Felix Pappalardi

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1978)

- Felix Pappalardi (RIP 1983) -- vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards


  supporting musicians:

- Jack Cavari -- guitar

- Eric Gale -- guitar

- Bernard "Pretty" Purdie -- drums, percussion
- Chuck Tainey -- bass
- Richard Tee -- keyboards




- The Devil's Anvil

- Mountain

- Felix Pappalardi and Creation






Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Don't Worry Ma

Company: A&M

Catalog:  SP 4729

Country/State: New York, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: white label promo copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2322

Price: $20.00

There's plenty of biographical info out there on the late Felix Pappalardi so I'm not going to waste your time rehashing it.  Besides, if you're looking at this album then the chances are pretty good you already know a great deal about the man.


There's no denying Pappalardi was a talented guy.  The problem was virtually none of that talent was on display on his 1979 solo debut "Don't Worry Ma".  First off, anyone expecting to hear a collection of Mountain-styled hard rock was in for a major surprise.  Backed by a collection of New York-based sessions players, including producer/drummer Bernard Purdie, the album found Pappalardi walking away from his hard rock moves in favor of a diverse mixture that seemed geared to showcasing his musical diversity.   Over the span of these nine tracks Pappalardi touched on New Orleans styled funk ('Bring It with You When You Come'), traditional blues ('As the Years Go Passing'), Buffet-styled Caribbean moves ('Railroad Angels'), and even  white boy funk (the horrible 'White Boy Blues').  Technically I guess it wasn't bad, if you overlooked the absence of anything even remotely close to a memorable performance, let alone the project's truly flat and uninspired vibe. Fact of the matter is that after hearing this slag heap, Ma should have worried for Pappalardi.  I don't think I would be stretching the point by telling you this was one of the worst albums ever recorded by a "known" rock name.  


"Don't Worry Ma" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Bring It with You When You Come   (traditional - arranged by Felix Pappalardi - Gail Collins)   rating: *** stars

Okay, I'll readily admit the funky 'Bring It with You When You Come' was not what I was expecting ...  His Mountain fans simply won't know what hit them.   The late Allen Toussaint would have been proud of Pappalardi's slinky performance on this one.
2.) As the Years Go Passing  (D. Malone) - 4:11
   rating: ** stars

'As the Years Go Passing was a pedestrian slice of electric blues ...  Imagine a lounge band trying to sound like Steely Dan.   Frankly Pappalardi's frail voice didn't do much for me on this one.   
3,) Railroad Angels    (M. LeFevre - M. Simon) - 4:35 
   rating: ** stars

With a light Caribbean feel, 'Railroad Angels' sounded like a third tier attempt to cash in on some of Jimmy Buffets drunker fans.   Wow, what was he thinking when he recorded this one ?
4.) Hi-Heel Sneakers   R. Higginbotham) - 4:45
    rating: *** stars

'Hi-Heel Sneakers' was framed as another slice of New Orleans styled funk.  The heavy orchestration didn't help, but admittedly Pappalardi's bubbling bass line and rough vocals were kind of cool.  Nah you weren't going to mistake him for James Brown, but on this one he at least sounded enthusiastic.

(side 2)
Water Is Wide   (traditional arranged by Felix Pappalardi - Gail Collins) - 3:00   rating: ** stars

Strange, strange, strange ...   Not sure I would ever have expected to hear Pappalardi crooning his way through a heavily orchestrated Gospel tune.  A surprise, if not a very nice surprise.
2.) Sunshine of Your Love   (Jack Bruce - P. Brown - Eric Clapton) - 4:34
    rating: ** stars

Given his close association with the song, I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that Pappalardi would feel the need to cover it.  The surprise comes in the form of how wrong-headed and lame his jazz-up version of the song was.   A true yawner that had nothing going for it.  
3.) Caught a Fever  (W. Kane) - 4:35
   rating: ** stars

I'm guessing the ballad 'Caught a Fever' was intended to showcase Pappalardi's commercial side. Given how flaccid and bland the song was, I'm guessing few people would be surprised to discover it didn't work.    
4.) White Boy Blues   (Panama Red) - 3:59
   rating: ** stars

Geez, thought I'd put a Wild Cherry album on by mistake. Well, nothing in the Wild Cherry catalog was as bland, forgettable, or possible as offensive as this track.   This set the concept of funky white boys back a decade. 
5.) Farmer's Daughter (G. Guilbeau - T. Maxwell - W.M. McGee) - 4:12   
rating: ** stars
Bland, forgettable ballad pretty much covers it.