Band members Related acts
line up 1: (1976)
- Ray Bo Gooliak (RIP 2008) -- bass, keyboards, backing vocals
- Russell Taylor -- vocals drums, percussion
- Kenny Weir -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- John Cascella -- keyboards, sax
- Randy Stierer -- keyboards, moog
- Lou Woiner -- flute
- Exile (Kenny Weir)
- Ray Gooliak (solo efforts)
- Zerfas (Bo Gooliak)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Street Corner Stuff
Company: Chi Sound/United Artists
Country/State: Indianapolis, Indiana
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: cut top right corner
Catalog ID: 115
Another mid-1970s release that seems to have slipped below the waves without a trace ... Good luck finding a review on this one.
Peddler hailed from Indianapolis and featured the talents of bassist Bo Gooliak, drummer Russell Taylor, and guitarist Kenny Weir. All three members contributed to the writing chores with Taylor and Weir sharing lead vocals. Weir's voice handled most of the pop oriented numbers, while Taylor took on the funk and more rock oriented numbers. Ultimately it doesn't matter, but it would be interesting to figure out how these guys attracted the attention of Chicago's Chi-Sound label since their sound wasn't anything you'd normally associate with that company. Produced by Gary Schatzlein, I've listened to 1976's "Street Corner Stuff" dozens of times and to this day it's one of the most schizophrenic albums I've ever heard. I don't mean that in a bad way, rather the album almost sounded like a demo set that had been written to showcase just how diverse these guys were. There was literally a little bit of everything to be found here - adult contemporary pop ('Used Them All'), funk ('Uncle Funk'), and radio-ready pop ('Only You'). Propelled by Weir's smooth voice, it was all well done and highly professional but lacked much in the way of originality, or character. It was actually one of those albums that sounded better if played in small segments since it all started to blend together if played in one sitting. Executive summary: Professional, but overall a pretty pedestrian release.
1.) Used Them All (Randy Stierer - Kenny Weir) - 4:37 rating: *** stars
A catchy mid-tempo number, I don't know how many folks remember David Pack and the band Ambrosia, but 'Used Them All' sounded very much like their brand of radio friendly adult contemporary pop. Complete down to moog and sax solos and silky smooth group harmonies, this one could have easily slotted on the first four Ambrosia albums. That made it the kind of song you either loved, or simply hated with a passion.
2.) I'm Sorry (Kenny Weir) - 4:05 rating: ** stars
'I'm Sorry' was a pleasant enough ballad, but a touch too singer/songwriter-ish for the band's own good, remember Kenny Rankin ?
3,) Uncle Funk (Ray Gooliak - Russell Taylor) - 4:50 rating: *** stars
'Uncle Funk' sounded like The Average White Band trying to get down and dirty. Yeah, there was a distinctive funk edge to the track, but the song's underlying feel and structure was actually jazzy, occasionally even sounding a bit like a Steely Dan track..
4.) Only You (Ray Gooliak - Kenny Weir - Russell Taylor) - 4:14 rating: ** stars
An adult contemporary ballad, 'Only You' sounded like a song that had been written to ensure radio exposure. Smooth and very commercial, it was also completely soulless.
Another song that had mid-1970s AOR potential and probably the closest the set came to a true rock song, 'Masquerade Charade' was penned by guest keyboard and sax player John Cascella. This was probably Taylor's best performance.
2.) Now That You're Mine (Kenny Weir) - 3:16 rating: ** stars
With Weir and Taylor sharing lead vocals 'Now That You're Mine' was a breezy, pop song that could have easily been mistaken for something from one of those faceless West Coast pop-rock outfit. Think along the lines of Pablo Cruise and you'll have a feel for this one.
3.) Blinded By Love (Allen Toussaint) - 3:54 rating: ** stars
The album's lone cover, their arrangement of Allen Toussaint's 'Blinded By Love' was stripped of all originality and turned into another faceless slice of adult contemporary pop. In fact, the best thing on this one was Gooliak's bass work,
4.) Yes I Do (Ray Gooliak - Russell Taylor) - 5:34 rating: ** stars
Sounding like it was out of the Luther Vandross vein of love man ballads, 'Yes I Do' was a pretty, but anonymous soul-tinged ballad,.
5.) Hollywood Herb (instrumental) - 2:57 rating: ** stars
The instrumental 'Hollywood Herb' was a throwaway slice of jazz-funk that again recalled something out of the AWB catalog. Other than the conspicuously placed sniff( (remember this was the mid-1970s when the dangers of certain illicit substances were not fully understood),, it was completely forgettable.
Gooliak apparently moved to Hawaii where he subsequently released a couple of obscure solo albums:
1979's "Home Away from Home" (Silver Sidewalk catalog number ???).
2007's "Isle Say / A Maui Collaboration' (Silver Sidewalk catalog number 0606427305423)
He seems to have died in March 2008, though I've never been able to track down an obituary.
Weir reappeared as a member of the MOR band Exile of 'Kiss You All Over' fame.
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