Rotary Club's debut album Vis-à-Vis, produced by ex-Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone, has just been released on Woodside Records. The twelve songs featured on Vis-à-vis reflect singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Devaney's vision. Which is to say, the manifestation of a lifetime rocked by lunar landings, presidential pardons, OPEC-induced gas lines and a battle between a congenital New England fatalism and an underlying romanticism. Add to that, all the absorption of Syd Barrett, Love, late 60s Ray Davies, John Fahey and Mississippi John Hurt one can shake a stick at. So what does it sound like, you ask? Well, the answer lies in the ear of the beholder, but as Mr. Maimone opined,'it's got this Syd Barrett thing going on,but it's American, very American." The release of Vis-a-vis is the apex of a year of things musical having fallen into place for Devaney and Rotary Club. The majority of the songs on Vis-à-vis were initially recorded on a cheesy 70s tape recorder and then to a four track. On a whim Devaney sent Maimone a demo to see if he'd be interested in recording his songs and lo and behold, he liked it...he really liked it. Thus the stage was set for the studio work that would become Vis-a-vis. As a long time Pere Ubu fan, working with Maimone has been a somewhat surreal experience for Devaney, but the respect is mutual. "This is one of the best records I've ever played on," said Maimone. Somewhere in Devaney's living room, Pere Ubu's Modern Dance and Dub Housing LPs are smiling.
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