as both a jazz performer and session man, but on Cowboy Song (“Contemporary Arrangements of Songs From the American West”) he turns his attention to traditional songs of the American frontier. The liner notes explain that the artist was inspired by the composition “Red River Valley,” with its theme of parted lovers. Calo found many of these tunes in a book published in 1910 by University of Texas professor John Lomax, as well as in poet Carl Sandburg‘s collection The American Songbag. What he’s created is an extraordinary 13-track collection of new interpretations of timeless melodies. Both ambitious and commendable, the artist flavors these renditions with his impeccable timing, sparse but eloquent instrumentation, and a sense of adventure. “Shenandoah” starts the album off, followed by a medley of “I Ride an Ol’ Paint”/”St. James Infirmary.” These are the performances with the most jazz influence, but things get decidedly more Old West with “A Cowboy’s Lament,” featuring Antoine Silverman‘s very nice violin work. Calo essays his thoughts on much of the material in the liner notes, and the eight-page booklet is very detailed. The musicians attack this material as if it is their own, and that’s the beauty of Cowboy Song — sincere reworking of music, much of which came from a time before tape recorders. In probably the same fashion as classical music has floated down the rivers of time, so too “Red River Valley” is reborn with cello, violin, and Calo‘s acoustic guitar. “The Old Chisholm Trail” gets a slinky, eerie treatment, with Mike Harvey‘s vocals and what sounds like wah-wah meets slide guitar. The guitarist calls these “songs of the cowboys, the way I hear them now,” and his vision is itself as exciting a find as the old sheet music that inspired him. The almost instrumental of Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” is a far cry from B.J. Thomas. Mike Harvey adds only dashes of vocal sound, blending it in with the electric guitars and violin. “Home on the Range” plays like Jimi Hendrix doing an acoustic version of his classic “Star Spangled Banner,” while Calo‘s jazz roots invade the country picking of “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers.” “The Streets of Laredo,” “Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Jesse James,” and other selections get the treatment, and it is most enjoyable. There are lyrics to nine of the songs and even a bibliography. A really different kind of project worthy of attention.
1:37 PM · Jun 17, 2021 #ThursdayMotivation from #BostonRockandRollAnthology21 Thought About You on Spotify @Spotify Thanks @LonelyOakRadio for the spins. #ModernPop #ModernRock #PopRock #Sonypublishing #RecordProducerJoeViglione #RecordProducer #Producer

The Esoteric Diaries Wednesday June 16, 2021 9:34 am

Thanks to Sandy for sending a blurry but historic photo of a Count concert from way back when

Vinyl Stocker has my review of West Coast Bound from the Blues Magoos up on eBay. God Bless him! Re-exploring my thoughts on albums from long ago here on the Esoteric Diary

Blues Magoos Gulf Coast Bound Vinyl LP – ABC ABCS-710 (1970)Condition: VG Vinyl and Cover. Original gatefold cover with original inner sleeve. Cover has light to moderate ringwear but no splits.
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione As original member Peppy Thielhelm and original producer Bob Wyld expanded the Blues Magoos’ foray into Latin music meets mainstream blues, these May 1970 recordings take the previous years’ Never Going Back a step further. Gulf Coast Bound is an improvement, retaining John Liello’s vibes and percussion and pianist Eric Justin Kas, who is the major songwriting contributor here (strangely enough, he is listed as “Kas” on the album jacket and “Kaz” on the songwriting credits). “Slow Down Sundown” could be the band Chicago vamping without their horn section, some strange imitation monkey-sound vocals making their way onto the platter mixed in with Daddy Ya Ya’s out-of-place tambourine as the song fades. Erik Kas does the lead vocal on the 12-minute-plus opus “Can’t Get Enough of You,” which sounds like a strange marriage between Steely Dan and Traffic.
Of the pyschedelic/garage rock bands which changed over to another format — the Electric Prunes, H.P. Lovecraft, etc. — in what seemed like gambles to become “respectable,” this is the best of the lot. 
TracklistGulf Coast Bound 3:51Slow Down Sundown 6:09Can’t Get Enough Of You 12:21Magoo’s Blues 7:54Tonight The Sky’s About To Cry 4:14Sea Breeze Express 4:13

PersonnelEmil “Peppy” Thielhelm – guitar, vocalsRoger Eaton – bassEric Kaz – keyboardsRichie Dickon – drums & percussionJohn Leillo – percussion

Perry Mason on S1 Ep13 The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink is on 9:43 am

Commercials are SO annoying, the mute button is my best friend. Got my Vanilla coffee next to me; nice to write these things down for future reference…like what I had for coffee five weeks ago,right? So much to do, got my 351 list handy of “writings for the future” or “writings of the future.” Our index of possibilities, thank you Weird Scenes inside the Goldmine (Doors)…index of past achievements, all for fun for the future generations. I cannot remember any details of this morning’s dreams. Will have to keep a notepad and work on it.

