Mushroom


Band members               Related acts

Frank Annunziata -- vocals, guitar

- Michael Calaci -- bass

- Mike Falcone -- vocals, guitar

- Joe Tomek -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

- 1 To 3 (Frank Annunziata)

- Frank Annunziata (solo efforts)

- The Stem Cells (Frank Annunziata)

- Visitor (Frank Annunziata and Joe Tomek)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Freedom You're a Woman

Company: Vulcan

Catalog: V 911
Year: 1978

Country/State: Brooklyn, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: original textured cover

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5550

Price: $80.00

 

The album cover; the band member names; the song titles ...  I was expecting to hear a collection of New York-styled mid-1970s hard rock ...  Turns out I was about half right.

 

Based in Brooklyn, Mushroom featured the talents of singer/guitarists Frank Annunziata and Mike Falcone, bassist Michael Calaci, and drummer Joe Tomek.  The band apparently managed to attract a local audience playing throughout the New York City club circuit and in 1978 they released a self-financed album.  Co-produced by the band and Nick Schiralli (who co-wrote most of the material), "Freedom You're a Woman" was an odd offering.  Largely penned by producer Schrialli and Annunziata, the collection actually sounded like it was recorded by two different bands.  At one end of the spectrum, tracks like the lead off  'Rock n' Roll Man', 'Comin' for You', and the Falcone-penned 'Gulf of Mexico' offered up gritty bar band rockers (the latter with some nice Allman Brothers-styled twin lead guitar). Competent, though nothing you hadn't heard before - they probably sounded a whole lot better after a couple of beers.  At the other end of the spectrum, 'Lose Control', the ballad 'Sometimes' , and 'We Were Lovers' offered up radio-ready AOR numbers that would have sounded right at home along with the likes of Southern California acts like Jay Ferguson, Journey, or Pablo Cruise.  Better than most small label projects, but most folks can probably live without it ...

 

The group's career seems to have come to an end in one of the odder stories I've come across.  The group was running a sound check  for an evening performance at the Mercer Arts Center located in Broadway Central Hotel when they were told to stop since the resulting vibrations were generating massive cracks throughout the structure.  The band evacuated the building, only to see it collapse, killing several people and destroying all of their equipment and  their panel truck.

 

 

 

"Freedom You're a Woman" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Rock n' Roll Man   (Nick Schrialli - Frank Annunziata - Joe Tomek - Mike Falcone) - 5:08

2.) Lose Control   (Nick Schrialli - Frank Annunziata) - 3:15

3.) Gulf of Mexico   (Mike Falcone) - 6:49

4.) Comin' for You   (Nick Schrialli - Frank Annunziata) - 2:59

 

(side 2)
1.) Juicy Mama   (Mike Falcone) - 3:46

2.) Sometimes   (Nick Schrialli - Frank Annunziata) - 3:55

3.) We Were Lovers   (Nick Schrialli - Frank Annunziata) - 5:46

4.) Freedom You're a Woman    (N Schrialli - Frank Annunziata) - 4:01

 

I've never heard it, but there's also at least one non-LP 45:

 

- 'Cosmic Dance' b/w 'This Is It' (Vulcan catalog 7)

 

 

Annunziata's remained active in music, among other things recording a solo album ("Make It Happen").

 

 

He's worked as a sessions player, done production work, taught guitar and served as musical director for the likes of  Ritchie Havens, Badfinger's Joey Molland, and more recently Peter Noone (of Herman's Hermits fame).  He also has an entertaining website at:

 

http://www.frankannunziata.com/

 

Admittedly I didn't spend a great deal of time doing any research, but Falcone seems to have moved to Connecticut in the mid-1990s where he played in a couple of local bands.  I say that because a 'Mike Falcone' was credited playing in a number of local bands (24 After Midnight, Bernie, Lip Keebler) on a privately pressed compilation entitled "Trumbull Scene: Volume 1".

 

Tomek continued his musical partnership with Annunziata, playing with him in the post-Mushroom band Visitor and on Annunziata's solo LP.

 

 

 

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