It's been said that if you know Asbury Park, NJ, then you must know AL-VIS!
Deemed a local legend, VIS has been an integral part of the Asbury Park music scene for the better part of four decades. It may be easier to mention the Jersey shore-area musicians that this guitarist hasn't played along side of rather then the ones that he has.
One of the most likable musicians that I've ever had the pleasure to share several stages with,
he has made many friends and many more admirers. A very smooth player, AL-VIS has been toiling his
wares in bars, restaurants, and coffee houses all over the shore music scene since he was a young
Inspired by his cousin who played the drums for a band called The Circle, he originally started
his musical career as a drummer, abandoning them when his parents refused to continue buying new
drum heads due to his heavy hitting technique. It was at this point that he began to play the
guitar. This, as it turns out, was a very good move. Due to his personality and great guitar skills,
AL-VIS has been in bands with, or played along side of, such Asbury Park luminaries as Vinny "Mad
Dog" Lopez, Danny Gallagher, Sonny Kenn, and Bobby Bandiera, just to name a few.
Surprisingly enough, despite playing with anybody and everybody, he has never made his own CD.
That is, until now. VIS brought along with him COOK SMITH, another well-known talented musician, who
happens to also be the engineer/producer of the CD. This disc, which is aptly titled (if you're a NJ
resident), "Road Construction," was recorded at SMITH's open-air studio. A five-song EP, "Road
Construction," is a mixture of some Mississippi Delta-style blues along with tributes to two of AL's
favorite songwriters, Danny Gallagher and Spring Libutti.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to be part of the "Road Construction" CD release party in
Neptune, NJ, at Sprengel's Sports Bar. The turnout was more than just fellow musicians coming to
support a great player. It was an outpouring of affection for a well-respected, well-liked and
much-appreciated friend and artist. To date, the three-song set that I did with my
amazingly-talented band mate JO WYMER and AL-VIS was one of the highlights of my musical career.
I relayed the story to my listeners of how WYMER and I were playing the old B.B. King tune "How
Blue Can You Get" when the time came for a lead guitar interlude. WYMER, a VERY capable lead player
herself, deferred to AL-VIS. The riff that he unleashed upon the room was one of
several jaw-dropping leads that he demonstrated throughout the song. I literally got goose bumps
when he launched this bluesy tirade upon us. It was at this moment that I realized exactly why they
call him a legend.
Look for AL-VIS anywhere there's music in the Asbury Park radius! If you don't see him there, you
can find out all of your AL-VIS information at
This Sunday, September 5, at 10pm EST, my guests are several members of the Hamilton, NJ band
RADIO FICTION. Currently in the recording studio working on their first CD, they'll be sharing some
of these as-of-yet-unreleased works with us.
Tune into www.wifiam1460.com or many
other outlets and, as always... ROCK ON!