By Joe Viglione
On Saturday, April 18, 2020 Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell performed Bobby Hebb’s popular classic “Sunny” on Globale Citizen’s One World Together At Home – part of the online album One World: Together At Home – Various Artists.
Rockport, Massachusetts was home to Bobby Hebb for many years and “Sunny” appeared on Grammy-winning albums Nightrain to Nashville and Beg Scream and Shout: The Big Ol’ Box of 60’s Soul. Mr. Hebb’s co-write “A Natural Man” won a Grammy for Lou Rawls in the early 1970s and Hebb’s music continues to be appreciated around the world.
With Eilish and Finneas performing “Sunny” on the April 18, 2020 worldwide broadcast and former Paul McCartney guitarist Laurence Juber performing the song that same week on one of his internet broadcasts Bobby Hebb’s classic is getting renewed attention.
Israeli actress Daphne Armony tracked a version of “Sunny” and it is simply amazing. Armony appeared in the Tom Hanks film Everytime We Say Goodbye as well as in Sally Field and Alfred Molina’s Not Without My Daughter. But it is as a singer where Armony has amassed a fan base. Known as “The Janis Joplin of Israel” her new release, “Let’s Go” is an enthusiastic, triumphant song to help citizens fight the Corona Virus.
Where Armony’s “Sunny” comes from a neo-techno world where Nico of the Velvet Underground, Marianne Faithful, Mark Hollis of Talk Talk and – yes – even Billie Eilish and Finneas flourish, it’s the raspy blues-inspired voice of Daphne Armony which is the core that complements the swirling keyboards, bass and drums. The conclusion sends that voice into the stratosphere in a world where the Doors once dominated, coming to an abrupt halt, it is a truly unique look at the Bobby Hebb classic.
The four minutes and fourteen seconds of “Let’s Go” present an intense march and even if you don’t know Hebrew the vibration is exciting and compelling. Music, like mathematics, is a universal language. Check it out via Tiny URL:
Music Review: Spot Mary Full Of Grace – Joey Ammo
By Joe Viglione
Arlocor Music has released a 5 song maxi-CD from Joey Ammo, recorded at New Alliance Audio in Cambridge. It is a terrific outing from the former lead singer of Boston area legend Birdbrain in a nice compact package rife with the obligatory religious overtones. Opening with a quick burst of “Love Me”, in all its glorious two minutes and fifty seconds, the authoritative riff brings Seattle-styled alt rock to this era with the gritty determination that was such a big part of Birdbrain. The unrequited love hook is followed by Badfinger/Eric Clapton/Cream kinda jangles. Mike Davy and Ammo are a charging guitar duo with lines that flourish, Davy and Alan Ferix (bass) also adding great vocal harmonies.
“Glue” is even shorter (and heavier) on the Beatles melody flavors and absolute George Harrison guitar lines that are a delight and make this possibly my favorite track of the half a dozen tunes offered – 5 official titles and one “bonus track.” What is it with this “bonus track” mania? Steve Gilligan of Fox Pass/The Stompers has one on his new release, Jacob’s Ladder, and like…people?…can we just call these 6 song or 15 track releases? Now that we’ve got that out of the way…”Glue” has all the elements of a hit single, nice vocal break, great hook and a quick fadeout. “Bigger” clocks in at 2:35 and it crosses a plodding Black Sabbath riff with the original New York Dolls after the Dolls learned how to play. It’s menacing and would be great for the next Godzilla flick. As the Shirelles sing in “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” – they just can’t believe the “magic of your size” (or is it sighs? as lustfully pointed out by Cantab ukulele player Eddy White) …perhaps “Bigger” is the sequel to that (free plug – Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles coming to the Kowloon in Saugus on October 27; )
“Teresa” is another plodding stomp, the longest composition on this short disc at 3:33 which has Ammo continuing the musical – and thematic – vibe that the previous three tunes initiated. The entire project has a solid in-the-pocket groove, this one in particular derived out of the second site of the Abbey Road album. The lyrics are strong, the vocal determined the album title Full of Grace seeming to have little to do with the music contained herein other than that the band is graceful in delivering the hard rock. “Bone Dry” sums it up nicely and you’ll hear fragments of some of your favorite songs tucked into the musical phrasings…which works for me. It’s a very accessible and well-defined outing including the final folk essay reminiscent of Lou Reed singing to “Jesus” on the third Velvet Underground opus. Short and sweet – the way I like records (CDs) these days – though with a lot to say. It’s stated effectively. Grade A. Nice to have Joey Ammo back, and back in a big (or bigger) way.