Like most songwriters of his generation, Kevin Vicalvi picked up a guitar and learned to play as a direct result of the Beatles' invasion of the U.S. airwaves.

"I had always loved music, but until the Beatles hit, singing and songwriting was something someone else did. They showed me that it was a road I could go down. And I did. And I never looked back."

After a few years of playing in central Massachusettes rock bands such as The Jon Does and The Sleepy Time Blues Band (later shortened to Sleepy Time), Vicalvi tried his hand at writing and soon had a few songs worth recording.

"...or so I thought at the time. We took some cover tunes we were doing (Honky Tonk Women, etc.) and a couple of my own things to a 2-track studio in Shrewsbury, Mass. (Northeast Recording Studio operated by Fred Holovnia). What we thought were pretty respectable demos make me cringe with embarrassment today. The singing was so-so for 17-18 year old boys, and my first songs were horrible."

In the next year, Vicalvi would return to that studio several times to record more of his compositions.

"I got my feet wet. I learned microphone technique, primitive overdubbing by ping- ponging from one 2-track machine to another - basic stuff. My songs were getting only slightly better. After graduating from high school, I kept playing gigs with Sleepy Time and went to Lowell State College for their music program. Lowell State was intent on turning me into a teacher, and since I didn't see it their way, I left after one year. From there it was just bouncing around, doing gigs and getting nowhere faster than anyone else. Then one day in a music store, I ran into a friend of my cousin. His name was Dwight Glodell. We'd hung out and jammed once before, and I respected his guitar playing. Dwight said he was assembling a recording studio in an upper floor of the building we were standing in. I mentioned that I was getting ready to record some of my tunes and maybe release them myself on an LP. We agreed to work together toward this end. The result was "Songs From Down The Hall."

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