On Riverboys, veteran New England area performer Satch Kerans delivers his perfect pop/rock material with precision and a heartfelt authority. In the title track “he quotes, Blake, Ginsberg…” on a Tuesday morning, featuring the beautiful backing from the all-star group on the cd. The singer does an admirable job solo, keeping the album’s vibe intact while giving a folk renditions. Check out Satch performing the song “Riverboys” live on Stay Tuned Radio, August 13, 2010 on YouTube:
You can also hear a solo rendition of “Harrison Avenue” from the same radio show, on YouTube with the pronounced guitar strums and thoughtful vocal. “He’s standing with the hookers on Harrison Avenue” is delivered in such a nonchalant fashion you hardly think he’s singing about, well… hookers. The seedy underground performed in a respectful manner. Good for church singalongs.
With the ten tracks of material all under 5 minutes and over at least 3:22, the songwriter/singer/guitar player puts a haunting backing vocal and equally daunting bending guitar gives his disregard for the empty prophets and mystics, this “Holy Man” ain’t “no Son of Sam” – a double negative, perhaps, saying that he is. “Just a Life” has a Lou Reed story/spoken word literary essay, a tale to tell while “Sign Says” is another tender song full of introspection and some religious overtones. This is the kind of soulful pop music that one wishes Tom Petty would perform, enough out of the mainstream to keep the appeal up (where Petty’s material gets so overpolished it loses some of the potential it started off with.) The thumpa-thump and harmonica on “Little Black Dog” and eavesdropping – perhaps – of a young Norma Tanega type before she walked her cat named dog. “Michael Brown” is pure folk, which many of the rock numbers here lean towards, it’s just that on this title Tom “Satch” Kerans just goes all out on the solo approach. “Psycho-Delic World” has a fun Quasimodo vocal, a bit underwater, a nice segue for radio d.j.’s after Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In.) “Your God” is a good closing number, more religious ruminations and meditations, maybe a subconscious response to Jethro Tull’s “My God” from Aqualung Jethro Tull – My God (Lyrics in description)
The CD Baby bio has a list of the musicians and some credits:
Recorded at Hi-N-Dry Studio in Cambridge, the studio founded by the legendary Mark Sandman of Morphine. Though Sandman passed away in 1999, the studio is manned by former band mates and friends including Billy Conway and Dana Colley. In addition to writing and singing the 10 tracks for the album, Kerans played guitar, Hammond organ and harmonica. North Shore music veterans Lenny Dunn and Kevin Levesque played drums and bass respectively. Kerans also enlisted the help of some prominent Boston musicians including Sal Baglio (guitar and vocals on “Harrison Avenue”). Dana Colley (sax on “Riverboys”) and Tom Janovitz (vocals on “Big Love”).
Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Morphine, Radiohead) handled the mixing at Camp St. Studio in Cambridge and it was mastered by Ian Kennedy at New Alliance.
Get a glimpse of Riverboys by Satch Kerans on CD Baby and catch a reunion of The Catalinas:
Friday, June 13th, 2014
The Satch Kerans Band
The Dog Bar
65 Main St
Rocking’ out in downtown Glosta. Satch will be playing “some originals and a lot of fun covers. the usual Satch fair.” according to his website:
Saturday, June 21st, 2014 10:00 PM
Satch Kerans – solo
Howling Wolf Taqueria
76 Lafayette St
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.