John Troy
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John Troy

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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After All These Years John Troy Is Still Making Music
By Bill Copeland
2/27/06

CD review: John Troy - Just When I Thought I Was Done


John Troy’s solo CD Just When I Thought I Was Done plays out like a large Christmas tree with many ornaments. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t seasonal music. It just has the largeness of the season of numerous gifts and packages.

Troy learned his craft by playing with national touring stars. He was the bass player for the Pousette-Dart Band that broke big with their hit "Amnesia." Troy also toured with Natalie Cole, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, and Joe Cocker.

Here, Troy’s own musical vision is grand and there are many nice touches and nuances. The whole of the CD was well conceived, and it was fully realized with effective smaller brushes. Troy made the right move when he opted to use an acoustic guitar on every song, channeling a sense of a solo acoustic artist playing alone, even though he has a team of crack musicians on many tracks.

The quiet tone of the lead instrument also allows his mellifluous singing voice to flow and pour like honey over his melodies and grooves. In his quietness, Troy reveals himself as a mature, serious singer-songwriter. His reflections are that of a writer who reveals all the highs and lows of the journey he travels. The songwriter may go down the path of heartbreak, but he has the honesty to admit this and to get it all down in stark detail.

In "The Road I’m On" Troy sings "there was a time my heart was driving/to a bright horizon on an even keel/but my worried mind despaired of arriving/so in fear I took the wheel." By the end the songwriter laments his choices: "give the wheel to your heart/or one day you’ll be on the road I’m on."

A variety of approaches also make this Troy solo effort a winner. "Far Country" opens with Troy singing a bittersweet song over a forlorn melody. His smooth singing voice captures his mixed emotions about a lover who enjoys the love on a level he doesn’t understand. Exquisite picking makes Troy’s acoustic guitar the perfect accompaniment to evoke the otherworldly feel of this song.

He then switches gears in "Nickel & Dime," a peppy acoustic guitar driven number with a near funky rhythm track. This half-spoken song finds Troy listing his complaints about a lover who doesn’t offer enough support, emotionally or financially. This song succeeds with minimal musical accompaniment because its unfailing rhythm allows Troy to make this song tight and bouncy at the same time.

Many of Troy’s compositions are gleefully embellished by regional folk favorites Joyce Anderson on violin and John Curtis on banjo and mandolin. Sal Baglio shows up on one track, and Troy’s usual band mates from his John Troy Band give him a lot of back up. Dave Mattacks is the drummer and David Brown plays acoustic guitar on four tracks.

Troy knows how to have fun with the lyrics. On "That Thing" he sings the praises of a popular young woman who has plenty of style and je sais quoi and a cute butt. This is a fun song that Troy should probably try to license out to a film producer. It would make a great soundtrack song for a montage of images of a popular female character.

But the songwriter soon returns to his emotional honesty in "Find Someone," a touching lament about a man who cannot find the right person to make him complete. Again, Troy’s voice and its near plaintive quality wring the sadness out of this poignant song.

As for the musicianship, Anderson’s violin melody brings home the feeling of "Ralphie," Troy’s tribute to his old canine companion. This song makes it clear that a dog can be a man’s best friend.

This songwriter’s most popular song "When You Turned Out The Light" makes the most of his sad, smooth voice and his bare bones acoustic guitar accompaniment. Troy laments his last night with a love who has admitted she wants to move on. That this will be his final night makes him remember how important his nights with her have been, and the singer sounds his saddest when it also makes him realize he has a more difficult solo journey ahead of him.

