Chemay, Joe (Band)ALBUM:
The Riper The FinerLABEL:
1981COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Joe Chemay - bass, vocals * John Hobbs - keyboards * Billy Walker - guitars * Mike Meros - organ * Paul Leim - drums, percussion * Louis Conte - percussion * Maxine Waters, Julia Waters - backing vocalsTRACK LISTING:
01 Bad Enough * 02 Proud * 03 Once In A Life * 04 A Fine Line * 05 You Saw Me Coming * 06 Love Is A Crazy Feeling * 07 Holy Thunder * 08 One Needs Another * 09 Never Gonna Let You Go
Here's another compulsory listen for fans of West Coast music. Again, like the recently reviewed Frankie Bleu
, bassist and singer Joe Chemay is made from the same stock. In the music industry, Joe is fairly well-known around the circuit. He has recorded with many of the greats. You can see his name scattered in lights eveywhere across the Internet, featured on albums by a virtual who's who in the industry. One of those was an outfit called Toby Beau
, a lightweight west-cost/pop outfit which also featured guitarist and musical associate Billy Walker.. While busy recording on many studio dates throughout the 70's, Joe also managed to find time to form his own band. They hooked a deal with MCA subsidiary Unicorn Records, the resultant album 'The Riper The Finer' finding its way to audiences in Japan and America during the early part of 1981. Musically the album is quite funky, no doubt due to Joe's popping bass-style. Joe and the band manage to keep it melodic all the way through, in the vein of Lee Ritenour
, Pablo Cruise
and Gino Vanelli
. As a result, 'The Riper The Finer' is a long overdue addition to the halls of GLORY-DAZE.
Opening up with ' Bad Enough', the song features a welcoming vocal hook, plenty of bass-popping, and strong vocal harmonies. Even more impressive is the album single 'Proud', which got to #68 on the Billboard charts. The song is carried by a simple but magic chorus. 'Once In A Life' is very understated on the verses, like a laid back Greg Guidry
but comes alive with a vibrant chorus. 'A Fine Line' takes us into AOR territory, with bubbly musicianship, staccato keys and vocal pirouettes everywhere. John O'Banion
is our reference point with the highly entertaining 'You Saw Me Coming', while the upbeat and energetic 'Love Is A Crazy Feeling' highlights the backing vocals of the Waters sisters. 'Holy Thunder' is perhaps the weakest track here, but the closing pair of 'One Needs Another' and 'Never Gonna Let You Go' keeps the west coast flavour alive with a burst of funky rhythms added to the recipe.
This is the only solo album that Joe has released to date. Perhaps another is due around the corner? Who knows. The following year in 1982 Joe and his band contributed to the equally excellent Frankie Bleu
album 'Who's Foolin' Who', again on the same Unicorn label. It comes as no surprise that Joe has quite a fan base in Japan, though his work with many of the popular artists over the last twenty years will see his name crop up often on album credits everywhere. 'The Riper The Finer' finally saw a CD release in 2002. A long awaited event for West Coast fans in particular. Hopefully it won't be too rare now, a quick check on the GEMM
website will throw up a few bargains your way.
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