North Jersey Notes: The Doughboys

North Jersey Notes: The Doughboys

—by , November 27, 2009

The Doughboys (Scott Ventielli)If you play in a Jersey band, have you ever wondered where this New Jersey music scene evolved from? Well, my guess is that this scene evolved from bands like The Doughboys. I recently received an email to give them a listen because their song, “Black Sheep,” was labeled as “The Coolest Song In The World” on Little Steven’s Underground Garage station on Sirius/XM radio. I went and gave them a listen and thought that they reminded me of the American version of the Rolling Stones. Their music had a classic rock feel, thanks to the tinny guitar sound of guitarist Gar Francis, that just brought you back. Checking out The Doughboys also showed me that you’re definitely never too old too rock!

The Doughboys were formed in the fall of 1964 when bassist Mike Caruso asked drummer Richie Heyman to jam with a couple of guys from their high school. Back then, Mike and Richie clicked right away, and Mike quickly recruited two other guitarists. At the time, they called themselves The Ascots. A year later they merged with two members from a rival group called The Apollos, which is how they landed singer Myke Scavone. The Ascots would change their name to The Doughboys in 1966, which is when they won a recording contract with Bell Records. That was their grand prize winnings of a year long battle of the bands TV show. I guess it was like an American Idol show back then. The Doughboys also became the house band at Café Wha? in The Village during the summer of 1968. The band would stay together until the end of the decade, but would eventually fade away like many bands on the scene.

In 2000, Richie Heyman’s wife Nancy decided that she wanted to see this band that her husband spoke of so often for herself, so she organized a reunion show. The moment that The Doughboys set foot onstage together for the first time in nearly 30 years, those years seemed to have melted away and they once again became the tight, rockin’ unit that they were back in the ‘60s. Sadly, one of their guitar players passed away in 2005. The Doughboys welcomed fellow Plainfield native Gar Francis in as their guitarist. The guys respected Gar’s work as Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones tribute band Sticky Fingers. The Doughboys’ latest single from their soon-to-be-released CD, Act Your Rage, “I’m Not Your Man,” was voted the “Coolest Song of 2009” on Sirius/XM. Give The Doughboys a listen at thedoughboysnj.com where you can also fine out where they’re playing next!

North Jersey Notes Updates

Has anyone seen the new music video that was recently posted by Piston Driven for the song “Hang Loose?” It rocks and totally showcases what the band is like when they perform live. The song has been getting much airplay on local radio, and now you can see the band in all their glory. Piston Driven drummer Scotty O edited the video, and I have to say, it’s worth taking a look at. They’ve has also posted three new songs off of their highly anticipated upcoming CD, The Building Of Rock. You can check out the newly posted songs “Harder Than You,” “The Revolt,” “Wish You Luck” and the video for “Hang Loose” on myspace.com/pistondriven.

My old pal, Evan Toth, will be performing a one night only, one man show at Ars Nova in NYC on Dec. 8. The show is being called “Brass Tracks” and it will be Evan Toth without The Excuses, and a piano onstage performing all of his new material with a couple of holiday tunes since it will be the holiday season. For more info on this event, log onto evantoth.com.

And finally, my boys from Atom Strange have posted some new songs off of their upcoming CD, Cosmic Disturbance, on their MySpace page, myspace.com/atomstrangeband. They’ve been trying to coax fans into joining their Facebook page by offering two free mp3s when they sign up. It’s starting to become obvious that MySpace has become a thing of the past already and that Facebook is the best new tool to market your bands. The new tracks that I got to hear, like the title track “Cosmic Disturbance” and “Breathe,” sounded great. Nice guitar work by Alex Rude and like always Rickeroo Dunn sounded great on these vocal tracks, though I’m starting to think these guys really think they’re from outer space! Check out the new music from Atom Strange at atomstrange.com.

That’s all for now! And remember, if your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your demos and press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424. No cover bands, please! Also, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet, do it now at northjerseynotes.mypodcast.com.

Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

NJN Concert Calendar

11/25—Our Black Friday—Mount Holleran’s Towne Tavern, Parsippany, NJ
11/25—The Dirty Stayouts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/25—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Forge, Ringwood, NJ
11/27—The Dirty Stayouts—The Loop Lounge, Passaic Park, NJ
11/27—Split Your Lip—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC
11/27—Black Water Rising—The Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY
11/27—Milan—The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ
11/28—Will Killmore—The Cup Complex, Linden, NJ
11/28—Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/28—Lieder—The National Underground, NYC
11/29—The Dirty Stayouts—Otto’s Shrunken Head, NYC
11/29—Beatrix Kiddo—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
12/4—Audacity—South Brunswick High School, South Brunswick, NJ
12/4—Kosmic Daydream—BLVD Bar and Grill, Elmwood, Park, NJ
12/4—Long Gone Day/9 Circles—Krogh’s, Sparta, NJ
12/5—Bled For Glory/Auraborus—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
12/5—Will Killmore—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ
12/5—Diablo Royale/Atom Strange/Eve to Adam—Crash Mansion, NYC
12/8—Evan Toth—Ars Nova, NYC

    reader responses
  1. ii ran into your c.d. and remembered you guys from high school jve been living in pompano beach fl. since 72 can you beleive that i looked up your names and couldnt beleive it its been a long time act your rage is a great c.d. e mail me dave nechin p.s. mike we went to n.p.h.s.together

    david nechin on 1/16/2011 at 04:54 PM 


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