Fans of serious singer-songwriters will enjoy this solo effort from Boston’s Mr. I’ve Played With So Many Famous Artists. - Bill Copeland


"It was a pleasure to have John Troy as our opening act for the SOLD OUT Don McLean concert at the Lebanon Opera House. Within minutes, John had the crowd in the palm of his hand, which is not easy to do with a room full of fans waiting to hear "American Pie". I watched the crowd during John's performance as he brought them through a range of emotions. Rarely does an opening act make as big an impression on an audience. John moved them to laugh, smile and touched more than a heart or two. They also raced out to buy his CD and to talk with John. John Troy is a true professional musician. I highly recommend him!" - Jim Roach, JJR Productions - Jim Roach


12 October 2008

So how was Saturday night’s Live at The Cup? It was great! The rain was falling but we stayed dry under the covered atrium. It was very peaceful listening to John Troy while the rain just lightly fell in the background. What an atmosphere. John is a wonderful guitarist with a fantastic voice and personality to match. We laughed so hard as John told us so many funny, funny stories. His has such a pure sound; he doesn’t really need to be accompanied by a musical instrument at all, but he is accomplished with that as well. As I listened to the music, I found myself watching his chiseled face as he was intently focused on the moment of the song. What a treat, simply mesmerizing. If you missed his performance this time, you will want to keep an eye on our calendar and save the date when he appears next. It’s a must. - theneighborhoodcup.com


What a show during Saturday’s Live at the Cup! John Troy was our entertainer and it was a unique evening. It was one of those moments that I believe cosmic events align. I am sure everyone heard of George Carlin’s passing and I heard on the radio that his services were Saturday. That same evening, while watching John’s performance it was striking how similar the two entertainers are. John’s lyrics had that same sharp wit with social commentary and a wonderful sense of humor. He has a serious look on a chiseled face, so it catches you off guard (if you never heard his music) when he breaks out with unexpected humor. John’s stories had us all laughing. Yet the quality of his voice is amazing and unparalleled. We were treated to lots of personal stories of John’s long time friend Willie Buchanon (NFL defensive & 1972 rookie of the year with the Green Bay Packers) who joined us in the audience. You could tell it was a fun evening for John and for all of us as well. - www.theneighborhoodcup.com


What an enjoyable album from two underappreciated figures who have worked in the trenches for years. Singer/bassist John Troy was a member of Boston's Pousette-Dart Band and has since toured or recorded with everyone from Joe Cocker and Bonnie Raitt, to Martin Sexton and Jess Klein. Brown is a guitar master who was in Billy Joel's band for numerous tours and worked with Graham Parker, Paul McCartney, and Dr. John. Here, they surmount their sidemen status with a highly personable set of adult music that rocks, rolls, and tickles the funny bone. In 14 groove-conscious tunes, they express their versatility by moving from the confessional ``Cornball'' (``I'm an oddball, are you sure you want to be with me because I'm not Mr. Fashion anymore'') and the Dr. Demento-like ``Seafood,'' to the Sly Stone-influenced ``You're a Dog,'' the Latin-pulsed ``Candlelight,'' and the more serious ``Find Someone.'' It's a rich tapestry of good times, exceptional musicianship, and an almost mirthful declaration of independence. An inspired outing from sidemen who have paid their dues and deserve some of the spotlight. - Steve Morse


TROY, MATTACKS, & BROWN
Live at Captain Carlo's
(Self-released)

JOHN TROY
Just When I Thought I Was Done
(Self-released)

A seasoned session player and former member of New England's 70s funk-folk combo The Pousette-Dart Band, John Troy finally re-emerges with a double dose of new music. Fashioned around the nucleus of his new trio (which also features singer/guitarist David Brown and veteran drummer extraordinaire Dave Mattacks) the two albums -- one live, one studio -- provide tear-stained ballads, soulful R&B and breezy, harmony-soaked sambas imbued with a tropical sway.

Live at Captain Carlo's is a showcase for the trio's prodigious talents, both individually and as part of a tightly knit ensemble. Each musician has space to shine, but it's the instrumental interplay on songs such as "Down Home Girl" and "David's Cha Cha" that's especially impressive. Mattacks, well known for his work with a veritable who's who of contemporary artists (his résumé lists Paul McCartney, Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention, among many others), provides the tasteful underpinning, not to mention a snare and cymbal exchange (on "Goodnight Irene") that may be the most subdued solo ever recorded. Still, with only three players in the mix, there's room for embellishment, and their supple takes on Ry Cooder's rootsy "Boomer's Story," Johnny Cash's rockabilly rouser "Get Rhythm" and Otis Reddings's yearning "Dreams To Remember" bear that out in fine form.

