Domenic Troiano

Domenic (Michaele Antonio) Troiano. Guitarist, composer, singer, b Mondugno, Italy, 17 Jan 1946, d 25 May 2005 at Toronto. Troiano became a naturalized Canadian in 1955 and was raised in Toronto.

Troiano, Domenic

Domenic (Michaele Antonio) Troiano. Guitarist, composer, singer, b Mondugno, Italy, 17 Jan 1946, d 25 May 2005 at Toronto. Troiano became a naturalized Canadian in 1955 and was raised in Toronto. He began playing guitar at 15 and became one of Canada's premier rock guitarists during the late 1960s and the 1970s. He began his career with Robbie Lane and the Disciples but moved on to replace Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. He then became a member of the popular Toronto rhythm and blues band the Five Rogues (1964-9); the band shortened their name to the Rogues, which then evolved into Mandala (1966-9).

Mandala presented a more soulful style with vocalist George Olliver (replaced in 1966 by Roy Kenner), organist Josef Chirowski (replaced in 1966 by Hugh O'Sullivan), bass guitarist Don Elliott and drummer Whitey (Pentii) Glann. Mandala toured widely in the US, released Soul Crusade (1968, Atlantic) and enjoyed hits such as 'Opportunity' (1967) and 'Love-itis' (1968). In 1970, Troiano and some of the members from Mandala, including Kenner, Glann and the bass guitarist Prakash John, established Bush, a blues-influenced rock band, based in Arizona. Although Bush worked together for less than two years, they released an album (Bush, 1970) and toured extensively through the US with Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night.

Troiano then replaced Joe Walsh and began playing with the US band the James Gang (1974-5); the Gang recorded the albums Straight Shooter (1972) and Passin Thru (1972). From there he joined the Guess Who (1974), co-writing and playing on the two albums Flavours (1974) and Power in the Music (1975). In the late 1970s he formed the Domenic Troiano Band 1977-9 in Toronto, once again working with Roy Kenner. In 1980 Trojano formed Black Market with Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong, and released Changing of the Guard (1981, El Mocambo Records) before turning exclusively to studio work as a composer, producer and guitarist with his independent production company Black Market. In 1984 he began writing themes and incidental music for TV, including the CBS series Night Heat, Diamonds, and Hot Shots, CBC's Airwaves, and NBC's True Blue.

Troiano collaborated with many other musicians including Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, Jean-Michel Jarre, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also produced albums by Shawne Jackson, Moe Koffman and Kilowatt. He produced for David Gibson and John Rutledge on his own independent label.

His songs, such as 'Writing on the Wall' and 'I Can Hear You Calling' from the 1970s, have been recorded by Three Dog Night, Skylark, and John Rutledge, among others. He received three Gemini award nominations for his television work, and his song "Just as Bad as You" was honoured by SOCAN. Troiano received a nomination for Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards for Fret Fever (1980) and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Selected Discography

Dominic Troiano. 1971. Mer SRM 1-639

Tricky. 1972-3. Mer SRM 1-670

Burnin' at the Stake. 1977. Cap ST-11665

The Joke's on Me. 1978. Cap SW-11772

Fret Fever. 1978. Cap ST-11932

Troiano Triple Play 1976-1980. 1996. EMI Canada E2 72438 37359 2 1

The Toronto Sound. 1999. Mercury 314 538 562 2

The Best of Domenic Troiano: The Millenium Collection. 2003, Universal Music Canada

Black Market Discography
Black Market Changing of the Guard. 1981. El Mo 762

Contributions

Mandela Soul Crusade. 1968. Atlantic SD 8184

Mandela Classics. (1985). WEA 25 23921

Bush Bush. 1970. RCA DS-50086

James Gang Straight Shooter. 1972. ABC/Dunhill ABCX-741. Re-issued 1991, MCA/One Way Records (MCAD 22051)

James Gang Passin' Thru. 1972. ABC/Dunhill ABCX-760. Re-issued 1992, MCA/One Way Records MCAD 22066

The Guess Who Flavours. 1974. RCA CPL 1 0636.

The Guess Who Power in the Music. 1975. RCA APL 1 0995


Further Reading

  • Yorke, Ritchie. Axes, Chops & Hot Licks (Edmonton 1971)

    LeBlanc, Larry. 'Troiano and Kenner make it as James Gang writers, members,' MSc, 269, Jan-Feb 1973

    - 'Domenic Troiano: Canadian guitarist with Bush, Guess Who, Mandala and James Gang goes solo,' Guitar Player, vol 12, Jan 1978

    Sharp, Keith. 'Time Flies: Domenic Troiano,' Music Express, 137, Jun 1989

    'Mandala,' EMC 1981