Friday, March 29, 2013

Johnny Now Singing With the Angels

Talk about nine lives.

Johnny Angel Wendell started playing garage pop in the 1970s with his band, The Thrills.

Apparently, while I was attending Queens College in the 1980s and DJing at WQMC Radio, his band the Blackjacks had an indie hit, "That's Why I Always Dress in Black."

Wendell moved on to other pursuits (writing a column, hosting a talk show, acting work). After a 15-year recording hiatus, he has released a new CD, IT! The sound is still "in the garage," somewhat reminiscent of Little Village.

The disc hit my desk primarily due to two songs featuring his kids. "OK By Me" is a midtempo rocker with a chorus of "I love you more than you'll ever know" and the children responding, "It's OK by me." The following track, "Lullaby Arms," is a sentimental ballad abut having your children grow up too soon. With my older son just turning 12 (and gaining 16 pounds in one year) and the younger one now 2 1/4 and becoming more independent by the day, it's a somber lesson.

I don't mean to downplay the rest of the CD. You can go to Johnny's BandCamp page, hear samples, and judge for yourself. It's got a bluesy feel and Johnny clearly wants to harken back to his garage days.

You can get IT! from his Web page or through Facebook.
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