Mike Viola has a voice that’s part of rock and roll history. “It Does A Number On My Brain” is his latest tune catching ears.
One: Mike Viola is the lead vocalist on “That Thing You Do.” Amazing, probably consumes every other project he does, but undeniably praiseworthy and part of our musical fabric here at Modern Music Maker. Dewey Cox’s "A Life Without You (Is No Life At All)" is another Viola-penned gem.
Two: In a small club around New York City, I stood with a guitar around my shoulders and a microphone in front of me. It was time to start playing, but all I could do was stare at the front door. When was Mike Viola going to arrive? Was Jody Porter from Fountains Of Wayne really going to be with him? This was all too much. I was going to shake Mike Viola’s hand, praise his work, then show him I was an equally gifted songwriter. Maybe he’d think I had the goods, and the two of us would become modern day Everly Brothers. Damn, maybe Jody would even sit in on a few of our recording sessions and bring his Gibson Black Beauty.
Mike and Jody bailed. The legend goes that they were hired for a corporate gig and had to cancel. I never shook Mike’s hand, but my band We The They stole the show. Pee Wee’s Playhouse played in the background, and the moment was cemented in history, documented in this video.
BUT…no love lost. Mike Viola is still a talent I aspire to be likened to. Phew (That’s been a few years coming, Mike).
“It Does A Number On My Brain” is Mike Viola at his best. The song features his timeless approach to pop rock and roll. Jangling guitars, solid double-tracked vocals, and steady drums. For modern measure, the bass is supported by a synthy sub — almost like a saturated Fender Rhodes piano bass.
Viola knows how to craft a three minute tune. The theme is relatable and the arrangement keeps us locked in and listening. Fans of Superdrag, Fountains of Wayne, and The Wonders will bop along to “It Does A Number On My Brain.”
If you are not familiar with the work of Mike Viola, check out his catalog and freak out.