Domenic recorded this album shortly after Bush broke up, and his group of musicians included all of his former bandmates. Consequently, this is probably the closest we’ll come to hearing what a second album from Bush would have sounded like. Troiano’s first solo album is also his most mainstream effort. The album sleeve features rustic artwork and photos of Dom and his friends/bandmates, giving the LP a tight-knit, “family affair”-type feel. The cover contains a picture of Dom looking like he’s posing for a mug shot. In the background is his Fender Telecaster with custom pickup job. Although the level of musicianship is high, the focus of the album is its mainstream sound and pop-oriented arrangements. A few of the songs might have gotten airplay if Dom’s voice was tailored more for Top 40 radio. The album opens with “The Writing’s on the Wall,” which was later covered by the ‘70s band Skylark. It’s a straightforward, funky pop-rock song with a touch of jazz, and it is probably Dom’s best effort at writing a hit single. “The Answer” is a high-energy number with an extended instrumental break in the middle. The break features some of Domenic’s best recorded guitar work; it’s regarded in some musician circles as a highly notable rock/fusion solo. One of Domenic’s best songs, no doubt. Opening with a short organ solo, “Let Me Go Back” is a sentimental song about playing music with the good ol boys, back in the good ol days (the Club Bluenote in the '60s). “I Just Lost a Friend” is quite personal, and it was actually released as a single to promote the album. For a long time I wondered exactly who the song was about (“He has been so close to me, though we’ve never met…I just lost a friend I never knew…”). The liner notes of The Toronto Sound reveal that the song is about the death of guitarist Wes Montgomery. It’s a very good song, but too deep for radio. “Try” is a decent Bush oldie. It is one of many motivational songs that Domenic has written. Laced with a country influence, “The Wear and the Tear on My Mind” is another great attempt by Domenic to write a hit. It’s short, catchy, and has an amazing chorus with great harmonies. “Is There No Rest for the Weary” is a cool, R&B-flavored song featuring exuberant background vocals from Shawne Jackson. “Hi Again,” a weird song about a blackout, is appropriately trippy. “356 Sammon Ave.” is a short instrumental, and is actually quite cool. It sounds like a jazzy organ solo, but it is actually a guitar played through a Leslie speaker. Last is “Repossession Blues,” another oldie from Domenic’s early '70s band, Bush. The structure is basic blues, played very slowly and with great care. I really like Whitey Glan’s percussion work in the instrumental break. Some horns enter near the end and give the song a real kick for the finale, ending the album on an energetic note. All in all, a highly entertaining album. Domenic Troiano’s first solo LP since splitting from the James Gang is a resounding adventuresome musical delight. There is an intrinsic viability and high-spirited drive apparent here. His guitar licks are brilliantly accomplished and his high-flying vocals seem to be almost self-propelled. On first assessment, “The Answer,” “Hi Again,” “Repossession Blues,” and “The Writing’s On the Wall” seem to be sure winners. from Billboard …………….
The late Canadian guitar icon, Domenic Troiano was a gifted, world-class guitarist and band leader. He formed the bands Mandala and Bush in 1970. He helped create the “Toronto Sound” in the 60′s and 70′s. In his career he replaced the Band’s Robbie Robertson while Robbie was playing with Ronnie Hawkins. He also replaced the James Gang band’s guitarist Joe Walsh and replaced Randy Bachman in the The Guess Who. Domenic played with many great artists including Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, Diana Ross, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, and also produced albums for for other artists. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996. Domenic recorded this album in 1972, when he was still a member of the James Gang band. Unlike the James Gang albums, this album is full of relaxed, down-to-earth R&B and soul with a jazz touch. The rhythm section plays sharp and heavy, and Domenic lays down some terrific heavy guitar riffs and great solos. “I’m sure the heavenly jam sessions with Lenny Breau and Jimi Hendrix are taken to a new level, now that Dom has arrived.” - Randy Bachman, guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer……………….
