Domenic Troiano is the best guitarist you've never heard of.
Born in Italy in the late 1940s, he grew up in Canada and
quickly developed a love of rock &
roll. Toronto's R&B music scene was thriving in the
mid-1960s, and Troiano was in the center of it. After
playing guitar with Robbie Lane and
the Disciples, Mandala and Bush, he joined the James
Gang in 1972, replacing Joe Walsh. Domenic recorded two
albums with the band before leaving, and he later joined the
Guess Who in 1974, recording two albums with that band
as well. From 1972 to 1979, he released five solo albums,
all featuring a wide variety of music and an assortment
of musicians. Popular music icons such as Randy Bachman, Joe
Cocker and Diana Ross recruited him to play guitar on
their albums. As a session player, he worked with
an array of respected musicians and producers including Donald Fagen,
Bob Ezrin, Larry Carlton, Todd Rundgren, Gary Katz, David
Sanborn and Vini Poncia. In the '80s, Domenic primarily worked on music for movies and
television shows, and in March 1996, he was inducted into the
Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Much of Domenic's
recorded work has been remastered and released on CD for a new generation
of music lovers to enjoy.
Domenic's musical style is difficult to pin down. With rock as his
base, he played R&B, soul, funk, fusion and blues in his years
as a professional musician. He composed complex
pieces, intriguing instrumentals and radio-ready pop songs,
all with equal heart and skill. Intricate but powerful,
his guitar playing is an interesting rock style
that borrows elements of jazz and blues. Domenic commonly wrote lyrics
about hope and finding the confidence to achieve success in life. The unique words,
music and guitar playing
combined to create a sound that can only be labeled as
Troiano's. Domenic has often been called "a musician's musician." No matter who
he played with or what kind of music it was, Domenic always maintained
a high level of musicianship in his work. This standard of
quality explains why he has a devoted following in Canada, Europe and
America to this day. To me, he is
one of the great unsung rock guitarists of our time. It's a shame that he
never found greater commercial success. This proves that some of the best
performers are the ones few people are familiar with.
Created in October of 1999, this fan site has grown
considerably since its inception. I have compiled information from
a large number of sources, including other Troiano fans from
around the world, in an attempt to present a comprehensive and
informative web page dedicated to Domenic. I hope you enjoy
browsing this site, but if you really want to
appreciate Troiano's work, listen to the music!
.::: NEWS :::.
The Guess Who's Flavours and Power in the Music, both featuring Troiano, have been
released on CD by Iconoclassic. The discs feature remastered sound, bonus tracks and
extensive liner notes. Flavours at Amazon Power in the Music at Amazon
"I was sad to hear that Domenic Troiano lost out to cancer the other day. Dom was a touring mate
of ours in the mid '70s when he was with the James Gang. Walter and I used to stand in the wings
after our set and watch as he played the long, psychedelic solos required of him. It was the sort
of gig where he'd end up under a followspot on his knees sending these sustained, creamy lines
heavenward, or at least out into the crowd of worshipful, wine and quaalude-addled young men.
Nevertheless, Dom always added a very personal elegance to everything he played.
We'd met him before, in the late sixties in New York when we were doing session work for Gary Katz.
He had just done a couple years with a popular "blue-eyed" soul unit, Mandala. We were both knocked
out by his beautiful technique and the energy he brought to the session. He could do it all -
startling licks, clear octave lines, driving rhythm parts - whatever the party called for. Everyone
wanted to play with Dom. When we were starting up Steely Dan, he was one of the first guys we
called. Dom said, thanks, but he was just too busy."
Donald Fagen, 2005
"Domenic's contribution to Canadian music is unmeasurable. He is one of the finest instrumentalists
that Canada has ever produced. He has had an influence on every kid who picked up a guitar in Canada
since he started playing."
Bob Ezrin, 2005
"On June 30, 1967, I saw the Mandala at the North York Centennial Arena. At the side of the stage
Donny gave me his autograph and his Mandala button. He told me how important it was to keep practicing
and if I worked hard, I might get the chance to stand on stage and play for people some day. I was
beaming. He was my first real inspiration and to this day I have a deep love and admiration for a man
who truly knew the meaning of soul. I am proud to be a humble part of his enduring influence."
Alex Lifeson, 2013
Last update: February 7, 2017 | New/updated pages:
2017.02.07 - Bob Ezrin quote added to this page
2017.01.30 - Credits and covers added
2015.03.28 - Updates to main page: introductory text, news and links to external sites
2013.08.02 - Alex Lifeson quote added to this page
2010.06.09 - A couple new articles added
2010.05.25 - Ronnie Hawkins, Véronique Béliveau, and Rainband releases added
to credits and master discography
2010.04.15 - Some new pictures added
2010.02.22 - Link to Troiano YouTube playlist on this page
2009.10.11 - Upgraded scans of pictures and articles, some
2009.09.22 - New domain!: troianomusic.com
2008 - Master discography updated
2008 - Donald Fagen quote added to this page
2006.12 - New interview with George Olliver