A true musician's musician, Domenic Troiano holds a list of accomplishments as diverse as the styles of music he played through his career. Born in Italy, he grew up in Canada and quickly developed a love of rock & roll. In the mid-1960s, Troiano's guitar playing embodied the "Toronto Sound," an electrified brand of R&B. He played with Robbie Lane and Ronnie Hawkins before founding Mandala, a high-energy soul outfit that eventually evolved into Bush. In 1972, he joined the James Gang, replacing Joe Walsh, and later joined the Guess Who, recording two albums with both bands. Through the '70s, Troiano 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, and Vini Poncia. Bands such as Three Dog Night covered Troiano's songs, and a number of artists employed his production talent on their records. In the '80s, Domenic focused on composing music for movies and television shows. In 1996, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and in 2019, his song "Opportunity" was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. His artistry continues to be celebrated by musicians and fans from all generations.
With rock as his base, Troiano proved his versatility by mastering a myriad of genres in his years as a professional musician. He composed complex pieces, intriguing instrumentals, and accessible pop songs, all with equal heart and skill. Intricate but powerful, his guitar playing is an interesting hybrid 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. Through all eras of his career, Domenic maintained a high level of musicianship in his work. This standard of quality explains why he has a devoted following around the world to this day. Although his name isn't as identifiable as those of more famous players, Troiano is one of the great rock guitarists of our time.
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 worldwide, in an attempt to present a comprehensive and informative web page dedicated to Domenic. Please enjoy browsing this site, but if you really want to appreciate Troiano's work, listen to the music!
Domenic Troiano: His Life and Music
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Mini biography |
Full biography |
Solo discography |
Solo and band discography |
Reissues and rarities |
Production, musician, film,
and TV credits |
Donald Fagen, 2005:
"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."
Bob Ezrin, 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."
Randy Bachman, 2005:
"I'm sure the heavenly jam sessions with Lenny Breau and Jimi Hendrix are taken to a new level, now that Dom has arrived."
Alex Lifeson, 2013:
"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."
Last update: September 26, 2021 | New/updated pages:
2021.09.26 - Information about Domenic Troiano: His Life and Music
added to main page
2021.02.23 - Funkgus and Rodney Graham recordings added to covers
; Randy Bachman quote added to main page
2020.04.16 - David Clayton-Thomas and Brian Plummer recordings added to credits
2020.01.30 - Long John Baldry cover
2019.11.27 - Updated main page
2017.02.07 - Bob Ezrin quote added to main page
2017.01.30 - Credits
to everyone who has contributed to this website.
Unless otherwise stated, all text © 1999-2021 JDF
This website is dedicated to the memories of Sara McCarthy
and Domenic Troiano