Domenic (Michaele Antonio) Troiano. Guitarist, composer, singer, b Mondugno, Italy, 17 Jan 1946, d 25 May 2005 at Toronto. Troiano became a naturalized Canadian in 1955 and was raised in Toronto. He began playing guitar at 15 and became one of Canada’s premier rock guitarists during the late 1960s and the 1970s. He began his career with Robbie Lane and the Disciples but moved on to replace Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. He then became a member of the popular Toronto rhythm and blues band the Five Rogues (1964-9); the band shortened their name to the Rogues, which then evolved into Mandala (1966-9). Mandala presented a more soulful style with vocalist George Olliver (replaced in 1966 by Roy Kenner), organist Josef Chirowski (replaced in 1966 by Hugh O'Sullivan), bass guitarist Don Elliott and drummer Whitey (Pentii) Glann. Mandala toured widely in the US, released Soul Crusade (1968, Atlantic) and enjoyed hits such as 'Opportunity’ (1967) and 'Love-itis’ (1968). In 1970, Troiano and some of the members from Mandala, including Kenner, Glann and the bass guitarist Prakash John, established Bush, a blues-influenced rock band, based in Arizona. Although Bush worked together for less than two years, they released an album (Bush, 1970) and toured extensively through the US with Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night. Troiano then replaced Joe Walsh and began playing with the US band the James Gang (1974-5); the Gang recorded the albums Straight Shooter (1972) and Passin Thru (1972). From there he joined the Guess Who (1974), co-writing and playing on the two albums Flavours (1974) and Power in the Music (1975). In the late 1970s he formed the Domenic Troiano Band 1977-9 in Toronto, once again working with Roy Kenner. In 1980 Trojano formed Black Market with Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong, and released Changing of the Guard (1981, El Mocambo Records) before turning exclusively to studio work as a composer, producer and guitarist with his independent production company Black Market. In 1984 he began writing themes and incidental music for TV, including the CBS series Night Heat, Diamonds, and Hot Shots, CBC’s Airwaves, and NBC’s True Blue. Troiano collaborated with many other musicians including Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, Jean-Michel Jarre, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also produced albums by Shawne Jackson, Moe Koffman and Kilowatt. He produced for David Gibson and John Rutledge on his own independent label. His songs, such as 'Writing on the Wall’ and 'I Can Hear You Calling’ from the 1970s, have been recorded by Three Dog Night, Skylark, and John Rutledge, among others. He received three Gemini award nominations for his television work, and his song “Just as Bad as You” was honoured by SOCAN. Troiano received a nomination for Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards for Fret Fever (1980) and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996. - from The Canadian Encyclopedia ………
Domenic Troiano was a Canadian guitarist whose musical style was varied and expressive. With rock as his foundation, he infused blues, soul, R&B and funk into his music, both as a solo artist and with bands like The Guess Who.
Born in Modugno, Italy, in 1946, Troiano and his family came to Toronto in 1949. A little more than a decade after coming to Canada, he was immersed in the city’s burgeoning rock and R&B music culture. Like many other budding guitarists at the time, he would study the Hawks’ Robbie Robertson at the Concord Tavern during Saturday matinee performances. By age 17, he had taught himself to play from chord books and by studying his idols.
He defined what contemporaries called “the Toronto sound” — a soulful, Motown-inspired version of rock ’n’ roll – during stints with Robbie Lane and the Disciples and as the replacement for Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. His 1972 instrumental “356 Sammon Avenue” was a tribute to his parents’ former home in Toronto’s East York neighbourhood.
From 1965 through 1969 he played with a group that would come to call itself Mandala. The band’s hits included the classic “Opportunity” (1967) and “Love-itis” (1968). Despite Mandala’s popularity, vocalist George Olliver left the group in mid 1967. His replacement was Roy Kenner, an old friend of Troiano’s. Some of Mandala’s members — Troiano, Kenner, organist Hugh Sullivan and drummer Whitey Glan — decided to form a new group. They recruited bassist Prakash John, moved to Arizona, and formed the band Bush in 1970, releasing one self-titled album.
In 1972, Troiano and Kenner joined Jim Fox and Dale Peters in the James Gang Band, with Troiano replacing soon-to-be-Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. While still a member of the James Gang Band, Troiano released his first solo album in 1972. Recorded in Los Angeles, it featured a variety of musical styles. Later that year, Troiano began working on his next solo project; Tricky was released in 1973, and Troiano left the James Gang Band soon after.
In 1974, Troiano joined The Guess Who as Randy Bachman’s replacement. After The Guess Who disbanded, he tried his hand again at a solo career, producing his third solo album Burning at the Stake and his fourth, Jokes on Me. He also formed the Domenic Troiano band, which remained together from 1976 to 1979, the year Troiano released his last solo album, Fret Fever. Throughout his career, Troiano remained humble in spite of his success, escaping the trappings of fame and excess.
Approximately one year after the release of Fret Fever, Troiano formed the Black Market with Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong. They released Changing of the Guard in 1981. In the years following, he wrote themes and incidental music for television, including such shows as Night Heat, Diamonds and Hot Shots. He also played for other artists, including Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, David Clayton-Thomas and Etta James, and produced albums for singers, including his ex-wife Shawne Jackson.
Troiano was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1995. He died a decade later on May 25, 2005. He was 59……………..
Domenic Troiano - Guitar, Lead Vocals Red Rhodes - Steel Guitar Prakash John - Bass, Backing Vocals Hugh Sullivan - Piano, Organ William Smith - Organ, Backing Vocals Penti Glenn - Drums Tessie Calderone - Percussion, Congas Roy Kenner - Percussion, Vocals Bunk Gardner, Jay Cantrelli - Tenor Saxophone Lonnie Shetter - Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet Buzz Gardner - Trumpet Shawn Jackson - Backing Vocals
Tracklist The Writings On The Wall 2:41 The Answer 5:56 Let Me Go Back 3:46 I Just Lost A Friend 3:21 Try 2:39 The Wear And The Tear On My Mind 2:49 Is There No Rest For The Weary 2:47 Hi Again 4:02 356 Sammon Ave. 1:15 Repossession Blues 9:40