TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 54: The Show

As you know, this program typically finds me exploring the work of others, but for this episode, I hope you’ll allow me to turn the attention over to myself. The last few years have found me compiling a special project: it’s my new album, it’s called The Show and there is an interesting story attached to it that I think you’ll enjoy hearing.

Like many folks growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, I became a big fan of Billy Joel. During Billy’s most successful years, his band consisted of a stable lineup of musicians; it was easy to recognize the skill and personality that they brought to his music. Liberty DeVitto had a fun, yet thundering presence on drums that always balanced out Billy’s more theatrical and balladic impulses. Richie Cannata brought blistering and irreplaceable saxophone parts to Billy’s work; you can probably hum along to all of his solos and arrangements. Russell Javors was always there, steadfastly holding down the rhythm guitar section.

When I discovered that Liberty, Richie, and Russell were still playing together as The Lords of 52nd St. and that they were living in the same tri-state area that I was, I reached out to see if they’d be interested in recording an album of my originals with me. Luckily for me, they were. Unfortunately, Billy’s stalwart bassist, Doug Stegmeyer—known as the Sergeant of the Billy Joel Band—passed away in 1995, but for this project, his role was filled by the extremely talented Malcolm Gold, who currently plays bass with the Lords. Also featured on the record is my beautiful wife, Laura Toth, who recorded a very special duet with me and whose voice, by the way, introduces each episode of this program.

So, we set to work recording in Richie’s Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, Long Island. After we completed the rough tracks, the pandemic bared down and stopped us all in our collective tracks.

However, we persevered. The album was completed and mixed by John Arbuckle and mastered by Grammy-award winning Michael Graves. I was even fortunate enough to have the cover art created by the very talented Jess Rotter. On this program, I’ll be joined by Liberty, Richie—and my wife—as they share their own insights into this project and also shed light on the preparation and process that goes into any recording session.

So, I hope you’ll excuse this look into the mirror, but as much as this is about me, it’s also about the people who I was fortunate enough to have helping; as we all know, no one completes something like this in a vacuum. To that, I say a hearty “thank you” to all of those who were involved in the creation of the album.

With that being said, I wish to welcome you to, The Show.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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