Rochester born singer Phil Naro had a very busy and successful career fronting a number of bands, notably Talas. Sadly Phil passed last May after battling cancer. Phil also was a part of a number of tribute acts, such as Ozone Baby (Led Zeppelin), as well as worked with Classic Albums Live and the Platinum Rock All-Stars. In 2009 Phil won a Daytime Emmy Award for his performance of the theme song to the animated TV show “6Teen”. Phil kept busy right til the end, finishing 2 albums. Phil was a great talent and a classy guy, who was always friendly and just seemed happy performing. Billy Sheehan once described Phil as “the best attitude singer” he knew.
Sheehan would reform Talas with Phil 5 years ago, and play a number of shows. They would also sign a record deal with Metal Blade Records and record a new Talas studio album just prior to Phil’s passing. It is the first Talas studio album since 1982. Phil joined Talas after that, singing on the band’s 1984 Live Speed On Ice, before eventually moving on to numerous short lived gigs like Coney Hatch, Naro, Blood Red Flower, 24K,…. The first single from the forthcoming Talas album is “Inner Mounting Flame”; a thundering hard rocker in classic Talas form which Sheehan describes as – “a bombastic, high-speed chaos of adrenaline that we would often use as our opening song at the live TALAS shows in 1985. We stayed close to the original arrangement – this was such a blast to record, and Phil sang his ass off on it. The song title came from a very famous fusion bands album title (The Mahavishnu Orchestra – Inner Mounting Flame), and was our take on what that flame might be about.” The song is produced by Billy Sheehan, Russ Mackay, Scott Bush and Talas – which also consists of drummer Mark Miller, and new addition Kire Najdovski on guitar. As a fan of Talas, this track simply an amazing surprise – not just getting to finally hear it, but the fact that it is so energetic, and so well performed and produced. Phil sounds better than ever on it, so I am really looking forward to the rest of the album. There should be more news soon. Check out the Talas V2 Facebook group for updates – https://www.facebook.com/talasv2
Within days of watching the new Talas clip repeatedly there came a press release and Another video release featuring Phil Naro for the first single from the forthcoming LIPS TURN BLUE album. Lips Turn Blue is the band formerly known as DDRIVE, along with former Black Sheep / Lou Gramm guitarist Don Mancuso, as well as keyboardist Eric Bieber, bassist Mike Mullane, and drummer Roy Stein. DDrive had released 2 full albums plus a mini-album over the years but changed the name for this newest recording (see Japanese metal band D_Drive).
The first single is “Just Push”, an easily likeable aor rock track, with a great chorus, a bit of funky guitar, and well placed keys. Phil sounds excellent on this one too. It’s a fun upbeat tune, and is the first of a few singles from LTB’s album, The band signed to MIG Records (Europe), who will release the album in May, a year after Phil Naro’s passing. as well as LTB’s next one that has already been started, and will feature new singer Iggy Marino. https://m.facebook.com/Lips-Turn-Blue
More on Lips Turn Blue in a future post…. But check out Mitch Lafon’s interview with Don Mancuso [below] for some insight and news. www.Lipsturnblue.com
Phil can also be heard on Cactus’ Tightrope album from 2021, as he co-wrote and sang on the track “Wear It Out”. One can spend hours going through Youtube checking out all the albums and projects Phil was a part of, some great stuff to be discovered there.