Hotline to the Boston Underground – Film, Music and More

We’ve got two new albums from Didi Stewart I’ve yet to review


What a difference a week makes.  We’ve gone from the scare of the brave new world to universal lockdown.  The bus tonight was empty save one passenger, yours truly, and heading to Stop and Shop Medford it was like being in a remake of Dawn of the Dead invading the shopping mall. Director George Romero sure was a visionary.  So the nightclubs are silent and we enter a world few of us in the past one hundred years have ever experienced.

Cliff Tetle’s “Good Night,” from Across The Universe, Vol II (Another Lowbudget Tribute to the Beatles) flies the Fab Four song across, not into, a parallel universe.  Where multiple takes of the final track from the White Album are on the Super Deluxe edition, Tetle’s rendition is far more appealing to these ears.  The original release that we know feels more like George Martin and the Beatles symphonic. The Super Deluxe has takes with more participation by the band, but Tetle exquisitely moves the composition into a jazz realm, heavy bass, light piano, very light drums, so that Tetle can do his thing allowing his instrument to take the place of a vocal.  And there’s so much sensitivity to it.  Four minutes and twenty-seconds – the Beatles’ Take 10 is about half that at 2:31.  Beatles Take 22 is at 3:46 and with the piano as its core instrument it is more appealing to me… The 3:13 original could be from some 1940’s movie, so – again, this Lowbudget Records rendition works as if Cliff Tetle, wrote it himself.    Go to  to hear this wonderful reinterpretation and rearrangement.

Hollywood Town is one of my favorite albums.  Supreme songwriter Harriet Schock has a musical grasp of mood, lyric, melody and masterful accompaniment. So that a filmmaker, Tom Solari, has put together a documentary on her is no surprise, in fact, it is long overdue. HOLLYWOOD TOWN – The Harriet Schock Story is – according to the press release – is a Film explores work of renowned Songwriter/Recording Artist HARRIET SCHOCK – Her Life, Music, Career.   Solari calls Schock “an honest spirit …sharing her innermost thoughts and feelings.”  I met Harriet on May 12, 1991 in Los Angeles at a music expo and she invited me to her home on the evening of May 13th.   Harriet sat at her piano and played to me and a woman named Jaime, the girlfriend of legendary songwriter P.F. Sloan.  It was a private concert and an amazing memory in my life. So as a fan of all Shock’s recordings I can’t wait to see the film after viewing the five minute promo.   She’s a special artist indeed.

We’ve got two new albums from Didi Stewart I’ve yet to review – Devious Angel as well as No Love Songs: Laments for a Broken Society, as well as something from Hobilly – Jerry Adams.  There IS a new song from Andy Pratt and Mario Gil – “Fight You.”  Released in February of 2020 and produced by Gil, it is rhythmic, haunting with one of Andy’s best vocals in this new era of his music.  Three minutes and thirteen seconds contain musical movements that Andy’s emotions glide in and out of.  The composition and recording are more about feel; it’s an exquisite journey into Pratt’s thoughts that are ever exploring new avenues.

Mario Gil is also working with Andy Pratt’s friend, Pamela Ruby Russell.   The songstress whose critically acclaimed Highway of Dreams has staying power on college and online radio these days, the previous CD setting the table for this truly fantastic new work by Pamela and Mario.  Tiny URL . com / spaceandtime prr is where you can hear it.  The song goes from a march to dreamy eclectic neo celtic, an arena Pamela is quite familiar with.  The bagpipes on a song that goes out to universe simply extraordinary.  And some disclosure here, Pamela did jam with my band a year or two ago in Hull at the C Note …

Friday evening March 20 the Reverend John Tamilio performed at 8 PM on Facebook live.  The leader of the band 3D from back in the 1980s (and yes, he’s a real preacher!) felt entertaining people in the safety of their homes in these strange times would be uplifting. Was it ever!   Some classic rock and rollers as well as everyday people tuned in.  The numbers on Facebook were phenomenal as people “shared” the event on other Facebook pages. We hear Scotty Damgaard and other performers are doing the same – giving some free entertainment on the television side of Facebook.   Rev. Tamilio’s very fun set included his originals “Everything But Peace,” “A Bit Like You” as well as Pink Floyd covers, songs by Jackson Browne, the Eagles, The Band, Michael W. Smith’s “Pray for Me,” his pal Gary Shane’s “Shadow World” which was truly well done, not easy to play songs by the Who, Neil Young, the English Beat, Warren Zevon all by yourself.  What an innovative and enjoyable way to keep people’s thoughts occupied with all the crazy news on the TV.  John Tamilio played a lengthy set without his other bandmates.  Quite an achievement.

We’ve got interviews with Andrew Heckler, director of the film Burden, along with Robbie Brenner, producer, set for next week. Do stay tuned.

Oh, and it is  Visual Radio’s 25th Anniversary – my television program which started on Day Street in Somerville in 1979.  A long time ago on a planet far away!