1.1 Break on Through 1.2 Strange Days 1.3 Shaman’s Blues 1.4 Love Street 1.5 Peace Frog/Blue Sunday 1.6 The Wasp (Texas Radio ; the Big Beat) 1.7 End of the Night 1.8 Love Her Madly 1.9 Spanish Caravan 1.10 Ship of Fools 1.11 The Spy 1.12 The End 1.13 Take It As It Comes 1.14 Running Blue 1.15 La Woman 1.16 Five to One 1.17 Who Scared You 1.18 (You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further 1.19 Riders on the Storm 1.20 Maggie McGill 1.21 Horse Latitudes 1.22 When the Music S Over
Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine

A very interesting double LP retrospective two years after Jim Morrison’s version of the Doors had officially closed. Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine contained the first album release of two B-sides, Willie Dixon’s “(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further,” sung by Ray Manzarek, originally on the flip side of the 1971 45 “Love Her Madly,” and the beautiful “Who Scared You,” “Wishful Sinful”‘s flip with Jim Morrison on vocals from a session in 1969. Both are worthwhile additions not found on their first “greatest hits” collection, 13. This compilation is a strange amalgam of their music, the LP title taken from a line in the song “The End,” which concludes side two. Five of the 22 songs are from the L.A. Woman sessions, including the title track of that album and the full length “Riders on the Storm,” both clocking in at seven-plus minutes. With “The End” and “When the Music’s Over” at 11:35 and 11:00 respectively, that’s 38 minutes and 38 seconds between four titles, more than a third of the 99-plus minutes of music on this collection. Nothing from Absolutely Live is included, and surprisingly, the classic “Waiting for the Sun” is not here, though that Morrison Hotel number would fit the mood perfectly. “Love Street,” the flip of “Hello I Love You,” is here, but pertinent singles like “Wishful Sinful” or “Do It” and its flip, “Runnin’ Blue,” from The Soft Parade, are all missing in action. The cover art pastiche by Bill Hoffman is worth the price of admission if you already have all this material, while the inside gatefold picture looks like an outtake from the first album. Bruce Harris’ liner notes are truly the ’60s merging with the ’70s; he calls Jim Morrison “merely the index of our possibilities” and states that Morrison didn’t want to be an idol “because he believed all idols were hollow.” The essay is all the more silly when you realize it isn’t tongue-in-cheek in the way Lou Reed’s incoherent ramblings inside Metal Machine Music are more enjoyable than the disc. Harris seems to actually believe what he pontificates. But the music is awesome, so put it on and read the Metal Machine Music scribblings instead. Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine is a work of art in the first order, the way the Beatles #1 album is wonderfully redundant, and it should see the light of day again. This time they could add “Tree Trunk,” the flip of the “Get Up and Dance” 45 RPM from 1972’s Full Circle album.
by Joe Viglione
All Music Guide

Track Listing

Side 1
Break On Through
Strange Days
Shaman’s Blues
Love Street
Peace Frog / Blue Sunday
The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)
End of the Night

Side 2
Love Her Madly
Spanish Caravan
Ship of Fools
The Spy
The End

Side 3
Take It As It Comes
Running Blue
L.A. Woman
Five to One
Who Scared You
(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further
10:05 AM · Jun 16, 2021 #Wednesday rare photo of bassist Ron Carter and guitarist #BobbyHebb @SoulHeritage1 performing #ProudSoulHeritage on TV. The song re-recorded by Kitoto Sunshine Love @kitotolove listen on YouTube @YouTubeIndia @spotifypodcasts produced by joe viglione
12:00 PM · Jun 16, 2021 #wednesdaythought @gregpaquette5 @jim_knable @IPDKg I love the song INTO THE SUNSET from the #SingleStone CD. @Spotify Thank You #TiorrChannel1 for airing this majestic tune @YouTubeIndia @YouTube @Slapbackband @Goldmine_mag #Rock
For Father’s Day we’re remixing Track 18 “Green Green Grass of Home” with a Fiddle intro, two tracks of Eric Lee’s amazing Fiddle, mix and more instrumentation from Peter Calo. In the works today June 16, 2021. It’s sounding great.

Joe ViglioneWe should be BUILDING DOWN, DEEP DOWN INTO THE EARTH, plenty of housing for the homeless, build shopping malls under the sea along the coastline…and build out deep under the ocean. We have the technology, see Porter Sq Subway station and Fort Point Channel with the two subway trains AND the tunnel to Logan Airport. The Government takes all the top of the spectrum for communications and they take the underground bunkers; but with climate change and tornadoes we need to build down and the buildings above ground can’t be all this tinderbox cheap condos….it’s insane…and it is all about money; this could have been a Paradise 50 years ago with some sanity

Joe Viglioneimagine the trillions spent on wars instead being spent to build firm housing under the surface, let the animals frolic and have more space…mankind is so stupid and people in positions of power, especially thug Republicans, want people to remain stupid. Jim Jordan as pied piper…ugggh

1:33 AM · Jun 16, 2021 #Wednesday Thought About You on #BostonRockandRollAnthology21 on #VarulvenRecords @rranimaltour Hear on SPOTIFY @Spotify The Rock and Roll Legend from Boston is back @WhiteLightArts @gregpaquette5 @lspinna @RadioRaccoon #BostonRock

The Esoteric Diary June 15, 2021

Oh to be young and handsome again!

If I knew then what I know now! Big letters are more appropriate on these kind of websites. The personal touch!

“Can’t Wait to See You Smile” b/w “Thought About You” are the songs on my new online single, from the albums “Love Songs Just For You” (Smile) and Boston Rock and Roll Anthology Chapter #21 (Thought)