Vocals/Guitar: Anthony Viscounte
Drums/Percussion: Sean J. Kennedy
Bass: Mark Amentt
Piano/Organ: John Conahan
Saxophone: Erin Stroup
Trombone: Dave Champion
Trumpet: Chuck Gottesman
Sousaphone: Brian Cox
Genre:Blues & Backbeat
Record Label:Lost World Music
Currently paying his dues in Boston, Anthony Viscounte hails from the Philadelphia area, having already proven himself with some of Philly’s more interesting and musical endeavors. The five songs on this disc, Viscounte’s debut recording as a leader, span several genres, and are all connected by his keen ear for the blues and wry sense of humor. The color of his voice is distinct, and extends from plaintive to full out snarky at times, but always perfectly suited for the tune at hand. He handles his compositions with skill and aplomb, while holding down the acoustic guitar duties with ease.
Among the Philadelphia musical brethren skillfully assisting our nascent troubadour we have the ever present and ever swingin’ drummer Sean J. Kennedy, himself a bandleader and composer of note with numerous outstanding recordings to his credit both as a sideman and leader; for these tunes, finding a better drummer would be impossible. On bass we find the ubiquitous Mark Amentt, a first call man for many acclaimed local acts, always layin’ it down, and puttin’ it in the pocket. Rounding out this great rhythm section is the local vocal phenom John Conahan, adding his one-of-a-kind stylings on piano and organ, seemingly made for his tasty bluesy-soul sound. The horn section features four of Philly’s finest. Erin Stroup’s saxophone resume is unabashedly drool-worthy, and his playing here, solidifies his status as the go-to player for almost any project. Described as “the best kept local secret” among trumpet players, Chuck Gottesman proves once again, through his warm, round sound and total command of his instrument why he is at the top of many local band leaders’ first-call lists. While the other two brass players can and do play everything from ska to symphonies, Dave Champion on trombone and Brian Cox on Sousaphone are just the bee’s knees when it comes to that 2nd Line sound. Engineering and backing vocals are skillfully executed by the accomplished ears and nimble fingers, of Alfred James Goodrich.
This first effort as a singer-songwriter, albeit not of the navel-gazing sort, finds Anthony Viscounte fully in charge of his distinct voice, proving that he is well on his way as a songwriter, arranger and orchestrator.
- by Mike Hood, leader of The Hoppin’ John Orchestra