by Ross Cat.
HUGH DILLON REDEMPTION CHOIR.... The HDRC will make its triumphant return
to Western New York this Friday night (Sept. 30) at Club Infinity in Williamsville.
The former HEADSTONES front man and his new band have been hitting the
road hard across Canada on the strength of their new disc titled “High
Cost of Low Living”.
This is Dillon’s first musical venture since his departure from one of
Canada’s top live acts, the HEADSTONES. The dogmatic vocalist and
his new cast of characters certainly haven’t lost any edge with this new
collection of songs, showing that they have “What it Takes” to back the
engrossing entertainer. Although not as heavy as his previous band,
the HDRC is a well-honed group of musicians that seem to rejuvenate Dillon’s
desire to carve out a new stone in his “Cemetery” of hits. The songwriter
has never held back lyrically; so don’t let the suits fool you because
inside this actor will always be the same character that is Hugh Dillon.
NIGHTLIFE had the chance to speak with HDRC bassist/songwriter Chris Osti
from the road about the new songs and the tour.
R.Cat. –When we last spoke with Hugh he had stated that he really
wasn’t looking to start up a new band following the dissolution of the
HEADSTONES, what changed that for him?
C.OSTI- Its something that just kind of happened we had a friendly
relationship because Hugh had known my father for sometime, but never really
a professional relationship. Once we began to talk about working together
it came very easily kind of effortlessly, which was really refreshing.
We both have the same work ethic so it’s been great fun.
R.Cat.- What was your music background before becoming a member
of the HDRC?
C.OSTI- I had been playing the Toronto music scene since I was a
teenager, spending about six years with a band called AudioBomb. After
that ended, I decided to try my hand at songwriting, Hugh gave me a call
and just wanted to lay out some ideas with no intentions of forming a band,
more importantly there were no expectations on Hugh, we just had some fun
jamming. Things changed when Paul Langlois of the TRAGICALLY HIP heard
some of the demos and wanted to jump on board with the project, so it just
organically progressed from there.
R.Cat.- Is it difficult working with someone like Hugh who has such
a great collection of songs from his time with the HEADSTONES, and how
do you avoid the comparison game within the band?
C. OSTI- We realize that some of the people who come out to the
shows are hoping to hear some of their songs but it wouldn’t be fair to
those guys. I can’t play the songs on bass as well as Tim White does, and
J.P. Polsoni doesn’t have the same tone on guitar as Trent Carr. The HDRC
music is something different but it’s just as good in a different sort
of way. The one similarity the bands do have is we love to play some great
cover tunes during the set. We have a few new tricks up our sleeve
since our last visit to Buffalo.
I’ve read that the band already has enough material for another album and
Paul Langlois will once again be working with you?
OSTI- It looks like we’ll be in the studio early in 2006. In our
initial collaborations Hugh and I wrote enough material for three or four
albums. Now the process begins of once again picking out what ideas
will fit the band and take them to the next level, some of them are already
being road tested in the live set. As a matter of fact the opening
song is a new one we wrote a few months ago we’re calling “The Hit” for
now, due to it’s mafia undertones. FACE TIME WITH KENNEY JONES.... The
JONES GANG is a new band of old mates whose latest record is flying high
not only on the Billboard charts with the hit single “Angel”, it is also
reaching new marketing heights teaming up with USA 3000 Airlines for the
new release “Any Day Now”. From top to bottom this is a great throwback
rock and roll record. After researching the bands website (www.jonesgangmusic.com)
I realized that it really was no surprise as to why. These accomplished
musicians have enjoyed enormous success with other rock and roll outfits
to the tune of over 50 million records sold, producing a potent mix of
classic rock and roll cadence. This ensemble came to together through a
series of benefit shows in the U.K. for the Small Faces Charitable Trust
a foundation created by drummer Kenney Jones in 1999 dedicated to all children
in need, as well as to the memory of former band mates Steve Marriot and
Ronnie Lane. Jones an original member of the SMALL FACES who later became
the group FACES with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, enjoyed great success
throughout the 1970’s. In 1978 Jones would find himself taking on the lofty
task of replacing the late great Keith Moon of the THE WHO, despite some
criticisms within the music community Jones went on to enjoy enormous success
recording and touring with the band for well over a decade. These days
Jones once again finds himself keeping good company with friends old and
new with former FOREIGNER/BAD CO. bassist Rick Wills, and versatile vocalist
Robert Hart who fronted BAD COMPANY in the mid-nineties. Other guest players
“Happy” to contribute to the JONES GANG include ROLLING STONE guitarist
Ronnie Wood, who lends two hands, one on his renowned guitar, and one with
the stroke of a pen as he sketched the band portrait for the album cover
which is also on display flying over head on the tail of some USA 3000
Jets. Night-Life had the honor to speak with the eminent drummer from his
home in the U.K. as he and the JONES GANG prepare to take the success of
this new venture on the road.
