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Sweet Willie Tea / Cidy Zoo / Blog

"Something for Everyone" (Renegade Newsletter)

Something for Everyone is an apt title for this album in that, through the band’s repertoire of original ballads, blues, and straight ahead rock, they cover a lot of musical terrain. From the opening cut "Hold Me Girl" to the closer "Punks," the band spins tales of relationships, love lost and found, and general slices of life. Although they hail from Flint, Michigan, lead singer and guitarist Bill Toll possesses the spirit of the south and southwest U.S. The music swings, the melodies flow, and the guitars chime with a sound akin to the southern-fried rock of bands like early ZZ Top, Little Feat, and the Allman Brothers. Eric Harabadian (Geoff Wilburs Renegade Newsletter - November 1998)

"Something for Everyone" (Jam Rag Magazine)

Let's start with the cover, a night-time photo of dozens of dolls and statues on the hood of a red pickup truck. The cover is five panels long (four folds). Sounds like country rock, southern rock, western rock, or southwestern rock. That narrows it down pretty well. "Hold Me Girl" actually sounds like The Knack. "Talk Louder" is reminiscent of Commander Cody (you're getting old, Bob), or ’50s southern rock. (Commander Cody is from the '60s - I'm not that old.) "Dreams Die Hard" sounds like something you’d hear at night on the range. As I describe these tunes, I will add here that they are all good, so far - but no hits yet. "Angelina" is a hit, southwestern punk (new Bob category number seven). "Kept Woman" is good ’ol country rock. "Firewall" is (new Bob category number eight) western punkabilly. Check out the super oscillating vibrato bar. Track seven sounds like it could be a Stones renaissance acoustic instrumental. I think I hear a clavichord or harpsichord. The card says there is a timpani in there. "After You Left Me" could be Seger soft rock. "Buick City Blues" has a sort of blues sound. "’65 Tempest" is ZZ Top-meets-The Eagles. The last tune is another good country rock tune. Cidy Zoo is a must for any serious country rock collector. If the songs don’t get you, the categories will. Bob D (Jam Rag Magazine - vol. XIII February, 1998) Jam Rag Magazine This album really struck a chord with me, going back to my rock roots with the likes of ZZ Top and Ted Nugent. A definitely first-class album all the way. This is one of the best produced pieces of work to come out of Michigan. The instrumental work on "Dreams Die Hard" and "25 Strings" sounds clean and clear, and blends well into cuts like "After You Left Me." The final cut "Punks" really rounds out this album with a hard driving rocker that will make anyone want to listen to this album again and again. SH - (Jam Rag Magazine)

Cidy Zoo offers "Something for Everyone"- Band touches on a diversity of genres

Bill Toll has been gifted with more than his share of creative energy. Toll is known in the Flint area as an improvisational comedy director, a performing artist and a founding member of the alternative Buckham Alley Theatre. Those commitments, however, do not alone satisfy his artistic impulses. Cidy Zoo, a name inspired by a child's drawing and spelling of a city zoo, has been the pet project of the singer-guitarist-composer for the last two years. An experienced musician, Toll was searching for and found a musical partner in bassist J.D. Dudick. "He's a good musician." Toll said of his friend, a local producer. "He works a lot with developing an artist." Dudick and Toll drew from local talent to complete the band, hiring drummer Mike Smith and numerous other musicians from Flint and Detroit. The fruit of their labors, a CD called "Something for Everyone," lives up to its name. The CD features a broad spectrum of musical influences, centering on Toll's strong blues guitar skills. Toll and Dudick chose from what the guitarist calls "a boatload" of songs he had written over several years. "Initially what J.D. and I did was listen through the songs and tried to pick 12," Toll said. His style, to use trade-magazine lingo, could be called "AAA," or Adult Album Alternative. More to the point, Toll's music has a mix of blues, rock and, on occasion, a little rockabilly. "I'm a blues guitar player, but these are not really traditional blues songs, they're rock," Toll said of the tunes on the CD. "'Buick City Blues' is (performed in a) traditional blues format, but the other stuff is just straight-ahead rock songs." The band's CD release party, which took place July at the Dryden Building, was a catered, professional event - and, according to Toll, a major success. More than 150 people came out, and the party ran late into the next morning. A unplanned benefit from the party, Toll said, was his good fortune to meet Terri Senecal, whose company, Rosebud and Associates, works in artist developing and marketing. With fans, friends and business contacts on his side, Toll and his band can expect more good things in their future. Shawn Humphrey (The Flint Journal - August 1997)

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