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Domenic Troiano

Singer, songwriter, and famed guitarist Domenic Troiano is probably best known for the time he served as a member of the famed rock group, the Guess Who. Over more than three long decades in the music world, Troiano did a lot of other work with different bands, blues style and rock, including the James Gang, the original Bush, and Mandala. He later composed tunes for both film and television. He even completed several solo albums in the '70s, earning himself a spot in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Some of the solo numbers Troiano recorded so long ago, became available on CD just before the new millennium rolled around, proving that many fans still hold interest in his music.

Domenic Troiano was born in 1946 in Modugno, Italy. When he was little more than a baby, his family picked up and moved to Toronto, Canada. He was raised with a love for music, both rhythm & blues and good ol' rock & roll. When he was in his mid-teens, his desire to learn to play the guitar resulted in him teaching himself. Maybe that's why his style became so much his own and was later imitated by many other artists.

One of the early influences on Troiano was a guitarist by the name of Robbie Robertson. In a twist of fate, Troiano started his professional career by replacing Robertson in a band that performed with Ronnie Hawkins, a fellow Canadian singer. Troiano worked with the band for less than a year, then moved on to other groups. One of those early bands was Five Rogues, which changed its name to Mandala. It was with Mandala in 1967 that Troiano made his first recordings and began to climb the ladder to fame. Some of that fame started from negative press, complaints from parents about the group's corrupt music style, the way the guys dressed, and even the length of their hair. Of course, the more parents complained, the more their teens loved Mandala and its music.

When Mandala came to an end around 1969, Troiano and some of the other members pulled together to start a new group, Bush. ABC/Dunhill singed the band and sent it on tour with major groups at the time like Three Dog Night. After a short life, Bush met a quick end, but never one to give up, Troiano went solo. In 1972, before he could finish an album of his own, he was called in to join the James Gang, replacing Joe Walsh. For the next year, Troiano recorded with the group, but continued to work solo also, completing not one, but two solo albums, a self-titled one in 1972, and then Tricky in 1973. Both albums were released under the Mercury Records label. During that same time, he recorded two other albums with the James Gang, writing a number of the songs himself.

1974 and 1975 found Troiano serving as a member of the Guess Who. After that group folded too, he took some time working on his own again, trying his skills at a little funk and some jazz. Two years later he was under contract once more, this time with Capitol Records, where he finished a third solo album, Burning at the Stake, and then a forth offering, Jokes on Me. It was followed in 1979 by Fret Fever, Troiano's last solo album.

In the early '80s, Troiano was back with a band, this one called Black Market. The group released one independent recording in 1981. When success didn't come to Black Market, Troiano walked. He soon turned his attention to composing for films and television, and doing session work for other artists in the '90s. Domenic Troiano passed away May 25, 2005 after a long battle with cancer. ~ Charlotte Dillon, Rovi
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