Credits (in alphabetical order by artist): Part One

Randy Bachman, Axe (RCA) -- 1970; guitar
Notes: guitar on "Pookie's Skuffle," "Take the Long Way Home," "Noah," "Tin Lizzie," and "Tally's Tune"

Véronique Béliveau, Cover Girl (Cache Ton Coeur) (A&M) -- 1985; guitar

Bonaroo, Bonaroo (Warner Bros.) -- 1975; guitar
After leaving the Doobie Brothers around 1973, drummer Mike Hossack co-founded Bonaroo with Jerry Weems, Bill Cuomo, Robert Lichtig, and Bobby Winkelman. Hossack doesn't totally leave his roots behind; imagine the Doobies playing Beatles pop and you'll get the idea of this project. This album is clearly frontloaded, beginning with the instantly likeable "Life's Sweet Song" and establishing a focused, power-popish sound. Many of the songs feature a lot of acoustic strumming, also giving them a mellow, early '70s AM pop feel. The album loses its focus a bit during the second half, but it does feature "Physical Fitness," a funky R&B song very suited to Domenic's style. Troiano's riffing and soloing throughout the track enhances it quite a bit. He also solos at the end of "Melody Maker," a dramatic, Moody Blues-like ballad, helping the song pick up steam before fading out. Not a terribly distinctive album, but pleasant enough.
(Note: This is a review of the CD reissue of the original LP. The CD shuffles the track listing, omits "Don't Tread on Me," and adds a track called "Let's Go Down to the River.")

Buddy Carlton and the Strato-tones, "Bring Your Love" (single) (Hawk) -- 1965; songwriting
Notes: A-side written by Troiano

David Clayton-Thomas, David Clayton-Thomas (RCA) -- 1973; guitar

Joe Cocker, Civilized Man (Capitol) -- 1984; guitar
The first half of this album was produced by Gary Katz. As a result, it ends up sounding Steely Dan slick. Domenic plays guitar on two of the Katz-produced tracks. The first, a cover of the old Drifters tune "There Goes My Baby," may just be the pinnacle of Dom's career as a session guitarist. It's a classic song, sung by a classic vocalist, with a classic Troiano solo. He isn't overshadowed by any other guitarists, although Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro are credited with "electric pencil guitar." It's anybody's guess what an electric pencil guitar is. Lukather and Troiano share guitar duties on "Come On In." It's another great track, but Domenic is pretty indistinguishable here. Also noteworthy of the Katz tracks is a smooth cover of Squeeze's "Tempted." Stewart Levine produced the second half, which is OK, depending on how you feel about the fusion of Cocker's voice with slick '80s pop. For Troiano fans, this one's worth finding just for the tracks he plays on.

The Controllers, "I Gambled on Your Love and Lost" (single) (Juana) -- 1981; songwriting
Notes: Song also recorded by Ray, Goodman, & Brown in 1982

James Cotton Blues Band, Taking Care of Business (Capitol) -- 1970; guitar
Notes: Guitar on "Goodbye My Lady" and "Can't Live Without Love"; Matt Murphy also credited with guitar on the tracks

John Douglas, Shakedown (Orient) -- 1983; guitar

Dr. Music, Circa '84 (World) -- 1984; guitar
Notes: Five-song mini LP featuring Doug Riley, Wayne St. John, Terry Black, John Rutledge, Lou Pomanti, and others

Matt Dusk, Two Shots (Decca) -- 2004; guitar
Notes: Guitar on "Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad" and "Miracle"

Ebony, "We All Need Love" (single) (Quality) -- 1983; production
Notes: Lead vocals by Wayne St. John

Eye To Eye, Shakespeare Stole My Baby (Warner Bros.) -- 1983; guitar
Notes: Rhythm guitar on all tracks; solos by Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather

The Front, Underworld (Duke Street) -- 1984; guitar
The Front consists of vocalists Tim Thorney, Joel Feeney, and Paul Henderson backed by session players. This, their second album, is a nice collection of classy '80s pop with nods to Motown and Philly soul. Domenic is credited with guitar on the album along with Garry Nichol. It begins with the title track, which was a minor hit in Canada, I believe. It's a brilliant song with a brisk, bouncy rhythm and a rich, sophisticated melody. Just when you think it can't get any better, your ears are greeted with an unmistakable Troiano solo, and a damn good one. His playing is also front and center during the break and end of "Treacherous." Although his presence all but disappears during the second half of the album, the quality of the material remains consistent. Another noteworthy track is the serene "The Moon is a Stranger," which is perfectly concise and beautiful all around. It features Moe Koffman on flute.

David Gibson, David Gibson (Black Market/A&M) -- 1991; co-production, guitar, songwriting

David Gibson, Rhythm Method (Black Market/A&M) -- 1996; co-production, guitar, songwriting

The Good Brothers, Person to Person (Solid Gold) -- 1982; guitar

Ronnie Hawkins, Still Cruisin' (Hawk) -- 2002; guitar

Instructions, Instructions (Radio/Atlantic) -- 1982; guitar
Released on Radio Records in the US and on Quality in Canada. Although this LP tanked, I like it. Clearly, these guys were influenced by XTC and their album Drums and Wires, cranking out catchy new wave/power-pop while sometimes relying too heavily on technology in their delivery. This might seem strange to a typical Troiano fan: his fluid playing coupled with stiff rhythms and synths bleeping and farting all over the place. But the combination works, for the most part. A lot of the weaker songs are more experimental and keyboard-driven and, therefore, don't include a lot of guitar. Dave Beatty is also credited with guitar on this album, but most of the lead playing sounds like the work of Domenic. The strongest cut here is "Don't Say Love," a completely successful pairing of a classic melody with a new wave approach, which contains a simple arrangement, wistful lyrics, and some splendid guitar breaks. Other high points include the energetic rockers "The Extra" and "Wicked Heart," the latter ending with a fiery Troiano solo. The creepy intro of "Ha Ha Ha" sounds strangely like the beginning of "Death on Two Legs," a Queen tune from A Night at the Opera. It eventually gives way to a bouncy melody with an Andy Partridge-like vocal delivery. The album falls apart a bit near the end, although "OK" is an effective closer, and the cryptic "Cleek" contains one of the LP's more memorable lyrics: "Nuts and bolts/screw you."

Shawne Jackson, "Come Back Boy" (single) (El Mocambo Records) -- 1980; production, guitar, songwriting
Notes: B-side is "Can't Stop Thinkin' about Ya;" both tracks written by Troiano and Jackson

Shawne Jackson, "Just As Bad As You" (single) (Playboy Records) -- 1974; co-production, guitar, songwriting
Notes: Co-produced by Troiano and Keith Olsen; B-side is "He May Be Your Man," written by Troiano and Jackson

Shawne Jackson, Shawne Jackson (RCA) -- 1976; production, guitar, songwriting

Johansen, Walkin' a Fine Line (Coach House) -- 1988; guitar
Notes: Lead guitar on "Put Down the Guns" and rhythm on "Killer on the Rampage"; Domenic is also featured on the LP cover illustration

Continue to Part Two

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