The Trick Is To Keep Going

Tag: Latin rock

Napi Browne’s Love You Everyday on cdbaby

by on Aug.08, 2017, under Music

The single Love You Everyday by Napi Browne has been released over at The track is a funk-rock, pop-oriented tune with jazz and Latin influences. Written and sung by bassist Paul Rosano, the track features two outstanding guitar solos, the first by Nick Bagnasco, the second Dan Gulino, a trio of stellar background singers, Jayne Olderman and Peggy and Sarah Heath and some very funky drumming and congas by George Wilson.


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Napi: Love You Every Day, Background Singers Extraordinaire

by on Mar.01, 2016, under Music

NapiArt Small 530

Love You Ever Day was a tune I wrote in 1977 and was one of the first that Napi Browne recorded. To be exact, it was the third song we recorded during a home session over a few days during the summer of ’77 in the basement apartment of guitarist Nick Bagnasco (Nicky Nasko).

We had a control room set up in the furnace room of Nick’s house, and used my TEAC 3340S four-track machine along with a Ludwig mixing console that was also our PA mixer, along with a variety of mics, some borrowed, to record the proceedings. At one point Nick had a mic in the oven in the main part of the apartment to record his guitar. We cleared out his bedroom to set up a vocal booth, and we had guitars, bass and drums scattered throughout over the course of the two or three days. Complete chaos!

Still, this track has a very clean sound to it, some tasty guitar playing by Nick and Dan Gulino, our other lead guitarist, and a very funky percussion track by the group’s second drummer George Wilson, who had joined the group in late 1976 after Richie Catalano left the group.

It also benefits from an extraordinary group of background singers that included Jayne Olderman and Sarah and Peggy Heath. We were so lucky to have them join us on the vocal overdubs and their parts throughout are amazing. Just what I wanted for this tune, and it was a kick singing with them.

This was a bit of a departure from the group’s usual fare because in our early days most of the original material was straight-ahead rock. The song starts in a pop vein but quickly develops into something more jazz-rock oriented structurally and especially instrumentally.

I’m not sure where the inspiration came from. Well, actually I do but more on that later. Right now, I’m talking about the inspiration for the feel of the track, chord changes, melody and instrumentation. I was listening to a lot of fusion and Latin jazz in the ’70s and some of our cover list included jazz-rock material. So, that’s likely what inspired me.

Both Nick and Dan take nice solo turns on the track, Nick plays an infectious rhythm throughout and George is locked in on the funky Latin grooves. Nick takes the first solo during the main section of the song with a decidedly jazz feel. Dan takes three choruses at the end of the main section building throughout, incorporating more rock and jazz-rock ideas. Then we turn the rhythm around twice and he plays some incendiary fills against the background and lead vocals on the tag.

This song was a mainstay live in our early days. Eventually, I believe we dropped it from the set list as we wrote newer tunes.

The inspiration comes from one source emotionally, my wife, Lynne. We weren’t married yet but Lynne was an extraordinary inspiration then as she has been over the years.

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Return engagement for Steve Winwood

by on Feb.15, 2010, under Music

At various times in his career, Steve Winwood had gone extended periods during which he rarely played live, the most recent from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. But since his exceptional return album, About Time in 2004, he has toured relentlessly in the States and Europe, including stints with Eric Clapton.

Steve Winwood at the Hammond B-3 with Karl Vanden Bossche on drums and Jose Neto, guitar, in background.

Steve Winwood at the Hammond B-3 with Karl Vanden Bossche on drums and Jose Neto, guitar, in background.

I’ve seen Winwood about a dozen times in his career since 1968, seven times since 2004. Winwood played the MGM Grand Friday night, his third trip to Foxwoods since the release of About Time, with his usual five-piece band that includes a percussionist and sax player but no bass player. Winwood handles that with his left foot at the Hammond B-3, while providing adept, funky and soulful keyboard playing and still delivering with one of the best voices in the music world.

After the second song in his set, Hungry Man, from his Top 10 album from 2008, Nine Lives, he noted all the returning customers he spotted in the front of the 5,000-seat house, which was about 90 percent filled. He added that he and his band would be returning customers for a while also, a pronouncement that was received very enthusiastically.

The musicianship complementing one of the bonafide great talents in rock history is impressive: Jose Neto, who has been with Winwood since About Time, is on classical-electric guitar, as well as a Fender Strat for some tunes; Paul Booth plays tenor and soprano sax, flute, whistle, organ and sings background vocals; Richard Bailey handles drums with a fierce, worldly rhythmic fire; and Karl Vanden Bossche is the percussionist center stage on an array of congas and other embellishing tools of the trade.

Winwood’s band, with the exception of Neto, has changed personnel several times in the last six years, but this unit, which I saw open for Tom Petty at The Meadows in Hartford in 2008, has been together at least that long. And it sounds it. It’s a tight-knit, rocking, funky lineup that burns through a set of old and new songs with equal polish. (continue reading…)

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The elusive Buzz Feiten

by on Jan.06, 2010, under Music

In the past year, Buzz Feiten has been the subject of several posts here, along with ones on his collaborations with keyboardist Neil Larsen.

We have to some extent documented his work in The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the original Full Moon, The Larsen-Feiten Band, a reunion of sorts with Butterfield and his more recent projects, including The New Full Moon of the early 2000s.

But his work is at best elusive, somewhat rare and definitely difficult to track down with so many albums going in and out of print. Mostly out.

Coming across the video below was a happy find. It features Feiten with The New Full Moon band that released an album around 2002 (although this clip is acutally dated Jan. 11, 2007) and included original Full Moon bass player Fred Beckmeier, reed man Brandon Fields, drummer Gary Mallaber and keyboard player Jai Winding playing the opening cut from that self-titled album, Hey, Dinwiddie, a dedication to the great tenor sax man Gene Dinwiddie of the Butterfield Band and the original Full Moon.

If you haven’t actually heard or seen Feiten yet, then this clip is for you. The tune is a soulful, funky, blues-drenched track, right in Feiten’s main groove.

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