Dial K for Keys: Torraca Joins the Fashion Jungle

by The Fashion Jungle

Old Masters 03:10


The version of the Fashion Jungle that may be the most definitive for the most people began during the winter of 1982-83. Although drummer Ken Reynolds, bassist Steve Chapman and I had honed the trio format to a fine expressive edge — and we rocked pretty hard too — we wanted more instrumental color.

So when the opportunity appeared to poach keyboardist Kathren Torraca from the Pathetix, we grabbed it. The recordings marked "(Live)" were made during an April 1983 concert at 55 Market St., Portland, Maine — once the Rathskellar (my band the Mirrors played there), then Ruby Begonia’s (I played there), much later the Big Easy (the Cowlix played there), most recently Studio 55.

The venue was called It's Magic when we played this show with (I think) Lou Miami & The Kozmetix on April 1, 1983. It was our second public performance with Kathren Torraca, who had absorbed part of the repertoire at that point. The mix comes off the soundboard and is quite good aside from a strange phasing sound and occasional swellings in the guitar signal.

The middle five songs date from September 1983. Ken is absent from those recordings, having broken his thumb in a ball game. Using Steve’s Yamaha drum machine, we used the opportunity to record current material to document keyboard parts for the next keyboardist — as Kathren had indicated her intention to leave the band. A false alarm, as it turned out.

Personnel: Steve Chapman, bass; Doug Hubley, guitar; Ken Reynolds, drums (tracks 1, 7 and 8); Kathren Torraca, keyboards. Vocals as noted.


released February 12, 2021

“Censorship” copyright © 1981 by James Sullivan. “Sporting Life,” “Dial M for Mamba” and “A Certain Hunger” all copyright © 1983 by Stephen Chapman. “Pleasures of the Flesh” copyright © 1983 by Kenneth W. Reynolds and Douglas L. Hubley. “Little Cries” copyright © 1981 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved. Cover photo by Jeff Stanton.


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Doug Hubley Portland, Maine

Doug Hubley is a musician and writer in Maine.

He has covered arts and lifestyle for publications in Maine and Massachusetts.

Doug began learning guitar in 1966, and hopes to finish the job one day. He has played with such bands as the Fashion Jungle, the Cowlix, the Boarders and Howling Turbines.

Today he is one-half of Day for Night, an acoustic country band also starring Gretchen Schaefer.
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