Even so, the album's highlight comes in the form of an original, Troy's "When You Turned Out The Light," a heartbreaking tale of two lovers taking a final fling. The song is reprised on Just When I Thought I Was Done, his first solo album proper and an eclectic effort that further reveals his musical dexterity. His hipster jive on "Nickel & Dime," the fiddle-fueled country ramble "Arizona" and the island caress of "Find Someone" somehow find common ground along side the sweet, sad "Ralphie," "Never Told Her" and "The Road I'm On." However, the most telling tune is the title track, an eloquent expression of what it's like to be a journeyman musician for whom fame and fortune remain as elusive as ever.

Considering what each of these albums has to offer, Troy may yet find those rewards are within his reach.

--Lee Zimmerman


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- Lee Zimmerman


Uber sideman John Troy made his name holding down bass duties for heavy hitters like Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker and John Pousette-Dart before settling close to home, trading serious road work for session work and local gigging. Now a regular at Portsmouth’s Dolphin Striker, Troy recently released a new solo CD, “Just When I Thought I Was Done.” Troy’s voice sounds a little like James Taylor’s, and he likewise shares a laidback musical style as he explores different musical textures and influences—from nylon string guitar to a half rap and plenty of fiddle- and mandolin- laced bluegrass influenced folk—to create a lighthearted and well-played disc.

- Jon Nolan


"Troy, Mattacks & Brown individually could rightfully boast pedigrees that scream: 'been there, done that.' Instead, these three talented vets simply let the music do the talking on their incredibly recorded cd, Live At Captain Carlo's. Fun, rockin', and above all, smartly played, this disc deserves the Repeat button on your cd player. Live music just doesn't get any better! - Barnes Newberry, Host, Highway 61 Revisited (Folk Radio WUMB) - Barnes Newberry


Discography

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS DONE
TROY, MATTACKS AND BROWN LIVE AT CAPTAIN CARLO'S
For full discography go to www.johntroy.com

Photos

Bio

2007/2008 ORANGE COUNTY MUSIC AWARDS NOMINEE
Best Male Live Acoustic Performance
2008 LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS
Producer's Choice Nominee: Folk Music Performance

As a bass player and background vocalist, Boston based John Troy toured with BONNIE RAITT, JOE COCKER, NATALIE COLE, JOHN HALL ("Dance With Me", "Still The One"), LIVINGSTON TAYLOR, THE POUSETTE-DART BAND, and many, many others over a 36 year career.

In 2000 he began a collaboration with guitar wizard DAVID BROWN and was soon joined by fabled drummer DAVE MATTACKS to form the trio TROY, MATTACKS, and BROWN which quickly gained legendary status in New England and produced two albums.

Then, in a surprise (even to himself) move, he decided to become a singer/songwriter and so branched into solo performance.

In the spring of 2006 he released Just When I Thought I Was Done, a self-produced album of original material featuring the talents of his friends CHRIS SMITHER, JOYCE ANDERSEN, and SAL BAGLIO among others. The album was produced by CRIT HARMON and was added to the regular daily rotation at WUMB, New England's premier folk station.

Later that year he moved to Orange County in his home state of California where he currently resides.

In spite of his burgeoning solo career (this is his second consecutive nomination in the OCMA), John still likes to put down his acoustic guitar on occasion and pick up his Warwick 5-string bass (he is an endorsed artist with WARWICK basses) so he can rock with guitarist BOB HAWKINS. Go to the audio page to hear their rendition of John Fogerty's great song, "Walkin' in a Hurricane." Video clips of John in action can be seen on his myspace page (link below).

John is currently booking performances for his solo act, his acoustic duo, and his trio. As a bassist and background vocalist he is also available for gig and studio work.