Exposé Online banner

Cal Rock & Roll — Homegrown
(Guerssen Out Sider OSCR046 / OSRCD046, 1982/2016, LP / CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-09-20

Homegrown Cover art

Cal aka Cal Rock & Roll was a mid-70s band from New York formed by some veterans of the club scene: Larry Calabrese (guitar and vocals), Andy Barone (bass), Jerry Joy (drums and vocals), and Jeffrey Gaer (keyboards). In 1980 they recorded their only album, Homegrown, in Larry’s home 8-track studio and then released a limited edition of 2000 albums in 1982. Most were discarded because of pressing faults and the album vanished into obscurity until some psych dealers and collectors discovered the remaining copies in the 90s. In the early 80s, Larry did meet Todd Rundgren, who expressed some interest in the band, but given what this album sounds like, I am thinking that Todd was merely being polite as nothing ever developed. Homegrown contains eleven mostly mediocre tracks. This album flew under the radar in the 80s and in my opinion it should have remained there. Larry’s vocals are very smooth and mellow and in combination with the “macho” lyrics of many of the songs, the result is laughable. I would call this music poser rock. There is a thread running through the songs where he wants to “get it on girl.” Then there is this out of place and odd patriotic song “What’s Going On.” It is not until we get to the fifth track “State of Mind” that there is anything of interest. This song is a mixture of acoustic guitar and synths with a nod to Tim Buckley. I assume this is Jerry singing as there is an edge to the vocals. The sixth track is an instrumental version of “Today” with the vocal version being track 8. This prog/Krautrock instrumental is the best on the album and is remarkably good. But the remainder of the music is nothing to write home about. In fact many of the lyrics are insipid and predictable. For example there is this line from “Couragous Cat” (sic):

Can you stay with me tonight?

I know your love is out of sight, girl

And this other line from “Party Party”:

Come on everybody let’s get it on

Come on everybody let’s party party

"Party Party" is embarrassing! And then lo and behold, a particularly uninspired drum solo comes out of nowhere to end the song. The closing track “Young & Angry” is pure avant-garde with synths and processed narration of a poem. And I cannot get past the mispronounced “drownding!” So in summary, do not waste your hard earned money on this reissue.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1982 recordings

Related artist(s): Cal Rock & Roll

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Wapassou - Messe en Ré Mineur, Salammbô & Ludwig – Wapassou was a unique classically influenced French band that existed from around 1971 through the mid-80s (their last release was in 1986). These three — their second, third and fourth albums...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues