“Avenging Annie” was all over the airwaves in the early 1970s. It had “hit” written all over it. There wasn’t another tune quite like it and it seems like it’s had the staying power to remain in the hearts of all music fans who loved it back then. The musician behind the song—Andy Pratt—is still making great music. He’s recorded many CDs over the years and has played selected gigs. Rolling Stone said of Andy: “By reviving the dream of rock as an art and then re-inventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock.”
To learn more about Andy Pratt, check out this site.
Enjoy this video of “Avenging Annie.”
Your musical career goes back to the good old days of the 1970s. How would you describe the evolution of your music? Are there any distinct characteristics that stand out over the course of all your recorded and live efforts?
Well, I’m a fool for singers…and great songs, pop radio, all kinds of music really, classical, jazz etc, even Muzak…I was always a Brian Wilson fan – Stones, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Beatles, Eminem, Police, Bowie, etc. etc.
I write songs from the gut, they’re not that great, fast, whatever, but they are an expression of who I am and what I’ve known…
“Avenging Annie” is a keystone tune for many people—especially those how lived in the Boston area. That song was on the radio all the time. Do you remember the first time you realized it was a big hit?
Well for a few days when it was on the rise I rode with the two Boston Columbia promo men, Sal Enjemi (?), called himself ‘Avenging Sal’ at the time, and another Irish guy….and they had a car phone! Big thing in 73, they were calling WRKO and WMEX saying you better get on it, and it came on the radio and sounded great. Then I had a whole week at the Jazz Workshop, where I had seen all my jazz heroes, I had chick singers, I had Nat Weiss, Clive Davis, BCN, it was a kick for sure…later I found out Annie was number one in New Orleans too, which is of course a great music city.
I understand that you built your own recording studio pretty early on in your career. Are you still a recording geek who likes to turn knobs and experiment with sounds?
I partnered with Bill Riseman to build Aengus. I like to work in studios with someone else turning the knobs. I enjoyed group mixing in the old days…
Is it really true that it took 500 hours to record “Avenging Annie?” You must have a lot of patience and persistence to get the sound that you desire.
What took the most time was getting a good piano and drum track, then three days for the basses, the vocals didn’t take too long. I would have to be in good or ok voice to get a passable vocal
You lived abroad for some time and then returned to the U.S. about ten years ago. Is that when you moved to the Cape Ann area?
Rockport at first, now we live in Southern New Hampshire
What do you think about the music scene there?
The Cape Ann music scene is good and friendly
How would you best describe the music you’re making now?
Sophisticated old hippie Gospel rock and all my old stuff too….