December 9th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
August 25th, 2010, 5:01 pm by Greg
Commander Cody, aka George Frayne, exploded on the national music scene more than 40 years ago while fronting the seminal roots-Americana outfit Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen. The band was one of the first to successfully fuse together a plethora of American music styles from country to rock n’ roll by way of blues and bluegrass.
The Commander’s ’74 classic, “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” is one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Albums of All Time and boasts a who’s-who of gifted sidemen, including vocalist Billy C. Farlow, fiddler Andy Stein, guitarists Bill Kirchen and John Tichy.
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March 31st, 2010, 10:58 am by Greg
“We’ve fooled around long enough. Let’s bring out the Boss Hoss with the hot sauce – Commander Cody,” said local guitarist John Tichy, standing on the gazebo in Lake George’s Shepard Park with lake waters lapping behind him and the occasional pleasure boat passing by.
Known as the “professor of rock and roll” for his duel career as RPI engineering professor and rockabilly guitarist, Tichy was a founder of roots-rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen in the late ‘60s.
He also plays with his son Graham Tichy, a highly talented guitarist in his own right, in a rockabilly combo called the Tichy Boys, recently named best “father and son act” by Metroland.
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June 3rd, 2009, 3:07 pm by Greg
“I remember the first record album that I ever owned. For Christmas in 1956, my dad gave me Stan Freberg’s ‘A Child’s Garden of Free Verse,’ which is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. He puts on all the hits of the day from ‘The Banana Boat Song’ to ‘The Great Pretender.’ I just cracked right up, and it’s still funny to this very day.
But the first album that I bought myself was probably the ‘Freewheelin'” Bob Dylan album, which I bought within the first two weeks that I was in Michigan in ’62. It’s the first one I remember buying. And that’s another album that really stands up.”
Commander Cody re-teams with John Tichy – one of the original members of his Lost Planet Airmen – on Saturday night at Daisy Baker’s in Troy, as he steps into the spotlight as special guest with the Tichy Boys.
(Blind Pig, 2009): Since the Lost Planet Airmen flew off into the sunset, the Commander’s musical career has been hit and miss, and this one’s better than most.
This time around – his second stint with the folks at Blind Pig – Cody revisits a lot of his back catalog. Unfortunately, the remakes of both the Airmen songs (“Wine, Do Yer Stuff,” “Semi Truck” and “It’s Gonna Be One of Those Nights”) and tunes from his early solo albums (“Lone Ranger” and “Seven Eleven”) suffer by comparison to the originals.
The problem is primarily due to lackluster vocals, which are desperately in need of some of the wild abandon that Billy C. used to throw down. Guest vocalist Circe Link steps up to the microphone for the classic “Down to Seeds and Stems Again,” and while she certainly won’t make you forget the original version, it might have been a good idea to give her a go at some of the other selections, too.
The new material fares best here, whether it’s a cover of John Hiatt’s rousing on-the-road gem “Tennessee Plates,” the swingin’ end-of-the-night honky tonker “Last Call for Alcohol” or the hard-to-believe, semi-mariachi version of “The No No Song.”
The Commander will be doing a rare solo performance at Alchemy in Woodstock on Saturday, June 6, splitting the bill with a solo shot from Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwirtz, who also served as co-producer and organist on this album.
Commander Cody: Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers