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Is It Now?

The Doughboys

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Album Review

Conduct a Google search on the name "Doughboys", and a lot of info will come up about a Montreal, Canada-based alternative rock band that was active in the '80s and '90s. But the foursome that is heard on Is It Now? is a different band. These Doughboys were around long before the Canadian Doughboys, and they aren't Canadian; this garage rock/rock & roll outfit was active in northern New Jersey and New York City in the '60s (when they put out a few singles) and broke up at the end of that decade. Is It Now?, their reunion album of 2007, unites three people who were part of the Doughboys in the '60s (singer Myke Scavone, bassist Mike Caruso, and drummer Richard X. Heyman) with guitarist Gar Francis. Heyman, of course, has had an impressive solo career as a singer/songwriter, while Scavone was the leader of the '70s heavy metal/hard rock combo Ram Jam (of "Black Betty" fame). But Is It Now? doesn't sound anything at all like Ram Jam. The focus of this CD is '60s-style garage rock, and the Doughboys' allegiance to the '60s (especially the early recordings of the Rolling Stones) is impossible to miss on original material as well as gritty, memorable covers of the Rascals-associated "Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore" and Bobby Troup's "Route 66." The latter is a gem that was made famous by the Nat King Cole Trio in 1946 and became a major hit for the Stones when they covered it in the '60s; the Doughboys' inspired version is closer to the Stones' version, although not an exact replica. Is It Now? doesn't pretend to be groundbreaking, but lovers of '60s-style garage rock will find it to be an excellent and thoroughly rewarding reunion album for the Doughboys.

Is It Now?, The Doughboys
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