R.Cat.- Congratulations on the achievement of the new record especially
the single “Angel” it’s really a great power ballad, tell us about the
K.JONES- It was written by Robert Hart and Russ Ballard. Early
on as we were getting acquainted as writing partners when Robert pulled
out the song from some demos he had, I instantly liked it. From there we
laid it down very quickly, it is a ballad but it has some bones to it.
R.Cat.- Another stand out track on the record is “Gypsy Lane”, that
song really touches on your celebrated past.
K.JONES- I really love that song it comes from a very passionate
place for me, it was actually written by accident. Robert and I were
running late for an interview in London so I took a short cut down “Gypsy
Lane”, on top of that street sign was a shrine of flowers for Marc Bolen
of T. REX, he had died there in a car wreck in 1977. It got me thinking
of my band mate the late Ronnie Lane and my time with the FACES family,
Ronnie had become a bit of a gypsy. By the time Robert and I arrived at
the interview we had already had the song written. We decided to give Woody
and Ian Mac Lagan a call and they loved the song so it became a tribute
to Ronnie Lane with the surviving members of FACES.
R.Cat.- Now that the band is getting some well deserved recognition
on the charts is there any chance the JONES GANG will be boarding one of
those USA 3000 jets and heading over to the states for some live shows?
We’d love to see you in Buffalo.
K.JONES- We will be heading over in late October for some promotional
gigs then we will be going full tilt after Christmas. As for playing
Buffalo I sure would love to play there again. One of my greatest
memories of my touring days with the WHO was in Buffalo in the early eighties.
We were doing the song “Love Reign O’er Me” just as Roger Daltry was singing
that verse the skies over Rich Stadium opened up and the rain began to
fall, you just can’t buy a moment like that.
TANGLED WEB .... Like the rest of our country who have come together in
these recent times of despair the Buffalo rock and roll community pulled
together to help out one of their own. Rock and Roll Heaven/Club Miami
in Cheektowaga hosted a benefit for our first lady of local rock Lana Hergert.
The multiple award-winning vocalist of BLACK WIDOW has been confined to
a wheel chair the past few months due to severe injuries to her legs. Being
the consummate professional that she is Lana has been keeping her commitments
with both Black Widow, and her acoustic partner Buffalo Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame guitarist Michael Hund, belting out her heavenly voice from a wheelchair.
Several of Western New York’s local bands donated their time and music
to the cause including Sunset Blvd., Sly Alibi, Toybox Heros, Metal Works,
80’s Hairband, and The Trolls. The highlight of the evening came as Nashville
recording artist Greg Crowe(www.gregcrowe.com)
took the stage to close out the evening. The country rocker is currently
enjoying great success on the charts as well as on the Great American Country
station with his video G.R.I.T.S (Girls Raised in the South). Crowe is
currently working on a follow up to that album with guitarist Michael Hund
right here in Buffalo.
Lana Hergert will be facing extensive and costly physical therapy throughout
the winter, for those of you who could not attend the benefit and would
like to contribute, donations can be sent to:
South Park Avenue
SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK AND ROLL STAR….. Desiderio’s on Broadway will
be bring back some of Buffalo’s own legends of rock to the stage on Saturday
October 1st. Local Buffalo band BLEEDING HEARTS will welcome longtime
radio executive Donnie Tomasulo out of retirement for a set of TOM PETTY
classics. Some of you may remember D.T. from his days on the skins
with BEN HATZEL. Also joining them on stage will be 107.7 Lake Guide Tina
Peel and TROLLS keyboardist Matt Young. Come on out and party with D.T.
and the HB’s for this one time event.