By Karen Nazor Hill
Times Free Press
In 2008, Tommy DeCarlo traded in his orange apron for a microphone.
The transformation took DeCarlo from his job as a credit manager at a Home Depot in Charlotte, N.C., to center stage as the lead singer for Boston. And that's where he'll be tonight when Boston takes the Coca-Cola Stage at Riverbend.
It's a Cinderella story for DeCarlo, 49, who says he got hooked on Boston's music when he was 12. A self-taught musician, DeCarlo started singing when he was 6 or 7 years old. "I used to sing along to my parents' eight-track tapes in the family station wagon," he says.
In elementary school, he joined the school choir and often, but unsuccessfully, auditioned for lead roles. It wasn't until he became a Boston fan that he started singing along with the band's original lead singer, the late Brad Delp.
"It wasn't like I was trying to sing like Brad, it was just that I loved to sing along with him," DeCarlo says on the band's website.
Historic City News
Rock 'n' Roll legends BOSTON brought the highly anticipated "Heaven on Earth" tour live to the St Augustine Amphitheatre tonight, performing to a packed house. BOSTON is always a huge crowd pleaser, and tonight was no exception, according to Historic City News photojournalist Mark Cubbedge.
The crowd tonight got to enjoy music from the band's highly acclaimed 2012 tour with some exciting additions. BOSTON prides itself on performing a totally live show without the use of prerecorded music or technical enhancements, delivering the exceptional sound that is faithful to their studio recordings.
"The band has its own high-energy stage show, out-of-this-world sound, and remarkable musicianship and singing," Cubbedge wrote. "This summer's concert follows the successful release of their latest album, Life, Love & Hope."
BOSTON burst onto the music scene with their eponymous best-selling debut album in 1976, and never looked back. With over 17 million copies sold, Boston generated hits such as "More Than a Feeling" "Peace of Mind" and "Smokin" — rock staples that are still in heavy rotation today.
Tonight, the St Augustine and St Johns County audience found that there was something for everyone and the band fulfilled the expectations of both its longtime fans and introduced a new generation to one of rock 'n' roll's great acts.
By Michael J. Solender
Singer Tommy DeCarlo's largest audience before 2007 was about 40 people at a bowling alley, where his backup music was provided by a karaoke machine.
He'll be met by a much larger crowd when he takes the stage Tuesday evening at the NC Music Factory's Uptown Amphitheatre, where he'll be fronting for the '70s mega-band Boston.
To say that DeCarlo was an unlikely candidate to join and tour with the band is an understatement.
"I grew up as a teen listening to Boston," said DeCarlo, 49, who was working as a credit manager at a local Home Depot when he joined the band in 2008 after its original lead singer, Brad Delp, took his own life.
"After his death, I learned that a benefit concert was planned where Boston would be playing. I covered a few songs and posted them to a Myspace account I had in tribute. A friend had a contact email for the band and encouraged me to send my recordings. I sent a cover of ‘Don't Look Back,' and the next thing I knew I was on the phone with Tom Scholz (Boston founder) and then singing at the benefit."
By Jeb Wright
Classic Rock Revisited
BOSTON is back! Finally, after another decade of waiting Tom Scholz has emerged from his home studio with a collection of tunes that he is ready to unleash upon the world. BOSTON fans will be thrilled to know that not only do a few of the songs harkens back to the BOSTON glory days of the 1970s, Scholz even used the same equipment to record them as he did the now classic songs of yesteryear.
In typical Tom fashion, however, "Life, Love & Hope" is much more than a trip down memory lane. Where the song "Heaven on Earth" would sound at home on "Don't Look Back" there are other songs that will cause the usual BOSTON backlash from people who do not want the talented muse to stretch out, artistically. "Sail Away" has a neat rap section in it and a helicopter and tackles political issues. There are five different lead vocalists, including the late Brad Delp and even Tom, himself, on a tune.
Never content to rest on his laurels, Scholz is a man who knows what he wants when it comes to both music and life. He is not afraid to stick his neck out on the line. And he has done so again with "Life, Love & Hope." In the interview that follows, Scholz opens up about his songwriting process, his fading need to create new musical technology and how a child's voice was just perfect for one of his new songs.
By: Adam Perlmutter
Prior to the late 1970s, guitar practice gear tended to produce small and inferior sounds. But then, the MIT graduate and Polaroid engineer Tom Scholz pioneered the Rockman--a pocket-sized headphone amp producing such robust analog effects as compression, distortion, cabinet simulation, chorus, and reverb. This development of course helped pave the way for digital plug-in-and-play hardware, software, and even free apps that today make it possible for a guitarist to instantly harness any sound imaginable--technology that, ironically, Scholz isn't particularly that fond of. "Don't get me started on the many shortcomings of digital sound," he says.
Scholz is perhaps best known as the pioneering member of the arena rock band Boston. The group's roots date back to the mid-'70s, when Scholz spent a fortune assembling a recording studio in the basement of his Watertown, Massachusetts, apartment, holing up there when he wasn't working at Polaroid. With the assistance of vocalist Brad Delp, Scholz painstakingly assembled the demos that in 1975 would land him a contract with Epic. These tapes would form the basis of the band's eponymous 1976 album, featuring Delp and Scholz along with guitarist Barry Goudreau, bassist Fran Sheehan, and drummer John "Sib" Hashian. It was one of the best-selling debuts in history, selling more than 17 million copies.