August 22, 2013 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Stearn's Square Concert Series
FAT @ Stearn's Square Concert Series |  |  |

**NOTE: This show is outdoors as part of the Stearn’s Square Concert Series

Produced by Eddie Jason, 1970’s “Fat” is a fantastic and completely overlooked near-classic (a couple of online references say RCA only pressed 400 copies of their debut album). At least to my ears this Massachusetts-based quintet seemed to have everything required for major stardom – a great singer in Peter Newland, killer chops including a pair of impressive lead guitarists in Michael Benson and James Kaminski, and a rock steady rhythm section in drummer William Benjamin and bassist Guy DeVito.

That line up coupled with more than their share of first-rate material that was simultaneously tuneful and lyrically interesting made for a great LP. No wonder they met with zilch in terms of commercial success. With Benson, Kaminski and Newland sharing writing credits, tracks like ‘House On the Corner’, ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen’ (with an unexpected jazzy closing segment, the Cream inspired ‘Country Girl’, and the ballad ‘Lonely Lady’ (sounding uncannily like something a 1990s band like Creed might have recorded) were tailor made for FM radio.

Elsewhere RCA tapped the album for a quickly forgotten single in ‘The Shape I’m In’ b/w ‘Over the Hill’ (RCA catalog number 47-9913). The ‘A” side happened to be the most top-40 commercial effort on the album and should have generated considerable airplay. Perhaps not a great comparison, but imagine “Can’t Buy a Thrill” era Steely Dan had they decided to pursue their rock roots rather than going jazzy and pseudo-sophisticated.