2010-10-14 / Community

Singers’ impromptu performances are a real delight

By Sylvie Belmond belmond@theacorn.com

IN HARMONY—Chris Cote, Adam Gorgoni, Freddy Curci and Rick Neigher entertain in front of the Ralphs supermarket in Agoura on a recent Saturday. About a year ago, the four family men and music industry veterans formed an a cappella group called Who’s Your Daddy. SYLVIE BELMOND/Acorn Newspapers IN HARMONY—Chris Cote, Adam Gorgoni, Freddy Curci and Rick Neigher entertain in front of the Ralphs supermarket in Agoura on a recent Saturday. About a year ago, the four family men and music industry veterans formed an a cappella group called Who’s Your Daddy. SYLVIE BELMOND/Acorn Newspapers Fun is on the agenda when the a cappella group Who’s Your Daddy strolls through local neighborhoods and shopping centers vocalizing well-known rock tunes.

The four family men and music industry veterans don’t seek donations for their spur-of-themoment entertainment—their reward is the happy faces of people walking by.

Who’s Your Daddy is the brainchild of Oak Park resident Rick Neigher, a former record producer who’s worked with recording artists such as Prince, SheDaisy, the Go-Go’s and John Mellencamp.

In June 2009, after listening to a radio station playing songs from the 1980s and ’90s, Neigher was inspired to call his good friends Freddy Curci, Adam Gorgoni and Chris Cote to suggest they form an a cappella group and croon pop, rock and soul songs of the ’80s and early ’90s.

The idea resonated with the men, and soon the group began to rehearse and perform.

“This is a labor of love. We only do songs that everyone agrees to and spend 50 percent of our time laughing and saying jokes,” said Neigher, who sings second tenor and goes by the moniker “Funk Daddy” in the group.

Gorgoni, the baritone, is “Sugar Daddy.” Curci is first tenor “Mac Daddy,” and bass singer Cote is “Big Daddy.”

As a boy, Cote sang soprano in choirs at major venues such as the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. After his voice changed, he became a basso profundo, the deepest male voice, singing opera and classical compositions by day, rock and rhythm and blues by night while earning a degree in music from UC Berkeley.

Neigher and Cote met in the 1980s and formed the L.A. club band Avalon. They also co-wrote music and sang for television shows like “Fantasy Island.”

Aside from his musical career, Cote has appeared in guest spots on TV shows like “Dynasty” and “Magnum P.I.” and in dozens of national commercials.

About a decade ago, Cote and Neigher switched trades to work in Internet advertising.

Curci, a vocalist and songwriter, is best known for his stints in the bands Alias and Sheriff. His vocals are featured on the Sheriff song “When I’m With You,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1989. The Alias ballad “More Than Words Can Say,” co-produced with Neigher, scored the No. 2 spot in 1990.

Gorgoni composed music for the HBO original movie “Path to Paradise” and comedies such as “Waiting” for Lions Gate and Ray Romano’s “95 Miles to Go.”

Gorgoni has also written music for television. His tunes were featured in the CWTV series “Aliens in America” and the ABC comedy “Sons and Daughters” as well as shows on NBC, Disney, Discovery Channel, Bravo and National Geographic Network.

Gorgoni said that, unlike making music for hire, performing with Who’s Your Daddy allows him to socialize with longtime friends.

“It’s such a pleasure and beautiful release to be able to do music that we love our own way without anybody telling us what to do,” he said.

Who’s Your Daddy approaches a cappella rock and soul music in an aggressive and freespirited way, Neigher said.

“We’re all veterans of the recording industry. We’re all doing this musical pastime solely for the love of doing music, not because we’re trying to get discovered,” he said.

Neigher’s wife, Susan, said her husband has found a “fabulous hobby.”

Cote and Curci said their wives and children are also thrilled with the men’s venture because they return home contented after performing.

“When I come home, I’m in such a good mood that it spreads around the house,” Cote said.

Curci agreed. “My wife’s happy, and my kid’s happy,” he said.

Gorgoni said songs performed by Who’s Your Daddy traverse generational boundaries.

“When we rehearse at different houses, often the kids come around to listen, and they enjoy it,” he said.

Curci and Gorgoni live in Hollywood, and Cote is a Woodland Hills resident. The group performs in all the communities where its members reside.

Sharon Belson, a manager at Maria’s Italian Kitchen in Agoura Hills, said the men are “amazing.”

“I like the music, and I love their voices,” Belson said. “They’re great musicians, and they have great tone. I got their CD, and I listen to it at home with my 26-year-old daughter.”

Who’s Your Daddy recently released its first CD featuring 14 songs, including Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.” The album is available at www .whosyourdaddymusic.com and on iTunes.

The record was produced by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York. Calbi is known in the industry for his engineering skills.

Members of Who’s Your Daddy said they hope to open for larger concerts and shows, but no matter where the music takes them, they’ll continue to sing together because the venture strengthens their camaraderie.

“It’s a very organic kind of project. We’re just letting it unfold,” Neigher said.

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