Alive 'n Kickin'
Band members Related acts
- Vito Albano --
drums, percussion (1969-71)
- Brooklyn Dreams (Bruce Sudano)
James (solo efforts)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Alive 'n Kickin'
Catalog: SR 42052
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: cut out niche, still in shrink wrap
GEMM catalog ID: 5450
Led by singer Pepe Cardona Alive 'n Kickin' was a New York City based sextet
showcasing the talents of drummer Vito Albano, vocalist Sandy Todler,
guitarist John Parisio, keyboardist Bruce Sudano and bassist Thomas
Wilson. The group started their careers playing the city's club
circuit getting their initial break when they attracted the attention of Tommy James of
Shondells fame. Impressed by the band he offered to help them record a song
he'd recently written but had been unable to record due to a severe case of
stage fright. Ironically, before the group could record 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' James withdrew the offer
so that James and the
Shondells could release it themselves. Redeeming himself, James
offered the band a replacement track entitled 'Tighter and Tighter'.
As was standard
marketing, Roulette rushed the band into the studio to
record a supporting album. Produced by James and Bob King, the
cleverly-titled "Alive 'n Kickin'"
proved a minor surprise. Anyone hearing 'Tighter and Tighter' (let
along looking at the fun-in-the-sun album cover), would have justifiably
concluded these guys were little more than a faceless top-40 pop band.
conclusion. Powered by Todler's tough voice (her bluesy delivery
occasionally baring a startling resemblance to Janis Joplin - check out
'Just Let It Come' or 'Kentucky Fire'), the set of largely original material rocked with
a surprising amount of energy. While it may not have made for the year's most original
set, tracks such as 'Junction Creek' and 'Mississippi
Mud' saw the group displaying a penchant for above average blues-rock.
That wasn't meant to imply these guys were going to knock Deep Purple off
the hard rock throne. Largely penned by Sudano and Wilson, virtually
everyone of these nine tracks retained a distinctive commercial sheen.
Elsewhere Roulette tapped the album for a follow-on single in the form of
'Just Let It Come' b/w 'Mother Carey's Chicken' (Roulette catalog number
1.) Tighter, Tighter (Tommy James - Bob King) - 2:43
1.) Just Let It Come
(A. Martin) - 3:09
- 1971's 'London Bridge' b/w 'You Gave Me Something' (Roulette catalog number R-7094)
- 1971's 'Good Ole Lovin' Back Home' b/w 'Jordan' (Roulette catalog number R-7113)
and by the end of the year the group had called it quits.
With singer Pepe Cardona and guitarist John Parisio as the lone original members the band is still active playing weddings, graduations, and parties in the New York area. Interested in hiring them? They get great reviews and have a small website at:
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