Hotline to the Underground January 20, 2020 By Joe Viglione

Ditto duo, Ditto trio, Ditto the band, the premiere rock and roll / pop unit from the North Shore will be appearing at the Beauport Hotel @Beauporthotel on Twitter – 6 pm – 9 pm on Thursday, January 23, 2020. The duo version. Bassist Roger Kimball has worked with luminaries such as Carly Simon while vocalist/guitarist Gary Santarella flew to Los Angeles with the great Jimmy Miller, Rolling Stones producer in 1986 shopping “Don’t Kick Me When I’m Down.” The original version aired on Carmelita’s WAAF radio program Bay State Rock, to much praise from the long-time DJ’s FM airwaves.

Well, Gary and Roger have a new rendition of “Don’t Kick Me” on Gary’s CD. Full disclosure: I produced the original rendition at Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle and brought in a capella group The Bosstones (a different band from the Mighty Bossotones) in to sing the back-ups on Kick Me as well as a remake of Badfinger’s immortal “Baby Blue.” WCGY, Kiss-108 and other New England stations played “Don’t Kick Me” off of a reel-to-reel tape we sent out back in the 1980’s. “No Hard Feelings” on the current CD is also a new perspective on a classic Santarella tune. It was originally a 45 RPM backed with “Lost Road.” While unconditional love is the theme here, as well as the title of Gary’s album, what you have is a prominent area artist taking a new look at his wonderful back catalog while adding new compositions. One of those new melodies, “Punta Cana,” is outstanding and got substantial play around the USA on college and internet radio.

From Mr. Santarella’s album about the doggy Rocky to California’s amazing group Feed the Kitty. Track 4 from the Ain’t Dead Yet CD, “My Last Name,” is playing repeatedly in the computer. It’s a great rock/pop song with country overtones, interesting stops and turns, “Can you take me away from California, ‘cause I got L.A. on my brain. Why does she keep asking me my last name?” We’ll get a lengthy review on the full album when I get a handle on it.

The Low Budget records Across Their Universe II – Another Lowbudget Tribute to the Beatles is so amazing that I would like to cover a review of a song every week. Let’s see how much we can accomplish in that regard. Kenny Selcer comes up with an amazing rendition of “Michelle,” a sweeping arrangement, Kenny’s vocals up front and center. Selcer is a mainstay on the folk circuit, often playing in a duo with Stomper Steve Gilligan. What’s important here with Kenny performing a cover is that you get to feel and understand his unique musicianship. It is stellar, and without focusing on his original compositions – which are creative and impressive – you have a better chance to observe his artistic endeavors in reworking a classic. Go to his website and put slash michelle1 dot html
And now we’re back to California with a find from former Boston area musician Matt O’Connor who introduced me to The Drama.

LOVE SONG – The Drama

Along with the very effective video comes this catchy, driving “Love Song” from Los Angeles band The Drama. It starts off the Hipster Holocaust album. Heck, I was only 14 years of age or so when Jefferson Airplane did the Jean Luc Godard taping on the rooftop of the Schuyler Hotel, 57 West 45th Street, New York November 19, 1968, which Classic Rock notes was before The Beatles January 30 1969 Apple Rooftop concert.

Well, The Drama video date of upload is June 27, 2013, and they too climb the ladders to the roof to film some of the segments on this truly exciting adventure chock full of imagery on the video and perfect rock/pop production Ashley – Vocals, Gary – Guitar/Vocals, Johnny – Guitar, Eric – Bass and Yanni – Drums exhilarate with their blending of sound, a purpose is sensed with Ashley’s expressions over a solid musical foundation. This is one of those tunes you play repeatedly. It has all the elements. “Forever 21” also is worthy of note,
…the band dazzles and both songs stay swirling around in your brain.

Friday Jan 24, 2020 at Club Bohemia, 738 Mass. Ave Cambridge Fat Togue Music presents the sounds of Karate Steve, Mourn the Light, Vat and Gasoline Virgins while on Saturday the 25th Central Square’s cellar full of noise has Penny Outlaw, Graveyards of the Atlantic, Struck Stars and Pyramid Thieves, doors at 8 pm.

Legendary Peter Calo is in town this week, yes, the music director for Carly Simon. Friday January 24 8PM Cabot Theater Presents Heavy Metal Horns – A Reunion Concert 286 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915 Sunday January 26 6pm Pumphouse Presents Peter Calo Dan Morretti Marty Ballou and Marty Richards reunite for an evening of music. Funky Jazzy RNB

We’ve got an exclusive interview with Tom Rush playing up in Newburyport on January 30 and 31, more info on that next week as well as Stu Kimball, Sal Baglio, Jamie Walker &Allen Estes presenting An Evening of Music From The American Songbook February 15 8PM THE BULL RUN The American Songbook is a celebration of the music by iconic American songwriters such as Bob Dylan, John Prine, Graham Parsons, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Leadbelly, Randy Newmn, Hank Williams and more…

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