Pre-Order: “Personal Thing”/ “Birdland” – 10″ Single – Audiophile Vinyl
Vinyl will be available after July 4.
“There’s something special about this band,” says Mike Merola about his City Boys Allstars. Of course any bandleader worth his salt is inclined to talk like this when speaking to a music journalist, but Merola, a modest kind of guy, isn’t exaggerating. He’s right on the money because it’s well nigh impossible to think of any current band whose sound comes close to his little big band’s mélange of pure jazz, jazz-rock, classic r&b, blues, and soul. After all, these hip music-makers are some of the best singers and instrumentalists in New York City, among them Lew Soloff, a world-renowned jazz trumpeter with extensive pop credentials. Merola, a guitarist, has considered Soloff his mentor since they first met in late-1989, not too long before the launch of the original edition of the Allstars. Merola took Soloff’s advice about his then-new band to heart. “Lew told me I was lucky I’ve got the right kind of musicians,” he recalls, “and that I shouldn’t try to remake the Blues Brothers or anybody else because if we play originals and let these vocalists and musicians do their thing, we’ll come up with an original
sound.” They did, wowing listeners for most of the 1990s until serious family illnesses forced Merola to shut the band down.
Flash forward to 2014. Still sounding like no one else, the reassembled Allstars has slugged two Ruthian grand slams. Their album Blinded by the Night showcases the remarkable chemistry among the 13 group members in an August 2013 concert at Manhattan’s The Cutting Room. A truly memorable night, it was the band’s first appearance since 1997. There’s also a brand new Allstars studio album, full of inspired singing and musicianship.
- Personal Thing Writer: Al MacDowell, Loved Music Publishing BMI
- Birdland Writer: Josef Erich Sawinul, Songs Of Universal Inc. BMI 353271280, Mulatto Music BMI 83178659