Domenic Troiano

Domenic Troiano

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The solo debut from guitarist Domenic Troiano came at a time when he was releasing two albums with the James Gang. Charlotte Dillon's biography on the All Media Guide states that this album was initiated prior to his joining the James Gang and completed during that phase of his career. There's a definite Steely Dan feel to the proceedings, especially on "Let Me Go Back," and the first of two compositions co-written with James Gang vocalist Roy Kenner, "Try." The rhythm section for Lou Reed's classic Rock 'n' Roll Animal album, drummer Penti Glan and bassist John Prakash, appear here a year before they would cut the historic live album with guitar heroes Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner. The musicianship is superb, with a loose and funky feel, and the album looks expensive as well. A gatefold with band photos and interesting design, Mercury was no doubt serious about their artist. This was a year before that same label would release Bachman-Turner Overdrive, whose guitarist Troiano would later replace in the Guess Who. This album is distinctive, though, as it shows Troiano in an interesting light and identifies his versatility. Clich├ęs like "The Writings on the Wall" and "Is There No Rest for the Weary" become songs, and the music is more suited to Delaney & Bonnie than the James Gang or the Guess Who. In fact, the elements here do not really show up on his work with Burton Cummings' final two '70s Guess Who LPs, Flavours and Power in the Music, which gives an indication of Troiano's ability to adapt. From the Delaney & Bonnie meets Steely Dan style so prevalent on tracks like "Let Me Go Back" and "I Just Lost a Friend," Troiano concludes the album with an about-face, nine minutes and 40 seconds of "Repossession Blues." It makes for a well-rounded debut by a journeyman who has never really gotten his due. Maybe the bands he played with wanted formula, because allowed to stretch out, the Domenic Troiano album is quite enjoyable and has lots to offer. It's also important to note the co-production work by James Gang producer Keith Olsen came at a time when Olsen was engineering Dr. John for Jerry Wexler. That seems to have had an influence on this project.

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